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The binding for the edge is a bias binding, in that when fabricated the material to make it is cut an an angle to fabric weave, thus "bias".

 

I do understand your angst, it's a little tricky, but one learns to feed and slightly stretch  binding in such a way they there are a lot of little wrinkles, and no big wrinkles,  on an outside curve.....

 

Good luck, looks like you're making good progress....I see a lot of relief cuts, be careful with those as half an inch too far and rework ensues....

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Thanks David, I did cut the binding material on a 45 bias.  On the tight outside corners I ended up  carefully cutting 'pie slices' out every 1/4 inch to keep things flat.  I bought new 'pull-a-dot' anchors and fasteners for the side flaps since my top frame was missing a few of the anchors.  The originals have a wood screw thread so I assume there was solid wood inside the sockets.  That is no longer the case, in these locations anyway, so I've got to come up with an alternate plan to get the anchors to hold.  The anchors are available with an 8-32 stud instead of the wood screw thread so I can weld up the holes and re-drill/tap but I'd like to avoid that option.  I'm going to try Helicoil inserts and cross my fingers...

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My understanding is that the cushions and seat backs and the inside rear trim pieces are upholstered separately.  The seat backs  go on first and have fittings that hook under the aft sheet metal wrap around and then bolts secure the lower portion.  I don't have any good photos of the rear seat details at the moment but it works similar to these of the front seat back.  The side pieces use the same idea.  

 

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Edited by MikeC5 (see edit history)
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I hope everyone enjoyed this New Year's day! 

 

I have a question for David with regard to laying out the top panel seams.  You mentioned earlier in this thread:

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To mark the two seams on the top panels, I put a piece of welting cord on the top of the pad, held with a single thread stitch to pad at each bow and in between each bow, and mark the cord at random 8-12 inch lengths with a marker.  These will be my marks to sew the panels together. Lay the main center panel on top, stretch it front to back and temporarily tack, pull taut sideways then mark from cord.  Do the same with the side panels.  Join these marks with lines on table, leave 1/4 inch sewing allowance,  cut a small vee in fabric at mark, and use these to line up when sewn.  TRUST YOUR MARK, don't second guess and think they're wrong when laid on table.  You then fold over and  top stitch this seam, always with the top stitch toward the center of the car.

 

I understand that you want the pads to hide the seam that joins the top panel and the side panels and I want to make the seam parallel to the inboard edge of the pads(?).  I've got my marking cord stretched between the front and rear bow, 1 inch outboard of the pad inboard edge at each of these bows (a straight line between these two anchor points).  The cord position at the 2nd and 3rd bows comes closer to the pad edges than 1" so I need to move the cord to achieve the 1" spacing to edge of pad for bows 2 and 3 and then do a stitch to hold it in place at those points.  Does this sound correct?IMG_0066s.thumb.jpg.bfea068427d4cd759e1109e88e7d43b8.jpg

 

Also, when you say fold over and top stitch with top stitch toward center of car, do you mean the fold should point to center of car (see photo)?  I did some practice pieces of top stitching and am also curious about the location of the stitch closest to the fold.  I seems easiest to position the stitch such that the fold is made immediately adjacent to the stitch since the stitch then controls where the fold occurs.  Some sources show leaving some distance between the stitch and fold.  How do you normally do it?

 

As always, you advice is greatly appreciated.

 

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flat seam 2.jpg

flat seam.jpg

Edited by MikeC5 (see edit history)
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Hi- you may have to adjust the cording location so that there's not a zig-zag when you view from the front.  The exact dimension from edge of pad isn't really important, as long as seam is hidden by pad.

 

I must have misspoken somehow.  The stitch itself is toward the inside of the car, the fold is outside of the stitch.   The fold that you show with the arrows "to the center of car" is backwards, the "open" edge of the folded seam should be to the outside of the car.  Think about rainwater, you don't want to trap it in the middle, you want it to roll over and  off the seam.  In other words, the very last diagram you show, to the right would be the outside of the car.

 

I only use one top stitch, and the "tail" isn't as big as you show.   After you sew the two pieces together, fold it over snugly (but not pulling so much the first sewn thread shows) and then run the top stitch about 3/16 inch from the edge of the fold.  If you practice with the foot on your sewing machine, you'll find a reference from the edge of the foot to the folded seam, and that helps you keep it straight and true.

 

Use bonded polyester thread that's UV resistant, otherwise your thread will fade.  

 

Hope all that makes sense.

Edited by trimacar (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...

I got the seams sewed up.  I can say that any extra time spent setting up a large table(s) at equal height to feed and receive the sewn top as it goes through the machine is well worth it.  I tried to get by with a little less than that and  it just makes keeping it going straight that much harder.  Overall, they came out pretty straight but not error-free.  

 

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I must say I don’t quite understand what I’m looking at in your picture.  On a touring top, when fabric is laid on a table as you show, there are no continuous straight lines, and the side panels aren’t rectangles in any way, nor will it lay flat.  Just don’t understand what you’re showing nor what you’ve done.  It also looks like, though hard to tell, you have rounded edge of seam facing toward inside of car, when it should be to outside.  Hope I’m wrong and you’ve done it correctly...

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Hi David,

It is hard to tell from the photo but the seams are sewn with orientation as in the diagram.  I cut the side panels as rectangles for simplicity; I know a fair amount will be trimmed off once I get it on the car and mark where the edges should be.  I thought you sewed the top and side panels together before trying to mark where to trim the sides so I made sure I left extra trim allowance. 

Laid on the table, the seam may appear to be a single straight line but it isn't.  The seam does change angle slightly at the 2nd and 3rd bow and the seams are further apart at the rear bow than at the front (by roughly 3 inches), forward end is closer to the camera.  But they are straight lines from 1st to 2nd bow, 2nd to 3rd, 3rd to 4th.  The first photo showing the black side up after sewing may be a little confusing because the edge panel on left is partly hanging off edge of the table.  I'm not sure I understand why it wouldn't lay flat at this point.  The seams did end up at my string locations.

flat seam 2.jpg

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Yep, pictures can be deceptive.  Hope it works out well. 
 

The side panels are not rectangles, by the way.  You have to wrap the fabric around the sides,  mark to top panel accordingly,  if anything they are elongated triangles,  otherwise they won’t wrap around to rear bow correctly.

 

As with any upholstery work, easy to show in person, hard to describe in words.

Edited by trimacar (see edit history)
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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Mike, 
       I am following your post with great interest and you are doing a great service posting these details as you go.  There are a couple of detail items that I think need to be clarified.  I am about to start on the top for  my 1925 Buick, and my son's father in law has a 1922 Dodge Touring so I know your car fairly well.  This goes back to Jan's question.  
1) On the Buick - and likely the Dodge, both seat backs are upholstered to the car.  You can remove the seat bottom, but not the seat back.  The back of the seat is tacked to the top side of the seat wood.  There is also a wood strip screwed to the wood frame under the seats.  The leather at the base of the seat back is tacked to the frond side of this wood.  The seat side panels are also tacked to the inside side of the lower wood.
2) The bowdrill on the back of the car - I think it should be on the back side of the rear bow, and on the back side of the wood that is attached to the top of the rear toneau sheet metal.  The bowdrill cloth covering on the rear bow should be visible all the way around the bow and not just on the ends.  This would allow you to install the leather seat covering to the top of the back wood and cover it with hidem(or the early style hidem with black tacks).  It also leaves the 2 rear top straps exposed.    

Sorry for the late response but I am just now reading this thread as I am about to embark on the same mission you are on.    Hugh

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Edited by Hubert_25-25 (see edit history)
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Hi Hubert,

Thank you for the interest.  It may be different on a '22 Dodge than what I found with the '25 as far as the upper rear seat back.  Although I am not 100% certain, it appears to me that the seat back was designed to be upholstered and then installed  (I think my seats still had the original leather/horsehair too).  Like the upper front seat back I had attached photos of earlier, there is a tack strip on back side of the spring assembly so the leather can go up and over and tacked on the back side (you can kind of see this in last attached pic).   As it also shows for the front seat back, the rear seat back has hooks that engage the  tub inner edge to hold it in place (and bolts hold the lower portion to captured nuts in the tub, see attached).  The  rear side pieces work the same way.   Unfortunately, curved wood segment that bolts to the top of the rear tub was missing and so this piece of evidence was not there and I saw no evidence of wood down on the floor pan as in your photo.  I would welcome hearing from anyone who can confirm how their '25 was put together.  The  rear side pieces work the same way as described for seat back.  It would seem that being able to upholster the seats separately from the body assembly would be advantageous from a production viewpoint but that's just a guess.  

 

You are correct about the rear inner curtain.  I did initially try to attach it to the rear side of rear bow but it was impossible to get it stretched out wrinkle free because it can't be moved independent of the outer curtain (you have to drive tacks through both).  I finally gave up and did it as shown.  It would be nice to learn how a pro would do it...  As for the bottom of the inner curtain, I copied what I observed on a '25 I saw at Hershey one year (attached earlier in this thread).  Actually, if this was correct, it would jive with the seat back being upholstered separately.

 

I need to get some good photos of the rear seat back....

 

rear pan after 2.jpg

rear 2.jpg

Edited by MikeC5 (see edit history)
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Mike, 

      You are lucky that it appears your seat backs are upholstered like a modern car and can be removed.  Mine are old school.  Dodge had a lot of advancements.

 

The wood window frame that came out of my Buick had six 3 1/2" wide jute straps.  Three for the frame to top bow support and three for the frame to bottom wood support.   The back window, glass, bowdrill, and jute straps are attached to the  back canvas first on the work table.   In the parts book this is called the “Back Curtain Assembly”.   

The jute straps and the inner bowdrill were installed first on the back side of both the upper top bow and lower wood.  .Then you would tack on the back canvas.  The jute straps basically support the rear window, as this is not really the job of the rear canvas.  This would leave the two top bow support straps exposed in the car.      Hugh

 

 

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Edited by Hubert_25-25 (see edit history)
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Hi Hugh,

That's a good diagram of the set up and is essentially what I've got with the exception of the inner curtain going to the forward side of rear bow and the canvas wraps around to cover the wood window frame with the frame I have.  I first attached the support straps to the wood frame, rough cut the canvas rear curtain and then marked the window location (making sure I had extra material to allow centering it when attaching the rear curtain assembly to car).  I then cut the  window opening, attached canvas rear curtain to window frame (a little contact cement and then staples on the inner rabbet where window is inserted).  Next the glass went in and then the inner (bowdrill) curtain attached and inner window trim.  It was quite tricky to get this whole rear curtain assembly onto the car.  I found getting the inner curtain correctly adjusted to minimize wrinkles while at the same time, getting the support straps correctly positioned and the canvas in position to be nigh well impossible, thus my decision to attach the inner curtain on the forward side of the rear bow (since it could then wait until the canvas and support straps were in position and stapled).   

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Hi Mike, 

     This is another detail that I have been working on this week.  This is how they did the front windsheild seal on the Buicks.  My car was missing the sheetmetal piece so I have been getting a lot of help from others.   One front piece shows nails (should be screws) but it shows the batting in the front.    Hugh

  

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Edited by Hubert_25-25 (see edit history)
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Hi Hugh, 

Very interesting how this was done on the Buick.  I think it's a bit more elegant than the flap that hangs down over the top of the windshield frame.   As long as the bends are 2 dimensional, it shouldn't be too difficult.  Are you going to find a shop with a roller and brake to make or make up something in wood to form it?

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Hi Mike, 

    A lot of street rod shops have brakes.  Some attic duct work companies too.   I am going to go to a  person that is local that has a brake on Friday.  I thought about a wood buck as well, which would be my second option.  Top materials were not very long lasting.  This metal piece was usually rusted after a while, and then thrown out when the replacement top came.  I think a lot of the aftermarket tops had a front flap sewn on to keep the water out.   Not sure if any of them worked very well.  This style also works better with not interfering with the wind shield wiper.   This is a photo of my sheet metal prior to bending.  I made a template so that I can check my bending as I go.  

By the way, I did a little more inspection of the rear window installation and I modified the drawing at the top of this page.      Hugh

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you go to YouTube,  look up engles coach shop. He di a 5 part video series on a collapsible buggy top and how to build one without patterns. All the principles are the same.

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That was a good set of videos.  He really slows things down so you can understand each step.  I wish I had seen that before I got the final top piece sewn together...

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