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Upholstery
8/20/2011

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Upholstery done...sort of...
I bought the gray vinyl off the web at $11/yard. A local lady made the embroidered logo for me. I decided to go away from the typical Skybolt font...I never did like it that much.

I had planned on using a local Mexican guy who I heard was good, with a matching price tag to boot; it didn't turn out that way. I had two cushions, two seatbacks and and a t-deck door that needed covering. I had all the materials, including the expensive temper foam from AS&S for the seat cushions, sponge welting (piping), vinyal. The guy wanted $1000 cash, with a deposit, too.

My wife suggested I ask her Mother, who is good with a sewing machine. We went over everything, and I told her not to worry, the material is cheap enough, we can practice, practice till everything feels right. Mess it up? No worries...try again...etc.

After several weeks, with a bi-weekly phone call to see how things were getting along, I finally realized she was having second thoughts so I got everything back, so back to the drawing board.

I finally used a local aviation upholsterer, let's say, 'somewhere in Texas'. I hadn't bothered approaching him initially, since I assumed being 'aviation' he would be too high dollar for my little biplane project. However, when I took in two seat backs and the t-deck door (I omitted the cushions, for now...), he quoted me $160 labor. Wow (instinct made me feel a little dubious). So, the result? Average. Although once the seatbacks were in the plane, whatever minor little flaw I had spotted, like say, a slight wave in a stitch line mysteriously blended in with the airplane?! Weird...The t-deck door took some fixing....the front looked fine, but I had told him it was a door, and as such, the back needed to be neatly finished. It was very untidy...with bunched up vinyl sticking up everywhere, he did apologize saying he had forgotten my comments, but his fix wasn't really much different. I managed to fix this with a couple of hours of trimming and patient micro gluing, and once I had finally gotten everything flat, I glued on a 1/32 sheet of birch ply, sprayed black. It looks really nice. I decided to go ahead and let him do the cushions and two arm rests. Price for labor: $167. The seat cushions were not too bad, but again, the devil is in the details and I won't go into it....to conclude, he knew what he was doing, but had trouble with attention to detail, it was worth $327 for all he did, but I would have happily paid $600 for a little extra grain of patience in the work. So yeah, I got what I paid for... The PAX back panel required no stitching, so I covered it myself, since there was lots of messy cutting and gluing over the nutplate areas that was very tedious. It turned out rather nice. The bad news is, the green embroidered logo had a couple of frayed threads, I decided to glue them down with a micro drop of super glue. This worked great, but the glue darken the thread!!!!! :-\. My plan to rescue this, is to paint the green area black, so it looks like that's how it's meant to be. If I am not happy with the outcome, I will get a custom embroided patch made and glue it on.
Front view...
Front view...


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