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Tolex repair suggestions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by R.W. Goldguard, Dec 2, 2019 at 9:14 AM.

  1. R.W. Goldguard

    R.W. Goldguard

    Oct 31, 2015
    I don't know how it happened but I have a fairly large flap thorn in the side oh my Ampeg 210 AV speaker cabinet. It appears that Ampeg does not put he Civ under all of the toll X which strikes me as odd but actually might make repairing it easier I don't know. What I would like to know is what luck anybody has had in using the various upholstery repair kits that are out there like the one that requires use of a steam iron for example. Maybe it would just be better to try to glue the flap down again but since I don't know I thought I'd ask her. If this is not the right form please direct me to the right one I will see about going there.
    I hope there's something that works well up until it got the strip in it he was just like brand new.
  2. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    Just gluing it back down is probably your best option. Make sure you distribute the glue evenly and all the way up to the edges. If you have a J-roller to roll it out, that would be a good thing to use, but it's probably not worth buying for just one job. Mop up the squeezed-out glue with a damp rag. Weight it down under a board or something flat while the glue sets up. I wouldn't recommend anything like super-glue for this purpose...regular ol' carpenter's (yellow) glue works. If there's a gap in the Tolex, touch up the sub-surface with paint or a black Sharpie.
  3. R.W. Goldguard

    R.W. Goldguard

    Oct 31, 2015
    Sounds like good advice. I was hoping that there was either some kind of contact adhesive or possibly that stuff they used to advertise on TV that son of a plastic cup that you put on stuff and then you iron it out with a steam iron. Maybe that's gone the way of most of the As Seen On TV stuff though.
  4. DiscoRiceJ


    Oct 15, 2018
    They make tolex glue. It probably isn't that far off from wood glue honestly. Almost certain it is yellow acrylic.
  5. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Tolex glue is water based contact cement, a rubber based adhesive. Check out the hardware store. The mating surfaces have to be clean. Test by stretching the vinyl closed before applying any adhesive.

    A gap in the seam can be filled with the type of kits that you describe. Service centers tend to use a rubber based cyanoacrylate adhesive. The problem is, black can be many shades and they are not always easy to match. The repair will never be invisible like you see on TV.

    By the described size of the damage, the best result will require recovering the entire cabinet. This requires stripping the vinyl, prepping the wood, and applying the new skin. A lot of work but doable.

    Here’s an example of a vintage cabinet restoration. Your’s wouldn’t be anywhere near as complex but just to give you an idea.

    Roberto's (xoir) 1966 SB-12 Cabinet Restoration | TalkBass.com
    thetragichero likes this.
  6. R.W. Goldguard

    R.W. Goldguard

    Oct 31, 2015
    these are pictures of the damage.

    Attached Files:

  7. R.W. Goldguard

    R.W. Goldguard

    Oct 31, 2015
    I really don't think I'm going to go to the expensive recovering it but if I can get the piece glued back in place and somehow seal around the crack that should be sufficient it's not an expensive cabinet to start with.
    beans-on-toast likes this.
  8. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    That's nasty, to be sure, but not nearly as extensive a tear as I had envisioned. And certainly not worth the effort and expense of recovering the whole cab, IMO. It's small enough that you might consider something like Gorilla Glue or Superglue (cyanoacrylate) As Mr. Beans pointed out, it's never going to be 'invisible', but you can make it less noticeable. Personally, I wouldn't use anything on it that requires the use of an iron.
    BasturdBlaster likes this.
  9. DiscoRiceJ


    Oct 15, 2018
  10. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    I was under the impression that it was way worse. Recovering would be way over the top.

    Fit the flap back in place, trim any backing threads that are sticking out. It has to lie flat. Clean up the tolex and wood with isopropyl alcohol (99% from a pharmacy).

    Use a water based contact cement, a small tube is available at some hardware stores. Many types of glue will do, there are many options The advantage of a contact cement or a CA is that the bond is very quick. You just have to hold it for seconds. Other glues require that the vinyl be held in place until it dries. Taping it down or applying a weight works. Fish glue or hide glue was used to affix the tolex on vintage amps. Tubes are available in wood stores.

    BTW, a vinyl slip cover will help avoid this type of damage.
    alaskaleftybass likes this.
  11. Dean N

    Dean N

    Jul 4, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Before you glue it back into place, take a black paint pen, or some India ink, or worst case, a Sharpie, and color the plywood (or MDF or whatever) right up against the tear. This way, when you repair it, if the seam isn't perfect, the wood won't show through, and damage will be a bit better concealed.
    OogieWaWa, pcake, MCF and 2 others like this.
  12. R.W. Goldguard

    R.W. Goldguard

    Oct 31, 2015
    Thank you to everybody who responded to my post. I think I have a handle on it now and all of your input is greatly appreciated.
    MCF and beans-on-toast like this.
  13. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Purchasing actual Tolex adhesive could be an expensive venture if you aren’t planning on tolex’ing any more cabs as a hobby or side business. Look for the smallest cheapest container of contact cement at the home center. Work in a warm room to get the torn section ‘stretchy’ so you can butt up to all the torn edges. I also recommend coloring the plywood in the event any of the tear doesn’t meet up tight.

    Do a test on the bottom, maybe remove the jack dish, or do in an unseen area to see how the contact cement you wind up with cleans up on your tolex. Some will probably squish-out and you need to be prepared on how to handle it so you don’t make a mess.
  14. Tim1


    Sep 9, 2005
    New Zealand
    Somebody posted in the Barefaced thread the suggestion that you stick masking tape to the top of the tolex so that if any glue does seep out it does not stick to the tolex surface. Great idea.
  15. BasturdBlaster

    BasturdBlaster Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2012
    Crandon WI
    I used "super glue" on this Marshall tolex about a year ago.:woot:
  16. thetragichero


    Jan 4, 2019
    i generally use super glue on small stuff and waterbased contact cement on larger areas
  17. 9Thumbs


    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    I've used countertop adhesive successfully. Go to the hardware store and buy a bottle of contact cement. Coat the flap and where it came from. Touch the flap with a pin and set the other end of the pin into the area underneath. This will keep the two separated. in twenty minutes take out the pin and push the flap back from whence it came. You can rub the excess cement off easy with your thumb
    Tim1 and Chris 'Wighat' Jordan like this.
  18. THAT is how you do it.
    Ostie likes this.
  19. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Trick is to colour underneath the joint black before you stick it down. Also once it is stuck down, you can use some black wax, fancy cheese sometimes comes in it, heat it up and use as filler.
    thetragichero likes this.
  20. This. Any other glue, you will have to tape down or weight down the flap until it dries. Contact cement will tack together immediately and you’re done.
    BooDoggie likes this.

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