6.01. Seat

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Seat Pan and Cover

The seat pan is made of soft metal. So as long as you don't flex the teeth back and forth several times they should not break off. One tip is to only bend the teeth out as far as you need to to get the old cover off and no further. I used a pair of needlenose to bend them back. To keep from scratching the newly painted seat pan or the new cover I covered the ends of the needlenose with some clear plastic tubing. Duck tape works good too.


Seat Repair and Replacement

from Jon Hose jonhose<at>pacific.net

I've made seats, here's what I've learned:

Sofa or bed mattress foam is TOO Soft for comfort - it will hurt your butt. You sink down too far and pressure is put on the wrong places... counter-intuitive but such it is.

The exception is if you compress the foam and super stretch the vinyl over it and then use buttons to hold the middle down. You know, like quarter size ulpohlstery buttons attached by heavy thread to the base of the seat... In effect, the resulting compressed soft foam is like softly sprung shocks with lots of preload.

I found a foam shop in Santa Rosa California. The women who run the shop seemed to know all about biker's butts. They insisted that the only satisfactory foam is the heaviest weight available, which I had to special order and it wasn't real cheap... maybe $35 for a piece big enough for 1 full size seat. I haven't used it yet but am saving it for the next project.

But as an alternative I have found carpet padding to be pretty darn good! I used to tear apart old motorcycle seats to recycle foam and found some seats with this stuff... It looks like a cheap product... like recycled chunks of different colored foam pieces melded together... but it is pretty comfortable because the "spring rate" is right. I have glued together layers with contact cement. Then... use a softer foam as a final layer to smooth out the look. Silicone is great for filling in voids and smoothing out irregularities... in fact I think silicone (RTV) has potential for cushy custom shapes... Will make some interesting experiments... Anyway: use silicone from caulking gun dispensors to save money.



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