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Old 08-08-2007, 07:54 PM
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Fabric Quantity

Hi! I have a 1939 Ford coupe and need some opinions as to how much fabric I will need to upholster it. The fabric that I have selected is Ultraleather. The coupe has bucket seats and no seating in the back. I will be upholstering the seats, headliner, door panels, kick panels and the area from one door around the back to the other door. There are miscellaneous small pieces such as around the door windows and windlace. I figured 3 yards per seat and 9 yards for the rest for a total of 15 yards. I don't want be short of fabric and have to order more hoping for a satisfactory color match from different die lots but I also don't want to order a lot more (1 to 2 yards) than I will need due to the cost of this fabric. Your input will be appreciated.
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Old 08-09-2007, 07:32 AM
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This is all going to be one color? If you make cutting patterns for everything first, you'll know almost exactly how much you'll need. Headliners eat up a lot of fabric, but 15 yards should do it pretty easily. I wouldn't worry too much about dye lots with ultraleather or vinyl, they are formulated pretty consistently from lot to lot. If you'd like a less expensive alternative to Ultraleather that is also made of 100% polyurethane, send me a personal message.
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Old 08-21-2007, 02:28 PM
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anybody know where i can get some ivory ultra leather so i can do my interior in my 83 chevy malibu.
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Old 08-21-2007, 02:48 PM
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Fabric Depot in Portland Oregon (1-800-392-3376) had a roll with an off-white that might be what you are looking for. It was Ultraleather style 291. They are discontinuing this fabric line in their store so the price was great, $25 a yard. You can contact them but, tell whoever you talk to that it is located in their parking lot sale area. We saw it there three weeks ago. It wasn't the color that I wanted. There appeared to be about 20 yards on the roll and they will ship. It was really nice looking. Hope that it will work for you.
Ken
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Old 08-21-2007, 03:10 PM
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thanks i check them out.
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Old 08-21-2007, 05:46 PM
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If you (or anyone else for that matter) want 100% polyurethane fabric (this is what Ultraleather is made of) at an extremely reasonable price, in 29 different colors, let me know via personal message. I can hook you up.
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Old 08-21-2007, 06:38 PM
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Dan, thanks for the offer for the polyester fabric and it is an excellent price. I looked at the colors but did not see what I wanted. In my email to you I mentioned that I have a Brothers PQ1500-S but I don't think that it will work since the largest needle that it will take is a #16. I am considering buying a used Juki LU-562 that has been reconditioned. It is from an industrial sewing machine store that has a good reputation. They are asking $1400 for it. What do you think about this model Juke and do you think that it is priced right?
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Ken
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Old 08-21-2007, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigtank05
anybody know where i can get some ivory ultra leather so i can do my interior in my 83 chevy malibu.
Sunbelt Fabrics in Dallas, Texas.

Vince
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken's 39er
I am considering buying a used Juki LU-562 that has been reconditioned. It is from an industrial sewing machine store that has a good reputation. They are asking $1400 for it. What do you think about this model Juke and do you think that it is priced right?
That model Juki doesn't have reverse, does it? The machine itself is a good walking foot machine, but the price for a used machine is pretty high, and if it doesn't have reverse it is way too high. How much are you going to use it? If this is for one or two interiors you should be able to find a good used walking foot machine with reverse for $800. Juki is a step up from Singer or Consew, but unless you are going to sew a lot at high speed it's way more machine than you need.
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:44 PM
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I have a Juki LU-562, and yes it does have reverse. The reversing bar is mounted to the machine below the handwheel, and wraps around the front of the machine. You engage reverse by pressing down on it.

You can see the reversing bar in the pic below. It's the black bar right above the LU-562 nameplate.

When I had my LU-562 serviced, he told me the average price for a good used or reconditioned LU-562 was about $1100. That's with the clutch motor, table, treadle, and everything. That may be the local average, but I'm really not sure. I've seen them go for $1200 & $1300 on that unnamed auction site quite often.

The LU-562 and LU-563 are almost identical. There are a few differences, the biggest of which is that the LU-563 holds a bigger bobbin.
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Old 09-02-2007, 05:54 PM
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I went to Seattle last week and bought the used Juki 562 that I mentioned earlier in this thread. It is a real nice machine to sew with but the clutch motor sews to fast for my. UPS should be delivering my Reliable SewQuiet 3000 DC Servo Motor next week. I think that I will like the control that the servo motor gives me.

Dusty, you sure are lucky to have auto upholstery classes at a community college nearby. The best that I am able to come up with is a furniture upholstery class at a local fabric store. It is 5 classes that are 3 hours long each. I am sure that they will teach some techniques that will be useful for upholstering my car.
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Old 09-02-2007, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken's 39er
Dusty, you sure are lucky to have auto upholstery classes at a community college nearby. The best that I am able to come up with is a furniture upholstery class at a local fabric store. It is 5 classes that are 3 hours long each. I am sure that they will teach some techniques that will be useful for upholstering my car.
Just about any classes that deal with sewing on your Juki will be of great value. It's sounding like I am pretty lucky to have Auto Upholstery classes being offered here locally. I really thought just about all community colleges and vo-tech schools offered something at least similar.

I have plans on getting a servo motor too, but since all of the machines at school have clutch motors, it looks like I'll need to practice on one a bit, so I'm keeping my clutch for now. One thing my instructor taught us all was to go lightly on the treadle. As a beginner, the clutch motor is way too fast for me too, but he taught me to control it by pressing on the treadle in short spurts. If it starts running too fast, just take your foot off of it. I press down on the treadle in one second (or shorter) spurts, and I find that I maintain better control that way, rather than just flooring it and hanging on as I try to guide the fabric. It's all in the amount of practice I get with it, and I know that, but eventually I'll get up to speed on it - literally and figuratively.

He also told me that he's been an automotive trimmer for close to 40 years, and he still stops the machine and does most of his corners by moving the handwheel one stitch at a time. He says you'll get a nicer looking, more accurate corner that way. I guess a lot of trimmers do it that way.

Oh, and just in case you didn't see the discussion in another thread, remember to lift your presser foot and lock it in the UP position when you thread it!
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Old 09-03-2007, 08:25 AM
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There isn't a sewer on the planet, including production line employees, who doesn't do corners like that. It's not about speed. I even do it with the servo motor.

I checked my local community college, and they don't offer upholstery classes of any kind.
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes
There isn't a sewer on the planet, including production line employees, who doesn't do corners like that. It's not about speed. I even do it with the servo motor.

I checked my local community college, and they don't offer upholstery classes of any kind.
That's something else the instructor told us, Dan - It's not about speed, it's about making something look good, not just "good enough." He said the most common mistake newbies like us make is wanting to run the machine at full throttle. Until you get used to using the machine, you have almost no control that way - and boy do I know that feeling!

This is just me talking here, Dan, but I wish you would consider talking with your community college again to see what it would take to start teaching classes in Automotive Upholstery. Yes, I mean you teach the classes (as if you don't already have enough to do.) My instructor, Mr. Galentine, isn't a teacher by trade - he's a trimmer. Employees, friends, and the college talked him into doing this, and 11 years later, he loves doing it. He teaches 1 night a week (Tuesday night from 7pm - 9:45pm,) and runs his business full time the rest of the week.

Personally, I think you have the patience, temperament, and sense of humor needed to be a fantastic instructor. You've more than proved that just in answering my dumb questions alone. Your tutorials are further proof that you know how to explain things in terms that people who aren't professional trimmers can understand, and your attention to detail answers most follow-up questions before they're even asked. I think you'd be fantastic at it.

The hardest part might be getting the school to dedicate a classroom and funding for all the equipment needed, but I'll bet if you talked to the head of the Automotive department, they'd jump at the chance to have a professional trimmer teach Automotive Interior classes. Mr. Galentine told me that he started out in a generic classroom there at the Auto Shop, with one sewing machine that he donated to the school for tax purposes. The school has since purchased a total of 12 Juki sewing machines, and all of the other tools needed to do most interior jobs. Students purchase all supplies and consumables, except for black or white thread (which the school provides.) Students can purchase supplies (fabric, foam, etc…) through him, a local retailer he's made a deal with (they offer a 20% discount for his students,) through his Teacher's Assistant, who runs an upholstery business of her own, or through their own sources.

I know you're a very busy man, Dan, but please do think about it. We've read on this forum that I'm lucky to have a community college that offers these classes. I think it's more of a case of being lucky to have a professional trimmer who wants to teach the classes, and having a school that supports the idea. If a few more professional trimmers pitched the idea to local schools, we might have a lot more classes offered. I think you, Sniper, and KristKustoms (among many others on this forum) would be perfect for the job.
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Old 09-03-2007, 11:18 AM
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Thanks for all you said, Dusty, but It would be pretty tough for me to do. The community college is 20 miles away, and from December through March I am heavily involved in grooming snowmobile trails. I groom 4 nights a week from about 5:00 p.m. until about 11:00 p.m., so I don't know when I'd have the time.
For those of you who don't know, a groomer, in my case a Bombardier BR-180 , is a tracked vehicle like a bulldozer that pulls a drag which is 8 1/2 feet wide and 24 feet long behind it through 16 foot wide trails through the woods. The drag has 5 blades that cut into the snow and lets the snow filter through the drag until it gets to the end where a large pan that fills up with snow packs the freshly cut snow down. The front of the drag is hydraulically raised and lowered to change cutting depth depending on snow conditions. It has a 180 h.p. diesel engine and top speed is about 15 miles per hour. Grooming speed is about 8 miles per hour. We groom at night because there's less traffic and the trails freeze up overnight which makes them hold up longer.
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