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Making Door Panels

Mark "Yukon Jack" Scott
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      Mark "Yukon Jack" Scott has a 1969 Chevy K-20 4 x 4 in our Gallery. When he commented that he was using seats from a 1998 Chevy Silverado and then was going to use some of the bulk seat fabric to cover the door panels, we thought "Ahhh ... this has GOTTA BE a Tech Tip!" ~~ Editor


Start with a few supplies

        I am using 40/20/40 seats from a 1998 Chevy Silverado for my 1969 K-20 and I wanted to make the door panels match the seats. I went to a local upholstery shop and bought fabric that is used in the seats. I also bought some upholstery foam that was maybe 1/4" thick. I went to a home improvement store and bought water proof backing board that was about 1/8" thick.

The Process

        I took my old metal door panel and used it to trace out a pattern for the new door panel.

        Using a jig saw, I cut out the panel and then drilled holes in the correct locations for the door handle, window handle and the arm rest. Next I cut down a piece of upholstery foam to the correct size. On my 1969 with a basic door the top of this door panel is designed to slip into a metal strip that mounts to the door. Along the top of the door panel, I cut the foam about 1/2" short so the panel can still slide into the metal strip. I used 3M spray adhesive to mount the foam to the door panel. It sets up in about 30 seconds to a minute and you want to make sure you have the foam positioned correctly -- once you set the foam on the adhesive, it can't be moved very easily.

        My next step was to mount the fabric to the foam. I cut the fabric so there was about 1-1/2" of extra fabric around the entire door panel so I could glue the extra to the back of the panel. I first sprayed the 3M spray adhesive to the foam side of the door panel. I laid the fabric on a flat surface and made sure the fabric pattern was straight.

        Then I carefully set the door panel onto the fabric. Once it was set, I pulled the fabric slightly to make sure there were no wrinkles. The spray adhesive sets up pretty quickly so I just kept pressure on the panel until it the adhesive was dry.

        Next I sprayed 3M adhesive on the back side of the panel where the fabric would be secured. I had cut the corners of the fabric so the fabric could be pulled around the corners and give the front side a nice, finished appearance. Working slowly, I pulled the fabric around and set it on the adhesive.


        I decided to mount the panel using the stock style phillips head bolts. I don't mind the bolts showing but I'm sure the panels could be mounted in some other fashion to not have visible bolts.

Here is the finished product.

  And here is the panel mounted to the door.
Finally, here is a pic of the seats that I was matching.

Mark Scott
"Yukon Jack"
Bolter # 3280
Rose Hill, Kansas

v. November 2005

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