TOLEX GLUE/ADHESIVE

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Rockbreaker, Dec 18, 2019.

  1. Rockbreaker

    Rockbreaker Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    564
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Location:
    Long Island
    So I'm trying to re-cover my 60's Ampeg Gemini II with original repro blue diamond tolex, not only is it the most expensive type at $37.50 a foot but it's also not as easy to find. My question is: does anyone here have the expertise/ knowledge on the type of adhesive to use to get the best result. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Ed
     
  2. Peegoo

    Peegoo Tele-Holic

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    751
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2019
    Location:
    USA
    Water-based contact cement. I like the Dap/Weldwood brand. Pay no attention to naysayers; they got bad results because they either used it on cold materials in temperatures less than 70F, or they didn't give it enough time to tack up before bonding...or both. I've been using this for more than 10 years and I always get good results because I follow the directions.

    Brush it onto the cab and the back of the Tolex, let it tack up per the directions, and carefully lay it on and press into place. You get only one shot, so take care here. I like to work on a large flat surface and 'roll' the cabinet onto the cemented fabric, rather than lift the fabric and apply it to the cab. A wallpaper seam roller is a great tool to have; roll it all over the applied Tolex to ensure a complete bond with the wood.

    Solvent-based contact cement works the same way, but you have to take extreme measures to not pull the fabric as you stick it down; the solvent softens the vinyl when it's wet. Over time as the solvent evaporates, the Tolex shrinks and seams can open up. The water-based stuff works just as well, but it doesn't soften the vinyl and and it won't dissolve foam brushes.

    Since you've never done this before, please watch as many how-to vids as you have time for before you get out the scissors and razor blade. It will pay off in a better result.
     
    Skydog1010, dswo and Vibrolux59 like this.
  3. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    483
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2018
    Location:
    Australia
    I just finished my third cab and have learnt a bit about Tolex glue.

    Ppl suggest all sorts of stuff but keep in mind if you stuff it up, it is almost impossible to re-do (as you are probably aware).

    My recommendation is Selleys Kwik Grip (that yellow contact glue stuff). I first tried some other clear contact I thought wud be better but it was a disaster. Both solvent based.

    I tape up the area to be glued, then trim along the tape so there is no sign of excess glue.

    Spray glue sounds like a great idea but I don't think it is strong enuf or durable and expensive.
    .
    IMG_20191218_155117.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2019
    985plowboy likes this.
  4. 39martind18

    39martind18 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    695
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Location:
    Spring TX
    Don't get me to lyin! Never done a recover, but standard yellow wood glue does a nice job for reattachment of tolex when repairing.
     
    Wally likes this.
  5. dickey

    dickey Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,510
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Location:
    Florida
    For inspiration, here is a pic of my '64 Gemini II. 001.JPG
     
  6. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    8,051
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Memphis TN
    Guess I'm a naysayer, I wouldn't ever try water base contact cement for tolex. We use Weldwood spray grade contact cement in our trade auto upholstery, it works great for tolex, if it will hold a convertible top or vinyl top on a car it will most certainly hold tolex on a cabinet, I've covered lots of cabinets for my personal use and NEVER had any issues ( you can also brush it on or use a paint roller)

    I have had 2 cabinets in the past that were covered by a pro cab builder who used waterbase contact, both of them had issues with the tolex , bubbling up and coming loose at seams.

    If you are not comfortable doing this, find a pro who can do it for you, that Ampeg Tolex is hard to come by and the seams look tougher to do than a typical Fender type amp.

    A quart will be more than enough and can probably be found online or if you have a local upholstery shop maybe they would sell you a quart.
     

    Attached Files:

    zook and BobbyZ like this.
  7. Count

    Count Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,924
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    Location:
    Tenterfield, Australia
    Ordinary contact cement works fine if you follow the instructions and let it dry as instructed before applying. Doing that means the solvent will not "attack" the vinyl. Just make sure that you start laying down the Tolex in one spot and spread it out from there so no bubbling can happen. If you do get small bubbles, the old trick is to ***** them in the cntre with a pin and gently squeeze the bubble down from it's edges. Virtually any glue can be used to glue Tolex down as long as you follow the instructions for that glue. I have even used Hide Glue and PVA with no problems. Whichever glue you are using I have found the trick is not to try and glue down too much at any one go.
     
  8. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,356
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Location:
    Snellman MN
    I use the Weldwood solvent stuff you get at hardware like Ace. (how close that is to the pro grade stuff Ringo uses I don't know)
    Brush on both the cab and the tolex, let it dry up pretty good.
    Never had any luck with things in spray cans or with water based stuff. Could be I didn't let it tack up enough? You find a system that works and go with it.
    For tweed it's Tight Bond II. Spread on both surfaces, let it get pretty dry, then hit it with a hit iron. Tried that stuff on tolex but you can't really iron tolex.
    Might revisit the water based stuff cause sometimes you can't go outside to use the solvent stuff. But it really sucks when things go wrong!
     
  9. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    8,051
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Memphis TN

    The Weldwood from the hardware stores is probably similar, the Pro grade is heat resistant and is thin so it can be easily sprayed, I use a cheap suction quart gun from Harbor Freight , I have read about some folks using the gravity feed guns.
     
    BobbyZ likes this.
  10. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    8,969
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    Some key points, some mentioned above :
    CONTACT CEMENT:
    -Don't use contact cement in cool damp weather.
    -With contact cement you need lots of flat space as you need to coat the amp cab and the tolex and let it dry before putting the tolex on.
    -DO NOT try spray on cans of contact cement. It just doesn't hold well IME.
    - I don't really like water based contact cement, but I think if you are careful about temps etc it will probably work.

    WOOD GLUE:
    -I have used wood glue; Titebond, Elmers etc for several cabs now. It is far easier and more forgiving than contact cement.
    It is messy but washes right off your hands. You can apply to the cab only, not needing tons of space.
    -It doesn't effect vinyl as it has no solvent.
    -You can work on one side at a time.
    -Do the large flat areas putting glue only on the flat areas of the cabinet only. I use a brush or spatula to spread it around.
    -It dries faster than you think. Move along!
    -Once the large flat sides are done you can use a small paint brush to put glue around the rounded corners etc, roll the vinyl around the radiused cabinet edge and staple etc.

    I'm not sure what Fender used on the old amps but it wasn't contact cement. Maybe hide glue.
     
    BobbyZ and Wally like this.
  11. Rockbreaker

    Rockbreaker Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    564
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Location:
    Long Island
    Thanks for all the replies. Very useful info. I still don't know what to use lol. I will ask my amp tech although he doesn't do re-covering. All I can say is, I probably picked the toughest tolex/cabinet combo to "pop my cherry "on. Oh well...I can't be rocket surgery;)
     
  12. monkeybanana

    monkeybanana Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    322
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Location:
    mmhmm
    I used the Mojo glue and the only problem I had was at the tolex on tolex section. Maybe I didn’t wait long enough as mentioned earlier? That part keeps lifting.
     
  13. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    483
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2018
    Location:
    Australia
    Staples!

    Yikes. I thought staples were for amateurs.
    They look pretty nasty, if you care about that sort of thing.
    .
    No staples here.

    IMG_20191221_204335.jpg
     
  14. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    8,969
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    I guess Fender was amateur!
     
  15. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,356
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Location:
    Snellman MN
    I'm not sure about Fender amps built much after 1980. Prior to that the only staples used were on the grill and to fasten the window screen above the chassis.

    If this amp has the original tolex I'd strongly advise living with it as is. It seems like an easy job but it's real easy to end up with a job you can spot as a bad recover from a mile away.
    I've done enough of them to know something else. By the time you get a beat cab properly prepped, dents filled, reglued if needed, all the old glue off and sanded smooth. You can build a new cab. That old glue is a royal pain and can take hours.
    No matter how good a job it is a beat up original vintage cab will bring more at resale time. (like reblueing a gun and refinishing the stock) With a new cab you've still got the original.
    I know this is am Ampeg but they ain't getting cheaper. Then again I think the whole vintage amp thing is about done anyway so who knows?
    Just my two cents.
     
    Ess Eff likes this.
  16. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    8,051
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Memphis TN
    A lot if not all of the vintage Fender amps I owned in the past did have staples at the tolex seams on the bottom only. I generally wick some thin CA aka Superglue under the seams to keep them down and then there is no need for staples.
     
  17. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,356
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Location:
    Snellman MN
    I'll have to flip my blackfaces over and look for staples.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.