Hey, Everyone. Just started to reupholster my seats and thought I would post my progress and possibly be some help to anyone who might try this themselves. I put off doing this for quite some time with a lot of reservations on whether or not I could pull it off and the lack of funds to pay someone to do it and quite a bit of research on the web that made it look "easy" finally prompted me to give it a go.
Several pictures... the first couple I'm stripping the old vinyl, foam and cotton batting from the frame. The frame was pretty rusty so I had to clean it up, treat it and paint it. The back, bottom seat was in pretty good shape. I did not have to repair any of the springs like I'm having to do with the back, top (but that's another post). Once cleaned up, I sewed heavy canvas all around the top frame of the seat. Then I hog ringed foam around the top part of the seat to provide the cushion. Finally, I hog ringed the new vinyl over that.
After a little bit of time, a whole lot of effort, and the giving of some blood from those nasty, little, sharp hog rings I finished the first part of the project. It's never as "easy" as it looks and I'm certain a professional would have done a way better job but in the end I'm happy with the results.
A couple of points that I learned that might help another DIY'er:
- Hog rings are sharp. Be careful after placing them that you do not grab hold of part of the frame that you just hog ringed because they will puncture your fingers and/or hand.
- I read where some folks use the plastic cable/zip ties to hold the new cover to the frame but see'in as how I invested $40 bucks in hog ring pliers and hog rings I decided to do it the "old fashioned" way. Cable/zip ties might be a better way to go.
- Heavy canvas with upholstery thread worked fine for the initial cover. The canvas replaces the original burlap and has two primary purposes: distribute weight more evenly across the springs as someone uses the seat and to keep the foam from sinking into the wire springs.
- I used 2 inch, high density foam from a craft supply store that I cut using a bread knife (I do not have an electric meat carving knife that all the web sites said is the best to use but anything that is sharp and has a serrated edge appears to work fine).
- The listing wire was the hardest material to find in the whole project. This is the wire that goes inside the listing around the edges of the vinyl and what the hog rings go around to fasten to the frame with. The original listing wire was too rusted and damaged to use again. What I finally ended up using was 12 gage galvanized steel wire that I bought from Tractor Supply. It's a bit on the thick side and maybe the next gage thinner would work just as well but this one worked fine. After a LOT of research on the web and getting no results except for "old coat hanger wire" I finally found this wire to use. Old coat hanger wire was not long enough to go all the way around the listing for the seat. Bend the ends of the wire around before pushing them through the listing and it goes through easier.
That's all I can think of for now. If anyone has any other questions please ask and I'll try to help.