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  #31  
Old 05-17-2009, 01:13 AM
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Nonsense!

Know why I have a digital camera? I can't take a picture of a blade of grass!
Your description was rather clear actually, I dont think I'll be able to copy that pattern...I think I can with a '60 fairly well.

I priced some fiber board tonight, 2.88 for the blue backed stuff, one sheet would do 1 door - not sure I'm going to use that or not yet.
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  #32  
Old 05-17-2009, 07:01 AM
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Like any restoration work, there comes a point where you have to decide what level of restoration you are shooting for.

Like "Level 1": identical to how it came from the factory. "Level 2": looks great but subtle differences if looked at up close. Not considered Concours. "Level 3": looks great to everyone at the local cruise-in. Level 4 looks great to the kid at the gas station who wouldn't know a Thunderbird from a Yugo. Etc Etc.

And then there is "Custom" meaning you did your own thing and are not worried about what Ford did but just want it to look good by your own standards. And allows for some creativity and expression in the process.

The other issue is color. Do you want the color identical to that which appeared in 1958 (whenever) as in New? Or do you want it to match up with what aging would have done?

I have pieces of my interior that are original and thus have 51 years of aging that goes with them. Then I have repro pieces that are 10 years old. The quality is excellent but the colors don't really match, in part because they are 40 years behind in aging. So while my interior is pretty good, if someone really picked it apart I have inconsistencies. Since I am happy with it, this is not important but to someone else it might be.

I guess in the end it is a matter of what each person's expectations and goals are.

All that blabbering aside , I took a somewhat closeup photo of my drivers side and it shows some of the color difference I was alluding to and also the texture to some extent. The upper material is original while the lower is probably 10 years old. The upper is more "orangey" while both have the same texture (I think I actually captured a little of it!)
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File Type: jpg DoorPanels_TBird 3A.jpg (206.5 KB, 44 views)

Last edited by JohnG : 05-17-2009 at 07:42 AM.
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  #33  
Old 05-17-2009, 09:18 AM
frank58 frank58 is online now
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"correct" materials (embossing available) can be found here.
http://www.smsautofabrics.com/
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  #34  
Old 05-17-2009, 09:50 AM
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Super pic John!

I can see the differences....Level 1 is out - I haven't sewed professionally since the late 80's !
Right out of the gate I would say I would like to make them as nice as possible, functional and as close to 'proper' as manageable.

The only thing that gives me a slight pause is the stitching on your arm rest, until I had one in hand I don't know how it was done and the machine used...

Let's take your door for example; the red and white would be the same, except for the embossing on the bottom - unless of course one orders that - which gives me the segway to thank
Frank for that link....but since they sell door panels...whats their prices like for panels and material in general?
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  #35  
Old 05-17-2009, 12:11 PM
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from MAC's catalogue, the '58 material is "Bison grain vinyl" which might help narrow that down.

If the oval embossed material is available then you could pretty much duplicate what MAC's is selling ( for $579!).

I will take a picture of the stitching but it is very straight - two parallel stitches.

One of the members might provide junker panels that could be used for a template for the masonite backing.

And it can't hurt to remember that you have no middlemen involved....we all know that no one at MAC's actually makes anything.

John
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  #36  
Old 05-17-2009, 12:59 PM
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I am dumb founded at the prices!

on the offset, "auto upholstery" costs more per yardage than "marine upholstery" - however, marine has better UV and water resistant ratings than auto, is a little thicker as well, ROUGHLY 12.99 per yard for auto and 9.00 for marine

Masonite boarding is pretty similar to the backing of picture frame inserts, cheap enough at under 90.00 for a CASE of 32X40" panels - the fiberboard I looked at last night is thicker than this boarding, so probably will not be a good choice.

I don't get it....why the huge "end" price?
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  #37  
Old 05-17-2009, 01:24 PM
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I took a panel apart a while back just to see how hard it would be to make one. The top and bottom pieces are very thin vinyl and dont have a fabric backing. It appears by looking at the flat board under the vinyl that the ovals were stamped after the panels were put together. The material used for the arm rest does have a fabric backing. The seam on the arm rest is a simple one. Sewn like the outside seam on the leg of a pair of levi's (sorry, dont know anyother way of explaining it) with stiching on either side of the seam maybe 1/8 to 3/16 inch away. I dont know if the added stiching is just for looks or to hold the inside helm flat, maybe both. The top and bottom pieces are simply put on with staples on the back side of the board at the edges and stapes were the chrome strips go. There is a 1/4 inch piece of padding under the top piece and a triangle piece of padding at the rear of the panel above the ovals. there is no padding under the ovals. Then the arm rest piece is stapled on with the chrome strips covering the staples. There is a small vinyl piece sewn into the arm rest at the hand grab. There is a metal cup that is pushed into the panel sub-structure that holds this piece in place.
I hope this understandable.
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59 HT, White on the outside, red and white in the middle.
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  #38  
Old 05-17-2009, 01:33 PM
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Very nice Victor!
I could about build one off your description!

will have to continue later I am having to leave for work now...

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  #39  
Old 05-17-2009, 09:31 PM
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This is a decent view of the only seam and stitching on my door.

john
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  #40  
Old 05-18-2009, 02:30 AM
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How many takes for that great shot?...LOL sorry didn't mean to tease...
Depending on when this is done in the making of the panel it could be an issue or not: if it needs to have dual needles and a free arm, it will be a challenge...if they are all single steps, not a problem.

For those that need more information:
Serger or Overlock machines have two blades that actually trim your pre-cut material, while placing three (or whatever the machine is set up for) bound stitches covering that raw edge -
an easy view is to have a gander at your pants/jackets/shirt inseams - the attached V's, W's, or scrolls are an overlock stitch.
A pre-cut pattern is laid out on the material to be marked, knowing the serger will be removing the set amount (1/4, 1/8) from the edge as it sews.

A regular machine can be used to perform a multitude of stitches/patterns...but it doesn't alter the materials size - since patterns are set up differently for single stitch machine.
While you can adapt a regular machine to a dual needle stitcher, the amount of room under the arm is the issue for a GOOD stitch.

I have worked at Oshkosh B'Gosh (coat dept.), ArtCraft Industries (American Airline plane seats), Algoma Net Company, and a joint I can't recall the name of, but I made the bumpers a semi-tractor trailer hits when coming into a dock....

I will post a few links on the fabric I'm checking out, and see what we think about them...

On the get go, I plan to make some bandannas for shelter dogs so they look more appealing to walkers-by looking for a pet. This serves two purposes; helps homeless dogs and indeed animals NEED a helping hand, and gets me 'with-it' again with a high speed machine...

Once we organize the correct materials and pricing info on such, the only thing left then is the cost to create the panels.
This will include; purchase of machine (falls off), electricity (constantly ongoing), thread/needles/upkeep (ongoing)
and labor.

Right?
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