Carving mini cell seat

Thinking about trying to make a seatback for my wife’s Fathom. She is not a fan of the backband. Tried to talk her out of it but she is used to the WS phase 3 and doesn’t do the type of paddling where the band is advantageous anyway.

Do you carve it out to create lumbar support and if so is there a good way to make a template?

Or would it be better to leave a flat surface and add pieces on to build it up where needed? What kind of glue works best?

I’m thinking carve the bottom to match the hull, a dab of Lexel on the bottom to hold it in place, make it deep enough so it sets against the rear bulkhead. ?


Why didn’t I think of that
A random ass google search instead of querying a room full of people I know have done before the exact project I will be attempting and about whom I have a have a fairly decent grasp of the relative value of their opinions.

But hey, thanks for all the pictures of reupholstering automotive seats!

Here are a couple or resources
If the budget allows and the desire to make it isn’t overwhelming its worth looking at the redfish seat. I’m more of a minimalist but I’ve heard good reports:

If you don’t already have this link, it is worth reading these instructions.

I at least paid some attention to them when I made a minicell seat for my pygmy. I used a pull saw to set the base angle then taped the cut-offs back on to give a stable base for cutting the seat side. I went at it with an angle grinder until my but was happy.

Another idea…

– Last Updated: Jan-03-16 1:24 PM EST –

A lot of experienced paddlers, including myself use a simple foam wedge for a back rest...

Do a google image search for... "NDK foam back rest"


shaping minicell
You can make just about any shape with minicell if you are patient. To rough shape minicell I have frequently made templates out of thick, brown packing paper or cardboard. Make your initial cut out over-sized and carefully trim it down to fit.

A band saw is optimal for cutting minicell but you can get by with a variety of instruments. I have heard some use electric carving knives. I have frequently used either a coping saw or a filleting knife or both to cut thicker pieces of minicell since I lack a band saw.

For shaping minicell I find that the surface-forming tools like the Surform tools made by Stanley work pretty well. Coarse sandpaper also works. Sanding and shaping minicell creates a lot of “dust” and it sticks to your clothing so take that into account.

Sometimes it is more cost-effective to lay up multiple thinner pieces of minicell rather than try to shape one big, thick piece. For gluing pieces of minicell together, or bonding minicell foam to plastic or composite hulls the vast majority of outfitters use some type of contact cement and the favorite is DAP Weldwood (flammable variety in red and black can). I apply it with an inexpensive metal-handled “acid brush”. You need to apply multiple coats of cement to minicell since it is so porous. I generally use three coats although you may get by with two. For non-porous materials like plastic or composite hulls a single coat usually suffices.

You can also use a variety of spray on contact cements such as those made by 3M and they are quicker to apply but more expensive.

its the lost

urethane method.

but wax is cheaper.

the search terms were too tricky and I went on…

try coating a suitable fiberglass bucket chair with a thick coat of pliable warm wax

sit the victim in that

then remove victim n allow wax hardening

pour plaster or ? over wax

heat this disaster allowing wax to run out as a liquid

then cut the plaster or ? so one side is the female mold for your foam back rest.

this is a lot easier than carving.

hmmmm cottage
industry ?

light vinyl bag with funnel opening

place bag on victims ( insulated* ?)back

pour in liquid wax …

  • general idea category

next best thing
Immersion Research’s “LoungeBand” is an almost-a-seatback easy upgrade for a regular backband.

The best advice given above …

– Last Updated: Jan-03-16 8:06 PM EST –

The post is spot on.

Buy a thick block of minicell or laminate three or four layers. Use the paddler's butt as a template on cardboard, use a marker to lay out the horizontal projection of the seat, then cut out the shape and transfer the template marker to the minicell. I've made many seats for surf kayaks and waveskis and my weapons of choice are a 5" bade serrated steak knife, small Stanley sure form rounded shapers. they are about 1 inch and 2" inches wide. Cut the general outline with the knife, use the shapers to round out the bowl shape and how you want the shape to finish under your legs, with a small bump in front of your crotch to keep you from sliding. I finish off the shape with some steel mesh called "dragon skin" I have no idea where you buy it. Sometimes I am lazy and use a dewalt orbital sander and coarse sandpaper to take off a lot of material quickly.

Dragonskin is no more
Red Devil stopped making it.

My work around …
I make a lot of traditional bows from wood and use a stanley sureform rasp to shape them, I wear out the cutting plates fairly quickly. When they stop cutting wood, I cut them up with tin snips and use them like dragon skin.

care to elaborate ?
Use the paddler’s butt as a template on cardboard, use a marker to lay out the horizontal projection of the seat

pretty simple
Take a good sized piece of reasonably stiff cardboard and cut a convex shape out of one edge that roughly approximates the curvature of the lumbar area of the paddler where the minicell support will contact.

Make the initial cutout too small deliberately then progressively enlarge it by trimming off pieces with scissors or a utility knife until it closely matches the paddler’s anatomy.

Lay the template on the minicell and use a Sharpie to mark the cutout. When cutting the minicell, again leave the piece oversized somewhat. Dry fit the minicell lumber support into position in the boat and do the fine shaping a little at a time with the paddler sitting in position. A Surform tool of this type works pretty well for shaping a convex surface: