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Custom Auto Interiors [Paperback]

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Item Number 261738  
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Item description for Custom Auto Interiors by Don Taylor & Ron Mangus...

Expert trimmers Don Taylor and Ron Mangus share two lifetimes of auto upholstery experience and secrets in this fantastic book. More than 800 color photographs capture every detail you'll need to create your own exciting and award-winning custom interiors. Precise step-by-step instructions show you how to turn out completely professional custom interiors. This is an advanced-level book.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   192
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 8.25" Height: 10.5"
Weight:   1.72 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Publisher   California Bill'S Automotive Handbooks
ISBN  1931128189  
ISBN13  9781931128186  

Availability  0 units.

More About Don Taylor & Ron Mangus

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Automotive > Customize
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Automotive > General
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Automotive > Repair
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Transportation > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Custom Auto Interiors?

Three and a half stars, really...  Mar 4, 2007
I finally decided to do something about the half-disintegrated and shockingly smelly interior of my '52 Chevy pickup. Now, the smart thing would have been to hand it off to a professional and pick it up a few weeks later completely done. Unfortunately, the six grand or so it would have cost me is almost as much as the truck's worth. So, perhaps unwisely, I decided to do it myself. It's now 90% finished (see pic) and I have to admit that I owe a large portion of my success to this book. It's undoubtedly the best thing on the market.

Having said that, though, it's far from perfect. The photos are poor quality snapshots that make it hard to see three-dimensional shapes, there are strange omissions, and many of the brand recommendations are downright bizarre.

But instead of waxing rhapsodic about the book's problems, I'm going to use the rest of my review to try to give you the benefit of my hard-won experience. Keep in mind that my project was about as difficult as they get--I had to make everything custom, because my truck didn't have much of an interior when it was originally manufactured. Yours should be easier.

This book is obsessed with using chipboard to make complex shapes that can then be upholstered. All very lovely if the shape isn't too complex to wrap smoothly and if this is the look you're going for. In many cases, it's much easier to use fiberglass and body filler to create a paintable custom piece. This is standard practice for virtually everything relating to stereo enclosures (see mine in the photo.) The only reason I can think of that the technique isn't so much as mentioned is that the authors are currently writing a book about it. Check the web for pretty much all the info you need to make whatever you want.

There is no information provided on the tools you'll need, no instruction on sewing, omissions in the information on laying carpet, etc., which (probably intentionally) forces you to read Taylor's Automotive Upholstery Handbook.

Sewing is hard. And even if, like me, you can con your mother into doing it, then you have seams to deal with and they are brutal to keep straight when you're gluing. Design your interior to keep sewing to a minimum.

I would rather stick my tongue in a hornet's nest than glue in a custom headliner. Nine yards of contact cement-covered material suspended over your head, trying to stick to everything, including your hair. And one mistake, you get to rip it all out. Granted, mine is ridiculously hard due to the acute angles in the back of the cab, but still you should still seriously consider having this done professionally.

There aren't many in this book, but almost none make sense based on my experience.

Glue is all important--the difference between an easy five-minute job and an endless disaster. The only advice given (actually in the Automotive Upholstery Handbook as I recall) is to buy the most expensive stuff you can find. This is just as stupid as it sounds. I tried Stick-it, Tac-it, and Duo-something, among others. All with horrible results. DO NOT USE ANYTHING THAT ISN'T MADE BY 3M!!! Note the cheesy use of caps and multiple exclamation marks. I'm serious here.

Q-pads: This is a messy, expensive, and obsolete asphalt sound deadener. Use RAAM-Mat or go to sounddeadenershowdown if you want to really geek out on the subject.

Mellowhide: This is nice vinyl and I used it based on their recommendation, but it's hard to find and apparently it doesn't store well in non-climate controlled situations, prompting my supplier (the excellent Larry Dennis company) to quit carrying it. It's probably an off-gassing issue and I haven't had a problem with the installed interior, but if I had it to do over again, I wouldn't take the chance.

Foam dulls razorblades incredibly fast and a dull blade can ruin hours' worth of work in the blink of an eye. Figure three feet of cutting in 1/4 foam before you have to throw the blade away.

I made the mistake of using glue in rattle cans. Buy a gallon of the stuff and spray it with a primer gun. It's far cheaper and will give you a more consistent coating with no globs that might telegraph through your material.

This is not a science, it's an art. Buy some cheap materials and play around before trying something that's actually going to go in your car. It's not complicated, but it can be kind of subtle.

That little 3" sander you see them using in the pictures is your best friend. It's called a polisher, though. Searching the Net for "3 inch sander" won't get you anywhere.

Good luck, and remember: Patience!
Good overview of basic ideas  Feb 6, 2007
I purchased this book to understand a little of the process of designing and making a custom interior. The designs are good, but maybe a little dated. For instance, it's mainly street rods and no discussion of the newer 'pimp' style look. No AV system installs - which I was most intrested in finding how some of the flowing speaker enclosures are done.
Very good photography throughout... you can pick some nice ideas if you're doing a street rod.
The comprehensive guide to custom interiors.  Jun 16, 2006
A colour guide to customizing the interior of any vehicle.This book is a step by step guide(and in colour)from designing to completing your interior.Even though the book shows various hot rods the techniques apply to any vehicle.This is a comprehensive guide and is great value for the money.This should be your first book on customising interiors.There are plenty of books that cover other areas of car restoration to add to your collection.

I also recommend this book:
"How to restore and customize upholstery & interiors".By Dennis.W.Parks.(Motorbooks Workshop series.)
Probably the best automotive book I have ever read!  Mar 7, 2006
Yes, the best, bar none. If you're a veteran like me, there were probably guys in your crowd who could do engines, trannys, paint/bodywork, even a little electrical. But nobody, NOBODY had a clue on how to do the interior. This book reveals the secrets and the inside tips step by step, easy to follow, and yet, not tedious. Quite the contrary, it is an enjoyable read full of discovery. Even if you only have basic skills like cutting plywood with a saber saw, you can probably put together a great interior for your car armed only with patience and this book. And that goes for new cars too- the techniques are totally up to date. The fact that they are illustrated on hot rods doesn't mean they won't work on the latest models. You just have to be thoughtful and creative, and anything is possible. Most Highly Recommended.
great book  Jul 18, 2005
This book took a lot of the mystery out of building custom interiors for me (a beginner). It covers a broad range of things, from building seats and door panels to headliners. Check out the table of contents. The authors obviously work mostly on hot rods but you can apply this knowledge to building interiors for newer cars. It doesn't go into extreme detail, (it wouldn't really be feasible to do so!) but it delivers on it's promise. If you're into fiberglass interiors for the newer cars, you may want to try another book.

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