Making Seats for Allis Chalmers models B & C

If you're as cheap as I am, you don't care to spend money needlessly. Thus motivated, I decided I would make new seats for my two tractors. When I got the B, its seat was a piece of plywood with empty paper feed sacks stacked on it. The C had a real seat, but it was from some other tractor or vehicle, and didn't fit.

I ended up spending a total of $42.90 when I made the two seats in the spring of 2004. I had a scrap piece of plywood I could use for one of them, and I already had some wood lath and a T-50 staple gun and staples. These were my expenses for materials:

 FOAM RUBBER  $23.92
 NAUGAHYDE  $15.00
 PLYWOOD  ...$3.98
 TOTAL for TWO SEATS  $42.90

These were the costs in a particular time and place. In a different place, at a different time, they might be more. If you have to buy any of the required tools, that will be an extra expense.

At this point I should point out that this seat will not be an exact reproduction of the original. It will (or should) look good enough to pass for original without a close comparison. How is it different? The original seat contained springs with padding over them. In this one foam rubber takes the place of springs and padding. The original was made with a bead along the seams, while this one has plain seams.

TOOLS NEEDED: Wood saw; Drill with 3/4" wood bit; Scissors; T-50 staple gun; Sewing machine.

MATERIALS NEEDED (For one seat): 151/4" x 281/2" x 1/2" Plywood; 3' x 4' Black naugahyde; 5" x 16" x 29" Foam rubber; 7' Wood lath (11/2" x 3/8").

Step 1: Drill four 3/4" holes in the plywood, 3" from each corner

Step 2: Cut one piece of Naugahyde, 28" x 291/2"; this piece is the front, top, and back of the seat.

Step 3: Cut two pieces of Naugahyde, 6" x 16" each; these are the ends of the seat.

Step 4: Cut the top corners of each end piece with a slight curve.

Step 5: Sew the end pieces to the top piece with the black side of the Naugahyde on the inside.

Step 6: Turn the cover outside out, with the black on the outside.

Step 7: Fit the foam rubber inside the cover.

Step 8: With the bottom of the seat up, place the plywood bottom piece against the foam rubber.

Step 9: Pull the edges of the cover tight; fold them over the plywwod, and staple them to it.

Step 10: Cut two lath pieces 281/2".

Step 11: Cut two lath pieces 121/2".


In the seat frame where the seat will rest, there are bolts through the bottom of the frame. Wood lath is used under the seat to keep it from resting on the bolt heads. Place a 281/2" piece of wood lath inside the frame, on top of the bolt heads along the front of the frame. Hold the lath firmly on top of the bolt heads and pound it with a hammer directly over each of the bolts, hard enough to make an impression of the bolt head on the other side of the lath, but without breaking the lath. In each place where a bolt head made an impression on the lath, drill a 3/4" hole. If the holes are correctly placed, the lath should rest in the bottom of the frame with the bolt heads in the holes. In the same way, drill the other 281/2" lath to fit over the bolt heads in the back of the frame bottom. The two 121/2" pieces go at the ends, between the two 281/2" pieces.

The bolt heads will hold the long pieces in place, but you will need a couple of dabs of rubber caulk or gasket sealer under the end pieces to hold them in place.