Tolex the Back Panel
Once patched, you can start the Tolex process. This is time consuming, and I would recommend doing it in a dust free place with plenty of ventilation. The cement fumes are rather strong. I ordered 3 yards of this Tolex and it worked perfectly.
I started with the back panel, and if I made a mistake, it wouldn’t be readily visible. You’ll need about a quart of contact cement for this process. Don’t use regular glue that will harden. This is the contact cement I ordered, and it was very manageable.
Paint the cement on the canvas side of the tolex, and the wood you’ll attach it to. Let both pieces sit for about 5-10 minutes until both sides are tacky. Then apply evenly from one side to another pushing out air bubbles as you go. I wrapped my tolex around the back panel by about 3 inches and then trimmed it to a 1 inch overlap. Tape each side down until the cement dries, just to keep a tight bond. On the corners, make one cut 45 degrees outward, then overlap the two flaps, and make another 45 degree cut through both pieces to give yourself a perfect seam as shown below.
Tolex the Rest of the Body
After getting the hang of things on the back panel, you can move to the body of the cabinet. I chose to do this with one seam on the bottom, and roll the whole cabinet in one big long piece of Tolex. I started with the bottom, followed the instructions above, and then moved over to the side, the top, the second side, and then back to the original start.
Now I have all the panels Tolexed, but the sides and corners need to be glued. This is a slow process that can only be done properly by being careful and deliberate. The straight sides are easy, but the angle of the slant in the cabinet will naturally create a bubble at that point. I had to slice across the bubble with a blade, and manually make a small seam there on the point of the cabinet angle. It’s visible, but only when you look hard.