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Techniques for working with down?
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Justin Ling
(ling_jd) - F

Locale: columbus ohio
Techniques for working with down? on 02/10/2007 10:31:41 MST Print View

I'm not sure how well this has been addressed here, but nothing stood out when I searched the forums.

I just finished making a HUGE baffle-construction duvet for my bed. It has about 4 inches of loft at 90"x90", which was salvaged from old thrift-store-bought down jackets (something I probably wouldn't do if I were making it for backpacking gear). I made it inside my 2-man tent to keep the down from filling the house, but it was still kind of a disaster to work with.

I plan to make some down fill items for backpacking with better down, and would appreciate some thoughts or experiences people have had with it. How do you go about wasting as little down as possible? What is the best way to transfer the down? It actually occurred to me to make some sort of funnel to pour the down into the baffling or to use a shot-vac! (the latter would probably ruin the down).

It ended up taking me about 7 total hours of in-tent time just stuffing fists-full of down from the old jackets to the comforter. I realize it would take far less time using new packaged down.

Any thoughts?

P.S. the down from some of the jackets ended up being surprisingly nice!

Edited by ling_jd on 02/10/2007 10:33:19 MST.

mark henley
(flash582) - F
Re: Techniques for working with down? on 02/10/2007 11:20:31 MST Print View

The best method I've heard of:

Sew the baffled shell, then tape the shell to your shower curtain, hanging up in your bathroom. Transfer the down to ziplock bags ... place the ziplock bag into the baffle end, turn the ziplock inside out, and gently shake the down down into the baffle.

(a long cardboard tube may be of some help too)

Jonathan Meade
(Jon42574) - F
re: on 02/11/2007 19:34:06 MST Print View

I just finished a down sleeping bag for 2 people. I forget who posted this idea but they recomended using a clear tube with a silk or light filter and a vacuum. I put all my down in a pillow case and used a 2 foot tube that I found at bed bath and beyond filled with twizzler like candy :). I put the fabric over the top and cut a hole for the vacuum in the cover that came with the tube. then turned on the vacuume and slowly put it in the pillow case moving it around slowly until it stopped filling with feathers. I then turned off the vacuum and removed it's hose leaving the silk in place. place the tube in the baffle and gently blow it worked great!!. The only problem I came across was that I could'nt figure out how much down I had for each chamber eying it up was the best I could do. Good luck!!!, Jonnyonthespot

Lance Marshall
(Lancem) - F - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Transferring Down on 02/12/2007 00:23:59 MST Print View

I have used this device to transfer accurate amounts of down directly from a container into quilt baffle compartments. Because air gently flows into the container of down and then into the eductor tube, virtually no down gets loose from the container. If the baffle compartment is sealed and held securely around the 'output' tube, no down gets loose on that end either, in spite of the large amount of air flow. (Beware that if any connection does comes loose, you can blow down everywhere!) Note the beginning scale measurement and transfer the desired amount of down using your fingers to 'fluff' the down and coax it into the eductor tube. Seal the compartment when full and move on to the next one. If there's any interest I'll post some pics.
'Down Eductor'

Edited by Lancem on 02/12/2007 12:26:21 MST.