Friday, November 2, 2012

I've Got It Covered! (part 1)

Well, I had a great summer driving Ol' Rusty around town.  All in all, I managed to put in just shy of 500 miles.  However, people who came over to look at the car would always get this funny look on their faces and say things like, "Ohhh... that's an... interesting... color scheme" referring, of course, to the red seats in a blue car with a primarily parchment interior with black carpet.  I didn't care though, I was having too much fun enjoying my time in the sun.

Well, now that we're getting rain 24/7 here in the great northwest, I decided to put some more time into the aesthetic aspects of the car.  I ordered the seat kit from NPD that includes front and rear seat covers and their best quality seat foam.  In addition, I ordered a hog ring kit which includes pliers and 250 hog rings.  Now, to this point, seat foam is not available for convertible back seats but is available for fastbacks which was of no help to me so I would just have to figure something else out.

Here's where I left off at the beginning of this summer.
My new seat covers and foam from NPD
New seat covers - deboxed.

I started with the back seats, specifically the back of the back seat, which is a pretty simple construction as seats go.

This is how it looked before I began.

I cut all of the hog rings and removed the cover to expose the back cushion.  Aside from some kind of saw-dusy-looking material, it seems to be in serviceable condition.

The cushion was then removed to expose the frame.  Jute pads protect the covers from the frame edges.  Not shown here is a burlap and wire protector between the cushion and frame springs.

The frame was cleaned up with a wire cup brush and Ospho.

Primed with metal etching primer.

Painted black with jute edging replaced with new hog rings.

The original burlap-and-wire protection was re-used.

The original cushion was also reused and the cover was worked onto the frame.

I worked from the center of the seat outwards, finishing up with the sides last .

Ready to go... or is it?
Next was the bottom of the back seat.

The bottom of the bottom of the back seat.

I think that green stuff is mildew.  I wore my respirator after I saw this stuff.  Note the big chunk of missing cushion on the left side.  Thanks mice!

Under the cushion was more jute padding and a burlap-and-wire foam protector.  Also, there were paper-wrapped "listing wires" hog-ringed strategically among the springs.  These are what the seat cover listing wires are hog-ringed to in order to make the seat's contour.

Seat frame stripped.

Cleaned up and repainted.

Once again, I re-used the cushion protection but this time with a layer of burlap between that and the springs.  This is due to the relatively poor condition of some of the wires.  The listing wires were then reattached.

This was my replacement padding.  1" medium density foam.  It's not optimal but it'll have to do.

This is a view of the cushion listing wires being hog-ringed to the seat frame listing wires through a slit in the foam.

After the center wires were attached, the cover was worked onto the rest of the frame.

Prepared to start hog-ringing.

Once again, working from the center outwards.

Done.  The listing wires along the sides of the center hump help form that center hump.  Without them, the hump would look undefined.
Back in the car.

After I had completed this task, We got some more sunny days for which I fired it up and put in some more miles.  In the sun, I could tell that the top of the seat back is kind of lumpy looking.  I will un-ring that section and try to straighten it out with a layer of foam wrapped around the top edge of the frame.

Next up: The front seats.


  1. Nice Alex - that should quiet the screams :)

    'Turquoise and red !?!?!'

    Nearly there then. Looking forward to seeing it all in white!


  2. Brilliant! Interior work is my LEAST favorite thing to do. Looks like you have a good handle on that! Looks great!

    1. Yeah, I don't blame you. It certainly turned out to be WAY more difficult than I'd imagined. I think "tedious" is a good word for it.

  3. Once again Alex, you tackled a job with foresight and great craftsmanship. I'm with Sven...Interior work isn't my thing. Can't wait to see the front seats you probably can't either. :-)

    1. Thanks Dennis. And the back seat was the easiest. I think I'll just farm it out if there's a next time. I need to try everything at least once though.

  4. You could have just told them you were going with the red white and blue theme. :-) (Okay, Aqua) Great work as always Alex. Always impressed with your skills. Some of the restorations you do just makes me go, "WOW", he did that!

    I finally had time to get back to the blogs and on my project. (New job)

    Where did you find the burlap?

    Regards, James

    1. LOL! Thanks James!

      Yay! I can't wait to see some updates... no pressure though... just whenever you can get to it. :-)

      I got the burlap from JoAnn fabrics. I've been told that upholstery shops carry it too.

  5. Alex, you are a Jack-of-all-Trades...Master of All!

    1. Thanks! But I think it goes "none", Master of none. :-)

      I'm pretty sure I've probably made some glaring mistakes but the important thing is that it's good enough for me.