I picked up a couple of aluminum frame stays when Brendan Swihart kindly offered them last winter. One was used to replace the delrin rods in my Osprey Hornet prototype pack. I wasn't sure what to do with the other one. I was down in my war room, making those titanium pot supports for you guys, my hands needed a rest, and I was just staring at some gear strewn about the room. I happened to notice the frame stay sitting next to my Jam 2, and I saw the light. Here's what I did:
I sewed loops in the pack's compression straps, using kevlar thread, and also a tubular webbing section into the seam where the hip belt connected to the pack body. I sewed closed the bottom of the tubular webbing. The inverted U- shaped frame width happened to be exactly right to fit into the two hydration ports of the pack.
This photo shows the back view, where the aluminum frame exits the hydration ports, and also the load lifters that I sewed into the pack seam (the bottom ends are attached to the tops of the shoulder straps as you can see in the photo above).
This shows the inside of the top of the pack. I added two loops of Velcro to hold the frame firmly in place. These were sewn directly through the pack seam and connected to the load lifter straps on the outside. This secured the load lifters to the frame.
The frame stay and load lifters added maybe 1.75 ounces to the pack. I had already removed the stock frame sheet and hydration sleeve, and I place a GG Sitlite pad inside against my back (I always carry one, as a multi-use item--part of my pillow system, for a comfortable seat on a log, etc.). My Jam now weighs 1# 11 oz., and it carries 25# more comfortably than before. I'm thinking of adding another ounce or so to beef up the shoulder straps, as that's now the weak link for me.