What tool is used for installing seat cushions

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Mark Osterman
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What tool is used for installing seat cushions

Post by Mark Osterman » Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:21 pm

Have watched the video by Classtique several times and can’t make out the tool they are using to crimp the channel for securing the seat cushion upholstery. Anyone have a picture? Is it just vise grips?


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Re: What tool is used for installing seat cushions

Post by Bill Crosby » Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:34 pm

Mark, are you asking about hog ring pliers?

Bill


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Re: What tool is used for installing seat cushions

Post by Afrazer » Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:51 pm

I used pliers
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Re: What tool is used for installing seat cushions

Post by Altair » Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:10 pm

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Re: What tool is used for installing seat cushions

Post by KWTownsend » Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:35 pm

To crimp the bead in the upholstery cushion into the channel of the seat spring, I like to use this tool:
wide bill pliers.jpg
I got mine at Harbor freight.


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Re: What tool is used for installing seat cushions

Post by Mark Osterman » Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:29 am

No, the original type installation is not with hog rings it is with a metal channel around the base of the seat frame. The upholstery is pushed into the groove and then the surrounding channel is crimped. I did look at the sheet metal seam tool at Harbor Freight but it seems to wide to fit. So people have used it?

Anyone have a photograph of a completed seat showing the crimped bottom edge? I assume it’s a series of small crimps and not smooth.


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Re: What tool is used for installing seat cushions

Post by Don ellis » Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:37 am

I use a small dead blow hammer, pliers to crimp the corners. Just don’t beat on the material and cut it.


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Re: What tool is used for installing seat cushions

Post by Mark Osterman » Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:02 am

Thanks Don. So you tap in the channel with the hammer to close the channel? Do you have to bak it with something for that? Could you please post a picture of your installation.


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Re: What tool is used for installing seat cushions

Post by John kuehn » Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:50 am

The tool that kwtownsend shows on his post worked good for me. It’s a sheet metal crimping tool I believe. Anything that will crimp the metal channel will work. Just do it evenly and it will come out great. I went along the seat and crimped it about 3-4 inches apart to evenly get the seat material in place. Then I went around again and crimped it all the way around.
Just make sure you have the seat spring compressed enough when you do it.


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Re: What tool is used for installing seat cushions

Post by Original Smith » Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:34 am

Use Keith's tool. I used wide jaw Vise Grips, which does the same thing. With the vise grips, once you set the distance, you don't have to set it again. Ford the curves, I used a smaller jaw.


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Re: What tool is used for installing seat cushions

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Fri Oct 25, 2019 5:33 pm

Wood framed seat springs are usually tacked (doesn't apply here). There are two common ways of attaching upholstery to steel framed springs. Different factories may have used either method. Upholstery shops most often used the hog ring method because nearly every seat they would do would be different than the last one. The channel/crimp system requires precise fitting and stitching of a specific pattern. And the channel/crimp method requires a "welt" (or cord) sewn very precisely around the attaching edge. Doing that one at a time is very difficult, especially if one does not HAVE the specific pattern!
In a manufacturing setting, although the stitching of each upholstery set would take a few more minutes, the installation would be much faster, with an actual savings of time and cost. This due to the fact that the precise patterns and stitching would simply slip into place and be crimped while the excess materials required to "fit" the hog ring attached upholstery would require careful centering and setting then resetting to get it right (I have done that a few times, it don't go fast!). So, of course, Henry considered the advantages and costs and chose the channel and crimp method.
I have never installed a channel and crimp upholstery set myself. However, I have worked on a few, done repairs and so forth. For whatever it is worth. I like "channel lock" pliers for re-crimping. The "offset slide" closure pulls the jaws together in a sort of offset slide which can usually be held in a way to roll the channel in better than a straight set of pliers can do.

Taking the spring pressure off the upholstery does make the job easier whichever method of attaching you use (although hog rings still requires careful centering). I find that plywood pieces squeezed by large C-clamps works very well. (Something between 3/8 and 5/8 thick works well.) Ideally, a piece cut to size for the upholstery side, and the spring side about two to three inches all around to work with the crimping (or hog rings). However, I usually just use some scraps a bit smaller and it works okay. The springs usually only need to be squeezed about an inch unless they are too high and need the upholstery to hold them down more than that.

Have fun!


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Re: What tool is used for installing seat cushions

Post by Mark Osterman » Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:38 pm

Hey Wayne, Thanks for this in depth description. I am using a Classtique seat upholstery kit sewn for new springs fitted with the channel system. I heard from Mike and he sent me a picture of the off set channel lock type pliers he uses that have a small flat bar welded to the moving jaw, so looks like I’ll be making one like that to do the crimping.

Mike suggests using a table to place the upholstery down first then the springs upside down on top of the upholstery. Then two 2x4 s are laid on top and fitted with threaded rods to compress the spring pack during the crimping process. Since the cord sewn edges of the upholstery are designed to be inserted into the channel it seems pretty easy.


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Re: What tool is used for installing seat cushions

Post by Mark Osterman » Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:32 pm

LOL .. ok so I welded up some channel locks to make the same tool used by Mike at Classtique. I made the 2x4 clamps and found a table to compress the springs. Before I drill the holes in the table I tried to find where I can put those 2x4s and still get those cannel locks in to do the crimping. Doesn’t seem to work unless they all the way in the center. Anyone have some pictures or a video? Don’t tell me about that horrible video on You Tube where Mike is standing in front of all the action. 😮
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Re: What tool is used for installing seat cushions

Post by John kuehn » Sat Oct 26, 2019 7:05 pm

No video here but before you compress the springs move the 2x4’s to where you can get your crimpers in to do most of the crimping. Once you’ve done that compress the springs and crimp as much as you can.
Carefully loosen the 2x4’s and move the spring over one way or the other so you can have room for the crimpers. Recompress the spring and crimp the rest of it. You may need to use a small hammer with a backup to smooth out the seams as others did.

I didn’t have a large enough table to use so I bought a piece of 3/4” plywood for a top and screwed it down to 2 saw horses. The table top has to be pretty solid for the stress that’s used when tightening down the allthread bolts. If that’s a fiber or nylon top that’s on the folding table you have it may tend to give. Just my opinion.

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Re: What tool is used for installing seat cushions

Post by KWTownsend » Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:38 am

Mark-
I did not make a cool spring compressor like you did. I just put the cushion and spring upside down, put a piece of plywood on the spring, and sat down on it to crimp it in place. Start at the center of the front. Measure the perimeter of the spring where the channel is, and there the cord is on the bottom of the cushion. It should be the same. Mine had the cushion slightly bigger. I made up the difference but bunching up at the back corners.

Having an extra set of hands is helpful.

-Keith

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