'54 Belvedere seat back padding question - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 03-13-2009, 06:47 PM
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'54 Belvedere seat back padding question

Since I'm new at this stuff, I'm not sure what's acceptable practices, or
even what's the best way to start.
I've got a '54 Belvedere front bench seat back I'm struggling to pad out and
fit my patterned-from-previous-cover cover. The original padding was burlap
covered sisel with cotton on top and more burlap, so it was like a sandwich
that was hogringed to the frame. I tried using foam but was not having much
luck.... wasn't filling out the corners well, etc... I suspect my foam just
wasn't wide enough(24") to actually wrap up and over the top and sides,
kind of like how the sisal sandwich did..
So I now have the old sandwich on again, covered with quarter inch foam and muslin to hold all in place... fits my cover better, but the sisel is kinda dirty, etc...
Do I need to get some wider foam? I was using 2" b 24"...
Also... this seat frame is kinda funky in that its got some moving parts...hard to explain, but I think it has something to do with the buttons that need to
go in sometime...
Any suggestions for foaming this thing out would be greatly appreciated!!!!

Thanks!!!
beebopper
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beebopper
Since I'm new at this stuff, I'm not sure what's acceptable practices, or
even what's the best way to start.
I've got a '54 Belvedere front bench seat back I'm struggling to pad out and
fit my patterned-from-previous-cover cover. The original padding was burlap
covered sisel with cotton on top and more burlap, so it was like a sandwich
that was hogringed to the frame. I tried using foam but was not having much
luck.... wasn't filling out the corners well, etc... I suspect my foam just
wasn't wide enough(24") to actually wrap up and over the top and sides,
kind of like how the sisal sandwich did..
So I now have the old sandwich on again, covered with quarter inch foam and muslin to hold all in place... fits my cover better, but the sisel is kinda dirty, etc...
Do I need to get some wider foam? I was using 2" b 24"...
Also... this seat frame is kinda funky in that its got some moving parts...hard to explain, but I think it has something to do with the buttons that need to
go in sometime...
Any suggestions for foaming this thing out would be greatly appreciated!!!!

Thanks!!!
beebopper


I am sure different people would approach things differently. I will assume that you have new seat covers or have sewed some together, so I will describe what I do on assembly.

From my experience, I start with the wire frame. I make sure what should be straight is and what should be coiled is as well (no broken springs).

I clean off any rusted parts and paint the metal frame work so rust would not come through the fabric. Then I take a twine and tie the ends of the springs into their position. This keeps everything just where it should be in the building process. To wrap up this first process, I then take a piece of burlap and attach it to the seat frame.

Now for padding, choose what you will for your base... horse hair for the real old or go right for the foam. I usually hold the foam in place with a fabric layer (so it doesn't protrude into the final cover). I then put a couple thin layers of cotton batting over my foam cover as my top layer, so if I find that a corner is not padded enough, I can add more cotton and get my top cover to lay correctly.

I then hogtie the cover in place with just a few rings and look at the seat... I add or remove more cotton as needed to have the fabric lay smoothly, and hogtie the rest into place (starting from the center of each side and working to the corners).

Like I say though, different people do it different ways... try it out and if it doesn't look right... unhogtie it and do it again until it does.

best of luck
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:56 AM
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The older padding materials invite rodents to take up residence inside your car. Re-padding the seat frame with modern materials is extremely simple, eliminates the rodent problem, and will make your seat sit better and last longer. Check out this thread, it will tell you exactly how to replace the old padding material in your old seat: CLICK HERE also check out this thread, it will help with seat spring repair: CLICK HERE
Here's how those old seats turned out.
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Old 03-15-2009, 12:33 PM
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BTW, all the moderators have been asked to remind everyone not to entitle a thread with the word "help" or "need help". If you do, when someone searches for an answer that you may get in your thread, it won't show up in the search. I am going to change the title of your thread.
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Old 03-15-2009, 01:59 PM
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My apologies for the help word... I'll try to remember that next time
I have a question.
So I'm concerned that any cotton that I stuff in won't stay in place on a
seat back unless I cover the whole thing with a hogringed fabric layer
before I pull the final cover on top. If I do end up with a good base foam and cotton layer under a final fabric layer(under the final cover), if I add cotton to fill out the weak spots, will the stuffed cotton stay in place after
some use?
Maybe I'll have to post some pics... this seat back frame is different... really!
It has some "moving parts"....!
Thanks so much for the info!
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Old 03-15-2009, 04:35 PM
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Don't worry about the "help" thing, it's no big deal.
I don't use cotton for anything, and haven't in many years. If I want to add filling material, I add dacron polyester wrap. I always glue it on with foam to foam glue so it can't shift. This has the added benefit of allowing the fabric to slip on the dacron, which makes it easier to assemble. No, the stuffed in cotton will probably not stay exactly where you put it to begin with.
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Old 03-15-2009, 05:14 PM
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Ahhhhhhh....ok... that makes sense... so you would glue some dacron onto the foam trouble spots only and not cover the whole thing with dacron and a fabric layer that is then hog ringed to the frame? Maybe the fabric layer(not the final cover) is overkill...
I've got like a 2" non-hr foam on the back so far....I'm having problems
getting the upper corners fitting nicely without puckering...

Buttons/attachment are an upcoming problem...
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Old 03-15-2009, 08:54 PM
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I would always put dacron wrap over the entire seat, not just in certain areas. Yes, the fabric layer is overkill and will not actually do anything. Go back and look at the blue seats a few posts back. There is nothing under those seat covers except 1" of 65 compression foam over a 3/8" deck pad attached to the springs. Nothing had to be added and nothing needed to be done to the corners, etc. Without trying to be critical, and without seeing the actual seat covers, if you are having trouble getting the seat covers to look right, there is something else wrong that needs to be fixed.
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:41 AM
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So is this a typical seat back spring unit?
First picture is of the top of the unit... is the bar that curves towards the
back supposed to be the back top edge? So the deck pad would be
attached to this?
Second pic - just the spot in the middle of the frame that shows where
this piece has some movement... just a bit...
Third- a non-original front seat corner picture... trying to show how this
top edge is supposed to look...

My mock up cover could be just too big, perhaps... I did sew a half inch seam...
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:55 AM
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It's a pretty typical coil spring unit. That's a border wire which should go all around the perimeter of the front of the seat and yes, the deck pad should be attached to it. Can you take a picture a little farther away? The third picture is of the back of the front driver's side seat back corner, right? From the seams that are visible, the front of the seat curves in toward the center from the outside edge, and also curves back toward the welt cord, right?
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:58 AM
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Sure....
So most seat backs have this top edge that angles towards the back?
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:05 AM
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No, I have never seen one like that. Most seats would be flat and squared off on top, and be level with the rear, not curve up and over. That configuration would make it harder to do, but still not a big deal.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:20 AM
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Yes, the third pic is from the back of the driver's seat..
Yes, the curves do as you said...
Attached pic is of unit laying down on foam... passenger side...
So does the cover end up pulling that top wire edge into place so the
back unit edge doesn't show thru the cover?
My pics are cropped a lot to fit the 300 kb max size allowed ...
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:03 AM
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If this was something I was doing, I would pad the back side of the spring unit, at least all around the outside edge. Or....I would glue 1/4" sew foam to the fabric on the back of the unit. I would also glue 1/2" sew foam to the fabric that makes up the front side. That alone will make this job a lot easier. The border wire will pull in some, and provide resistance against the fabric on the front side.
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:50 PM
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ok...after much frustration with the fit of the mock up cover, I got hold
of the take down pics of this seat and lo and behold, I'm not going nuts!
I needed to have the seat frame to get the correct fit for my cover...
Phew!...
Thanks so much for all the advice and tips... I'm going to get some different
padding and try that, too.!

I'll let you know how this turns out...
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