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Old 11-13-2003, 11:19 AM
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dash board upholstery

i have a 52 chevy truck and im thinking of upholstering my dash. how hard would it be to cover it with something like leather, any one got any ideas? thanks

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Old 11-13-2003, 02:52 PM
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I don't know how durable leather (or a leather-like material)would be for a dash, or how well it would stand up to the fading qualities of the sun. There have been numerous discussions in this forum about how to recover dashes and what materials to use. Check into some of the old posts. You could also PM Kristkustoms, he's a whiz at this stuff.

Chickie.
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Old 11-17-2003, 12:25 AM
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I have a 54 and I imagine it would be easy enough to cover the dash - the lines are pretty simple - but I'm with Chickie ... the aspects of sunlight and fading would keep me focused on painting the dash rather than upholstering it ... unless KristKustoms recommends a vinyl that wouldn't bleach out from the sun.

Alan
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Old 11-17-2003, 01:17 AM
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I have leather on my motorcycle seat and don't have any problems with fading. Just keep it conditioned. Lexol NF is the best stuff going for keeping it in good condition then put any UV blocking cream on it. The Lexol NF is made for horse saddles and can be bough at the feed store the UV protector can be had at the wally world.
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Old 11-17-2003, 07:16 AM
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Lexol is a very good product for leather care.

The dash really doesnt receive much more sunlight than the rest of the truck. The sun will still shine in the windows and onto the tops of the door panels too. I have upholstered alot of dashboards, and have never heard a complaint over the years of it fading to the point where it doesnt match. Leather color holds up pretty well in sunlight. Now if you wanted to upholster your dash in suede, that would be a different story.
Think about all the roadsters you see at car shows with no tops and leather interiors, they would get WAY more sunlight than your dashboard would.
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Old 11-17-2003, 10:22 AM
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See, I told ya kristkustoms would have the answer.

Chickie.
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Old 11-17-2003, 11:00 AM
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A bunch of old truckers were just ranting and raving about Skidmore's ... saying it beats everything else, hands down.

Ever hear of it? You can read their posts Here

Alan
54 Chevy Pickup
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Old 11-17-2003, 12:01 PM
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Never tried them but that’s not anything new. Just keep in mind leather is skin you don’t want it to dry out. Also because it is “dead” skin if it does dry out it cannot repair itself.

Never saturate it with anything or the internal fibers break down and never use mink oil (we used it for a while on saddles and all the loose leather would curl up) on it because it also breaks the internal fibers down. Saddle soap is a no-no as well it is harsh and no silicone as it does not allow it to breath.

Neats Foot oil is the best leather conditioner there is but it will turn your light color leather dark and will stain you clothes so the next best thing is the Lexol NF (neats foot oil) but it is blended so it will not darken leather or stain you clothes. Also it will not soften the leather which can cause it to stretch and will weaken the seams. It does not however have any UV inhibitors in it so it is only used to add the needed oils into your leather. You need to put it on new leather very often because the process of tanning leather dries it out, then you will see that the leather is not sucking it up so much. Now use the UV protector and once a month or so give it a coat of the NF. Lexol make a UV protectant but IMO cost too much, I read the label and make sure it says for leather and inhibits UV then pick the cheapest one.

I grew up on horses and we tried everything there was, when I bought my motorcycle and spent 800 bucks on a seat I went to every leather site on the web, I think, and back to the saddle companies and asked advice. The above is what I gathered in all that I have had my bike get caught in the rain (hard rain for 4 hours) and it has been in the sun a lot as well as having to endure my rather large rear. It has 7000 miles on it and a little over a year but it look better now than when I bought it.

I know everyone says use saddle soap so when I said not to above heres why.

The Myth of Saddle Soap

In the late 1800's the final tanning of leather required the talents of a "currier". This craftsman took the tanned but brittle hide and worked oils into it until the desired flexibility was obtained. This process was called fatliquoring. The fatliquor of choice was an emulsion of oil in soap. This "saddle soap" was not used as a cleaner; it was used as a softening conditioner.

In reality, saddle soap is a very poor cleaner. It must first dissolve it's own oils, limiting it's capacity to dissolve dirt and oils in the leather. Saddle soap is also inherently alkaline but alkalinity is damaging to leather. Another problem arises during application. Most saddle soaps instruct the user to work the lather into the leather. Since loosened dirt is suspended in the lather, it is pushed back into the leather's pores.

Saddle soaps have long been replaced in tanneries by modern emulsions, which penetrate, soften, and condition with greater ease and stability. The popular myth of saddle soap as a leather cleaner and conditioner remains a modern folklore, and is not recommended.

Last edited by daimon1054; 11-17-2003 at 12:01 PM.
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