If I build a door panel with depth etc. using wood, foam, plastic and or fiberglass, can it be covered with leather by an upholstery shop? Or should I try to build the door panel in 2 or 3 parts that will assemble together after they've all been covered?
Not to sound like a jerk or anything, but those are the types of projects that I hate. Not saying that your method of building a door panel is right or wrong, and not saying my method is right or wrong, but everyone has different ways of doing things. I might want a panel a certain way to be covered when the next upholstery guy would want it a totally different way.
It sounds like you havent started on the panels yet. I would recommend finding the upholstery shop that is going to cover the panels for you, and specifically ask them what way they would prefer the panels to be built, in order to make their job easier. I would prefer the panels in separate pieces, and attaching them together to form the entire panel. Most of the panels I make are 2,3,4, sometimes 5 pieces. But another upholsterer might want them built differently.
Looks like you are going about it the safest way, asking first before you build. I hate it when someone comes into the shop with something crazy built (had a few steel dashes like this) and wants it covered a certain way, making it damn near impossible. Hope I was some help.....
[ January 30, 2003: Message edited by: kristkustoms ]</p>
Yes, you were very helpful. I plan on meeting with two different shops before I start. But before I set foot in a custom upholstery shop, I wanted to have a clue on what's typical and at least be able to discuss my goals with them intelligently.
As with other custom touches I've done so far . . . I'm sure I'll build one so I can build one. Winging the first try to get through the learning curve and then sitting done on the second try to do it right seems to be the only path for me on any custom part fabrication.
Where can I get closed cell foam that I can sculpt? Or is there even such a product?
Are you looking for a thick "block" of foam? If so, regular styrofoam works well to carve, shape, and sand. You can glue blocks of the stuff together to make bigger blocks. Carve the shape you want, cover it in saran wrap, spray on a mold release (PAM works pretty good), lay some fiberglass cloth over the styrofoam, brush the resin on, let it cure, and can pop the styrofoam out. Then you should have your desired panel in the shape you carved. These foam blocks can be bought from Hooby Shops, something like a Hobby Lobby...
Yes I can make fiberglass easily enough. I've never done door panels etc. and I was leaning to keep the panel core a wood or foam material. Fiberglass tends to be so hard, that I thought it would creak/rattle etc.
I'm totally green on interior parts, but was contemplating using the original panel and building up specific areas with closed cell foam. I guess I could try to make some fiberglass sections that woul mount to the original door panel. Hmmm????
I sure wish I could show you a drawing of what I'm trying to do.
I usually get my closed cell foam from medical equipment supply shops....they use it in various things for the diabled.....aircraft interior referbishing shops have it or can get it...but bring your wallet because the stuff is EXPENSIVE!
the results are well worth the price tho=-)