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Attaching zippers and netting to cuben
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Jeff Kammerer
(jak34) - F

Locale: Canada
Attaching zippers and netting to cuben on 03/02/2012 08:21:42 MST Print View

I'm thinking of making my own bug bivi and tarp combo and I was wondering what is the preferred method to attach bug netting and zippers to cuben fiber? Sewing, taping, bonding or a combination of the above?

Thanks for your help,
Jeff

Mario Caceres
(mariocaceres) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco
Bonding Uretek Zippers to Cuben Fabric with 3m's 9485PC adhesive transfer tape (Also "no-see-em" netting) on 04/17/2012 07:26:48 MDT Print View

Hi Jeff,

Just found your post. I’m also planning to build a shelter that will require to attach Cuben to “no-see-em” netting fabric and a zipper. My research online reveals that the standard procedure to attach zippers and or “no-see-em” netting to cuben is by sewing. You will need to reinforce the cuben part (i.e have 2 or more layers of cuben) prior to sewing and seal the stitches if need a waterproof seam.

Dan Durston, an experienced MYOG member of these forums, posted on one of his projects that he had good results bonding an Uretek zippers (waterproof zipper) to cuben fabric using Loctite’s Hysol adhesive). At the end he went with the standard stitching method just to be safe, but that doesn’t mean that bonding option is out.

Since I don’t have a sewing machine and I would prefer not to bother friends that do, I have experimented with bonding scrap pieces of fabric with good results, at least on “my lab”.

Basically I used 3M’s 9485PC adhesive transfer tape and “sandwiched” the fabric part of the zipper (tape?) with Cuben. The bond seems pretty strong and I have not been able to break it by pulling really hard. The same applies to “No-see-em” netting. Here is a diagram of my “sandwich”

Bonding Cuben to Uretek Zipper with 3M's 9485PC transfer tape

I’m not sure how the bond will do on the long term, and as I reply to your message, I was hoping some other members on this forum can chime in, if they have any input on this matter. I'm almost ready to start the building of my shelter.

Cheers,

Mario

Colin Krusor
(ckrusor) - M

Locale: Northwest US
Cuben on 04/17/2012 09:00:19 MDT Print View

To attach both noseeum netting and zippers to cuben I've had good results by sewing them to a long strip of cuben, then bonding that to the cuben shelter panel with Hysol. This has worked very well for me, and, because it is fairly simple and doesn't involve an assemblage of many layers, it is lightweight and flexible.

Mario Caceres
(mariocaceres) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco
sewing zipper to strip of cuben and then bond it to main body of project on 04/17/2012 09:21:12 MDT Print View

Thanks Colin,

I have a couple of questions, if you were working with the 0.74oz/yd fabric, 1) would the strip that you sew to the zipper be the same strength or reinforced and 2) lets say the the zipper tape is 0.375" wide, how wide do you make the cuben strip?

I do appreciate your input.

Cheers,

Mario

Edited by mariocaceres on 04/17/2012 09:27:59 MDT.

Colin Krusor
(ckrusor) - M

Locale: Northwest US
Zipper on 04/18/2012 13:57:36 MDT Print View

I've been happy with the result when I've attached zippers to cuben like this:

zipper

I use the same weight cuben for the strips as for the shelter panels, and I cut the strips so they stick out beyond the edges of the zipper tape by about 1/4" on both sides, in order to "taper" the zipper materials a bit, so the shelter panel material is flexing against a softer edge.

Some people report that an unprotected zipper seems to work fine in the rain (it doesn't leak enough to be a problem), but I generally add a flap to the outside. If the zipper is curved, keeping the strips and the flap flat can be problematic. With a severely curved zipper, you might have to waste some cuben and cut the strips and the flap in an arc.

I hope this helps.

Mario Caceres
(mariocaceres) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco
Thanks on 04/18/2012 14:23:10 MDT Print View

Thanks again. The diagram is very helpful.

Cheers,

Mario

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Zipper on 04/18/2012 14:53:13 MDT Print View

So you sew the zipper to the Cuben strips

Do you glue or tape the Cuben strips to the main Cuben fabric?

Colin Krusor
(ckrusor) - M

Locale: Northwest US
Zipper on 04/18/2012 23:27:46 MDT Print View

Jerry, I glue them with Hysol.