How thick is the foam for a bike seat restoration?

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popawheelie

Finally riding a big boys bike
I'm restoring a 30's to 40's seat. My concern is that although I bought 1/2" thick foam and also 1/4" thick foam, I decided the 1/2" was too thick.
My problem is that the bolt heads on the surface of the seat are causing the 1/4" foam to arch up above the two bolt heads. I know when i glue down the leather over this foam, the leather is going to have two raised bumps in it.
Should the foam be 1/2" thick? should I scrape off the 1/4" foam and replace it with 1/2?

Or, should I cut out the foam above the bolt heads, and by doing so perhaps the bolt head impressions won't come through the leather????
If you wish to email me, use my.ironwork@verizon.net
 

kunzog

I live for the CABE
I would not use foam. Foam will deteriorate over the years and you will have no support at all. I use a piece cut from an old furniture pad or heavy blanket. Use several layers if needed. Also dont use hex head bolts but bolts with a rounded head or grind down the hex heads. Your butt will appreciate it.
 

DonChristie

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
I actually snipped a cutout for the bolt heads. It eliminates the bumps. 1/2 thick seems good. The foam I used was a sandable type, real nice to work with. Good luck!
 

Talewinds

I live for the CABE
That was my thought too, snip an indention in the foam for the bolt heads. Someone did a nice seat resto on another site, but you can easily see the bolts protruding even in the top surface.

Schwinndoggy, where did you get the sandable foam???
 

DonChristie

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Gary from Schwinn Exchange. He rides on Sundays with us. I assume he will be at this weekends swap. You guys local? PM me if you want his cel number.
 

Talewinds

I live for the CABE
Wow definitely not local, I'm.... land locked.

I'd be interested to know more about the foam you used though, specifically what type or where I might find it. I'm recovering one very soon and was thinking about the sandable foam I saw used on a motorcycle TV show once, looks like you can get the seat contours just right after the foam is glued down.
 

popawheelie

Finally riding a big boys bike
Well, after everything is said and done, I went to Evans Upholstery shop on Crenshaw blvd and Artesia Blvd. They have a very dense foam that is sandable (they didn't tell me, I just gave it a sanding and it worked great). I sprayed the iron seat and one side of the foam with Contact Cement, waited 10 min. (or use a blow dryer for a quick dry session) and then pressed them together. I trimmed off the edge level with the seat pan with an exacto razor knife.....a sharp steak knife might work.
I cut the correct shape out, being sure to leave a bit extra I could trim later, then soaked the leather cover in warm water for 15 min, dabbed off the water a bit, then set it over the seat and yanked it around the edges to set it up. I let it dry overnight, then covered the whole seat in a plastic bag, then tightly bound it with wide wrapping tape with a tape gun/handle. I left it over night, cut off the tape and the leather had maintained the shape. Chose a 2" square area near the edge of the seat and contact cemented the leather and the foam, let them dry with a blow dryer for two min. then glued them together......what that did is give me a minor place to start the gluing part of the job.....that way I didn't put glue over the whole foam seat and over the inside side of the leather , since I'd really get in a bind if I didn't line it up perfectly.....just work from one small area and that way it all lines up and there are no wrinkles to goof with.
Geesh, I didn't wrap and glue the final outside edges until the last. Boy, trying to cut and glue the leather at the "island" that juts out under ones family jewels is a bear. If there is a secret, please let me know! I cut out a few triangular-shaped wedges so the leather could go around those corners without thick overlappings. The back of the seat edge is a little "bumpy" because I stretched the leather without checking for "edge" consistency, so next time I will stretch and then double check that the foam underneath is even.
I lost a clip, so soon I will buy another and put it together.
What no one tells you is how to cut and fold and deal with the leather as one glues it around the "Nose" of the seat.......I figure it is trial and error, but does anyone have a "rule of thumb" that works each time???
 
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