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Bolens HT-23 Seat Recover Project

seat cover ht-23 seat lawn tractor seat recover large frame seat repair

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#16 Cat385B ONLINE  

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Posted December 23, 2015 - 08:27 PM

My Bolens/Iseki has similar holes, and has metal-topped grommets that hold it tight. I have looked and looked and can't find anything similar anywhere.

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#17 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted December 23, 2015 - 08:57 PM

Was going to try something like this for the grommets but want the material to be a good fit so the grommet does not cut the material from too much strain. http://www.homehardw...tt=grommet tool


Edited by 29 Chev, December 23, 2015 - 09:00 PM.

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#18 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted December 26, 2015 - 06:37 PM

Sewed up some vinyl to fit down in the drain area and then sewed it into the cover.  While the pocket did fit better into the drain area it created a seam that would cause problems if the seat got wet - the water would be held by the seam and probably soak through the seam and into the foam.  The other problem was that the rear part of the cover was not fitting that well and had a lot of wrinkles / puckers.   

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1 Pocket For Drain.jpg
  • 2 Pocket For Drain.jpg
  • 3 Pocket For Drain.jpg
  • 4 Pocket In Drain.jpg
  • 5 Fitting Pocket To Cover.jpg
  • 6 Pocket Sewn In.jpg
  • 7 Pocket Close Up.jpg


#19 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted December 26, 2015 - 06:46 PM

So I sewed a piece of vinyl to the bottom of the rear cover and a piece to the rear of the bottom cover and then sewed them together by creating a seam that will follow the natural curve at the rear of the seat foam down into the drain pocket.  This seems to have potential so I will try and sew up a new cover when I get time using this approach and see how it will fit - it will have a seam that should let water flow along it down into the drain holes.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1 Pieces Added To Cover.jpg
  • 2 Test Fit.jpg
  • 3 Join In Pocket Close Up.jpg
  • 4 Right Side Join.jpg
  • 5 Left Side Join.jpg
  • 6 Formed Pocket.jpg

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#20 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted December 27, 2015 - 06:49 PM

Sewed up a new cover with the back and bottom piece rear join following the natural curve of the foam at the drain area - here are the results (I think it is finally starting to look like a cover).  The material in the drain pocket area now has very little stress on it where I have the bolts pulling it into position.  It still has a few wrinkles in it but they are not too bad and I think once the cover is glued in place the majority of them should disappear.  I added the side pieces and sewed another seam along the joint seams so the material would lay flat and the seams should be more water resistant.  Glued a small piece of sew foam to the inside of the cover back where the "BOLENS" stitching will go.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1 Top And Bottom Piece Sewn Togeter.jpg
  • 2 Top And Bottom Piece Sewn Togeter.jpg
  • 3 Pocket Area.jpg
  • 4 Side Pieces Sewn On.jpg
  • 5 Side Pieces Sewn On.jpg
  • 6 Drain Pocket Area.jpg
  • 7 Side Pieces Joined At Bend.jpg
  • 8 Side Pieces Joined At Bend.jpg
  • 9 Drain Pocket Area.jpg
  • 10 Sew Foam For Bolens Name.jpg
  • 11 Inside Of Cover.jpg
  • 12 Pocket Area From Inside.jpg


#21 nyrobbie77 ONLINE  

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Posted December 28, 2015 - 11:32 AM

It will be another high quality piece, hey Stew, I have HT20's and 23's that had FMC embossed in the back of the seat instead of Bolens, at some point they switched over to Bolens on the later model 23's. Rick Show has 20 with a pretty decent FMC seat on it down at his place maybe he'll shoot us a pic , be VERY interested (ie like to own) one like it for my restored 20.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with on this one... very cool

 

 

I had the seat from my Dad's HT20 redone a few years ago.  It only had a crappy cloth cover on it and the original cover was gone.  We were surprised to see the FMC logo embossed into the padding so I asked the upholstery shop to add it to the seat cover.  I let them design the seat cover as I didn't have anything to reference the original design too.  I think it came out great. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • seat01.jpg
  • seat02.jpg
  • seat03.jpg
  • seat04.jpg
  • seat05.jpg
  • seat06.jpg

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#22 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted December 28, 2015 - 11:44 AM

Looks like they did a very nice job - did they cut the white "FMC" out of vinyl and then glue it on to the black cover?


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#23 Austen ONLINE  

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Posted December 28, 2015 - 12:44 PM

Nice work, Stew. The seat looks like it will be very comfortable.


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#24 nyrobbie77 ONLINE  

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Posted December 28, 2015 - 12:45 PM

Looks like they did a very nice job - did they cut the white "FMC" out of vinyl and then glue it on to the black cover?

IIRC the white FMC is stitched onto the black cover.  I was expecting something much simpler than what they did.  It looks like they took a lot of pride in what they did and probably had some fun doing it.  I believe I paid about $150 plus tax. 


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#25 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted December 29, 2015 - 06:36 PM

Thanks for the information.  Got the "Bolens" name sewn in the cover today - used the lettering from the front cover of the HT23 Owners Manual as a pattern and made a mirror image of it and sewed the letters from the back side (thanks to fonz3482 for providing a picture of the seat off of his HT-23 - it has a different pattern to the drain holes but has the "Bolens" lettering).  Then I used one of my gasket hole punches to cut two round holes in the vinyl where the drain holes go - will have to see if I can purchase or make a tool that will work to crimp the two grommets - want it to spread the crimp of the grommet by slowly pulling two halves together with a bolt and nut.  Most tools I have seen are designed to be hit with a hammer which I think would be hard to use in the drain pocket area.  

Attached Thumbnails

  • .5 Fonz3482 HT23 Seat.jpg
  • 1 Starting To Sew The Letters.jpg
  • 2 Starting To Sew The Letters.jpg
  • 3 Back Side View.jpg
  • 3 Corner View.jpg
  • 4 Letters Sewed.jpg
  • 5 Back Side.jpg
  • 6 Grommet Holes Made With Gasket Punch.jpg
  • 7 Grommet Holes Back Side.jpg
  • 8 Cover Test Fit.jpg
  • 9 Lettering Close Up.jpg

Edited by 29 Chev, December 29, 2015 - 06:38 PM.

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#26 gardentractornut OFFLINE  

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Posted December 29, 2015 - 07:28 PM

Looking amazing Stew! You do awesome work!


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#27 blackjackjakexxix ONLINE  

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Posted December 29, 2015 - 11:32 PM

Looking good
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#28 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted December 31, 2015 - 05:37 PM

Made two die halves out of a short piece of 3/4" round steel in the lathe - 1/4" hole in the centre to draw the two halves together with a bolt and nut.  Shaped the lower die to spread the grommet and tried using a flat washer against the head of the grommet but the washer allowed the grommet tube to push up (as you can see in one of the pictures) instead of flaring out so made the top die to conform to the grommet head.  Tried a test in a scrap piece of vinyl with a washer on the bottom to simulate the steel sat pan and it turned out ok using the two die halves so I removed the bolts in the drain holes one at a time and installed the grommets.  Once I spread the grommet tube then I put the flat side of the die against the bottom side and tightened the bolt again which flattened the grommet washer out a little bit.  Here are some pictures.  

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1 Tool To Flare Grommet.jpg
  • 1.5 Tool Assembled.jpg
  • 2 Groomet And Washer.jpg
  • 2.5 First Grommet Using Washer On Top Side.jpg
  • 3 Test Grommet.jpg
  • 4 Test Grommet Top Side.jpg
  • 5 Test Grommet Side View.jpg
  • 6 Grommet Through Seat.jpg
  • 7 Grommet Installed Bottom.jpg
  • 8 Grommet Installed Top Side.jpg
  • 9 Both Grommet Installed Top Side.jpg
  • 10 Both Grommets Installed Bottom Side.jpg

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#29 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted December 31, 2015 - 06:16 PM

Once I got the grommets installed I glued the cover on to the cushion - started at the bottom working from the drain to the front and pulling the cover out to the edges as I came towards the front and then did the back the same starting from the drain and going up and out as I went.  Sorry I did not take many pictures as it is hard to run the camera and work the vinyl at the same time.   Once I had the bottom and back glued and pulled to my liking I glued the bottom and rear side pieces to the cushion and pan and clamped them there for a few minutes.  The trim piece looked to be in good shape so I gave it a quick cleaning and then started to put it on over the seat pan edge to clamp the vinyl- began at the top centre using my wooden hammer so it would not mark the trim - worked my way across the top, down each side, along the bottom and arrived at the front removing the clamps as I went.  

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1 Adhesive Sprayed On Lower Cover And Cushion.jpg
  • 2 Adhesive Sprayed On Upper Cover And Back Cushion.jpg
  • 3 Adhesive Sprayed On Upper Cover And Back Cushion.jpg
  • 4 Rear Clamped While Drying.jpg
  • 5 Front View While Clamping.jpg
  • 6 Starting To Put On Edge Trim.jpg
  • 7 Edge Trim Up To Corner.jpg
  • 8 Edge Trim Side View.jpg
  • 9 Edge Trim Down The Sides At Back.jpg
  • 10 Left Bend.jpg
  • 11 Right Bend.jpg
  • 12 Trim At Materail Join.jpg
  • 13 Trim At Join.jpg
  • 14 Homemade Wooden Hammer To Install Trim.jpg
  • 15 Trim At Right Side Join.jpg
  • 16 Trim At Right Side.jpg
  • 17 Working Trim Towards The Front Join.jpg

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#30 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted December 31, 2015 - 06:43 PM

Added the short filler piece of trim and cleaned up the two retaining clips and spread them apart a little wider using a piece of 3/8" round stock in the vise.  Then I installed them and squeezed them together using a pair of vise grips.  Once they were installed I masked the area around the clips and gave them a quick paint job - this way I did not mark up any new paint installing them.  Once they were dry I trimmed the excess vinyl material around the edge trim using a razor blade. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1 Trim Clips Spread And CLeaned Up.jpg
  • 2 Trim Clips Spread And CLeaned Up.jpg
  • 3 Trim In Place At Front.jpg
  • 4 Clips Installed And Beginning To Mask.jpg
  • 5 Clips Painted.jpg
  • 6 Clips Painted And Unmasked.jpg
  • 7 Starting To Trim Excess Materail With Razor Blade.jpg
  • 8 Back Trimmed.jpg
  • 9 Ready To Trim Bottom.jpg
  • 10 Bottom Trimmed.jpg

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