Tolex Removal and Glue

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Pickinator, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. Pickinator


    Dec 28, 2011
    Eagle River WI
    I am looking to remove old black tolex from a Carvin bass head and carpet-type covering from another. I'd like to replace both heads (BX600)'s with new blue Tolex covering.

    What glue is recommended and how would you recommend I remove the old coverings. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
  2. Removing old covers is simple enough with a hairdryer and a lot of patience. A plastic ice scraper can help.

    I don't know about glue. For some reason I assumed the tolex would be sticky backed. If not a place that sells it should sell relevant glues.
  3. Crater


    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    I re-covered a Crate bass combo, it was originally covered with "rat fur" carpet, then my cats got a hold of it... Getting the old covering off and prepping the surface was 90% of the work. I used a scraper to get some of the more stubborn bits of rat fur off, and then sanded and filled some dents in the cabinet. Remember, you don't have to get the surface perfect - part of the reason Tolex is used is to hide surface imperfections.

    I bought tolex from Mojotone, and used Weldwood brand contact cement. This is the stuff that's similar to rubber cement, spread out a thin layer on both surfaces using a paintbrush or paint roller; allow to dry about 10 minutes, then stick it on. You have to align the tolex on carefully, the contact cement is very "grabby". Except for a couple of very minor cosmetic flaws, it turned out great. I ended up selling the amp shortly after.
    AshInAmsterdam likes this.
  4. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Tolex is not that hard to peel off. Rat fur... your're screwed. :vomit:

    I buy my Tolex from MojoTone. The Tolex adhesive I got from MojoTone was hard to work with (unless I got a bad batch). I prefer the Tolex adhesive from
  5. Pickinator


    Dec 28, 2011
    Eagle River WI
    Thanks Guys
  6. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    It depends on the type of glue that they used. Years ago manufacturers used hide glue which is water soluble and softens with heat. Try a steam iron on a damp cotton cloth. This is how they did it in the old days. Wood splintering is minimized which means less prep before recovering. Clean up with warm water and a scraper. If it isn't a water soluble glue, all bets are off. On some cabinets you need to grind off rat fur with a sander. Tolex can often be peeled with the use of heat but the chance of splinters is higher. Any glue will soften with enough heat.

    Many people use water soluble contact cement. Mojotone sells a tolex glue. The bond from a good water soluble contact cement is more than enough. Solvent based contact cement provides a stronger bond but it is hazardous to use.
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