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Old 02-29-2008, 10:16 AM   #1
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bench seats

Anybody have any bench seat designs they really like or are proud of? I have seen a few different pics. I am getting ready to start soon and will be building a limo/tailgate bus with at least one 16 ft long bench seat. I do really want to be able to have a good amount of storage underneath. I am undecided if I should use the rail that the original seats used as the outboard attachment point. Any good sources for the upholstery foam? I have found a few but they seemed a bit pricey. Your thoughts and experiences are greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-29-2008, 01:11 PM   #2
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Re: bench seats

I like the idea of re-using the foam from the original bus seats - but I ended up not making the bench I had though of in the first place.

Overstock.com had "memory foam mattress toppers" - I think the king size is about 140 bucks, and 4 inches thick. You can cut that and make a nice and squishy seat top (I used some extra when I cut a king down to fit a queen bed).
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Old 02-29-2008, 04:24 PM   #3
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Re: bench seats

i've recycled bus seat foam in 3 skoolies now. It's pretty nice foam actually. I just build a simple frame out of steel or 2x4's depending on how frisky i'm feeling. Then i cover the frame and the foam with pretty fabric. I make it tall enough to put a milk crate under the seat.

here are a couple examples:

this was my first bus...there is a couch in the foreground, and one of my recycled bus seat benches nearest to the glass block wall. I use bus seat "bottoms" for both the bottoms and the backs of hte seats.





here's bus 2


here is bus number 2 under construction
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:39 PM   #4
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Re: bench seats

Unfortunately I don't have the original seat foam. After pricing foam I think my 16 ft bench just became 8 ft long... at least for now. Too many other things to buy that seem much cooler than upholstery foam. I think I am going to use 2x3s to frame the bench. Any ideas where to get decent foam?
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Old 03-05-2008, 04:16 AM   #5
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Re: bench seats

You can try these guys:
http://www.garysupholstery.com/foamprices.html#ezdri30
http://www.foamorder.com/clearance.html
http://www.perfectfit.com/

Or you might try your local Goodwill or Salvation Army... Just watch out for the bed bugs....
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:58 AM   #6
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Re: bench seats

don't forget carpet foam....several layers of that makes for pretty decent seating material. perhaps you can strike a deal with a carpet store to get their scraps before they are thrown away.
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:02 PM   #7
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Re: bench seats

Carpet pad...seems like it could work. Maybe a little friendlier for the wallet. Anybody wrapped it with vinyl? I'm thinkin a layer or 2 of some dense pad (like they put under berber) and another layer or 2 of regular pad glued together. My buddy does carpet and he mentioned some pad is comprised of large recycled stuff that may fall apart. Any thoughts?
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:24 PM   #8
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Re: bench seats

Here is a picture of the seats I built for my bus. They have plenty of storage space underneath. I buillt the frames out of 2x4's and plywood, then bought sheets of 4" seat foam from http://www.rochfordsupply.com. I glued the foam to the plywood then covered it all with 1" batting foam to give the seats a real nice cushy feel. The total cost for seats including wood, foam, and vinyl was about $700. So not super cheap, but I am very happy with how they came out.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg int1.jpg (169.7 KB, 682 views)
File Type: jpg int2.jpg (166.6 KB, 676 views)
File Type: jpg building seats.JPG (156.2 KB, 680 views)
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:20 AM   #9
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Re: bench seats

bump on the thread

im shifting gears to the seating area of the bus and not sure how to construct an upholstered bench. any tips, examples, cool designs....advice appreciated

i think im looking at building 2 seats across the bus from each other, with a coffee table in the middle. to convert to a bed if needed.
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:07 AM   #10
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Re: bench seats

http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to ... index.html

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/ ... 58,00.html
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:11 AM   #11
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Re: bench seats

Quote:
Originally Posted by beekay
Anybody wrapped it with vinyl?
I know people do this with good results, but I wouldn't be able to stand a vinyl bench seat in a bus. When bare skin touches it after sitting in the sun it can be quite a shock. Not to mention, that same bare skin, when sitting to long in one place on the vinyl, may end up being permanently stuck to the bench. Sweaty and sticky
I think the original bus seats mitigate the stickiness of the vinyl by having it textured.. That does help a bit.
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:01 PM   #12
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Re: bench seats

Rise ye from the dead, old thread!

Speaking of bench seats; how does everyone feel about wood frame vs steel frame benches? I haven't yet decided if it's worth the effort to make them out of steel. A steel frame could have seat belts attached, which is appealing. In the case of an accident I could see a wood bench imploding under the passenger, as well.. All that said, is it worth the time? Are there scarier things I should be concerned with in regards to safety?
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:29 AM   #13
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Re: bench seats

Ok, I've been doing some internet research and have seen multiple construction techniques.
  1. Wood frame; seat belts anchored to the floor.[/*:m:3rz6adjq]
  2. Metal frame; seat belts anchored to the metal frame.[/*:m:3rz6adjq]
  3. Wood frame with some supporting steel (angle iron in the corners); seat belts anchored to the floor.[/*:m:3rz6adjq]

Here's a link to some photos of a bench that fits description #3:http://www.californiafamilyrv.com/20...ats-in-rv.html

Here's a metal frame bench:


Does anyone have pictures of RV dinette style benches they can share? I'm no engineer and am wondering if a #3 style bench with seat belts anchored through the floor is plenty sufficient from a safety stand-point.
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:48 AM   #14
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Re: bench seats

i bumped the thread a month or so ago..... looking for benches.

here is the wood version i'm making now... they are dinette size - 26" x 52"



and with the lid



no seatbelts here
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:05 AM   #15
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Re: bench seats

Quote:
Originally Posted by turf
and with the lid



no seatbelts here
Is that a piano hinge on the backrest? What for?
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Old 09-17-2014, 01:46 PM   #16
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Re: bench seats

the skeleton of the frame lent itself to putting some storage shelves behind the backrest



and i got a cool bench hinge from Hafele.... it moves the lid out 4" when opened to make room for upholstery.



and open
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Old 05-13-2017, 02:54 PM   #17
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Has anyone used a bench seat for the driver's seat? Adding space for a passenger up front while driving?
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Old 05-13-2017, 04:14 PM   #18
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Mostly I think of lots of reasons not to do that. No idea if it's legal or not.

Maybe look at Don and Mary's setup with an extra captain's chair near the stairwell.
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