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Old 09-20-2010, 11:14 PM   #1
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Foam cutting tips?

I purchased 2 sheets of 4" foam for dinette and gaucho. New covers are sewn and ready to cut the foam.

Any learned tricks/tips to share?

Any horror NEVER DO IT THIS WAY stories?

Wrap with batting/don't wrap?
Tricks for getting foam in covers?

I have saw horses/sheet of plywood work table and a sharp electric carving knife to work with.

HELP!

Thanks
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:23 PM   #2
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yes, wrap the foam with the batting 1 in. than put in plastic bag to put inside the cover. you should be able to easily remove the plastic bag when done.
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:32 PM   #3
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vacuum

Use a vacuum to suck out the air that is in the foam and plastic bag and twist tie it shut to keep the foam shrunk in size. Then it is easier to stuff into the upholstery.
Yes, wrap with batting.
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:33 PM   #4
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First, keep telling yourself that it will all be covered by the upholstery. Wiggles up to 1/2" will get squished into compliance. It's good to cut the foam a bit bigger than the final measurements so that the fabric stays taut. Draw measurement lines on all sides of the foam block so you can keep yourself on track.

I used two cutting techniques and both worked. I used a serrated knife the first time. For the next batch I used scissors, cutting about an inch of depth with each pass across.

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:41 PM   #5
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I had a friend in an upholstry shop --and to insert foam into the slip covers of couches he would wrap the foam in a trash bag and would attach a vacuum cleaner to it and the machine would suck all the (or most of) - the air out - thus shrinking the foam momentarily until he pushed it into the slip cover and then shut of the machine and the air would expand thus filling the slip cover. ( old upholsterers trick). cheerio!
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Old 09-21-2010, 01:05 AM   #6
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Thanks.
Going to try it.
Sounds like a Dike Van Dyke episode about to happen.
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Old 09-21-2010, 01:45 AM   #7
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I have found an old electric serrated knife works for cutting through the foam easily & cleanly. Yes, wrap it with batting and the plastic to stuff as well.

Shari
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Old 09-21-2010, 05:35 AM   #8
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In the old days, when I worked the Big Boo at the Big Texan in Amarillo, one of the owners, Danny Lee was a genius at creating. I doubt you will want to go this far, but he took the long serated blade out of one of those bowed tree hand saws, and placed a strong wire in place of the blade. And somehow hooked up a welding generator to it, and it would cut hard foam at lightning speed like a cheese slicer. I know that certainly is NOT a safe tip, but this thread made me remember seeing that.
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:34 AM   #9
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I have found an old electric serrated knife works for cutting through the foam easily & cleanly. Yes, wrap it with batting and the plastic to stuff as well.

Shari
I purchased an expensive electric knife, after seeing them do it this way at the fabric store. I will never again do it any other way!!
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:57 AM   #10
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Probably to late for your project, ......There is a BIG difference in foam used fir upholstery. Make sure you use the right kind, quality, density, etc. It makes all the difference in your overall job and satisfaction.
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:22 AM   #11
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I purchased an expensive electric knife, after seeing them do it this way at the fabric store. I will never again do it any other way!!
Actually, the funny thing is - I bought an old avocado green knife at a garage sale for this purpose for a dollar. Then I tucked it away "someplace safe" after completing our first trailer. I then went to find it when we did our second trailer and of course, couldn't find it. So I bought a new one - they are expensive now! AND they have all kinds of "safety features"...which, you guessed it, made it not work as well as the old one! I was so frustrated with it that I turned the house/garage/my studio upsidedown looking for the old one. I did find it and it works 10 times better than the new one! I kept the new one, but reserve it for use on turkey!

Keep an eye out, I see them a lot at garage sales & thrift stores...I know exactly where mine is now! It's priceless - best buck I even spent on the trailer!

Shari
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:01 AM   #12
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A tip I learned trying to restuff foam in a sofa cushion shell attached to the sofa: When you put the foam into the plastic bag before sucking out the air, be sure that you have the "open" end of the plastic directed away from the opening from which you're sucking the air so you can slide it out. I did not, and boy howdy, did I have a time getting the "trapped" plastic out of the upholstery shell once the foam expanded. Save yourself some sweat and grief...think first, better than I did! ~G
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:10 AM   #13
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I'm just about to start sewing mine.

Maybe I will just buy some spray adhesive and glue it on
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:01 AM   #14
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Hi. I do this for a living, well, actually I do custom home furnishings. (I normally do high-end homes, Parade homes, etc.) As well as window treatments, I do light upholstery, which includes window seat cushions, headboards, ottoman, cornice boards for windows, etc -- over the years I've done quite a few.

What the others have said is correct: cut to size; use a spray adhesive to adhere dacron batting to foam. Spray top and front of foam as well as batting; after this has set, carefully place batting onto foam, and tweek into place. Then turn over and spray bottom of foam and batting, repeat above. Do not use batting on back or two sides -- batting in these areas will get into zipper and cause headaches.

The foam you purchase is important -- use heavy density foam.

Have your zipper wrap from about five inches on left side, across back and wrap to about five inches onto right side (this will not be seen from front). This will give you more flexibility when inserting the foam into the cover. I have continuous rolls of dry cleaning bag tubes which I use for this purpose; it is not too thick and easily pulls out after foam is inserted into the cover.

Too bad you are so far away, I'd help you with this.

Deb

PS -- I don't cut the foam larger, the batting takes up a little extra. Make certain all cuts are square on the foam as well as the fabric. Cording on the seams (top and bottom) really dress these up and look nice (cut cording fabric on the bias, this is a professional method). Make certain to add 1/2" for each seam (which when cutting out, you add 1" to width and 1" to length). As I'm certain you realize, check your fabric for nap and cut accordingly, and cut it square to the pattern or it will stand out like a sore thumb when completed.
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