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upholstery progress

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    edward ericson


    Been tearing out Bridget’s interior trim, most of which is carpet. Got some honey tan vinyl a few months ago and made some new backer boards, Karen tried to use her sewing machine on th vinyl but it was a no go. Today i got what might be the solution for about 90 percent of that: the Swingline 160-page heavy-duty stapler.

    Testing it now and it punches right through this material with ease. The hidem strip hides the staples too, so the only stitching I’ll have to do by hand will be the visible stuff on the door pockets.

    Tricky, but doable, I think, for a hundred stitches or so.

    Here’s the Swingline in action:

    This thing, plus the 3M spray-on upholstery adhesive, plus a few judiciously-placed sheet metal screws should do the trick neatly. I hope.

    Any experienced upholstery guys chime in with the news, if there’s any I need to know.

    (P.S. I already know the hidem strip is not the same color as the vinyl behind it. Dye is on my shopping list.)


    Dan Rosa


     Ed I have used 3M spray on head liners with good results  I have not used staples but I have done stitching by hand you can’t rush the job I have used paper tape as a guide to keep the stitches even ,glued to the back so it would not move or show I used the best thread I could find KITE string !!!! and a sharpened sail maker needle  good luck    Dan Dan R40627.8971759259

    edward ericson


    Thanks, Dan. Yeah, not rushing is the hard part. I want this done! But I have the old door panels for now. They’ll be going in next week or so and we’ll, I hope, be on the road while I work on this stuff on rainy nights.

    edward ericson


    More progress on the kick panels. One, in fact, is done. The door panels are going to be the hard part.

    Here’s the edge panel test fit.

    I drilled new holes through them and widened them on the panels for panel clips. Gonna go for the mod “hidden clip” look. Wish me luck. Here’s the done panel before the holes:

    Scored some “hidem” strip with my last vinyl purchase but they don’t make the hidem in the same color as the vinyl. So I painted it. (Might end up spraying my seats too, as they’re way faded).

    Excellent match, to my eyes.

    Then on to the sticky stuff….

    folded it over and it stuck. Didn’t need staples on this part.

    Tacked the “hidem” strip down in the spot where TDs have it. Just a few staples at first. Then a lot more when i put the rolled edge on top. This Hiem will hide screws, too, of it come to that.

    The rolled edge will act like a draft stopper and make the interior look nice even if the door panels aren’t quite perfect. I made it with a vinyl tubing. The stuff on top of the door will be smaller diameter clothesline.

    So good it make the old panel look good. (Or maybe that’s the resolution on my camera phone…).



    Ed, My MiGi has no door pockets at all and I desperately need some interior “put” space.  Could you include a pic of your completed and finished door?  I am also thinking of putting a glove box in the dash. 

    edward ericson


    Sure thing, Roy. I have actually not got back to the new door panel job yet. I also long for a glove box & have plans to make one.

    FYI, the door pockets on the BCW, which don’t look anything like a TD’s pockets but are probably more functional, are simply flaps of vinyl folded and double-stitched all around, with elastic gathers in them. The elastic in mine are long gone.

    Before I got all hot to do this “right”–i.e., as Abingdon intended–I had a brain wave: People throw away soft-sided laptop computer cases all the time. Especially if one had a black interior (since most of them are black) the slick thing would be to recess one of those into the hollow of the door, leaving the zipper still functional. The outside flap then becomes the map pocket–velcro’d shut most of the time, good in case it rains–and you’d also have a semi-secret and much roomier zipped inner pouch to put other stuff in–such as your insurance card, registration, four kilos of coke*, or whatever.

    This idea is so pukka–and so much easier to do technically than trying to reproduce the original TD panel–that I might try it yet.

    *note to DEA: joking.

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