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Technical Upolstery question - Am I THAT out of touch?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 427 sleeper, Mar 31, 2022.

  1. desotot
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,927

    desotot
    Member

    I went back to the OP. If there is no spring or edge wire repair or additional materials. 20 hours should do it. Burlap is cheap and should be used because it wears like iron. Not sure about the USA but the good quality cotton became no longer available in our dominion a few years ago. ....Sorry about the rant. It's a pet peeve for me.
     
  2. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 31,020

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    In 1981 Patrick in Yakima quoted me 750 to do the seat, door panels and headliner in my 48 and that translates to 2582.40 in April 1 2022 dollars. I doubt I could get it done around here for that 2580 now. That was a pretty simple roll and pleat seat and the rest of it wasn't going to be over the top but his simple work was pretty nice.
     
    Tman likes this.
  3. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,893

    indyjps
    Member

    No, just means they take it seriously and manage their business.
     
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  4. 427 sleeper
    Joined: Mar 8, 2017
    Posts: 1,769

    427 sleeper
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    No Sir, you're right on the Money. That's exactly what I'm lookin' for! :cool:
     
  5. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 6,235

    stanlow69
    Member

    I was talking to my upholstery salesman a few years ago. He said about 50% of the shops he visited, he wouldn`t take his delivery truck to them to have work done by them.
    But if they are booked only 2 to 4 weeks out and are that able to get the job done in 3 weeks. And they are much cheaper than everybody else. Does this give off red flags to you. I`m not trying to say that the other shops are (or are not) price gouging. I`m just saying be leery of shops that are not busy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2022
  6. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,893

    indyjps
    Member

    Interesting perspective.
    I put trust in those that do what they say. When a shop takes a deposit and doesn't do the work for months I lose trust in them. When they tell me their turn around is 6 months to a year, I have the opinion they cant manage their business and I may not want to do business with them.

    If your toilet broke and your plumber told you to use a bucket for a few weeks until he gets around to it, we'd all say he was a bad plumber. BUT we put up with it in the specialty automotive fields.

    I'm interested to see how this job comes out, I'm local to the shop and need some small work done.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2022
    Tman, Chicster, 5window and 1 other person like this.
  7. fuzzface
    Joined: Dec 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,413

    fuzzface
    Member

    The first shop has 4 locations that I know of and a couple of them are not cheap shops either. what I am getting at is they have a lot of overhead to cover being that big and they are playing off of being a family run business for 77 years.

    Smaller shops have less overhead and can do the job at a cheaper rate and still make money to pay their bills.

    I tend to search out the smaller shop or if possible the one man guy that works out of his garage.

    all the good upholstery shops I knew about around me are all gone. Some retired and some are gone and nobody was there to take over the business.
     
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  8. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 4,060

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    @427 sleeper , did you try Johnson seat & canvas in Cortland Il. Used to do great work ,been there forever .
     
    427 sleeper likes this.
  9. 427 sleeper
    Joined: Mar 8, 2017
    Posts: 1,769

    427 sleeper
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I have and that was one of the shops that I stopped at, great people great work! :cool:
    Their turn around was slightly longer, though not bad at 6 weeks.
     
  10. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,353

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    Last summer I talked to a upholstery shop nearby about recovering my bucket seats. They told me if I pulled the seats out and delivered them to them they would recover them for $750, plus material cost for black diamond pattern. It had been a few years since I used them to do a pair of mid60's Mustang seats for my gasser project, but they charged me $370 back then and that was with materials. Heck, they did the entire interior on my buddy's '35 Plymouth coupe for $1800 in white tuck and roll back then!
    I was so irritated I told the guy I could buy a used commercial machine and sew all my interior up for what they wanted. He told me, "Good luck. Hope it works out for you."
    So I bought a reconditioned Singer commercial from the 1950's and all the material, and stripped my upholstery. Ripped the seams apart to make patterns, and sewed up all my interior seats, door panels, etc. I was all in (including the $250 for the sewing machine) and done under $600. I did screw up the first seat by getting the seat cover a bit too large, and it wasn't tight. Had to rip the seams out when I saw how loose it was and re-stitch it tighter. But no loss beyond my time. Not sure at my age I'll ever do another interior, but I'm keeping the machine for leather repairs, or whatever I might need a heavy duty machine for later.
     
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  11. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 8,782

    5window
    Member

    Okay. You saved $150 and learned something. I'm all for that. But, you didn't have to cover for your time, taxes, utilities, and all the other things, including know-how that the pro shop did. All things considered, that $750 deal wasn't really a bad offer.
     
  12. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,954

    Squablow
    Member

    In fairness, seat foam is incredibly pricey, and in the last year or two it's really hard to come by. A 3x6 brick of foam might cost you $400 by itself, depending on density.

    I redid the seats in my '57 using a chunk of foam I found on the curb on large-item-garbage-pickup day, along with some thrift store mattress pads and some stuff I cut out of an old couch. To buy just that material, new, would have cost me more than I paid for the car.
     
  13. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 4,060

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    You can use screen wire to cover the springs , even burlap is expensive now ! I'm not sure if cotton batting is even available . the " chopped up " looking carpet foam , in multiple layers works well , most carpet places have scrap ( free or cheap) . If your covers have the sire pockets sewn in , should be a doable thing , only things needed are hog rings & pliers & a hair dryer ( a helper wouldn't hurt ) 40 years ago , I'd pull bench seats out of junkers , strip them for foam , etc . , they were fairly flat & easy to work with.
     
    427 sleeper likes this.

  14. It could be that job will only take a few hours, which can be split up in small segments as fill-in work, rather than the upholsterer starting a big project late in the day. That would explain why they would quote 2 weeks (knowing that if push came to shove, they could bang it out quickly and move it out the door).
     
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  15. rdscotty
    Joined: Sep 24, 2008
    Posts: 225

    rdscotty
    Member
    from red deer

    The shorter turn around might also mean it is a better run shop. Rather than pin all their income on the large, long term full upholstery jobs , they may also take in the quicker small jobs to ensure cash flow. Its also nice to take a short break from a large tedious job and bang a small one out, just to feel like you finished something that week.
     
  16. Oilguy
    Joined: Jun 28, 2011
    Posts: 642

    Oilguy
    Member

    RD is right on. The smaller work means not having "your eggs in one basket". If you spend a year on a project and the customer bails, you could have a real bad day. I am certainly not an upholsterer but do have plenty of experience working with the public; it can be very rewarding but occasionally it can really suck. That could be the fault of the mgr/salesman/rep/mechanic guy/vendor or the dickhead who quoted the job and overlooked some big stuff, then has to go back the customer and ask for more money or explain to the boss why he just lost his ass on that job. Been there, done that. I knew how to play that dickhead roll at times. Hate it when that happens, and it can from time to time. I am sure the successful businesses will ask for progress payments from the customer to cover their butts in case there is an issue. And they will make sure there is total understanding regarding the direction of the work or build with the customer. I have to feel pity at times for guys like Dan Short (Fantom Works) who tries his best to retain and satisfy his customers but some of them can turn on him for no good reason. The greater majority though are great automobile enthusiasts and rodder types.
     
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  17. 51box
    Joined: Aug 31, 2005
    Posts: 1,035

    51box
    Member
    from MA

    You're not paying them for their time, you're paying for their experience and quality of work. Just like with any trade, you get what you pay for. I have only done my own hot rods so far, full custom interiors from scratch and I wouldn't do it for someone else for under $10k. Again, look at the fit and finish of the "cheap" prices you hear about, there's a reason.
     
  18. Oilguy
    Joined: Jun 28, 2011
    Posts: 642

    Oilguy
    Member

    51: I too would rather pay more for quality parts and workmanship. I often do, actually. I try not to purchase anything anymore that would help support the Chinese Communist Party just to save some money ( know what I mean?) As I stated earlier, if I can't afford it they still make Mexican blankets as I am not sure I would want to take on some of those seat cover jobs myself due to a lack of skills. It could end up costing me more. Congratulations for doing the DSC08357.JPG quality work yourself. There are definitely some things I run from; such as house and shop wiring. But I love my sandblaster, painting parts, assembling engines, etc. Upholstery? Forget it for me. I may try a scratching post sometime and see how that works out. Now if I only had a cat! Some irrelevant photos of stuff I am confident in working with. By the way, that brown lump with a silver end is not my dog, it is a cast iron Powerglide; just about as worthless.
     

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  19. 33 cdan man
    Joined: Sep 15, 2016
    Posts: 182

    33 cdan man

    I guess it depends on the level of you build and what you're willing to pay for what you want. My interior was a full leather custom, nothing cookie cutter. I wanted a design that would look like it belonged in the car, classic and timeless. It was done by a high-end shop and I am very pleased with the results. The had the car for less than 3 months. The "investment" was $134. shy of what my first house cost in 1973. Resized_20200616_103450[2258].jpg
     
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  20. Oilguy
    Joined: Jun 28, 2011
    Posts: 642

    Oilguy
    Member

    P.S. I apologize for the hypocritical blast cabinet. But I did replace the POS original gun with one I bought from TP Tools about 10 years ago. Haven't touched it since. All those buckets on the floor were there so I could screen the sand to remove crap that would easily clog the original gun. No problems with that anymore. Money well spent.
     
  21. Oilguy
    Joined: Jun 28, 2011
    Posts: 642

    Oilguy
    Member

    33: Nice work.
     
  22. 33 cdan man
    Joined: Sep 15, 2016
    Posts: 182

    33 cdan man

    Stitches Custom Upholstery. Poulsbo, WA. Tony Miller. Hes is booked out a couple of years.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2022
    Oilguy likes this.
  23. image000000_7.jpg I just had this seat done at Payton's in Clinton Indiana. He fixed the track, painted the frame and supplied the material. $450. he had it three weeks.
     
  24. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 6,235

    stanlow69
    Member

    See the difference in workmanship and time it took to get to the job from the last post by 283john. A bit of a price difference as well. It all depends what kind of an upholstery job you are after. All that matters is that you are happy with the end result. Both in price and the quality of work being performed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2022
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  25. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,765

    325w
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Seen two of the ready made headliners form cars that were cut wrong. One was sewn backwards. The front was at the back. Another was just screwed up. Upholstery guy told us next time just let me make it.
     
    G-son likes this.
  26. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 28,856

    The37Kid
    Member

    That was the way I was looking at the deal too.

    Bob
     
  27. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 4,060

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    As of 2022 , husky compressors are manufactured in India or China .
     
  28. fuzzface
    Joined: Dec 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,413

    fuzzface
    Member

    Many years ago I brought two commercial sewing machines for us because way back then I didn't like the prices already. Luckily I was friends with people like Lil dough( Dean Probst) and he helped me out learning some of his tricks.
     
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  29. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,353

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    I think you missed some points. I didn't save just $150, I did not do just the seats, but the entire interior for under $600. So on my business coupe that's the door panels, side panels and trunk divider in the rear, kick panels, and headliner. Not just a pair of bucket seats. And I now own a commercial sewing machine if I need it later on.
    That $750 for two seats didn't include material cost, as I mentioned. So I still think the price for just two buckets delivered to their shop, and whatever they added for material was absurd.
     
  30. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 4,060

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    + $250 for gas & 2 500 mile driving days , still very economical !
     

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