Ask an Upholsterer wants you to use Dropbox

Dropbox upholsteryblog

As part of my WordPress site, upholsteryblog.com, I have a page called “Ask an Upholsterer”. The purpose of the page is for people to ask questions about anything to do with upholstery. Some questions can be best answered if I had a photo of the project to get a visual idea of what the question may be about.

Dropbox may be the best answer. With a free Dropbox account, you would simply upload the photo(s) to your Dropbox folder and get a link to the photo. When you ask a question or add a comment to “Ask an Upholsterer”, you would simply add your link to the photo.

Upholstery Blog 2012 in Review

Thank you from upholsteryblog.com, Cape Cod Upholstery Shop and Joe Gramm for a great year. The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for upholsteryblog.com.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 10 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Cape Cod Upholsterer celebrates 40 Years

I started as an apprentice when I was sixteen. At 56, I’m celebrating my 40th anniversary in the furniture upholstery business. For thirty two of the years I’ve been self employed and for twenty seven of those years here on Cape Cod. It’s hard to believe how the years have gone by so fast.

A lot has changed. No more spitting tacks, it’s staple guns now and that’s good.  No more stopping at phone booths to call a customer, now just pull out your mobile device and that’s good. It’s harder to sell fabric now, most people want to supply their own. Good for the customer but not so good for the upholsterer.

The biggest change in forty years for my upholstery business is the Internet and the digital World in general. I now have a website that attracts just about all of my business. Cape Cod is quickly becoming the second home capital of the Northeast. With a Google or Bing search, customers from all over the world can find me and contract with me for their upholstery work. Amazingly, even local Cape Cod people find me from the Web.

And alot hasn’t changed. Upholstery is still kind of an ancient art.  Most of the upholstery tools I use today, I used forty years ago. The digital age is left at the door when it becomes upholsterer vs. chair. Getting in the shop and upholstering each piece to perfection, that’s still what it’s all about. It’s still about hand on.

I’ve upholstered a lot of pieces of furniture over the years and I have the sore body to prove it, especially my hands. But I have a few good years left before I move on to something new. Of course I have to find that new thing first.

The things I’ve enjoyed the most is the freedom of self-employment and the countless interesting and honest people I’ve met so far. So please, no one raise up a glass and cheer “Here’s to another forty”. Rather, “Here’s to the beginning of a transition, to new and exciting things to come!”

Cutting Cushions for a Perfect Fit

I’ve been cutting, sewing and stuffing cushions for more years than I’d like to mention and I’m coming from an upholsterers standpoint in this article. Getting the perfect fit every time is important. The easiest way to get a perfect fit is to start with a template for a piece that may have angles and curves or the exact measurements for a piece that is square or rectangle.  It may sound elementary, but many times a customer will come in with just the foam and want me to make a cushion without measurements or a template. You simply can not get the correct fit that way.

One method I use in the upholstery shop when I’m cutting cushions for an upholstered piece I’m working on is to remove  the top of an existing cushion that fits properly and steam it back to it’s original shape for a template. I do this mostly for back cushions. I generally like to start off with a new template for seat cushions.

The perfect cushion starts with the perfect cut. The perfect cut starts with a perfect template or measurements.

Apple iPhone App “Remote” for Music in the Upholstery Shop

I like to wirelessly stream music from iTunes on my iMac at home over to my upholstery shop about seventy five feet away. In the upholstery shop, I have a Bose Acoustic Wave connected to a wireless router called Airport Express. Airport Express uses software called AirTunes which lets my Bose connect to iTunes next door on the iMac. It’s great to have access to all my music in iTunes – all 38GB that will play for 8.5 days non stop, 27/7, no repeats.  The Con – You can only control iTunes from the computer, which in my case, is seventy five feet away in the house. A lot of running next door to play, change or pause the music.

Now one of my favorite iPhone Apps is called Remote, developed by Apple. With Remote installed on an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, you can control your iTunes music on your computer with an iPhone via your Wi-Fi network.  It’s a must have App if you’re steaming iTunes music from a Mac or PC to any pair of powered speakers connected to Airport Express with AirTunes. Remote is a cool App that works flawlessly.

To learn more:

Remote

Airport Express with AirTunes

Bose Acoustic Wave

Add New Life to Cane Furniture

Finding artisans to replace or repair the cane on furniture is is getting more difficult every year, especially here on Cape Cod. Making your cane furniture last as long as possible will save lots of time and particularly lots of money. On Cape Cod, to cane a simple seat can cost as much as two hundred dollars.

Cane is in the grass family, grown in moist soils, mostly in Asia. Like any grass, cane loves water and is naturally flexible.  Most cane seats and backs fail because they simply dry out and crack. Where you live and the humidity of your home has a lot to do with how fast or slow cane will crack.

Cane usually has two sides. The front is smooth and hard, the back rougher and porous. A few times a year, simply take a wet rag or spay bottle and wet the back side, the rough and porous side, of the cane.  Don’t be afraid to get it wet. You’ll notice the color of the cane will get darker as it gets wet.  Try not to let the water run onto the wood portion of the furniture. If it does, dry the wood right away with a dry towel. This “wetting” method works on both hand and sheet style cane.

Cane is naturally flexible. Keeping it moist keeps it flexible. Keeping it flexible keeps it from cracking. This simple procedure could double the life of your cane furniture.