Upholstery IS an expensive Hobby...
Until Upholstery Class.. I had no issue pulling tacks and staples with my version of a tack hammer (U know which one ..the Blue Kobalt one from Lowes "W" my instructor calls it a "bob the builder") and a screw driver. Did it suck Ummm Yessss Sirree it did. Did I get cut, curse, and throw said screw driver.. Yup.. Sure did. But ignorance is Bliss you guy's, when you don't know any better you just make due and press on...Until the day you use your instructors tools and at that moment you can justify the expense.
Can you find "some" upholstery supplies locally whether it be Walmart (which i never go to), Joann Fabrics or Hobby Lobby, Yes you can. But when you get down to the brass tacks a majority of the time for the price point your getting totally ripped off.
There ARE a few exceptions and something to keep in mind is this, will you be trying your hand at more than 1 project or are you a 1 Time Sally. If you are really interested in improving and expanding your skills or taking it a step further to use upholstery as a way to supplement your income..it may worth it financially to buy some supplies in bulk and to also invest in some good tools. Think of it like this if you buy crap and then no longer want to Upholster what are you going to do with your crap probably nothing buy quality tools and if you fall out of love with Upholstery as a hobby there is always a newbie looking to buy your tools off you.
TACK N STAPLE REMOVER.. @ Joann's I actually like their 3.99 tack puller for a cheap option to an Osborne or Berry, the only thing i dont like about it is that the its not fixed in placed and does spin around the handle but for 3.99 plus 50% off i will not complain. I did also end up springing for a Berry and I like it very much.
JUTE WEBBING>> Dont Sleep on how much of this you will go thru. Though Joann's n Walmart Carry it..my preferred source is my local Hobby Lobby. The reason being is Joann never has much in stock N they take Forever and a Day to restock..@ Hobby Lobby I buy it in bulk throwing in a 40% off coupon, also they refill their stock wayyy quicker than Joann's. Now if only I could get me someone in the UK so send me some of that Black n White Herringbone Webbing Mama would be a super happy camper...Anyone have any friends overseas?????
GIMP and WELT CORD/PIPING : Again this is where Im gonna have to say to use an outlet as Joann's and or Hobby Lobby is going to save you some dough. In a future post I am going to show you how I saved even more $ paying just $1 for 16 yards of Welt Cord..Uh Huh.. Yup... Thats Right CupCakes $1!!!!
Do Not waste your $ on the Dritz Webbing Stretcher that you will find in JoAnns. Get the Goose Neck One from an Online Supplier. You will thank me.
Here is the one Mamma Jamma that hurt the purse strings the most.
Stapler of Choice..There is one classmate of mine who is wanted to be old school and hand tack her chair until she saw the chair had been re-upholstered so many times there was hardly any wood left to tack into with out compromising the chair and she opted to go with a hand stapler to save on expenses..More Power To You Mama! By the time she is done she will have the Bi-Ceps of Mr Universe. Electric Staple Gun..nuff said wont even go there. .that leaves Phenumatic and that is the route 99% of us went. If you are OCD like me you will scour the web reading reviews all all types of Air Staplers and may even toy with the Idea of getting a cheapo from Harbor Freight for 18.99 So what it got 2 stars right??? After hours n hours of research ..seriously I was down to the Porter Cable from Home Depot.."B" in my class has it n luvs it and it was $89 and the Fasco /Rainco. I went back in forth and settled on the Fasco and ordered it over the phone from Greg @ FloydTool.com , http://www.floydtool.com/f1b7c16.htm they were FANTASTIC.. the shipping was not bad at all and it got my baby in 2days. I do not regret my purchase 1 bit thus far.
Air Compressor is necessary with an Air Stapler and again after researching and reading too many reviews and having my heart set on 2 different ones that had great reviews but when I went to purchase were out of stock called Home Dump Online Customer Service they kindly let me know they were discontinued (FYI Howz about you put that on your web site Home Dump instead of "out of stock and make me stalk your website waiting for it to be "instock") I went with a Cheapie 2 Gallon from Tractor Supply for $49 and as quickly as it came home is as quickly it went back to the store...Holy Mary what a piece of crap. I ended up going with the Porter Cable 6 Gallon Pancake, the price was right, it was marked down, it already has fittings for 2 attachments at 1 time, came with a good length hose, its oil free so less maintenance, it also came with a brad gun PRO BONO and so far I love it. Its up to 150 PSI so I can use my Paint Sprayer as well. I will use this compressor for more than just upholstery that I already know..the fact that its 6 gallons means it doesn't need to blow my ear drums out every 5 mins bc it needs to refill like a 2 gallon does. It also fills very quickly...Ohhhh one thing... DO NOT LEAVE THE AIR MARINATING IN THE TANK WHEN U R DONE ..take the 5 mins it takes to completely drain the tank or ur gonna be a cry baby when your tank starts to develop rust inside.
Went off on a bit of a tangent...lol totally lost where this post was suppose to be going, thats ok.
Any how, as I was sitting here thinking what if anything else i wanted to include in this particular post, I was just thinking back to some of the people in my class when "W" our instructor gave them their totals on their needed supplies just for their projects..It was priceless, poor things they really didnt see it coming. Is what I went over in this post everything you need..nooo way jose, I am going to throw together a post soon of my most used tools, cheap substitutes that work just as well if not better and things I have purchased and havent had a need to use yet. Apparently If you want to do it right >>>Upholstery Aint Cheap Kids...