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Stainless Steel Staples for Marine Upholstery

Started by Mariner, June 11, 2010, 10:52:48 am

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June 11, 2010, 10:52:48 am Last Edit: June 11, 2010, 10:55:22 am by Mariner

I'm in the process of rebuilding a boat cushion, and I'm trying to find the right size staples to use.

The ones we removed were smaller that the standard industrial stapler found in most hardware stores.

If we used most common stapler with the larger size it would likely split the wood backing.

If anyone had any suggestions it would be great. From what I understand I think the original staples, which were done by the manufacturer, may have been done

with an "air stapler"?




Hey Jeff

where you been ?

Unless the boat is used in salt water I just use ordinary 20guage staples, I don;t know about the other guys

But i did just get my first air stapler ,,  WOW what a difference it makes the job that much easier .



Hi Rich,

Thanks. I've been around, its just that things have slowed down a lot.

For my current project, it actually will be used in salt water, so I think stainless is what we're after.

I bet the air stapler is awesome to use, though..



Hi Rich,
Hate to 'rain on your parade' but water is water! and staples rust real easy! You should always use stainless staples on boat cushions. I'd be pissed if you did my boat in regular staples it would be rusty within a year.
Life's too short.....let's go fishing!!!


Hi to all of you!

Lynn, I agree with the use of stainless. But I have yet to do a pontoon or boat, any outdoor piece, that DID use stainless. Tearing down all those buggers is not fun. Especially when you end up using a hammer more than your remover.



  I really must say I've not yet stripped a stapled cushion or headliner
that has stainless staples in it ? yes they are mostly rusty and and fall apart
when you try to get them out but like lruthb , never seen anything other than
standard staples.

anyway, quite often by the time the staples get to that condition
the vinyl etc has had it and needs replacing.



only stainless here on anything that goes outside-I've redone sled seats that are only a year or 2 old because the staples or the thread has rotted out. Most guys don't remove their seat for summer storage so it can stay pretty wet under them. I don't have much trouble removing the staples- I have a staple remover but mostly use a small screw driver & a pair of carpenter's plyers-pulls them right out-even if they break off the plyers grip welll to remove the little bits left-or if not then I pound them in



I think the areas we work in have a big influence on how long they last and thats where we get different results. 90% of my boats are inland
waterway craft

Sometimes when i get really rotted staples i use an angle grinder with a sanding flap disk and just sand the tops off,
It works great.

But if they are not too bad, like you pliers and screwdriver seems to work better than staple removers.



I have never yet, after 6 years, come across a boat cushion that was put together with standard staples.  They're ALL stainless.  Now, if they'd only use stainless T-nuts....  life would be so much easier.

"Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people."

     W. C. Fields


I'm with Rich, where you are and what kind of water your in dictates what you use. I imagine everyone in salt water requests SS staples and would go else where if you didn't use them.

We use galvanized staples and after 8 years I've NEVER seen a SS staple on something (unless the owner did it himself) If the galvo rusts out after a couple years I would happily shoot some new ones in free of charge. Never happens. By the time the staples are gone the vinyl's crispy and the wood is black pudding. If they leave their boat that wet that long they have more problems than dissolving staples.

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June 13, 2010, 06:13:49 am #10 Last Edit: June 13, 2010, 06:19:32 am by DB
I hear ya on those T-nuts June, for years either the stainless were not available at all or most suppliers didn't offer, but now I can get but hate to pay; because gosh they are expensive!!  

But, in review, I believe it makes more sense, if one wants to save a few bucks, is to pay the SS price for T's than the extra for SS staples.   I say this because a main supplier now offers the staples in galvanized, much cheaper and so far no complaints.

Regardless, I do like some of you (Rich), I just do a light scuff and grind those rusty guys off and go back with galvanized or SS.  The standard staples will rust in a heartbeat here and I would think anywhere moisture and humidity is a factor.  

Most of my factory teardowns, the seats made this side of the oceans like said, are SS.  A few come in all rusty but not many, from manufacturers, that is.  But not all recover work, the second or third time around, isn't though; repeating, like I said out comes the scuffer (sanding pad).

Staple guns seem to like the standard staple better, however.   ;)  The SS are a little harder on the gun, especially in the harder woods or plastic frames and can surely shorten the life of that tool.

Generally, all this isn't an issue with furniture. 8)



M-E Fabrics

Not just boat cushions .... we had to take off a convertibla top that had been put on back in the 1960's. The top and wire-on welting were put on with plain steel staples. >:( 

All were rusted into the wood. Just about every one was so rusted that they snapped in the middle when using a staple puller, so then, after the topping was removed we had to go back with plyers to pull the legs sticking out. And, considering how many staples were used ..  they must have been free !

>:( >:(


SS on everything over here  ;D
My main supplier dishes out #80 staples so I tend to use that size, I have a hand gun & electric.
I 'inherited'  ;) a load of #71 ss staples & have just bought my self a hand gun to use them with, I was also left with an air gun, but it's a bit temperamental.


I always use ss staples on out door projects.  I just reupholstered some boat seats for a guy and the original staples were stainless.  No salt water around here, but boat seats like to soak up the water and the foam holds it like a big sponge.  The wood was rotted out, but the staples were in good shape.
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power" - Abraham Lincoln