Covering a cabinet with tweed .. pitfalls?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by KC9KEP, Apr 2, 2020.

  1. KC9KEP

    KC9KEP TDPRI Member

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    Hello!
    I am building a 5e3 Deluxe cabinet and am going to try to upholster it with tweed that I’ve ordered from China.
    I’ve used vinyl once before, but this will be my first tweed adventure.
    Have any of you done this before? Can you advise regarding any land mines?
    I was going to use contact cement on the wood cabinet and spray adhesive on the tweed.
    Will the spray adhesive bleed thru the tweed fabric and spoil it?
    I see that one person on YouTube used double-sided adhesive tape.
    Would anyone have thoughts on doing it with tape?
    (Any chance of contracting Corona-19 from Chinese tweed?)
    Thanks again!
    —Tom
     
  2. lowatter

    lowatter Tele-Meister

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    And...Bob's your uncle(well for using a 2-sided tape method which I will be using on mine)-
     
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  3. KC9KEP

    KC9KEP TDPRI Member

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    Yes, the double sided tape seems like the safest approach .. I wonder how durable it would be
     
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  4. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

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    Use the same adhesive on the fabric as you use on the wood. Don't mix types/brands, or you could have adhesion problems.

    Make all your fabric cuts with a new, sharp single-edge razor blade and a straight edge. Scissors are not accurate enough.

    Instead of applying the fabric to the cab, I apply the cab to the fabric by 'rolling' the cab onto the fabric. This prevents stretching and/or misaligning the fabric.

    Contact cement is unforgiving, so be sure where the fabric is going because you get no second chances with the same piece of fabric. Read the instructions on the contact cement and follow them for application amount and wait time before sticking the fabric into place.

    Keep your work area meticulously clean. One little flake of wood or other debris between the fabric and the cabinet will make you a very unhappy person.

    Good luck!
     
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  5. saltyseadog

    saltyseadog Tele-Meister

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    Here's a link to my self built tweed cab I did last year and posted at these forums. https://www.tdpri.com/threads/fender-blues-junior-club.166192/page-69 I researched a lot before I started and every method of fixing it to the cab had minor problems whether glue bleed through or changing shades of tweed. I came across the Australian guy's video posted here on You Tube and as I had used double sided tape on various upholstery projects I was aware of just how strong the grip of that stuff is. If you use it get the yellow backed stuff which is industrial grade used in car upholstery. I gave it three or four coats of a very watery amber shellac afterwarda and left it to cure for a few days and it is rock solid, a little bit of bleed through where the sides overlap the front and back pieces. I put a thin piece of the double sided tape over the bottom of the overlaps as I was worried about the shellac being strong enough to hold it on its own. I could have avoided that as the shellac is seriously bonding as well. A year later nothing has moved at all in fact it is probably stronger bonded now than it was then as the back panels and speaker baffle really press the material into the wood. You say you have sourced Chinese tweed, is it cloth ala or vinyl ala Peavey?. If it is cloth I think I remember reading that the Chinese tweed material was not the same colour as Fender's.

    PS: Another tip for you, use Allen bolts and T-nuts where possible I used 4mm bolts on the panels and 5mm ones on the amp casing. Feel free to ask anything else.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
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  6. Chipss36

    Chipss36 Tele-Meister

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    Hide glue....
    Worked then, works now...
     
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  7. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    There are a number of build threads and tweed application threads here on TDPRI. Applying tweed isn't really that hard... I was worried and nervous about it the first time, but once I was done, I admit, I kinda liked doing it.

    The one mistake I made the first time was not paying attention to the direction of the lines when it came to doing the top and bottom, in relation to the sides. I cut two bad pieces, and as soon as I was done, realized what I'd done... It required me ordering another piece of tweed to finish.

    I have used 3M 77 spray, and I'm quite happy with the results. One user here, @jsnwhite619 has suggested WilsonArt waterbased floor adhesive... I am looking forward to trying this on my next cabinet.
     
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  8. zook

    zook Friend of Leo's

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    Using amber finish can be problematic since it bleeds into the end seams and comes out s little darker than the rest of the cabinet, Also, use one of these to cut the tweed:
    [​IMG]
     
  9. KC9KEP

    KC9KEP TDPRI Member

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    If you’ve ever seen the excellent series on guitar amplifiers by “Uncle Doug” on Facebook, he is an encyclopedia of great information. He likes the spray adhesive method for both tolex and tweed. Also .. I contacted Mojotone to see what they recommend .. and they use a water based adhesive! (I ordered some to try it). I’m receiving a mass of great information but not much consensus .. yet . Thanks,
     
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  10. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    The secret to keeping the dark creep from happening too much is to put down a coat or two of clear shellac or polyurethane first.
     
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  11. KC9KEP

    KC9KEP TDPRI Member

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    Salty,

    Thanks for the info!
    I've put so much time and effort into building my 5E3 cabinet, I'd hate to screw up now :)

    To summarize potential adhesion methods:

    1.) Weldwood contact cement on wood and 3M spray adhesive on upholstery -This is the method Uncle Doug employs on Facebook. It worked great on my 5F1 but that was “tweed tolex” My concern is the spray adhesive bleeding thru the tweed.
    2.) Mojotone's water based adhesive on wood and tweed -Haven't tried this yet. My concern is, again, adhesive bleeding thru the tweed.
    3.) Industrial strength double-sided adhesive tape -Seems safest regarding bleed thru, but my concern would be longevity of adhesion.

    To summarize tweed purchases:
    1.) Ordered tweed from China but it has not yet arrived
    2.) Ordered 18” wide tweed from Mojotone, but it is not wide enough to overlap cabinet top and bottom .. unless I rotate it to the non-traditional 2 O'clock-8 O'clock position
    3.) Ordered more tweed from Mojotone, a yard wide

    So, there you have it. I could have bought a couple pre-fab cabinets by now :)
     
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  12. saltyseadog

    saltyseadog Tele-Meister

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    To be honest I was a bit worried about that as well. But a year later it is stronger than ever and when you consider it is what is used in the furniture and car industries for upholstery that is certainly going to get more wear than your amp does. On another tack if you do chuck your amp about a bit over the years it will be a plus and look like some of the vintage ones with worn corners etc :cool:. Only thing I would do different if I did another one would be, on the overlaps I wouldn't use an extra strip of tape between the overlap as that is the only place I got any sort of discolouration. I did it because I was unsure whether the shellac would bond the two pieces together strong enough and in retrospect it would have been easily and without it fraying either over time. A tip I remember is when you are fitting the external corners, a little drop of superglue is great to keep the little peaks where the joins meet up down.
     
  13. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Afflicted

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    Or apply the amber on the uncut tweed before you start covering the amp. That is what I did.
     
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