December 8th, 2008: New Seats for the Truck - Part 1
For those of you who have been wondering why I haven't been posting any new projects here on the site, my truck is still at the paint shop, being taken down to bare metal, restored in the proper way and prepped for new paint. I say "still" because it's been over 18 months now and, as you can well imagine, I'm frustrated about this ... but, the painter is doing a meticulous job, is only able to work on weekends, and is charging me less than 50% of what it would cost me anywhere else ... so I'm cool about it. At this point, with Winter under way, I don't plan on seeing the truck again for quite a while.
In the meantime, I have moved to a truly unbelievable location -- with a 2-car garage. I'm in Central New Jersey, in a very populated and busy area and right off of a major highway. But, the very moment you turn off the highway onto my street, you immediately hear the theme from The Twilight Zone playing in the back of your head as you start blinking and wondering, "How did I suddenly get onto a road in the countryside of Upstate New York!?" Suddenly, you are surrounded by nothing but woods ... filled with deer, raccoons, sqirrels, wild turkeys and other seemingly alien critters, including fox. It's truly an odd experience, but in the most wonderful way ... and the main deal is that I have a 2-car garage waiting for the truck to come home to.
Another absolutely amazing aspect is that next door there just happens to be an automotive garage ... so when I need to work on my truck, I have a great mechanic and a lift and everything at my disposal; we've become great friends. Today, he called me and said, "You're looking for a pair of low-back seats, aren't you?" ... and, to make a long story short, he brought them over to me and I've got a new project in the works.
December 12th: The project of making new seats to put in the truck begins ...
I had originally planned on getting a pair of big leather, powered seats out of a Cadillac or something like that, but even if I found a nice pair that needed no repair, they still wouldn't match the leather I'll be doing my interior with ... and they would be an overwhelming project for me, in terms of reupholstering them! So, when I saw these seats, what hit me was how easy they would be to reupholster ... and I decided to go ahead and take advantage of this gift from William.
I could stare at these seats for days on end, wondering how to cover them ... what patterns to create, etc., etc., but if you do too much thinking about such matters, you just wind up procrastinating forever. My style is to just jump in and figure things out as I go along, letting inspiration itself lead the way; the same way I go about writing songs.
I removed the metal base parts of the seat and set those on the side; I'll be dealing with them after everything is done. Next, I removed the seat cover from the back of the seat and discovered the pre-formed sponge rubber that wraps around the seat frame -- this is what I'll be recovering (I'll be leaving the other seat intact for reference). Next, I took the plastic parts off the seat that sit on the side, presenting the lift-handle that adjusts the back of the seat -- I'll be covering these with leather.
Above, you see the driver's seat ... I plan on beginning with the seat-back first.
Above, you can see the process. I started by carefully parting the seat cover at each and every seam ... after marking each section and it's relative position. I'll use each piece as a template for each section of leather which I'll be cutting to match and sewing together to create a replica of what I removed.