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  • Vinyl non-tolex covering

    Walked into a fabric store to get something for my wife. Happened to notice that they have vinyl covering, which looks and feels very much like tolex except for it doesn't have such a coarse texture.

    At $8 a yard, I bought 4 yards. Anyone ever try using this instead of tolex. What is tolex? I thought it was just vinyl.

    Now that I think of it, I wonder if they have tweed there?

    Anyhow, anyone ever try using generic vinyl covering in place of tolex? It's about the same thickness and has the same backing...
    In the future I invented time travel.

  • #2
    I used fabric store vinyl to cover a head (using a baking pan chassis) and a 12 inch speaker cab. I stuck it to the cabinets with spray adhesive. Seemed to work just fine. The vinyl itself is not unlike the stuff covering the Epiphone Valve Jr. combo amp I had for a while.
    Last edited by Johnrcurry; 12-24-2009, 07:05 AM.

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    • #3
      I could not find any tweed, I searched through about 10 places without any luck. I finally ended up going to Ebay.

      I think the Vinyl is not as durable as the tolex, but for the price, I'm doing my next cab in black Vinyl.

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      • #4
        For me, Tolex is just the trademark of a certain very good vinyl covering. Besides texture and color, don't think there's that much difference in the "plastic" itself.
        There *is* a lot of difference in the backing cloth.
        Some are:
        1) non-stretch cotton based cloth (the best). "Official" Guitar amp Tolex is like that. Best if the backing cloth is dyed the same or close colour as the visible side, but it may come in "natural cotton" color, say very light brown or even white.
        If you contact-cement it (the nasty old solvent type) it stays reasonably flat while drying to get tacky enough to be applied.
        2) "jersey" based: it can stretch (more on one way than the other), that *may* ease following a non-straight part of the cabinet.
        If solvent contact cement is used, it may curl while drying to become tacky. May be a PITA.
        3) Don't know the English name, its backing is thicker and rougher, not unlike that gray floor mopping cloth.
        Not suitable for glueing, it's more of a furniture grade and usually machine sewn.
        Juan Manuel Fahey

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        • #5
          No, but I HAVE used Naugahyde with great success. A totally different feel than "Tolex".

          I put "Tolex" in quotes because, technically, it no longer exists. Tolex was a trademark of General Rubber. The material is now called Kayhide and manufactured by Kayline Processing in Trenton.New Jersey, and has been for years.

          Kayline Processing
          John R. Frondelli
          dBm Pro Audio Services, New York, NY

          "Mediocre is the new 'Good' "

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          • #6
            so I tried using this stuff tonight. It would have looked really nice but I am afraid it's too thick and doesn't hug the corners like it should. This contact cement I have been using sticks the tolex down really, really well bit can't seem to get this stuff to stay put. It's easily twice as thick as the levant tolex I had been using.

            I might just use it to make slipcovers like I was originally intending it for.
            In the future I invented time travel.

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            • #7
              Hi cmedia.
              Are you using solvent or water based contact cement?
              Because I use the same kind of too thick non-Tolex and it sticks pretty well, corners and all.
              I buy cement at shoemaker wholesalers and get the one they use to glue fake "sewn" soles, strong as h*ll.
              It's neoprene based, the solvent a brainkilling mixture of tholuene and xylene, but it holds an elephant glued upside down to the roof.
              Water based ones have been dissapointing for me.
              I had a batch of "double strength" specially mixed for me, and it did not live up to my expectations.
              Now I have two 24Kg cans which are only used (thinned with water) to dope my speaker's edges.
              Juan Manuel Fahey

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              • #8
                I have been using DAP Weldwood, and it's the stuff you describe...horrible smelling. I am still picking the stuff off my hands. It holds like a mutha, but for this stuff I am not liking it. We'll see in the morning for sure.
                In the future I invented time travel.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by J M Fahey View Post
                  3) Don't know the English name, its backing is thicker and rougher, not unlike that gray floor mopping cloth.
                  Not suitable for glueing, it's more of a furniture grade and usually machine sewn.
                  Like Fahey and C_ said: the vinyl with the weave backing can be cumbersome to try and glue down, though a heat gun or hair dryer helps as you glue around the corners.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cminor9 View Post
                    I have been using DAP Weldwood, and it's the stuff you describe...horrible smelling. I am still picking the stuff off my hands. It holds like a mutha, but for this stuff I am not liking it. We'll see in the morning for sure.
                    You must not be using the water-based stuff. It makes a world of difference. That smelly stuff is for gluing formica to cabinet tops, and cleans up with lacquer thinner.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by otto pärt View Post
                      You must not be using the water-based stuff. It makes a world of difference. That smelly stuff is for gluing formica to cabinet tops, and cleans up with lacquer thinner.
                      yup, that's it. I'll try the other stuff, the water based kind that you describe. The covering I got looks nice, though it's so thick I am a bit concerned about how the seams will look. I might still get some levant or something, but the water based glue would be nice to work with.

                      I do most of my non-carpentry work in my basement. I was covering a cab for (my first) customer, and wanted to get it done when I had some time off work. It was extremely cold here, coldest it's been in ten years. It was right about 5 degress F. I had to open a window in my basement just to work with the stuff and it got cold! Had I been using the water based stuff, it would have gone much better. Thought about buying it, but didn't want to experiment on someone else's stuff. Had to go with something I know works.
                      Then I had to pick the stuff off my fingers for the next day or so.
                      In the future I invented time travel.

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                      • #12
                        Then I had to pick the stuff off my fingers for the next day or so.
                        Well, you *do* have a lot of practice picking your nose, so it shouldn't bother you.
                        Sorry, but seeing your avatar, I couldn't resist.
                        It's real funny
                        Juan Manuel Fahey

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by J M Fahey View Post
                          Well, you *do* have a lot of practice picking your nose, so it shouldn't bother you.
                          Sorry, but seeing your avatar, I couldn't resist.
                          It's real funny
                          Brilliant!
                          In the future I invented time travel.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cminor9 View Post
                            Walked into a fabric store to get something for my wife. Happened to notice that they have vinyl covering, which looks and feels very much like tolex except for it doesn't have such a coarse texture.

                            At $8 a yard, I bought 4 yards. Anyone ever try using this instead of tolex. What is tolex? I thought it was just vinyl.

                            Now that I think of it, I wonder if they have tweed there?

                            Anyhow, anyone ever try using generic vinyl covering in place of tolex? It's about the same thickness and has the same backing...


                            The interesting thing to consider is this...a cabinet's tone will be different with different coverings.
                            If you want to test that , try setting your amp on a hardwood or tile floor and listen ...then set it on carpet or a folded up bathtowel. Listen to the difference in resonance.
                            I have an old Fender cab, that I say sounds great because the tolex and the wood is old and dry, as well as the hide glue, or whatever primitive adhesive was used to apply it. That's why a vintage tweed cab sounds more woody than a modern tweed reissue...because it's so dried out that it breathes. Same with finishes on a guitar.

                            Tolex is durable compared to standard store bought vinyl. It doesn't stretch or tear like that stuff, and also lets a cabinet breathe tonally in my preference. But a cabinet may sound better with a thicker softer covering for different tones.
                            Today is a good day.

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