Reply To: Dr. Vinyls Working Together
Techs and Owners,
I just had to share another story of Dr. Vinyls working together.
I recently had several challenges on some upholstery work at gyms I had been working on. Some of the pieces to be recovered were cylindrical, tapered, had zippers, and had drawstrings. In my years of restaurant experience I have never had to do any of these things to any piece of upholstery I have ever recovered. The only zipper work I ever did was in Upholstery Training years ago. I immediately knew that these pieces were going to be the most challenging for me. So I, appropriately, left them for last. When you leave things for last on a job, you do get to think about them more and look at them more closely than you do the rest of the work.
After I looked at and thought about them long enough I decided that it would be best for me to call some other Dr. Vinyls who had already been working on them! My first call was to Dustin Williamson who works in the Charlotte, NC area. He was very patient and informative about these cylindrical pieces. He even admitted that they did have their challenges. That made me feel a lot better. Dustin not only shared his insights into how to make the covers but how to make them more simply. He was absolutely correct. Dustin, as well as other Dr. Vinyl Upholsterers, has an innate ability to think outside the box when it comes to upholstery. I do not possess this ability. What I mean is when I see a piece of upholstery my mind does not immediately go to a creative place that tells me that there is another way, an easier way, to assemble this cover. My mind tells me to build it, sew it, and assemble it the same way I see in front of me. Luckily for me, I have the ability to phone a friend when I get in unfamiliar waters. Dustin’s help was crucial to the completion of this job. However, that is NOT the end of the story.
While Dustin’s help over the phone was very informative, I think he sensed that it might not be enough for me. He very graciously took time out of his busy schedule to make me patterns for covers that he had had success installing on the same equipment I was going to have to work on. He boxed them up and shipped them to me asap. I was very relieved to see how someone else had actually constructed them. The covers were actually fairly simple to make if you could just get around all the tapers, zippers, and drawstings not to mention the cylindrical nature of the piece. However, that is NOT the end of the story.
About a week later, I received a call from another Dr. Vinyl, Nelson Helms, working on the SAME cylindrical gym pieces. He was wondering if I had any luck with them and if I could share any insight into their mysteries. I told him about Dustin’s work and everything else I could think of to add to the conversation. After that I knew I could do more for my comrade in arms. So I sent him the patterns Dustin had sent me and some of the original covers that came off the recovered gym pieces so he could better envision the work he would have to do. He said he was working with another Dr. Vinyl, Jason McCurdy, and he would be sure to share with him what I had passed on. Now the funny thing is that Nelson and Jason work in the Charlotte, NC area just like Dustin does. So the patterns that Dustin sent from Charlotte to me in Tennessee were soon sent back to Charlotte to be used again by others. I guess you could say the help sent from North Carolina completed the circle.
Please call on your fellow Dr. Vinyls when you have a problem, upholstery or otherwise. We want to help others because we have been helped by so many others.
Now for the “Rest of the Story”
I am so grateful for Dustin’s help. It was just a few years ago at a Convention in Kansas City that Dustin and I got to know each other. He asked me about upholstery and if it was very difficult. I spent just 5 or 10 minutes with him and showed him what I knew and how easy it was. He has been helping and teaching me ever since.
I think that 5-10 minutes was some of the most beneficial time… I know it was for me. It has been paying me dividends for years.
Morale of the Story:
It is great when we in the Dr. Vinyl world can work together…and can share what we know so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time.
The Wandering Upholsterer
All Who Wander Are Not Lost