Things I've Learned While Making My Own Gear
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John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Things I've Learned While Making My Own Gear on 01/14/2011 17:43:39 MST Print View

Watch band clips adjust and then slip when used with grosgrain ribbon.

Every ladderlock I've tried slips with grosgrain ribbon.

No ladderlock I've found will adjust with polypropylene webbing while I'm wearing my pack.

Roll down dry bag type closures only leave a hole at the top of your pack when it's open.

Use ccf for padding in shoulder straps. My socks couldn't keep my straps from rolling over.

Use flowable silicone windshield sealer to seam seal your tarp. No mixing and it works.

Something reflective on your tent or tarp will help you find your way "home" in the dark.

Party On,

Newton

James Klein
(jnklein21) - M

Locale: Southeast
thanks on 01/14/2011 18:13:03 MST Print View

John thanks for the list...looking forward to what other guru's might have to add. This may be one of those threads I bookmark.

James

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Things I've Learned While Making My Own Gear on 01/14/2011 19:00:33 MST Print View

Here's the number one thing I've learned: Don't wait until you're 100% sure you can make it right. Get drunk, and get started! It's never going to be perfect the first try, even if someone else think's it is, you wont.

Number 2(and closely related to number 1): Everyone else will likely think it's much better than you do, and only you know (and likely care) about the tiny flaws. Unless you're a narcissist, in which case, just substitute the opposite of what I said for everything previously.


Cheers!



P.S. These are *supposed* to work for grosgrain: http://global.itwnexus.com/content/apex-sr-waveloc

Not sure where to find them though! ;)

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
More learnings on 01/14/2011 19:49:38 MST Print View

5/8" quick release buckles are quite light (4 or 5 per ounce) and I've never had one break, even when using them to support my pack

1/2 " nylon webbing can be adjusted much easier than 5/8" webbing with the 5/8" buckles but it still holds solidly under tension (yeah, what's with the adjustability of the polypro webbing?)

50 lb kite line with tension beads from Kitebuilder works well in many applications and maintains the last adjustment when slack

adhesive backed insignia cloth from Kitebuilder is great for reinforcing fabric, wrapping foam, edging stuff, etc.

1.9 ounce uncoated ripstop is plenty strong for packs that aren't subject to a lot of abrasion. It gets some small rips and tears if subjected to thorns or rough tectures but it can be mended and I've never had a total failure of the fabric

Weight can be saved in making your own gear simply by downsizing and making everything fit only you. For example I made one tent only 6 feet long because it worked for me. Manufacturers can't do that because most people wouldn't buy it

Bobbins don't hold enough thread. They have to be replaced much too often in my opinion.

David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Re: Things I've Learned While Making My Own Gear on 01/14/2011 19:50:20 MST Print View

Blue walmart CCF is not durable enough for pack straps.
Imperfections add character
Get a good seam ripper
Vacuum the floor before you get started
Make a good play list
Save your scraps

EDIT: That adhesive insignia cloth sounds genius for edging a seam. Please elaborate. Do you just stick it on the raw edge of a seam, stick and sew, double stitch the seam first? Does it ever fray at the edge?

Edited by willspower3 on 01/14/2011 19:54:21 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
re on 01/14/2011 20:09:39 MST Print View

I don't save any money because I keep making new versions.

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
David Questions on 01/14/2011 21:26:38 MST Print View

David,

I've used adhesive backed insignia cloth on the prickly edges of a waist belt made of polyvynal mesh. I just folded it over the edge and then stitched over it.

I haven't used it as an edge binding replacement for the various edge binding webbings that are available (e.g. herring bone webbing).

I could see using it on the edge of fabric that might fray otherwise, however. The edge binding hasn't frayed in my use. It sometimes gets a little loose around the edges over time, depending on what it is sticking to. I always sew over it after applying it......with stitches as close to the edge of the insignia cloth as possible.

I've seen it in big sheets and 2" wide rolls. I don't know if other widths are available.

It is really good for reinforcing stress areas and it sticks well to closed cell foam.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Things I've Learned While Making My Own Gear on 01/14/2011 21:55:05 MST Print View

Barber pole, striped quilts require many, many, many feet of flat felled seams. ;-(

When sewing a top quilt with synthetic insulation keep the synthetic insulation next to the feed dogs of the machine and the cover material next to the presser foot.

If you do it the opposite way your cover material will bunch up and the insulation gets caught in the presser foot.

@ Javan

>>Get drunk, and get started!<<

LOL You made my night! ;-)

I've tried the "wavelocs" too. ;-/

Party On,

Newton

Edited by Newton on 01/14/2011 22:35:57 MST.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Party On. on 01/15/2011 20:21:03 MST Print View

Seems that, within reasonable limits, the more a project is thought out beforehand, the easier and better it will be made. Is that not logical?
Not to begrudge the partying. Cheers.

Joe Geib
(joegeib) - F

Locale: Delaware & Lehigh Valleys
Re: Party On. on 01/15/2011 20:32:48 MST Print View

I agree, though partying may give you the fermented initiative you might not otherwise have.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Things I've Learned While Making My Own Gear on 01/15/2011 20:46:28 MST Print View

Most Calvin Klein backpacks are crap when you look at the sewing on the inside!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Things I've Learned While Making My Own Gear on 01/15/2011 22:07:34 MST Print View

Somewhere around Version 6 is field-usable ...
(Same rule applied in the science R&D lab, to the frustration of the Chief of the Division!)

Cheers

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Party On. on 01/16/2011 00:30:26 MST Print View

Sam, in a logical world filled with logical people, that's absolutely logical.


Personally, I can think myself into never getting started, unless I'm 100% sure I've got it 100% figured out, which is a state I believe is usually achieved through egoism, as opposed to realism. I've realized time and again, that only through the process of creation, do the epiphanies manifest which result in a deep understanding of a project's intricacies.



So I'll stick with my motto., even though I'm not really drinking much anymore, since I've discovered it's mostly only good for "starting" projects, as opposed to finishing. ;)


All I really mean to say though, all joking aside, is that for many people, myself included, you won't know how to make something perfect, until you've made it once, and most likely many more times than that. It's very easy to get lost in the planning stages of perfection. Ultimately, it's the doing that matters.


Cheers brother.

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Things I've Learned While Making My Own Gear on 01/16/2011 00:40:35 MST Print View

Here's a secret I'm going to share, from my arsenal of aggravation working with UL fabrics:


On feather weight fabrics, using a wide aperture throat plate (i.e. the ones with oval needle portals), is one of the major contributors to a wide variety of problems, which can appear to be related to tension or timing. The issue is that the portal is wide enough that the needle causes the fabric to press into the opening, interfering with uptake. Bunched up bottom thread, broken thread, fabric puckering, etc, can all be caused by this problem.


The solution, and the trick to beautiful stitches on these types of fabrics is a straight stitch/top stitch only style throat plate, which has a small round hole, 1mm or so in diameter.


I've never seen this mentioned before, I'm going to assume it's because most people don't have multiple plates for their zig-zag machines, and the people that have straight stitch only machines never have as many problems.

I constantly see people refer to the lower thread bunching as being an issue with tension, personally, I've never seen a tension setting with any of my machines where bunching was caused with a straight stitch plate. However, I can instantly duplicate it with the zig-zag plate.

The only other issues I've seen cause this problem are in-proper bobbin windings, or burrs or other problems on the shuttle hook.



If you can find a straight stitch throat plate for your zig-zag machine, buy it, or find an old machine that's straight stitch only for sewing Momentum/Intrepid type fabrics, and save the zig-zagger for when you need it's particular talents.



:)

Edited by jdempsey on 01/16/2011 00:41:08 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
oval hole on 01/16/2011 07:34:50 MST Print View

I just looked at my machine

There's an oval hole to allow zigzag

Sometimes fabric bunches up into hole

I'll have to look into finding plate with small circular hole

Good idea

Marco A. Sánchez
(marcoasn) - M

Locale: The fabulous Pyrenees
Re: Re: Things I've Learned While Making My Own Gear on 01/16/2011 08:06:33 MST Print View

> The solution, and the trick to beautiful stitches on these types of fabrics is a straight stitch/top stitch only style throat plate, which has a small round hole, 1mm or so in diameter.

+1 Also useful for stretch fabrics.

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
things of learned MYOG on 01/16/2011 11:24:14 MST Print View

Being a math dummy Dan McHale's pack volume calculator is worth it weight in gold and pretty accurate. Dan has wealth of knowledge in pack design and building even though I can't afford his packs.
http://www.mchalepacks.com/ultralight/Detail%20Hi%20Rez%20Pages/Pack%20Volumes%20-%20Go%20Figure!.htm
It took a long time but I finally found online volume calculator that coverts cubic liters to cubic inches and cubic inches to cubic liters.
http://www.calculateme.com/Volume/index.htm

I have been sewing off and on since I was 11 years old and it started with frostline down sleeping bag kit in 49 years every sewing project is a new learning adventure.

I have found the K.I.S.S. pack designs always work for me . But when I try to make patterns and try to make complicated pack designs like Osprey,Gregory or others they don't come out as planed.

Always have planed drawing of the sewing project and think each step of the project through for a while and make patterns out of poster board keep them for each pack design for future use.

16 oz. Hypalon from outdoor wilderness fabric make light weight wider compression strap or buckle attachment points on packs. That don't pull out and distribute the compresion pull over a wider area of 1.5 inches area verse a nylon webbing width only.
tp://www.owfinc.com/Fabrics/NylonWoven/Misc.Woven.asp#Hypalon

Most modern sewing machine that have 4 step button hole you can use first step for making a single Bartacks.

I tend to over build my packs but I have found ultra light tricks through the Backpacking Light MYOG board that accomplish the same thing.

The evolution in backpacking site is great to look at old designs and designers history from the 60' 70's 80's in backpacks and using a folded up foam pad as a frame is not a new concept. But is refined now by the ultra light backpack makers.
http://www.oregonphotos.com/Backpacking-Revolution1.html

Things I have not learned:
I am still searching for the short lived ultra light backpacking company or manufacture that tried to start a ultra light backpacking craze in the early or late 80's before Ray Jardine. Manufactured ultra light weight packs made out of 1.9 0z rip stop packs, clothing,sleeping bags in light blue colored ripstop. But it did not last because people were destroying the packs on one outing basically because they used the same heavy weight equipment they used for normal backpacking.

Sometimes I go over board in my postings on this board suggesting way's I would make a project. When it is that person personal project and not mine. I am sorry to everybody for that fault of mine.

Edited by socal-nomad on 01/16/2011 11:51:29 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: things of learned MYOG on 01/16/2011 12:05:12 MST Print View

"I am still searching for the short lived ultra light backpacking company or manufacture that tried to start a ultra light backpacking craze in the early or late 80's before Ray Jardine. Manufactured ultra light weight packs made out of 1.9 0z rip stop packs, clothing,sleeping bags in light blue colored ripstop. But it did not last because people were destroying the packs on one outing basically because they used the same heavy weight equipment they used for normal backpacking."

Hmmm. Maybe Alpenlight?

I had three of their blue backpacks. One actually blew away in the wind.

--B.G.--

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
Thanks on 01/16/2011 12:58:39 MST Print View

Bob,
Thanks alpine light was it and I also remember the advertising with the guy holding a fulling packed pack in one hand . People were complaining about the packs seam ripping and blowing away.
I am weird history buff about everything, I have learned in life you can learn from history. History always repeats it's self or in the sporting goods market "something old is new again" theory.
Terry

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Things I've Learned While Making My Own Gear on 01/16/2011 13:18:29 MST Print View

> the trick to beautiful stitches on these types of fabrics is a straight stitch/top stitch only style throat plate,
True, but holding the fabric front and back and keeping it under tension also works very well, and does allow the use of a zigzag stitch as well.
The use of a sharp fine needle also helps.

Cheers