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9/25/1997 9:11 AM
James Tolex
I am starting a tolex project on an old beat-up Fender cab. Has anyone tried re-covering with tolex? Do you have any tricks, forth on the correct way to do this. What type of adhesive is best? Should the tolex be heated before applying to aid in stretching? Any comments will be appreciated.  
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9/25/1997 8:20 PM

Your in for some fun! Get the best grade of tolex you can, its out there, but you may have to check around to find some good stuff. For your first time I'd suggest you carefully remove the old and use it as a pattern. If it is a cabnet you'll probably have four pieces. Measure and cut all your pieces before you begin to glue. You'll see Fender scribed lines on the tops and bottoms for the side measurements, you can use them as a reference as you put the sides on, whice go on first.  
For glue we use Tear Mender, by Vala, there up in Chicago. It is kind of expensive, around $50 for gallon, ( this stuff is ammona based and will not stink up the room and comes off your hands very easily) but for your project good old contact cement will work just fine, ( some use hide glue like the old way, but thats another fine art) just read the instructions real good and do what the can says. There is no need to heat the tolex it will go down all by its self.  
Take your time, measure twice, a rolling pin is cool to have around, there will be a lot of rubbing and pushing, a staple gun is sometimes nice to have for the insides. Those Stanly clamps are good for your edge work. Remember that once you start laying a piece there is not pulling it off and repositioning, work on halfs at a time. Lay a piece where you want it then put a weight on half of it to hold it in place, peel back the unweighted half and spred your glue. Once it is down good remove the weight and glue the other half.  
There is a lot more to it than I'm covering here,(pardon the pun) but if you study what you have before you start you will probably end up with a very pro looking job. The corners are not a problem since you'll be covering them with the chrome pieces. Just take your time! Let us know how it goes and if I can be of anymore help just drop a line. Good luck.  
9/26/1997 6:36 AM
Thanks for answering, JB. I removed the original pieces for patterns and they came off intact. The tolex I am using is from Mojo, which I hope is a "best grade". I will check around locally for the Tear Mender, and go with contact cement if I can't find it.  
9/26/1997 6:49 AM
Check with a canvas dealer, Tear Mender is used for gluing camper tops, awning and such. The Mojo tolex is very good stuff.  
9/27/1997 5:02 AM
A friend of mine gets his "Tolex" from an upholstery shop, they call it "Lavant" vinyl covering it's the same thing as tolex and comes in rolls 72" wide and costs half as much. Lots-o-colors too.  
9/27/1997 10:21 AM

FWIW, I've found the upholstery coverings to be be "softer" after applied, as opposed to the roughter and harder feel of applied tolex. Not that it's bad, only different.
10/20/1997 6:41 PM
I finished the re-covering of the Bassman cabinet. Turned out great. Some hints I found beyond JB's great advice. I used regular contact cement out of a gallon can and applied it with a brush. When you place the tolex on the cabinet, do not stretch it, if you do it will slide out of place as the glue dries. I used a "T" square and a chalk line to mark the edges. I used a wallpaper razor knife to cut, which leaves a very clean edge. Definately glue a half sheet at a time. Use mineral spirits to clean glue off the tolex (and your fingers)! I gotta tell you, this cab is awesome. Looks brand new.  

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