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Old 08-19-2011, 12:08 PM
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33 chevy 3-win. coupe headliner?

Hi there
i'm in the process of working on the interior of a 33 chevy coupe and coming to a halt because i'm unsure of what path to take on installing a headliner. i'm fairly new to doing interiors (self taught) i've done about 5 cars but all of them had the bow style headliners (newer muscle car types). i'm thinking of making, sewing up a bow style headliner using ultra-leather style fabric, I have no pattern, no bows and no idea how this came apart since the car had nothing for the interior but the seats. I've thought about putting in a hard style headliner would that be easier? i'm looking for suggestions from the more experienced people out there. I can send pics of my progress so far or to explain better of what I have going on, I have many of the panels made and ready to be covered. I have checked out some of the tutorials, I don't think I would have attempted this without those and some of the upholstery books out there. Thanks

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Old 08-19-2011, 03:58 PM
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No, a hard headliner is not easier than a bow style headliner. Are there 4 wooden supports going across the the roof of the car from door to door? Can you post some pictures of the roof of the car from the inside?
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:29 AM
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this is what I had to start with it's a steel body & had nothing but the seats, i built a panel to go around the back window, and the roof has all the wood bracing, I just filled in the gaps with insulation.
I hope the pictures show up
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Old 08-20-2011, 09:10 AM
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If you want to make a headliner that looks like a bow hung headliner, the 4 wooden bows are where you need to attach the headliner sections. You will need to cut 5 sections of fabric an inch wider than the distance between the center of the bows, and long enough to completely cover the roof with about 8 to 10 inches of overhang. Sew the sections together and either add a listing at each bow location to staple each section to the bows, or use the seam allowance to staple the sections to the wooden bows.

Only sew the middle of the sections to each other at first, hang the headliner to the bows temporarily and mark the ends of the fabric sections with tailor's chalk where you need to cut away fabric. The sections will need to be slightly curved and a little narrower at the ends above the doors where they curve downward. Cut away the excess fabric and finish sewing the headliner together.

Start at the back or front end of the roof, staple the seam to the bow, and then pull each successive section to the next bow and staple it down.

You could also make the headliner out of 3 pieces, with one large center section, but I 'd be afraid of the middle of the headliner sagging over time.

The other alternative is to make one large panel glued with top and trim contact adhesive to a piece of 1/4" luan plywood that is attached with screws to the wooden bows. This would then be a hard headliner and because of the wood bows, might be the simplest of your options in this case, and the easiest to do.
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Old 08-21-2011, 06:20 AM
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i think i'll hit the fabric shop and see if I can get some cheap fabric to do a test run (bow style), i've seen where they use "cowlboard" for the hardliner, I understand it's heavy cardboard that can be sewn thru then that is glued to the luann board, I seen online a couple of places that sell "cowlboard", is there any other type of board or heavy material I could use or get from a local hardware store?
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:57 AM
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A test run is a good idea, then you can use the test run panels as patterns and tweak your patterns before you cut and sew the final headliner. Try not to buy any test fabric with a lot of stretch.

You can use waterproof panel board, (also called cowlboard by some places like Miami Corp.) but a better choice is PVC foamboard, which is not affected by moisture at all. It's easy to sew through, cuts, drills, and shapes with regular woodworking tools or a utility knife, and makes a great base for any automotive panels. It goes by the brand names Sintra, Palight, Komatex, and CelTec, and can be found at most sign shops or most sheet plastic suppliers locally or on line. It comes in 4' by 8' sheets and a few different thicknesses. I like to use the 3MM thickness, which is a hair under 1/8".
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:52 AM
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This is a 33 dodge coupe headliner i did a few months ago. I screwed luan to the wood bows for my base then glued my wrapped pvc pannel up to that. I then made all my panels around the windows go up against the headliner.
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:56 AM
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You also had the added benefit of being able to screw the headliner panel up in the middle under the console. Nice job.
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:00 AM
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Thanks. I also cut the panel in half since the seam is under the console. It made it easier to put in.
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:05 AM
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I figured you probably did it that way seeing as how the console goes all the way across the roof from front to back.
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes
A test run is a good idea, then you can use the test run panels as patterns and tweak your patterns before you cut and sew the final headliner. Try not to buy any test fabric with a lot of stretch.

You can use waterproof panel board, (also called cowlboard by some places like Miami Corp.) but a better choice is PVC foamboard, which is not affected by moisture at all. It's easy to sew through, cuts, drills, and shapes with regular woodworking tools or a utility knife, and makes a great base for any automotive panels. It goes by the brand names Sintra, Palight, Komatex, and CelTec, and can be found at most sign shops or most sheet plastic suppliers locally or on line. It comes in 4' by 8' sheets and a few different thicknesses. I like to use the 3MM thickness, which is a hair under 1/8".
Dan,
Can you bend this stuff without it breaking? Will it leave a crease if you fold it? Don't want to jump this thread but I have a 33 Pontiac 3 window which is a brother to the Chevy.

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:48 PM
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You can bend it without breaking it. In fact, if you bend it, hold it in place, and heat it, it will hold its shape. This only took about 30 seconds of heating to make this curve.
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:52 PM
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Two more pictures. If you don't heat it, it will go back to being flat.
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