Hardtop liner material ideas

Discussion in 'Materials' started by mjkkemper, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. mjkkemper
    Joined: Nov 2010
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    mjkkemper Junior Member

    I have a aft hardtop that I would like to put a liner on to spruce things up a little bit and conceal some wire chases.

    I was thinking of a head liner of vinyl with contact cement to glue it on. The aft hardtop is open in the back in that I do not have side curtains.

    Looking for ideas and suggestion if this is a feasible idea. I want to avoid this from falling down after a few season if its not practical. Also looking for any alternative ideas

    Thk's

    Matt
     
  2. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Contact cement doesnt last long. The headliner falls down.

    An assembly like a flyscreen set into an aluminium door, works well.
     
  3. mjkkemper
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    mjkkemper Junior Member

    Like a spline in a door screen channel holding the screen in?

    I have quite a few radiuses, contours and corners so I was looking for something that could be adhered to the surface if this is possible.
     
  4. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Yes...spline is the correct term...

    Easy to install the headliner with the spline channel layout. Bit challenging because its overhead.

    I dont know a source of this channel. The ones I have on the boat are made with a router into a wood frame.


    As for adhesive ..all contact cement is not the same. Do some googling or speak with the technical rep of your supplier to see what is available. The two component contact cements are very strong and doesnt lose its grip with heat. . This is the cement used on RIB dingies.

    Perhaps speak with an Autobody shop. Car headliners are held in place with some kinda conact cement
     
  5. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Oh and handling large panels of overhead material is a challenge even if you have more arms than an octopus.

    Design your headliner using fore and aft strips of fabric that are small enough to manhandle. Then use wood veneer tape to finish off the joints
     

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  6. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    contact cement should work fine, it holds the souls on your shoes, the lustrous on your car, fromica on countertops and a number of other things. regular rubber cement would be weak and a mistake, but actual contact cement should hold up well.

    here is a trick to make it easier to install and make a strong bond: paint both sides to be bonded with a layer of contact cement and let dry 30 min or longer, than paint on another coat and allow to dry overnight. than put a heat lamp on both sides where there is adhesive (may take several heat lamps for a large area). Tis will "activate" the glue and soften upholstery fabric so it is will stretch into complex shapes. Than bond the two sides together, work carefully from the center outward (when it touches, that is where it will stay, so you will want to practics this step before you apply the cement). Make the fabric side larger and than use a hard roller to press and bond it to the surface, rolling it out to the edges. And than trim off the extra length.

    I have also put large sheets to be glued out in the hot sun (if it is available) to activate the glue. heating the fabric usually allows you to stretch the fabric into compound curves. I have recovered classic car dash hoods and complete dash board this way without, without puckers or wrinkles, even around the instrument clusters. Never had one come off using this method. I learned this when I worked in an athletic shoe repair store when I was in high school, we used it to resoul athletic shoes, including the shoes with the rubber that wrapped up around the toe and heels of the shoe.

    Also, for the fabric use quality upholstery vinyl (automotive type is generally very good) that does not have an external fabric backing, but internal, so it will not absorb moisture.

    Good luck.
     
  7. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I've used a similar method as Petros, though I don't wait as long. A single coat on all mating surfaces, let this dry a few hours, then a second coat, but just let it flash off, before bonding the parts.

    For this project I'd probably go a different route and make up some 'glass panels on a work bench. I'd wetout a few layers of fabric on a flat surface, or possibly curved jig to match the overhead. Once dry, I'd cut to fit, using fasteners or interlocking joints, maybe "sprung" in place from side to side. Clean, waterproof and no goo's other than the layout process.

    There's a lot of ways to skin this cat, so give it some though, maybe go down to the big box store and see if there isn't a PVC or 'glass panel that will work for you.
     
  8. mjkkemper
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    mjkkemper Junior Member

    Thank you for all the ideas. Two things to contend with one is the spiders like the corners and like to put there cacons in there if that what there called. The other is I didn't want to add to much weight.

    I thought about some panels like king starboard with blue led accent light. I would drop the panels a bit on pins to gap for the blue light and space between. Only thing it would turn into a spiders dream house and be a pain to clean.

    The vinyl I thought I would be able to mid-agate the spiders and be able to clean but was concerned with it coming lose over time.

    This is a winter project so just looking at ideas. Again thk's these are some good ones.
     
  9. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    There are a lot of new Velkro type products on the market now and in lots of colors. Just adhesive a strip to the ceiling and a piece to the netting and your good to go.
     
  10. mjkkemper
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    mjkkemper Junior Member

    Here is a couple fuzzy pics of the aft hardtop
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The new "Velcro" type products you're seeing is just because the copyright protection has run out and everyone is "inventing" new versions. These wouldn't be trustworthy.

    Starboard would be ridiculously heavy and it can't be glued, so must be mechanically fastened or welded.
     
  12. mjkkemper
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    mjkkemper Junior Member

    What would be a good sorce for these "Velcro" products.

    I would agree on the starboard. It was just a thought.
     
  13. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Velcro products abound, but again, I wouldn't trust them for much more then fabric, maybe drop cloths or screen netting, etc., certainly not a relatively heavy, stiff set of panels. I'd prefer to employ a hard fastener like a Dzus or Camlock over a Velcro like product on a rigid panel. These 1/4 turn fasteners are light, strong and easy to operate quickly for removal.
     

  14. Wavewacker
    Joined: Aug 2010
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    Wavewacker Senior Member

    Hesitate to say as my cabin ceiling and walls were done out of the box but turned out very nice. l found a vinyl flooring that was thin and very pliable, it was basically white with a very small pattern of gray and silver around what looked like tiny shells. I installed it with the flooring glue with a toothed trowel as explained above and rolled it with a hard rubber roller.

    No one knew it was flooring! It has stood up nicely for 7 years, no there is no waxing but you can scrub it and wipe it down. I'll stress too, it was light weight stuff, cheap for flooring. Heavier than auto vinyl.

    Another thing, my ceiling was a hard foam surface that covered the electrical wiring in a chase, so what I glued to was smooth. Gluing up over any bumps or wires wouldn't look good. I wouldn't glue anything over wires of any kind, for that you need a soft material that can be removed.

    Another top, in a van, I used 1/2" foam and used 3M spray adhesive on the foam and applied material to one side first, then sprayed the roof and other side of the foam and laid it up. This covered the small ribs in the metal work along the sides and used Masonite on the ceiling that covered the roof then did the same thing on the ceiling. Went to a custom van shop for a table and the guy asked where I had the work done, I replied that I did it and told him what I did, then he asked if I wanted a job! I said no.

    You might be able to obtain z track or the screen door track in length at a storm window/door shop, screw that up and lay in a loose headliner. I like that fake suede material used on furniture, scotchguard the stuff.
     
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