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How to do a semi-permanent recover of a soft side door for under $20.

When I bought my Steiner S-20, it was missing the left side cab door. I was glad to find something with a cab and figured I could make the door...

The doors are soft-sided, and use clear vinyl and black vinyl fabric sewn around a frame of 5/8" round steel rod. There's an excellent website called Sail Right that has numerous videos on how to sew up canvas tops and doors for boats, but the principles are the same for a tractor door.

I made the door up from square 3/4" tubing--a lot of effort to get all the angles right, etc. Due to an impending major snow storm, I needed to find something fast for a covering material, and that required little in the way of equipment.

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The idea I hit upon was to use some clear vinyl I filched from the wife--the same type you can find in fabric stores, etc., and stretch it around the door frame.

Then came the challenge of how to keep it fastened...

The idea came to use the large alligator-type paper clips--you know, the ones made of U-shaped spring steel with two wire handles you press together.

I went to a local office supply, and bought two boxes of large clips (12 in each box) for under $11 dollars total.

At first I tried to cut out for the corners, but soon found I could just fold the corners together and the clip would hold them. I then folded the handles flat so they wouldn't interfere with the door frame... Or, by swinging the handles around so they lie flat against each other, you can squeeze the handle sides together and remove them from the clip altogether.

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Total time from start to finish--less than an hour.

Total Cost-- about $20, counting the vinyl and the paper clips

I know this isn't the prettiest door out there, but when pennies are tight, this will get you through the winter. One advantage of this method is that you can see through the door down to the bottom--helpful when working in tight places.

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Hope this was helpful,



  • Stroud, 29 Chev, grattone and 1 other said thanks
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