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Old 09-19-2009, 10:44 PM
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Interior Newbie...

Hey all, I am new to the site but joined after reading some posts in the interior section. I am interested in learning a new trade and that being the upholstery trade. I am an ex body man so I have some experience with changing seat covers and such, but I really would like to learn much more advanced interior tricks, sewing, vinyl, leather and all sorts of tricks. I have a used sewing machine and bought some marine vinyl and would like to practice on that. I have a boat at home I am thinking about making new seat covers for and so on... Any tips? Tricks? Ideas on where to learn stitches and such? Total newbie here so any help would be great!! Thanks in advance. Colin.

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Old 09-20-2009, 06:40 AM
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The fastest and best way would be to work for an experienced upholsterer and learn all the tricks of the trade first-hand, but few tradesmen are willing to train their competition, so you have to go down a different path. I would begin with one of several books on the market. One I have here is Don Taylor's "Automotive Upholstery Handbook". It is available on Amazon.com for under $20 and starts out with the very basics and works gradually up to the more complicated stuff. Once you have the basic knowledge, it's practice, practice, practice and learn from your mistakes. My first couple of projects went straight to the landfill because I was too embarrassed to have anyone see them. Gradually, I got it figured out and made some money at it. One benefit you have today that wasn't around when I was starting out is the internet and forums like this where you can learn from others' mistakes instead of having to make them all yourself.

Ed
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Old 09-21-2009, 07:59 AM
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Read all the threads that are stuck at the top of the interior section and marked "read me". There are all kinds of step by step instructions for a variety of upholstery projects with everything explained in detail. Here's one for a basic bench seat cover, which would be a good place for you to start. CLICK HERE

I've been doing this professionally for 35 years, and I have a copy of Don Taylor's book also, but I find it very disjointed and hard to follow. I can't imagine a beginner being able to follow it. They never seem to follow one project all the way to completion, and they skip a lot of minor things, like what glue to use, how to spray it, etc.
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Old 09-21-2009, 08:02 AM
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Thanks Dan, I have started reading a few of your tutorials and they are a great source of info! Thanks! Also your work is amazing... Looks like you live right around an area I used to visit for camping and some fishing!
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Old 09-21-2009, 08:11 AM
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I'm 8 miles from Minocqua. Actually, I used to live in Janesville about 20 years ago, and I grew up in Whitewater about 25 miles away from you. If you need work done on your sewing machine, or want to upgrade, go see Cody Sigmund at Industrial Sewing Systems at 164 S. Academy St. He does all the tuneup and repair work on my sewing machines.
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Old 09-21-2009, 08:24 AM
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All I have is a hand me down from my mom... its an old Kenmore.. not sure if it will handle the type of material but I will give it a shot at least for practice... I recently searched for upholstery shops around and noticed Industrial Sewing in the yellow pages.... I will keep them in mind for sure... Nice to have a place close to home!
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Old 09-21-2009, 08:25 AM
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