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-   -   Custom Headliner for '36 Ford Pickup (http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/custom-headliner-36-ford-pickup-214724.html)

DanTwoLakes 02-15-2012 10:06 AM

Custom Headliner for '36 Ford Pickup
 
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I just finished a custom headliner for a '36 Ford Pickup. I was limited as to what I could do because the owner had very little fabric for me to work with, (Luckily, there was just enough vinyl to reach from side to side of the cab) and the top had been chopped. Also, part of the interior had already been done, so I had to make everything match somewhat.

Here's the truck, and what the roof looked like inside.

DanTwoLakes 02-15-2012 10:17 AM

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Ordinarily, I would mount a 1/4" base of luan plywood just under the roof of the truck and mount the headliner board to that, but with the top chopped, I couldn't really do that because there would be no headroom left. I decided to just use 1/8" PVC foam board, do the design on it, and mount the board in the truck by itself. I hung a piece of chipboard to the roof of the cab with magnets, so I could measure the size of the headliner board from that. It turned out that 48" wide was going to work, and about 36" from front to back. I also planned to bend the foamboard with heat, and use the rear bottom of the vertical part to mount the back of the headliner board to the frame of the truck just above the rear window.

DanTwoLakes 02-15-2012 10:27 AM

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The only good news in this whole project was that the valance at the top front of the cab had a little gap that I could slip the foamboard into that would hold the front of the headliner board up. I slid the foamboard in, and bent the back end down to the mounting rail in the back. I needed to make a more vertical section to get the back of the board as high up to the roof as I could, so I bent the foamboard using an industrial heat gun. I screwed a heavy cardboard tube over the foamboard to hold it down and have a round edge to bend the foamboard to. To be able to bend the whole 48" width at one time, I screwed a scrap end of OSB to the foamboard to give me some leverage. Then I propped the foamboard up to vertical and heated the foamboard until it held the vertical shape I wanted.

DanTwoLakes 02-15-2012 10:52 AM

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After trimming the foamboard to better fit inside the cab, and bending the foamboard, I laid out the pattern on the foamboard and marked it in. As you can see from the scribbled out lines, it took a few tries to get the pattern exactly how I wanted it. When I measured the pattern I realized I wouldn't be able to sew the lines directly to the foamboard. I have a long arm sewing machine, but the center line was 22 1/2 inches in from the edge of the board. There is only 20" of space between the needle and the base on the machine, so that wasn't going to work. I ended up gluing my sew foam to a piece of chipboard (very thin cardboard, like the back of a tablet of paper) because the chipboard could be rolled up under the arm of the sewing machine. The chipboard was cut in the exact shape of my pattern, which was then glued to the sew foam, and that assembly was glued to the fabric. I then sewed the stitch lines in from front to back and around the perimeter. I then glued the whole chipboard, sew foam, fabric assembly to the foamboard headliner board. Any overhead applications require bulk, spray grade, HHR (high heat resistant) top and trim adhesive. I use DAP Weldwood Top and Trim Adhesive, but there are other contact adhesives that will work as well, like 3-M. There are no aerosols that are recommended for overhead applications.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of this process, but here is the finished headliner board. You can see that all four corners are round. The two rear corners are slightly bigger than the two front corners on this one, but you can use the same size for all four corners. The stitch line around the perimeter was done first, and then the parallel lines were sewn in from front to back last.

DanTwoLakes 02-15-2012 12:07 PM

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I attached a new product to the back of the foamboard called trunkliner. This is a soft fabric that is only 10" wide, but it has a self adhesive back, so all I had to do is peel and stick. I did this in case the board would flex and bump the roof, it would not make any noise.

Normally, the idea is to lay the pattern out so that it is about 5" or 6" in from the edge all the way around. Unfortunately, that would not work in this truck, because that would have decreased the headroom even more. I ended up only going in 1 1/2" all the way around. The problem with that is the more vertical it is, the harder it is to get the wrinkles out of the outside edge where the headliner fabric is attached to the truck. The only way to see if there would be more tailoring needed would be to mount the board in the truck and see if I needed to sew in any more seams to take up excess fabric. Luckily, that was not the case, I was able to attach the fabric to the truck without having to sew in extra seams.

DanTwoLakes 02-15-2012 12:21 PM

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Now that the headliner board is installed and secured to the truck, the next step is spraying the back of the vinyl and the attaching area with contact adhesive. I did this in two coats, the first coat I let dry overnight, and the second coat I re-applied to both areas the next morning. The glue had dried overnight to the point that it was no longer usable. Fortunately, re-applying the contact adhesive will re-activate it. I did this because the glue was soaking into the backing on the vinyl, and I wanted the first coat to act as a sealer.

Normally, I would have put windlace around the door openings, made gripper strips in the shape of the door openings, and then stuffed the excess headliner fabric up under the gripper strips. I could not do this because I didn't have enough fabric either to make windlace, or have enough extra around the perimeter to tuck under. Also, there was no place to attach the windlace down the "A" pillar to the bottom of the door opening. Instead, I made panels from foamboard, 1/8" sewfoam, and vinyl over the top. I screwed these panels in because the rest of the interior had been done that way. Here is the finished headliner.

ogre 02-16-2012 11:39 AM

nice work dan
thanks for all the photos

Hotrodr56 02-15-2013 08:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes (Post 1527245)
Now that the headliner board is installed and secured to the truck, the next step is spraying the back of the vinyl and the attaching area with contact adhesive. I did this in two coats, the first coat I let dry overnight, and the second coat I re-applied to both areas the next morning. The glue had dried overnight to the point that it was no longer usable. Fortunately, re-applying the contact adhesive will re-activate it. I did this because the glue was soaking into the backing on the vinyl, and I wanted the first coat to act as a sealer.

Normally, I would have put windlace around the door openings, made gripper strips in the shape of the door openings, and then stuffed the excess headliner fabric up under the gripper strips. I could not do this because I didn't have enough fabric either to make windlace, or have enough extra around the perimeter to tuck under. Also, there was no place to attach the windlace down the "A" pillar to the bottom of the door opening. Instead, I made panels from foamboard, 1/8" sewfoam, and vinyl over the top. I screwed these panels in because the rest of the interior had been done that way. Here is the finished headliner.

Nice work Dan. I was wondering, when you use windlace and make gripper strips to fit the openings what material do you use for the gripper strips? Thanks

DanTwoLakes 02-15-2013 09:00 AM

PVC foamboard. I generally use two layers and attach some Pli-Grip which has teeth to hold the headliner cloth.

Hotrodr56 02-15-2013 09:11 AM

Thanks for the reply Dan. This brings up another question :) Do you attach the pli-grip to the pvc board first or to the car itself and cover it with the board? What is your preferred method (fastener) to attach the pli-grip?

DanTwoLakes 02-15-2013 11:32 AM

You would attach the Pli-Grip to the foamboard. It is metal, so you'd need to staple it. I will mock up a sample to show you.

DanTwoLakes 02-15-2013 12:19 PM

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O.K., this is Pli-Grip. It is made out of a thin sheet metal and is made to curve around any shape, usually on the outside back of a piece of upholstered furniture, where it is butted up to a welt and stapled to the wood frame. You push the fabric in under the teeth, and then flatten it down making the teeth grab and hold the fabric. It comes in long rolls and is "L" shaped. Every upholstery shop should have some around.

For this job you have to bend it so it is flat. You simply cut the shape of the door opening and staple the Pli-Grip teeth side down to the PVC foamboard. It should be thicker than what is used for a panel to hold its shape better and have enough thickness to staple to, usually 1/4" thick. You can also cut the shape out of plywood, or if you have metal working skills, cut it out of light steel and punch diamond shapes all around the edge of the shape you cut, in which case you don't need the Pli-Grip. This is then screwed to the area above the door opening. When you install your headliner, the excess fabric is trimmed off and pushed up under the shaped piece and under the teeth of the Pli-Grip. The teeth will hold the headliner in place. When you have the headliner fabric in place the way you want it, take a rubber mallet or dead blow hammer and tap the strip down to engage the teeth even more.

sedanbob 02-15-2013 12:27 PM

Nice tutorial, and good example of how to work with what you have and adapt to achieve a nice result.

Hotrodr56 02-16-2013 07:13 AM

Thanks Dan,

I've had a roll of pli-grip laying around but was never satisfied with the rough edge it left. Bonding it to PVC or plywood is an idea I never considered. I've been using 1/4" plywood for my strips and just stuffing the headliner really tight up inside. This will help hold better and not require all the muscle work to keep it in there.

DanTwoLakes 02-16-2013 07:18 AM

They do make Pli-Grip in two different weights and a urethane foam padding with self adhesive made to stick on it also.


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