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Old 02-25-2013, 04:04 PM
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Replacing bench seat covers in a 70 Ragtop

I have a 70 Ragtop with cloth and vinyl seats, as opposed to an all vinyl seat. I was looking to replace the seat covers on the original seats, due to 40 years of sun and heat in the Texas and Tucson area. The original seats are perfect other than the sun scorching of the vinyl and fade on the fabric. The seats are comfortable and the material prevents burning exposed skin unlike all vinyl seats. These seats with cloth were custom ordered by the lady owner when new in 1970. This wasn't her first convertible.

I was able to pick up the original red cloth from SMS and need a red Madrid vinyl to come locally. Other than sewing a new seat cover for both front and back bench seats, I wanted the front lower bench seat built up to prevent spring sag, seat tracks painted and the spring wires cleared, new foam, headrests re-done. What is the ballpark cost to do this job?

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Old 02-25-2013, 07:21 PM
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What I'm understanding here is that you have the fabric and you need the red vinyl, new seat foam, and custom made seat covers for the front and back seats and a bunch of other stuff that an upholsterer would turn his nose up at. (How exactly would you "build up the front lower bench seat to prevent spring sag"? ) I wouldn't touch it for less than $2500, and that would be my polite way of telling you I didn't want any part of the job. If you get anybody to agree to do what you want, get everything in writing.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:56 PM
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Dan,
They tell me that the hard part was getting the cloth material to match the existing, so I solved that by getting it myself. Now, I looking to find someone to sew up a set of seat covers the 'same' as the original ones. I want to have the old covers stripped down to the springs, have a couple of stiffeners (edge wires) added to the existing springs to spread the weight of my fat *** over the seat. I want the springs cleaned up, clear coated, and the seat slides painted and greased. I want new foam, batten, and burlap installed over the stiffened springs. I want the new cloth and Madrid vinyl cut and sewn to the pattern of the old seats and installed over the existing springs and when done, I want it to look like the old seat looked in 1970. Nothing more, nothing less.

What I was asking was, how much would an upholsterer charge to do a job like this? I was looking at paying a fair price, not a price for stroking someone's ego.

I could buy a 'ready-made' seat cover in vinyl but choose to keep the integrity of the original vehicle in tact and not compromise because some people want to do it their way. If I have to dig up an old timer that respects a customer's wishes, I am prepared to do that. If I have to dig out the old Singer and have these old fingers do some stitching again, I will do that. What I won't do is, bow to ridicule or sarcasm.

I have always thought you were a person of integrity and appreciated your helpfulness but this time I believed you errored, one day you too will get old.
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:49 AM
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You wanted to know what it would cost, and I tried to tell you. I'm sorry if you didn't get the answer you wanted, but I wouldn't touch the job for less than $2,500. I wasn't trying to ridicule you or be sarcastic, I was trying to tell you what a professional upholsterer is going to tell you. Most upholsterers charge a cutting charge per yard for every yard of fabric that someone brings to them. You got the fabric, so there's no profit in this job other than charging heavily for the labor for the rest of it. Taking seat covers apart and making patterns takes a lot of time. So does all the work you want done on the springs and seat frame. Most upholstery shops don't clean and grease and spray clear on springs or anything else, so they wouldn't have the equipment to do it. What I'm telling you is that you won't have any problem getting someone to do what you want as far as the seat covers go, but you will have to pay a lot for the rest of what you're asking. Adding edge wires to the springs will not make the 40 year old springs stronger. Are you talking about tie wires that connect the springs together? I will get old some day? If you look at the upper right side of every post I make, you will see that I'm 63 years old, is that old enough? I have no idea how old you are, so how I was supposed to know if you are young or old and that my answer would offend you I'm not sure. I guess I found out what my helpfulness means to you all right. I won't insult you by attempting to answer your questions ever again.
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:17 PM
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ok.......... alittle1...... let me see if maybe I can help, probably not because I'm in Tn and aparantly being a rookie or doing this as a hobby I am too cheap....... I dont know what the foam would cost, but I usually charge 200 for a bucket or back seat and thats vinyl and sew foam included..... a split bench seat in the front, prolly something like 350.00....... I have a friend who does sand blasting..... I'm gonna guess 100 to maybe 150 to sand blast both seats and I would think 150 would be too high...... unlike some of the guys who do upholstery, maybe thats all they do..... well brother, theres not much I dont do..... so if you wanted me to clear coat your frames after having them blasted..... I'm gonna say.... maybe 150 for clear and hardner and spraying the tracks what ever color you want, and even grease them when finished...... good lord, probably take all of 5 minutes of my life to help someone and make my job better...... burlap and hogrings and other simple supplies are dirt cheap........ so in total.... lets see....

550.00 for the front and back seat
150.00 for blasting ( and I think thats more than it will cost )
150.00 for painting tracks and clear coating both seats and grease
I'll throw in the burlap just for good measure
so, looks like you'll be out about 850.00 with me but again I dont know that the seat foam would cost, but then again, I have never seen any I didnt just repair as part of the job for a very small charge if any charge at all...... so there ya go alittle1...... if you were in Tn I'd fix ya up and my wife says my ego is big enough so please dont stroke it anymore...... hahahahahahahahahahahahaha....... I kill me......lol

hope that helps ya but you can bet theres not many upholsters out there that will charge you that little, see I dont do this for a living, its just a hobby thing for me but you can bet anything I do, I do it to the best of my ability and I will do a good job....... look in here at the 32 ford post in here by me and look at a first time job on a fiberglass car or for that matter a first time job on a 32 for and see what you think........... Eddie
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:37 AM
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Let me ask you a question, Ed. When you do roofing do you expect to be paid enough to make an honest living and support your family? Would you install shingles for $5 a square? BTW, I do roofing, too. Can I come to your town and offer to do roofing for little or nothing? After all, nails are cheap and I wouldn't need to make any money on the shingles, felt paper, or the drip edge. I have 40 years of experience at my job, I do it for a living, and need to make enough to pay my bills and make an honest living too.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:30 PM
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yes....... last time I checked its a free world...... and I dont make any money on shingles, felt or nails..... what ever it cost we pass it on to the customer...... usually around 80 to 100 bucks a square to tear off 1 roof on a 4/12 to 6/12, labor only......if you come, better bring your A game though, cause my bostitch nail gun can drive 3 nails a second and I can make it drive 4 in a second!
I did that 32 in 2 1/2 weeks in my part time and 3 days of it was waiting on material to come in, and still made some good money doing it...... I do this for a hobby and you fuss at me saying basically I do it for free..... well..... those to seats I listed for 550.00..... cost about 100.00 for ALL the materials, 7 yards of vinyl 8 bucks a yard and lets say 7 yards of sew foam 4 yards of 1/2 and 3 yards of 1/4.....4.50 and 5.50 a yard so chalk the rest up to glue, welt thread and hogrings....so somewhere around 100 bucks.... leaves 450.00 proffit..... I can do the back seat and the bottom of the front seat in a day and thats leaving to go eat lunch somewhere, and if you piss me off and tell me I cant, I'll do BOTH in the same day !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
so..... if it takes 2 days to do these seats thats 225 a day from a hobby...
so what do you call "making a living" ??????
brother..... minimum wage is what 7.65 ? if you make 10 bucks an hour thats 80 a day BEFORE they take out on you...... your idea of making a living and most other peoples must be 2 different things if making that in a day isnt "making a living" to you........you may run this forum and are very helpful with alot of answers but sometimes, seems like someone pissed in your wheaties before you logged on and today, by just telling someone what he ask for "what would you charge?" when I answered, must have been me doing the pissing today.

now...... I'm gonna stop before this gets much deeper but I am gonna say you can be a sour *** ole dude or a helpful one, lately you just never know which one is gonna sign in to the forums..... what you should is do like mom always said "if you cant say anything nice, DONT SAY ANYTHING AT ALL!!!!!!!!!"
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:58 PM
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Now I have one more question. If you can make $225 a day doing upholstery work, why do you need to do roofing?
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:21 PM
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I have a BIG toy habit dan, for years it was late model dirt cars and "hobby" money wont feed it
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:32 PM
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Which generates another question. If $225 a day is "hobby money" that won't feed your need for toys, why do you bother with it? Watch out for that Kryptonite Ed, it'll kill you.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:20 PM
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.................................. gonna go with what mom said

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Old 02-28-2013, 07:08 AM
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"thanks mr moderator........ would love to meet you sometime when you werent hiding behind that keyboard"



Yes, I am a moderator, but I'm not hiding behind my keyboard, Ed. You can see where my location is, and my phone number is public record. You can look me up on my web site or in the phone book any time you want. Your profile has no information on you at all................
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Last edited by DanTwoLakes; 02-28-2013 at 07:16 AM.
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