Re-cover A Saddle Quick & Cheap.


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Balloonoob

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jan 24, 2019
826
1,743
35
Longmont Colorado
#41
The last time I was at Memory Lane I bought about a dozen 1940's - early 50's saddles that were solid, but missing their leather. Maybe this fall I'll re-cover them and post the results. I see that "contact" cement is mentioned by some folks to secure the top leather. Myself, I wouldn't use it on top leather. Contact cement is not very forgiving. It instantly "grabs" the leather and doesn't allow you to re-position it, or stretch it, molding it over the pan...causing wrinkles that can't be smoothed out. Fabric adhesive allows you to pull, and stretch the leather, without causing permanent wrinkles. I see lots of foam being used. The old saddles were down right hard; not at all cushy. As I type this, I notice the "mouse pad" that my wife got for our computer is made out of a thin rubber product. Perfect to cover a saddle with. And... if your saddle doesn't turn out to your high expectations, it's no big deal to re-do it. You are in this hobby to have fun.
Mousepad is a great idea.
 

GiovanniLiCalsi

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 29, 2012
3,752
2,158
Alameda, California
#43
" Look....I need a saddle done in leather for the kid's cowboy bike and I need it before noon. Just get it done
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"Pauli wants his kid's bike seat re-done today before lunch. Whatta we gonna do Henry ?


"I know Jimmy, that guy the tinker.....he's kind of a schlock but I bet he could crank one out quick

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Crummy seats....we all got'em .....Take the pan apart and get all the rust off. & Re-paint if it needs it.
Grind off the spring rivet tops if the edges are sharp.
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Always keep a knife with you...... not only for protection but when you see an old leather couch out on the curb stop and cut out any salvage leather off it. I keep a knife in both our cars. The light brown piece I got on the way to church.....time to do it is when you see it.
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Those old heavy flannel shirts you got you're gonna use for rags....save em. Cut out a hunk large enough to wrap the pan with.

Cut out two other hunks each a little smaller and one little patch to cover the rivets.Cut them a little neater then the Tinker did......
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First spray some upholstery glue[From Home Depot] on the pan and attach the small hunk of cloth over the riveted section.......
Then spray the entire top pan and underside edges with glue and tightly wrap the large hunk of cloth around the pan. Pull the edges tightly, folding them over the edges onto the bottom edge of the pan.
Repeat for each hunk of fabric.

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Be a little neater then me..... I had to do this fast as I was afraid I was gonna get wacked if I didn't get it done quick.......
Next cut your leather.....and repeat ....I let the leather set on my hot truck dashboard in the sun while I was doing the other stuff to soften it up cause it has to be pulled real tight....Lastly install the bottom pan&bottom bracket.
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Done...[.One hour and 45 minutes]. Take your time......buy the foam instead of the old shirts but hey, this is the Tinker here....... what can I say?? I got the photo sequence a little screwed up here but you get the idea.

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Brutuskend

I live for the CABE
Apr 3, 2011
1,246
1,636
Eugene / Springfield Oregon
#44
Here is a trick I learned after doing this for several years.

I put down one layer of foam, about 1/2 thick then sculpt it using a electric carving knife. Then I use another layer of foam about 1/4 inch over that. Then headliner foam with stretchy cloth over that, then the leather. They turn out quite nice for not being done "correctly" IMO.
 

Miq

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jan 12, 2019
618
3,737
49
Arizona
#45
My Troxel long spring saddle came out great. Even put some leather on the back of the bottom since it didn’t have a pinch pan to cover the glued leather edges.
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I used closed cell foam from a knee board and leather from a chair. It’s all held together with a small bottle of Weldwood contact cement.
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Thanks @the tinker !
 

Balloonoob

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jan 24, 2019
826
1,743
35
Longmont Colorado
#46
Figured it was my turn to give this a whirl. @Miq and @Blackbomber both had recent success at this so i went for it. Having a double pan seat makes this a whole lot easier. So I took everything apart (should have sprayed penatrating oil on bolts the day before), soaked in a gas bath (should have let it soak for a whole day) then cleaned off with a wire brush and wd-40. Next everything got cleaned by sponge and soap and water. Then i sprayed everything but the top of the saddle with black paint and primer in 1. The next day i went with a mouse pad on the pan then part of a gray sweater over that. The next day after letting the cheapo fake leather i swiped off a couch sit in a black bag in the sun to kill any potential critters i picked a piece and cut it to size leaving plenty of extra room. Set it on my bbq grill glue side up and was able to take my time and use more glue and scissors getting the edges where i wanted them. (i would recommend also having a sharp knife for this trimming stage). Then put it all back together again. I'm fine with the fake leather. Wasn't sure how it would turn out but looks good enough for me.

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Blackbomber

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Aug 23, 2018
740
1,673
44
Unionville, CT
#47
Looks awesome,
@Balloonoob! I personally think fake leather is the way to go here in the East, as my bikes get rained on pretty regularly. I did spray my fabric with shoe waterproofing, but that will only help so much. Good thought to use a mouse pad, too.
 

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