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Upholstery question - upholstery nails/tacks Y or N?


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Well, to be honest, it probably wouldn’t have come with that trim, called “hidem” since it opened up and hid the tacks.

 

The problem with the decorative tacks used these days is they buy them at Walmart, and those are crappy looking tacks.

 

A solid sewn trim piece, put on with correct, period, decorative tacks (and yes, they’re available, I have a cigar box full),would be more period correct.  Even wire-on would be period correct and look better than hidem.

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Mike,  Don't become discouraged with your nail problem.  Think it over a while and if you decide to use nails , period correct nails can be found and you will only have to change the edge.  I think the nails would look better.  In the end, after you sort it out your "Mind" will be at ease.   Perhaps Trimacar could post a period correct nail  picture to educate us as what they should look like. 

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  • Peter Gariepy changed the title to Upholstery question - upholstery nails/tacks Y or N?

My comment on hidem does not mean that the trim wasn't available in that time period, it was, and if you had any samples of original upholstery then you might see if it's original to that fire truck.

 

Normally, if hidem is used, then there are no additional tacks.

 

If a sewn finish trim is used, then the large headed tacks are used.  Attached is a picture showing some early trim, a wonderful original top.  The large tacks are difficult to come by, the ones that are often used are the Walmart sold style, which do look cheap.  Correctly done with correct large tacks, it's an attractive finish.

 

I've actually found some nice large tacks on Ebay, they're made in Germany and are of excellent quality and very close to the right dimensions for early car projects.

outside back top.JPG

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1 hour ago, Mike "Hubbie" Stearns said:

Thanks all for your input. I have an original pic of my truck, but it was taken from the left rear and you can’t see the the edge of the seat. There’s a pictures of others that don’t seam to have the tacks. I’m happy with the way mine looks, but was just wondering if I should put them on or not. Mike

At this point with no other documentation, I'd say no, leave them off.  In my experience trim tacks were seldom used with hidem welting such as that.  I've been wrong before, though, just ask my loving wife....

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7 hours ago, trimacar said:

My comment on hidem does not mean that the trim wasn't available in that time period, it was, and if you had any samples of original upholstery then you might see if it's original to that fire truck.

 

Normally, if hidem is used, then there are no additional tacks.

 

If a sewn finish trim is used, then the large headed tacks are used.  Attached is a picture showing some early trim, a wonderful original top.  The large tacks are difficult to come by, the ones that are often used are the Walmart sold style, which do look cheap.  Correctly done with correct large tacks, it's an attractive finish.

 

I've actually found some nice large tacks on Ebay, they're made in Germany and are of excellent quality and very close to the right dimensions for early car projects.

outside back top.JPG

I believe that Witmer's Coach House in New Holland, PA has those tacks in stock.       John

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41 minutes ago, Bloo said:

Yeah you wouldn't put tacks on top of hidem. You'd have to do spmething else with the edge. The whole point of hidem is to hide em (the tacks that is). What year did hidem appear?

 

I believe a version of hidem was available in the 1920s.  Wire-on, the fold over trim, was definitely available that decade…

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57 minutes ago, trimacar said:

I believe a version of hidem was available in the 1920s.  Wire-on, the fold over trim, was definitely available that decade…

 

Thanks! I remember in about 1984 I was building a new top for my dad's 1913 Studebaker. I was looking for some Hidem because whatever was available through the regular suppliers did not look like what I had removed. A local model T enthusiast who was over 90 years of age said: "That stuff didn't even exist in 1912-1913". He was old enough to know firsthand. I believe black tacks were discussed, but in those pre-internet days the only ones available were probably about like the Walmart ones you mentioned. The tacks I could get locally or from the shop's fabric suppliers were cheap things that no one, not even the sort of person who could be fooled by Herculon in a Marmon, could possibly believe were from 1912-13. With nothing to go on other than the old top, I made the new one to match the old one exactly, hidem and everything.

 

I'll bet that 20s fire truck had something shiny like brass. Maybe nickel if not brass.

 

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For whatever it is worth? For my 1915 Model T runabout interior paneling and upholstery trim? I had an original 1914 door with some remnants of the original panel and trim. So at least I had a good sample of what I needed.

I did hear of a company that had proper for the model T tacks, but they were a bit expensive, and mail order was known to be slow.

With financial and time constraints, in a rush, I checked the local sewing stores. I found some modern brass upholstery tacks that were very close in size, but the heads were rounded instead of somewhat flat like the originals. So I bought out the store, TWICE! Still short on count, I bought one small package of a size larger that could be used in places not easily seen.

Then I rigged up a jig to drop the tack into, and carefully, lightly, hammered the round head flatter. Each and every one of the more than a hundred of them! But I like the way they came out!

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I need some nails to install the belt line fuzzy window stuff on my 1941 Buick woodie. Does anyone know of a supplier in addition to Restoration Specialties? The nails go into wood. They are .75 inches long with a 1/8 inch head. 

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