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Old 09-19-2012, 08:51 AM
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need help

i have been doing upholstery off and on for 25 years. ok mostly off . i am completely self taught . i have never worked for anyone in an upholstery shop . i learned everything by trial and error before there was the internet . i do a couple jobs and get so frustrated that i just quit . then after about a year or 2 i try again .i keep coming back to it . every body is usually happy with my work . i am never happy with the work . i do your usual bench seats , boat cushions , bucket seats . i want to do outstanding work like the material looks like it was poured on . most new car factory work looks like that . what is it i don't know? is it the foam or padding or the type of material or heat ? is it time spent just moving and manipulating the material ? is it precisely cut patterns ? i'm lost . to me the brown leather 58 corvette on leather seats.com is an example of what i am talking about . outstanding job . thank you for any help

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Old 09-19-2012, 03:23 PM
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read Dan

Dantwolakes is a professional upholsterer, has posted a lot of info here on HR and other forums, do a search here , and on the net. Lots of picts , good info, I was hoping he would do a eBook like Cboy did here, The scratch built hot rod.
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:41 PM
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You are asking what the difference is between someone who has learned the tricks of the trade, and someone who has not learned the tricks of the trade. Would you expect an auto mechanic who was totally self taught to be as good as one who was factory trained? That's probably a bad analogy, with car repair, it's either right or wrong. With upholstery, there are shades of gray. I'm not talking about ability, or experience, I'm talking about knowing 10 different ways to do the same thing and have it come out just as good all ten ways. I'm also not saying that you can't be a success if you're self taught, there are lots of people out there who do fabulous work and are self taught.

I have almost 40 years of experience, and I believe that you can't learn upholstery by reading a book, even if it has lots of pictures. For one thing, different areas of the country refer to things differently. There are also no two upholsterers who do everything the same way. We all have developed our own ways of doing things. At some point you need someone standing beside you to guide you. Why not find someone at an upholstery shop that is getting ready to retire and ask them to mentor you? Don't bother asking a younger upholsterer,.........nobody will train their own competition.
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes View Post
You are asking what the difference is between someone who has learned the tricks of the trade, and someone who has not learned the tricks of the trade. Would you expect an auto mechanic who was totally self taught to be as good as one who was factory trained? That's probably a bad analogy, with car repair, it's either right or wrong. With upholstery, there are shades of gray. I'm not talking about ability, or experience, I'm talking about knowing 10 different ways to do the same thing and have it come out just as good all ten ways. I'm also not saying that you can't be a success if you're self taught, there are lots of people out there who do fabulous work and are self taught.

I have almost 40 years of experience, and I believe that you can't learn upholstery by reading a book, even if it has lots of pictures. For one thing, different areas of the country refer to things differently. There are also no two upholsterers who do everything the same way. We all have developed our own ways of doing things. At some point you need someone standing beside you to guide you. Why not find someone at an upholstery shop that is getting ready to retire and ask them to mentor you? Don't bother asking a younger upholsterer,.........nobody will train their own competition.
well , for one thing there is nobody in my area that does that quality of work . upholstery shops are few and far between here and the ones that are keep your car for a year and then never finish it . i live just outside of buffalo ny. are these trade secrets that you would rather not say ? if thats it i have no problem with that just let me know . theres just about nothing you can't find on the internet but i have looked for years and find nothing on this subject . i understand there are many ways to achieve the same goal . i would be happy to just know one of them . done some boats , alot of bench seats . i have done about 10 complete custom interiors over the years but they are not of the quality work i want to do . i just keep coming back to this and saying damn it i'm gonna learn this if it kills me . there is nothing else on a car i can't do . i have done painting and mechanical work for ever . built custom bikes . i have learned just about everything i have set out to learn except 2 things . upholstery and playing guitar well and i am still trying to do both. any help would be much appreciated . if you could just give me a clue what i should be focusing on to achieve the results i'm after. i'm 54 years old . if i don't learn soon i'm gonna die never knowing . thank you

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Old 09-20-2012, 08:07 AM
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I don't mean secrets, I mean tips and tricks to make things easier. I have posted almost every trick I know on here at one time or another. I don't keep any of my methods as closely guarded secrets. I would suggest you go through all the threads in this group of tutorials: Archive of Interior Tutorials If there is anything you don't understand, just ask.
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes View Post
I don't mean secrets, I mean tips and tricks to make things easier. I have posted almost every trick I know on here at one time or another. I don't keep any of my methods as closely guarded secrets. I would suggest you go through all the threads in this group of tutorials: Archive of Interior Tutorials If there is anything you don't understand, just ask.
ok i will do that and i thank you very much for answering .
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:09 PM
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If you can post pictures of your work, just to see what you have done in the past. I can tell a lot about someone's work from pictures.
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