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Author Topic: Seat restoration_ New upholstery and foam  (Read 30846 times)
Moes
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Posts: 130



« on: March 03, 2016, 12:20:02 pm »

Hi

Here comes a long story!

I have finally after years of restoration taken the first steps towards restoring my seats.
For some time I have been researching how to make new foam and upholstery, and it seems quite complex because everybody have different opinions about how to do it right.

Of Course I have been talking to numerous upholstery shops, and the best offer so far have been 3300 euro, for new foam and upholstery in leather and alcantara.. The foam seems to be around half the budget.

If I buy the materials myself it will be around 1000 euro. So as a hobby/learning project it could be fun and interesting.

As you can see I am not going for the original look.

My Bagheera is a 74', but I am not completely aware which year/type/model my seats are from. The seats a definitely not the right ones because the driver’s seat and the passenger’s does not match in shape.
I think the shape of my driver’s seat is correct to the model of the car, although it have a "steel bucket frame" and not a pipe/tube frame.. Maybe it's a model 2 ?
The passenger seat have the shape of what I would think is a later model.

I have to admit that I quite like the shape of the passenger seat, and I have been thinking about shaping my driver’s seat to match the passenger seat (if I have to make new foam anyway).
I am aware of the fact that some Bagheera enthusiasts may not like my ideas, and I am still open to suggestions of how to do my seats.

I have read an old thread on Bagheera cafe about producing/moulding/casting new foam, but it does not seem it succeeded.

The foam I have is not in the worst condition, but it is very soft, cracked and starting to pulverize.. And I think it would be a shame to use blood sweat and tears on the upholstery if the foam isn't that good.

The upholstery shops and foam suppliers in Denmark I have been talking to, all say that they would use "cold foam" (it's a translation from Danish, I am not sure what's called in English ?), and build the cushions in layers of foam.

Cold foam comes in many variants, in Denmark the suppliers specifications is the weight of a cubic/m3 and a force/strength in Newton.
A common mattress type in cold foam is a 35-40 kg with 150 Newton.. Which the suppliers advise me to use. Maybe a little harder 160-170 newton.

I have been comparing my old soft foam with these types, and sitting on different types and thicknesses, and I am not convinced that these types of foam I have been advised are hard enough.

Therefore I have bought a 44 kg, 200 newton, 20 mm thick sheet, which I intended to use as the bottom layer, and from there build up the rest of the foam in layers of 160 newton foam, gluing them together with a spray adhesive as advised.

The thing is, to me it seems that the 200 Newton foam isn't as hard as I expected to be, and when I lay 3 or 4 layers together (6-8 cm) it feels just about right (my 90 kg butt does not go right through  Wink

So I think I will go with the hard 200 N foam. Btw I am a little high as a Bagheera owner, a sleek seat cushion would give me a little more head space  Smiley

I would very much like to hear you guys opinions about such a project, which will probably be taking me.. the rest of the year  Smiley

I will upload pictures along the way.

I have been so fortunate that a fellow Matra owner from Denmark have been doing his Murena upholstery in leather with great success, and I can borrow his industrial sewing machine :-)

The pictures does not tell the whole story about the foam condition, it is worse than it looks!

Best regards Frederik
« Last Edit: March 03, 2016, 12:27:32 pm by Moes » Logged
northmurena
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2016, 02:09:31 pm »

"If I buy the materials myself it will be around 1000 euro. So as a hobby/learning project it could be fun and interesting"

Learning project :-) I already can hear you cursing :-) :-) That will be a real challenge, to make upholstery and foam. But if you don´t have only two left hands it will be possible.

Like i understood did you already bought foam. But you should also buy some thin foam. When you are glueing several layers of foam together there will be a "hard" edge, where it is glued. That should be covered with a thin layer to make it even.

And you should buy a small "båndsliber" , 15 or 20 mm wide.( i just don´t know the english word ). A handy tool to get the foam into the correct shape. I think you can´t find this tool in Denmark. It is anything else than common here. But you can buy it in Germany. In a professional quality it cost about 400 Euro, in a do-it-yourself-quality it cost about 50 Euro. But it is something you really need and you will be happy about it. Cutter-knives with really good blades are also recommend.

If you are not "talent-free" you can count around 80 - 100 working-times to get it done. Including making patterns and sewing the upholstery. Making good patterns are very important.

If you need some advise or help, feel free to contact me.

Hilsen
Kai
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Matra_Hans
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Owner of Bagheera, Rancho, Murena & Espace


« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2016, 03:02:32 pm »

Hi Kai and Frederik.
The  "Båndpudser" mentioned by Kai, I think could be something like this:
http://www.biltema.dk/da/Vaerktoj/Elvarktoj/Slibemaskine/Bandsliber-BS-457-2000028476/
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Moes
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Posts: 130



« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2016, 03:07:25 pm »

Hi Kai

Sounds good!

I was thinking about trying to use an electric kitchen knife for the rough cutting, and then a air powered angle grinder with a rough "sandpaper dish". I have also been told that some silicone spray on the knife blade should help.

I had not thought of a small belt sander before, it sounds like a good solution!

I believe my hands are all right for doing some good handy work, but I would be pleased if I could make a decent result within a 100 hours, but I am quite patient. On the 4. of February this year my Bagheera ownership turned 10 years Cheesy

I will remember to cover the glue edges (the whole piece) with thin foam! I have only bought a small part of the foam I need to test it out, until I was sure about what to use.

Kai, do you have experience with the strength of car seat foam?

And Hans, great!  Another reason to buy more tools  Grin

Best regards Frederik
« Last Edit: March 03, 2016, 03:09:36 pm by Moes » Logged
northmurena
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2016, 04:28:50 pm »

@ Hans:

No, the ""båndpudser" should be in this style: http://www.ebay.de/itm/Profi-Bandschleifer-Powerfeile-Fingerschleifer-PFERD-/120393138621?hash=item1c07fd81bd:g:h0gAAOSwEppURxDg

or this as low-budget-version: http://www.ebay.de/itm/Silverline-Powerfeile-Elektrobandfeile-Bandfeile-fur-13-x-457-mm-Schleifbander-/311380121184?hash=item487fb39660:g:x9cAAOSwymxVOK2V

It need to be small overall so it works like an extended finger. The one from Biltema is to wide at the motor and that makes it impossible to modelling the foam in and from all directions.

The professional version works - of course - like a professional tool. The economy is not so powerfull, is not running so smooth and don´t last so long, but it does it´s job.

@ Frederik:
- siliconspray: yes, the blade could slide easier. But what happens when you want to glue the parts with rest of silicone on it ?
- electric kitchen-knife: try it, but it doesn´t work with all kinds of foam because the blades are moving into two directions. Cutting foam works better in only one direction.  A real good blade does it every time ;-)
- angle grinder: no, not really. You get the best result with a båndsliber.
- Experience with carseat-foam: not really, i´m a saddlemaker for riding-saddles. But i made also the seats in my Murena. I choosed a foam like the original. But if you want it in another hardness you need to find out, what fit your needs. I could also only show you the different kinds of foam i have some examples in my workshop.
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Lanng
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Its complicated...


« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2016, 09:18:09 pm »

Would be more than great if you could update from time to time in regards to the project.
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Moes
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Posts: 130



« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2016, 08:14:19 am »

Hi Lanng

I'll do that!

But if I fail, I will delete the thread and pretend it never happened  Roll Eyes

Best regards Frederik
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Moes
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Posts: 130



« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2016, 08:52:44 pm »

Picture of the Leather and Alcantara samples.

My Bagheera is orange as you can se on my profile, and I am thinking of making the side pieces of the upholstery in black leather and the middle pieces in Cuoia 4077. Or with other words replace the black fabric on the old upholstery with black leather, and the green fabric with Cuoia Alcantara. Which I think would match the car nicely.

I have been looking a lot at my old foam, and I still haven't decided whether or not I should make completely new foam, or if a good repair of the old foam would do. The reason why I still haven't decided is that it would be so much easier just to cut out the bad areas, maybe the bottom 2 or 4 cm of the bottom cushions, and replace it with new, and put a thin new layer on the top of all of it.  
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Moes
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Posts: 130



« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2016, 10:34:23 am »

I have started out with trying to repair the old foam for the bottom of the drivers seat.

I have been cutting out the bottom 5 cm (3 and then 2 cm), and I am planing to replace this with two layers for 2 cm 200 N foam.

I have changed my mind regards to the color of the Alcantara. I took the fabric samples to the car, and the one I thought would be good turned out to be the wrong shade/color. I could choose a more relaxed and maybe exclusive color, but the car is orange, from the 70's and a funky color chois is fine by me. So I am going with the Pumpkin P410.   
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Lanng
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Its complicated...


« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2016, 05:39:00 pm »

Not sure if this is a good think to do... since you already started your seat project Smiley

Found these on the evilbay - passenger seats for Bagheera mrk 1:
http://www.ebay.de/itm/131741548522?ru=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.de%2Fsch%2FAuto-Motorrad-Teile-%2F131090%2Fi.html%3F_sop%3D10%26_from%3DR40%26_nkw%3D131741548522%26_rdc%3D1

"Passenger double seat for Matra Bagheera Series 1. The foam and the wire mesh are good, the black part of the cover is bad, that is, he has several small cracks that could eventually sew. The yellow part is still quite good but overall needs, the seat cover basic cleaning. The foam padding is still firm and well. Because private sale with no guarantee / warranty. Shipping is possible but would be by DHL bulky quite expensive (22.50 EUR Sperrgutzuschlag + normal packet Porto 14.99 EUR for packages over 10 kg)."

Ofcourse no idea of the condition of the foam and I dont know if shipping is only within Germany otherwise they are located in "Oberhausen, Deutschland", which is close to Dortmund (Germany) or the Netherland´ish border (They only allow bicycles in the that country, however, so bring a Christania bike and energy bars) - or some 5 hours / 550 km drive from the danish border - or 76 hours (with normal traffic) / 6700km from the Bamako, Mali ... Or you could push your luck and go to the "Stumpemarked" in Fredericia on the 2-3 of april in the year 2016 Smiley

Some 10 years ago when studying architecture, I remember (surprisingly little) the good people studying furniture and interior referring "Skumhuset" (Direct translation "The foam house") as some of the best in the field of ... furniture foam). They have an office/workshop in Aarhus North (http://www.skumhuset.dk/).

I bought a "METAL CONTOUR GAUGE" for doing some of the chassis work on my Bagheera. If you could construct a larger one it might help you with getting the right shape. See the link below for inspiration.

http://www.micromark.com/5-inch-metal-contour-gauge,9335.htmlei=qkPkVra6E8uS6AS_xKLoCw#imgrc=_DrKZDRF_bL-qM%3A

Best of luck and best regards - Jacob

PS. Just found this guy building a gauge in wood - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pjep8oKTqzE
« Last Edit: March 12, 2016, 06:32:05 pm by Lanng » Logged
Moes
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Posts: 130



« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2016, 09:32:24 pm »

Hi Jacob

Thanks for your input, it all gives me some new ideas of how to handle it  Smiley

I have not made that much progress on the seats, but I have been sound insulating the firewall and I am also doing some other interior work.

But I have some photos of the bottom of the passengers seat which I have been reparing, I am not completely done yet..  And I still have not ordert the fabrics.  

The foam in the passenger seat have a very different texture compared to the drivers seat. As mentioned before the seats are from two different Bagheera models. The foam in the drivers seat which I think is the oldest have a much more rubber like feel, and is more difficult to cut. The foam in the passenger seat is more "dry" and very easy to cut and shape (feels like cutting in very dry light bread), and it is deffently not the same foam compound the two seat are made of.  

Best regards Frederik
« Last Edit: March 30, 2016, 09:44:24 pm by Moes » Logged
TELBOY
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Posts: 153



« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2016, 09:51:41 pm »

hi there.............. not sure if this is a good idea or not? have you tried connecting a piece of wire (possibly guitar string) to a battery? the wire gets hot and its like a knife through butter!!!!!! Just a thought!
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Moes
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Posts: 130



« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2016, 01:23:26 pm »

Hi Telboy

I have been thinking about using a hot string. 

I have used it before on polystyrene, which worked great.

But at this point I don´t have that much foam cutting left, so I am not going to try it. If I one day desides to make completely new foam for the bottom cusions, I might try it out!

- Frederik   
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Moes
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Posts: 130



« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2016, 02:34:37 pm »

Hi

I have now repaired the foam to a acceptable standard. And I have finally ordered the leather, alcantara and much more, but there is a 3 week delivery timeline.

I have borrowed an old industrial leather sewing machine from a very helpfull member of the Danish Matra Club, who have been sewing all of his Murena's upholstery by him self, with a great result  Smiley

I have been looking closer to the way the upholstery are made on my friends Murena, and probably on Bagheera´s too, and I can see that my old non original upholstery have been made with a general fault. My old upholstrey are made the same way it would be done on at car seat with hard foam, but not the right way for soft foam, which I understand is typical in older french cars. Because of the soft foam the upholstery have to be made with compensators or folds in the upholstery. These folds are most important in the butt arear because the weight pressing the foam down will pull the foam out of shape, if the folds are not made. This is new to me, and it seems to be a bit harder to make the upholstery with these folds. But I am looking forward to get started  Grin

Frederik
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Moes
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Posts: 130



« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2016, 08:21:50 pm »

So..  The materials arrived after three weeks, but ofcause something had to be just a little wrong. I ordered a large leather skin, but they send me a small one. A small one might be enugh, but I ordered the large one to minimize the risk of having to buy another hole leather skin..

Therefore I have only started on the Alcantare pieces, which after some sewing machine tuning turned out pretty good so far  Smiley

I just hope I don't have to wait another three weeks.

I am very satisfied with the color of the Alcantare, but the color on the photos are as you can se very different.

Best regards Frederik
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