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TECH Sew at home upholsrety hot rod

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by dana barlow, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,109

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    1526589_565659736857226_578759189_n.jpg Home type sewing machine,not pro job,been playing to find can and can't do with it,.:cool:
    So here's some tips.;) I never sewed anything tell June 2011. My buddy Nuwt R.I.P. that did this type of stuff for me an many others,pass on about 15years ago. Watching Nuwt do his thing was always amazing.
    Finding out more stuff with test trys all the time. Hand cranking good for first 3 or so stitchs and also round corners,also to start machine to sew start it with needel up,not down.
    For those that say ya can't do auto seats on your home sewing machine on the low $!
    Old Kenmore yardsale $5 to 20 plus another $30 of thread and parts for it and away we go ,things that work on vinyl; and a home sewing machine;
    I tryed other stuff and failed but this works;
    Max thread size is V92 with a 18 leather needel, 6 to 9 tenchion on nob. adjust bobbin so it just bearly will not drop when holding thread.
    Only can get V92 at a upholstery supply,Looks good an is very strong,but $22 a spool big enough for 20 or 30 cars?Don't wast time as did looking at your local fibric store.
    Use a Walking foot adtachmint for housewife machine,there only about $15 and wroth every cent. Only way to get feed to make nice stitchs.
    Far better to use 1/4in. foam backing if your going to try sew it in vs glue 1/2in. foam on back after sewing..
    Sewing vinyl upside-down works best by far.
    These new photos are of test door panel in T-bucket,we're making even better one next,but found out so much stuff from test about mounting to panel board.
    About how to pull, glue and staple.
    Took a few weeks to work out the above info,with mistakes along the way but now it works.
    Ya there things that would be EZer with a pro walking foot machine,but I only have a yardsale $5 Kenmore made back in 1972.
    I'll add a photo above of the end of this tech,how this all comes out on my own hotrod after I did my son's T.
    This all worked,but if you get a shot at a real good deal on a pro walkingfoot,do it*,if it will go slow/most sew at spaceship speed an your work will be hitting the wall before you even see it move.
    .
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
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  2. 71buickfreak
    Joined: Sep 26, 2006
    Posts: 609

    71buickfreak
    Member
    from Oklahoma

    That is the trick of it though- the machine is from the 70s,itmost likely has steel gears.Try sewing thick vinyl on a newer machine, even in the 80s, they switched to plastic gears, which will strip out easily.

    That stitch job looks great!
     
  3. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,109

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    Yes and no,it's why I put all that info in the post.
    Thanks for pointing out some stuff I should of added.
    If you find a yardsale job or what ever,look at the top of machine for a pop up hatch and open it,you can see how it's made,just look , also under machine just to see if there's any brocken stuff,if there is plastic gears in it,if so pass.
    The one I have is a Kenmore 158-14401 all metal,no cams at all you can remove,only dials to turn.
    If it takes plastic cams for the Fantzy stitchs like a few newer ones ,it may not hold up .
    Parts are very EZ to get for these housewife jobs,and cheep too.
    I made a sew table my self from old drafting table I had around by just cutting a hole out the size of very bottom of machine just under it's base lip,this lets the work move with out hanging up on small housewife box it they come in,plus keeps the machine from moving.
    I tryed a lot of stuff that failed and fig out most of why,so if any ask,I may have A to there Q?
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2011
  4. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,109

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    A trick I tried worked pretty well too,but my son didn't like it for his "T",but some one may?.
    I was playing with Zig Zag stitch after I found out it would work if vinyl was upside down it would sew with 1/2in.sewfoam glued to it.
    So did a fast idea,not really trying to keep stuff super strait or even,just a proof of idea deal. The photo shows what could be done with out even cutting one color in to parts,just adding a sew pattern to the back side you draw there and comes out on the front,would of looked better if I had stayed on my lines in the back,but just fast test. You'll get the idea.
    Remember there are no cuts,only sew lines,the boarder is two lines with Zig Zag in mid for looks.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 7, 2021

  5. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,109

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    IMG_9800.jpg IMG_9803.jpg This is old drafting table I cut a hole in to mount Kenmore,it makes moving your sew work around EZ ;)and key thing to getting a housewife sewing machine to do vinyl kind of OK.:D
    Note the big spool of v92 thread on Kenmore,to get it to spin and hold on there,8in.x1/4in. steel gasline smuched a little so it fits Kenmore spool pin and some small washers with a plastic contaner top about the size of v92 spool did the trick.
    The other photo is of walkingfoot adtachmint[this one was $15 new.]
    The swatch is of 3 types of seams you can use with vinyl.
    See the little tiny screws on walkingfoot near the big one holding walking foot in place,keep them full in.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
  6. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,109

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    scan0001.jpg Before getting going on this ,I had to find out what my son wanted his upholstery to look like,not the idea in my head,but the one in his. So he showed me some photo of stuff he liked parts of. I drew up a design and we talked and redrew it ,tell it looked good to him.:D
    Thats when we started trying to make test swatchs of how to do vinyl parts we'd need to make up the upholstery as in drawing.;)
    Having a drawing helps get us on the same page so to say:cool:
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2020
    GuyW likes this.
  7. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 19,136

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    That almost looks like the interior of the BiG T model kit.... Need a picture????
     
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  8. RAY With
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,133

    RAY With
    Member

    I always thought you had to have a hi dollar pro sewing machine to do upholstery. Thanks for posting and I will get the wife to check it out since she loves to sew a lot.
     
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  9. RichtersRodz
    Joined: Feb 12, 2008
    Posts: 228

    RichtersRodz
    Member

    My son talked me into doing some sewing last year. Sewing vinyl, with a fuzzy type
    stuff already made to the back of it. I bought a new machine to do it, but did a lot
    of cussing along the way, because it seemed under powered, when you folded over the
    material too much. It was really thick, but it turned out pretty good. I used blue
    "painter's" tape, to make straight lines, to run the foot along. That was the hardest
    part for me, was to keep my lines straight, and figuring out ways to cut off the excess
    so that it wasn't like 4+ folds thick.

    Your panel looks good..
     
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  10. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,109

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    Using this old housewife sewing machine to do the job and how I'm dealing with probs I fine.
    Things like piping are better left off and just top stitch or twin stitch for good look to edge seams with a housewife machine,the piping as trim is a place that can screw up EZ.
    There's a older post that I found by fellow HAMBer,that's really extra good tips as well,even though he's using a pro real walking foot machine the ideas are super good info;
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=168060
    I will be keeping my eye open for a real walking foot sewing machine at a $ I can aford. There's a few on egay that would be nice for me,as hobbie sewing,but still more then my piggy bank has in it. This looked like it could do some good work with out as many work-arounds,like having to sew most things upside down or glue foam after ect.;
    Dreaming is free;
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Walking-Foot-Straight-Stitch-Sewing-Machine-All-Steel-Portable-similar-to-REX/401143830905?_trksid=p2047675.c100011.m1850&_trkparms=aid=222007&algo=SIC.MBE&ao=1&asc=20140602152332&meid=2a5f5cc7021645da922e95adcb1c0cbf&pid=100011&rk=3&rkt=4&sd=120583884864

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...3884864&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT#ht_875wt_905

    If your as broke as me,this info may save some $ on making your seats better then otherwise.
    :cool:
    Thanks for feed back gang!
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021 at 11:36 AM
  11. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,109

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    Clearing up some details;
    Some tricks with housewife machines that I may not of made clear or why are uses of "Leather needles size 18" is that shape needle helps it sew vinyl a lot EZer.
    Another trick is use some silicone spray on needles too,plus on foot outer frame,or if your only using a slipper foot spray the bottom of it every now and then. The V92 thread=8oz. 92 U.V.R. is very high Q thread that also make needle and sewing move much EZer so it sews far better then other needles and thread would.
     
  12. SmoKerch
    Joined: May 23, 2011
    Posts: 123

    SmoKerch
    Member

    Is it possible to rent an industrial upholstery machine?

    Also, is the walking foot attachment a generic device, or model specific?
     
  13. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,109

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    I guess ya could,but at the rate I at lest play around doing stuff,I'd have to have enought $ to buy one just for rent cost maybe.
    The little walking foot attachment is kind of generic in that you just need to know if your housewife machine has"low shank" like mine or mid,or high shank=the mount screw hight of foot ,so ya buy the one that fits your shank size on your machine and they are listed that way,but yes any make machine nearly.
    There are a lot of walking foot attachments,I carefully looked over 4 dif foot makes at local sewing store and got the lowist $ one,cus they all looked like pretty much made the same and worked the same,the cost was from $15 up to $129 and the high one looked no better,just higher cost.
    I did need to check the two little screws holding my walking foot housing together,one was not fully in,it's been good now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2011
  14. Kinky6
    Joined: May 11, 2003
    Posts: 1,765

    Kinky6
    Member

    Thanks! Great tech info, and a bump back TTT.

    Oh, yeah, I like your interior layout sketch, too!


    Later, Kinky6 :cool:
     
  15. timothale
    Joined: Feb 3, 2007
    Posts: 234

    timothale
    Member

    Sometimes when you have trouble feeding the material, You can use thin wrapping or gift paper under or on top , you can see thru it and it tears off easy when you are done. it allows the material to slip across your table or under the feeders.
     
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  16. ANDEREGG TRIBUTE
    Joined: Jan 1, 2008
    Posts: 1,367

    ANDEREGG TRIBUTE
    Member
    from Bordertown

    Dude, if this will actually work on my project you've made me a very happy camper and just saved me a load of $$$, I really wanted to do this part on our roadster....thanks, subscribed
     
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  17. 'Mo
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 7,435

    'Mo
    Member

    Thanks for the post. Bookmarked for later.
     
  18. Very Interesting... I had wondered about something like this.

    Thanks for the info!

    Looks great!
     
  19. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,109

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    Last nite the little walking foot attachment stopped working:eek:,turned out to just be the screw got louss again letting outer case come a small bit apart and one little lag arm jumped off a plastic pin.
    I added like a homemade gasket made of part of side old plastic milk jug,was nice thinkness and placed it to the inside of side plate of arm side=help keep little leg arm from poping off pin by getting it all closer together inside.
    Carefully reassmbiled and works fine now:D. Look out for very small black plastic tube roller goes on step steel pin.;) It's not to hard to fig-out but small parts need to be in the right places. Maybe the high$ ones are made better inside:rolleyes:maybe not.:p

    Another thing that is working is to glue with a small bit of contact cement* under vinyl fold overs so they stay in place as I'm sewing making better top stitch or seams,the slavage with the glue then gets cut away from the back after sewing,cutting it away helps stuff to lay nicer.
    I fine using a bigger slavage= 3/4in. up 1in. to be helpfull in controling and also lets the stuff going under needel be flatter so it pulls better.

    *I'm using DAP Weldwood contact cement=little jar with a brush in the cap,and 3M 77 spray can contact.
    As long as your vinyl only has a cloth looking backing[not fuzzy or foam] it will sew right side up in 2 to 3 layers.

    Also just found another good info site;
    http://www.classicroad.com/modelA/interior2.htm
    with some handy car sewing tips.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2011
  20. SmoKerch
    Joined: May 23, 2011
    Posts: 123

    SmoKerch
    Member

    Is that a Kenmore Model #158 12312?
     
  21. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,109

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    In post #3, I put the modal # 158-14401 of one I'm using,but it's very close to same one you listed.
     
  22. pasadenahotrod
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 11,776

    pasadenahotrod
    Member
    from Texas

    Great information, thanks.
    As far as commercial sewing machines go, I found a nice Singer for $200 with commercial table and some attachments in an estate sale here in Houston. Check the net around your area and see if there is an Estate Sale Notification website like there is here. You may also sign up for sale notices by attending a sale and getting on their mailing list.
     
  23. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,109

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    For sure if ya have $ to do,it's way better to get a real walking foot machine and it makes things much EZer.;)
    There are a lot of limits to what I can do and can't do with a housewife machine.;)
    With housewife machine it's best to do square corners and as much strait design as you can,that way you cut down on probs.
    If do go to get pro walking foot besure,it is a "walking foot" and has a servo motor that can be run slow under control,many pro jobs have a clutch type motor that I find pretty much uncontrolible=much too fast to sew with if your not a super expret pro your self already.
    I did in post #10 put up a link to a real walking foot machine @ about $300 that would be good for hobbie work at home,a bit better for sure then trying to use a housewife machine like I'm doing this with right now.
    But I'm listing my tricks, limits and probs to help any one as low $ as myself who wishs to do with what ya got.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011
  24. SmoKerch
    Joined: May 23, 2011
    Posts: 123

    SmoKerch
    Member

    Oops! Sorry didn't see that.

    We have the model I listed.

    Bought it new for my wife on our 2nd anniversary.
     
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  25. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,109

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    IMG_9854.jpg Got both door panels done and ready,I'll give the run down on the how too.
    So next is seats. I like the way The doors came out.:cool:
    The seats will have some outside corner seam that will be the next hard part.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
    GuyW likes this.
  26. Looking good man. Do a couple jobs & get yourself some $ for a big machine. You found your calling.
    My wife has a brothers that's about 50 years old & it still works great. She has sewed up our tent the dog chewed,made& sewed binding(we used burlap strips from Jo-Anns) on our 34 carpet we bought from Lowes. Great carpet. It's marine grade indoor/outdoor. You might check them out for your carpet.
     
  27. leroys85coupe
    Joined: Jun 2, 2009
    Posts: 148

    leroys85coupe
    Member
    from usa

    good info bud
     
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  28. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,109

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    IMG_9819.jpg To get around the limits of what this housewife Kenmore machine can and can't, I do some stuff that you would not with a pro machine I think;
    For going around the corners of the insert pleated panel,I cut and glued a 1in. tap under to get it all in place,with a lot cut on the turns for a smooth look from top side. The pleated panel has also a full 1in. exrta tap all round to let the sewing machine pull on a fairly smooth underside when sewing from the top in this case.
    After that glued outer in place over the pleated panel and then sewed,for corner I hand cranked it to keep good line.
    After cutting away the savage from behind by pulling glued tap up and cutting=this lets it all lay smoother. I added 1/2in. foam after that I cut to size needed to give it a nice soft look.:cool:
    This will be same way I'll do seat pleated planels,but there will be some outside corners around the outer sides that will need some tricks too.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
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  29. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,109

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    IMG_9971.jpg I compleated the seats :D:cool:,it's a two man job feeding it all through this old Kenmore,so had lots of help from my son on his T-bucket seats and door planels,he likes how they came out:D.
    The outer corners of the seats are done from back side of vinyl after stables and gluing to hold it right before sewing.
    The extra twin stitchs that show each side of outer seam are just for art of it along the outer cap panels[end boxing] ,some call them a Franch seam.
    Still got to do the black rug,but cockpit lip pad all around will only be after he gets the shiny blue paint job done with.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
    clem and GuyW like this.
  30. ANDEREGG TRIBUTE
    Joined: Jan 1, 2008
    Posts: 1,367

    ANDEREGG TRIBUTE
    Member
    from Bordertown

    Very nice!!!!
     
    dana barlow likes this.

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