Thursday, December 5, 2019

Updating the Dodger - Adding Leather reinforcement for Round Holes

How to Add Leather Reinforcement for Holes in Canvas

The exact position for the Handrail Bolts through the Top of the Dodger won't be known until we do the final fitting, so my plan is to add a circular piece of Leather in the approximate area of the bolts, large enough to give an inch and a half of latitude.

The only problem is that I've never had any luck sewing leather to Sunbrella neatly!!

So I did a few practice pieces. 1st was a scrap of beige Sunbrella onto a scrap of blue Sunbrella. Pretty ugly but it laid flat.

2nd was another piece of beige, using the same method, pretty ugly, but flat.

3rd was a scrap of thin leather (from a jacket from Goodwill) really ugly, and it bunched up.

4th was another scrap of thin leather, but this time I basted it in place first, much better, no so ugly and it laid flat.

5th ditto - thin leather - but this time I sewed one stitch at a time and rotated the canvas around the needle with each stitch. Wow! This might work.

6th. ditto - but this time the patch was laying over bits of the other patches, I was trying to simulate the actual Dodger canvas top. This really did work well.

Time to try it with the real Pearl Leather from Sailrite.

I cut the piece out by marking it around the base of a small can of varnish with a pencil, then very small cuts to make a very neat circle, it's about 3" around.
Then I basted around the underside edge and a cruciform in the middle. Peeled off the paper to expose the glue and positioned it near where the bolt will pierce the canvas, moving it slightly so that the stitches and the machine walking foot will not trample on the box of a zip that is in that area.

Here's a video showing the sewing process.


Stbd Side - the leather patches are within a half inch of the handrail bolts - woohoo!

I need to adjust the length of the zipper for the bridge piece, it's a simple reduction of  about 1" of zipper, both of them.

The zipper setup differs from the Sailrite version. They show using a single zipper, mine has two, both start at the center of the dodger top.
That way, we can open up the bridge piece from either side to permit easier boarding with boxes or other carry-on.
The creases will disappear when I add the front and side window pieces.

This was the first of four leather patches, my finger shows where the handrail bolt is located.  Right now the handrail is fitted wrong way out. When the sides are done and the position of the handrail bolts is defined, then I'll cut the holes and reverse the handrail.

Later I'll be adding a 2nd handrail that goes from the bolt down and forward to the cabin top wooden hand rail. That should reduce the tendency for anyone to grab or lean on the canvas, they'll be able to hold onto the 2nd handrail.

Making progress.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Got questions or suggestions about our boat, our sailing or our adventures?
Leave a comment.