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Old December 1st, 2008, 09:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Tolex Application Problem

This past weekend I tried my hand at applying tolex to a pine wood pedal board I'm making. I went online and looked at examples of how to fit the cut piece and cut the corners. With that I used Weldon Contact Cement (brush on) and glued the face of the board leaving the sides and bottom for later. After I let the front face dry overnight I tried glueing one side and wrapping the corners. I figured after it was tightly wrapped I could use staples to hold in place. At first it would not stay down so I added more glue and let it dry a little before smoothing out.
After awhile the tolex got a little soft and bumby. I then returned later to smooth out and found it was working somewhat. This morning i checked it and it's useable but not perfect. Am I using the wrong glue?
Thanks,
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Old December 1st, 2008, 01:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Your glue choice sounds close enough but your technique falls a bit short.

"Weldon"? Is it water base or solvent base? If it's flammable it's usually solvent based.

There are a bunch of tricks with tolex but the short answer is don't overdo it with the glue. One application of glue to your wood, one application to your tolex, wait no more than an hour and stick it down. Letting it dry overnight before sticking it is way too long. Adding more glue allows the solvent to de-lam the vinyl from the cloth backing. There are a couple lots of black currently in circulation where the bond of cloth to vinyl is tenuous at best. It's not a problem if you use the contact cement sparingly and glue up under ideal conditions. Too cold, too much drying time, too much glue all conspire to produce poor results.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 01:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I re-covered an Ampeg using their diamond pattern tolex. The glue I used was every day contact cement, applied to both the wood and tolex. I never waited more than 30 mins before applying the tolex to the wood. Use plenty of ventilation if using contact cement.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 07:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I used a latex water based carpet and tile glue, the key was "letting it flash off" for a minimum of 15 minutes. On the big flat spots it was super, 'round the edges more in the passable. The baffles seem to help hold it down but it's not perfect. There's too much spring in the marine vinyl when it got wrapped around the sides and over cleats and it was overcoming the stickiness of the glue. I'm starting to think there might be something to products labeled "tolex glue". I can post a shot of the tub if you are interested. Best of luck.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 10:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm starting to get a technique down. I would not want to do another project using this method.I have no dead lines so it's no big deal. It takes a little more than an hour for the glue to dry enough to hold.I'm working at it one section at a time.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 11:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have done a few tweed cabs. I think it is easier to work with than tolex.
For me the keys are:
1) I use lepages water based contact cement
2) let it flash off for close to 30 min.
3) i only do a couple of sides at a time. Doing the entire cab is too rushed and messy
My first cab was actually better than my second because I was more impatient (actually rushed by the GF to stop friggin around and watch a movie). Patience and planning are key.
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