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Part 9, Lowe's Tool Case Wristwatch Conversion

Posted by Rennaisance Man

Padding the Sides

This has been a while in completion. Went on vacation for a little over a week and came back to a master bath that needed the vanity, counter top, sink and its plumbing to be ripped out again and completely reinstalled correctly. This included redoing some significant vanity cabinetry with modifications to make it fit properly. The installer who did the work while I was gone botched it completely. That consumed my evenings for over a week.

In the last installment, work had progressed sufficiently to make it mostly usable in the center pockets. However, padding around the outside edge, and for the bottoms of all the pockets needed to be made. The larger pads along the left and right sides needed some stiffness, so the medium density green foam was layered with some high density, very stiff (closed cell) foam. Used hot melt glue to layer the foam pieces. Lots of cutting and gluing to layer them together! This shows the outside edge pads nearly complete (without covering). The narrower pads along the back didn't need the additional stiffness, so a single layer of green foam was used for them.

After a lot more fabric cutting, the larger outer edge pads on the right and left sides were covered by rectangles of Ultra-Suede. Since the back sides of them would not show, they didn't need to be completely covered on the back. This shows some of the folding used as they were wrapped. Once again, hot melt adhesive worked quite well.

This is what the larger ones look like from the sides that will show when installed . . .

And this is how the fabric was folded around the narrower ones along the back . . .

Now to make the padding for the pocket bottoms. The valise is deep; quite a bit deeper than necessary to hold watches. After measuring several watch pillows with watches on them and the depth of the pockets, three layers of medium density green foam should work to pad the bottoms of the pockets. A whole lot more foam cutting later (63 rectangles of foam for 21 pockets), they were layered together using hot-melt glue again. This shows one of the 21 pads for the pocket bottoms layered together. You can see some ink marks on it where the foam was marked for cutting. It was thin enough that I could use a pair of very heavy, long blade scissors designed for cutting aluminum window screen.

This shows how they will be installed into the pockets and they are intended to be a "friction" fit; just a hair oversize so they stay in place and don't fall out

Before covering them with Ultra-Suede, it's a good idea to see if all of them will fit properly!

Yet more cutting of rectangles to cover the bottom pads. Used a small, portable drafting table, T-Square and 18 inch steel rule to mark the fabric on its back side for cutting.

Now to cover the pocket bottom pads. Since the bottoms of them will not show, it isn't necessary to cover that side, just the top and at least half-way down the sides to hold the fabric in place. First step was very lightly gluing the top of the pad to the center of the fabric rectangle . . .

Next step was gluing the fabric onto the short sides of the pad . . .

After that, it was glued to the long sides of the pad . . .

And then the corners folded around the long side and glued down; this shows the first of the 21 pads right side up and its Ultra-Suede covering completed.

Now to place it into its pocket . . .

And it's installed securely in the pocket bottom . . .

Only 20 more pads to go (the stack of cut fabric rectangles)!

Covering them took a little longer than expected. Had to take a little break about a third of the way through . . . a whole row completed now . . .

And finally they're all covered and in the pocket bottoms. Here it is, with everything finished!

At this point I'm declaring "victory" -- it's done! However, I do have some fabric left over, and will likely use it to cover the large piece of "eggshell" foam that goes in the top. Not an essential task, so I can take a rest from upholstering blocks of foam for a while :) When I do eventually cover it, it will be similar to wrapping a box with paper, and unlike the other small pads around and in the bottoms of the pockets, it will end up covered on all sides. The hot-melt adhesive worked extremely well and allowed working with things nearly immediately after gluing pieces together.


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