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Frame sheet for Dana Design Terraplane revisited
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Charles Jennings
(vigilguy) - F - M

Locale: Northern Utah
Frame sheet for Dana Design Terraplane revisited on 12/01/2012 07:54:11 MST Print View

So my seamstress tried sewing the stay sleeve on two separate pieces of 1/16" thick HDPE plastic that I bought from Professional Plastics, and it was too brittle to handle her sewing needle on her industrial machine and the HDPE cracked/split/broke.

Is there another type of nylon/plastic that is more pliable/less brittle, so that she can sew through it?

Really need some help, I am getting frustrated.

Charles Jennings
(vigilguy) - F - M

Locale: Northern Utah
UHMW sheeting on 12/01/2012 08:24:06 MST Print View

I'll try te UHMW sheeting and see how it does with stitching. Found it after reviewing my other thread. Any other ideas?

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: framesheet on 12/01/2012 13:14:15 MST Print View

I have no experience with sewing webbing to plastic (this is what, in my foggy recollection, the stock Dana sheet used). If you don't anticipate needing to remove the stays often, you could laminate (with contact cement) a layer of packcloth or thin CCF over the bottom and to of the frame sheet, with the stays inside. This will hold them in place and most importantly, prevent the hard edges of the stays from wearing through the bottom of the pack itself.

Good luck.

Charles Jennings
(vigilguy) - F - M

Locale: Northern Utah
Thanks on 12/01/2012 14:28:02 MST Print View

That's a great idea, I did not think of that. I appreciate the creative thinking!

Chris Peichel

Locale: Eureka
hdpe on 12/01/2012 18:56:22 MST Print View

I have sewn 1/16" hdpe from professional plastics on my industrial walking foot without any issue cracking the plastic. It actually sewed very nicely, I expected it to be much more difficult. I stitched all over a small off cut trying to see if I could get the plastic to split or crack and it did not.

I had some issues with professional plastics sending me the wrong materials, they made it right and got the errors corrected.

I would make sure it is hdpe.

Good luck

Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
UHMW sheeting +1 on 12/01/2012 23:10:41 MST Print View

For some reason anything under 1/16" thick, your only able to get up to a 12'"x 12" sheet.

Guessing you'll need a 12"x24" or 12"x36" piece. I've sew through 4 layers of 1000d cordura and this 1/16" uhmw nylon. It is very soft and flexible.

Edited by mfog1 on 12/01/2012 23:12:45 MST.

Charles Jennings
(vigilguy) - F - M

Locale: Northern Utah
Perhaps Professional Plastics did sell me the wrong sheeting on 12/01/2012 23:12:38 MST Print View

The sheeting I received is surprisingly brittle. Makes me wonder if they sold me something else besides HDPE. I will get some samples from some other companies and compare.

I went with them since they are only 30 minutes away, and I can pick orders up via willcall to save on shipping.

i will post some photos of the damage done as my seamstress attempted to sew through the sheeting I received.

Edited by vigilguy on 12/01/2012 23:16:46 MST.

Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
HDPE on 12/01/2012 23:21:58 MST Print View

No experience with HDPE, but I do with UHMW nylon, and it is very tough stuff.

Chris Peichel

Locale: Eureka
HDPE on 12/02/2012 08:29:00 MST Print View

I haven't tried the UHMW nylon. it sounds interesting, I may have to try some.

The HDPE I used is pretty tough. It was easy to cut, drill and sew.

If you are only 30min away, I would stop by and make sure they gave you the right material and maybe if ask if you can look at some other options.
Here are a couple pics of the frame sheet I made using 1/16" HDPE.

sleeve for aluminum

frame sheet

Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

HDPE on 12/06/2012 19:22:36 MST Print View

Hi Charles,

If its brittle and it cracked or split while sewing then it wasn't HDPE. You can sew through the stuff like butter and there should be no issues at all even with the thick stuff 1/4"+. If I were you I would call your plastic supplier and tell them to re-send you the right material : ) Let me know if you have any questions.


Charles Jennings
(vigilguy) - F - M

Locale: Northern Utah
UHMW plastic on 12/06/2012 19:36:11 MST Print View

Thank you very much. I will call them and ask them about it.

I ended up ordering some UHMW plastic from McMaster-Carr out of L.A. and I really like the feel of it over what Professional Plastics sent me. (It arrived today). Can't wait to have her sew through this, I suspect it will do just fine.

Also...night and day difference between the two companies to deal with.

Edited by vigilguy on 12/06/2012 19:38:22 MST.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Frame sheet for Dana Design Terraplane revisited on 12/06/2012 19:42:14 MST Print View


I did something similar for my wife's pack.

Frame sheet with tubular hoop stay

I didn't do boring old circular cut outs.

Heart shaped cut outs

The material came from the housewares department at Walmart. It's a plastic place mat. The last one I bought was $2.00 and measured 12" x 18".

Party On,


eran manasherov
(eranm) - F
Slightly different material and different work with the machine. on 12/07/2012 03:29:21 MST Print View

Hi everyone.
If you can't sew through the HDPE you can try normal polyethylene (PET). This is very similar to the material's features, but it is easier to cut and sew through, even through a thick plate.
Even if you have the right material, often sewing machine will behave differently when sewing such material. Tear thread or sewing ugly and weak.
So after you've exchanged a needle to a new needle, sometimes you have to place the needle at an angle different from sewing fabric.
Sometimes it helps if both sides of the PET or HDPE has a layer of fabric.
So less rubbing the sewing thread and tear it.
I hope you can understand what I wrote after the wonderful translation by Google Translate.

Charles Jennings
(vigilguy) - F - M

Locale: Northern Utah
Finally got it on 12/10/2012 22:14:53 MST Print View

UHMW frame sheets with Original in the middle

I bought the UHMW from McMaster-Carr (very helpful company). Had my seamstress sew through the 1/16" thickness with no problem at all. Glad I used this material, as it really needed to flex in order to get it to fit in the upper pockets of each Terraplane. Both Terraplanes were around 20 years old, one looked almost new, but the frame sheet was still torn a little, the other was faded but intact, and that frame sheet was really torn badly.

Everything went smoothly.

Thanks so much for all of your helpful replies!

Edited by vigilguy on 12/10/2012 22:24:43 MST.

Josiah Vandervelde

Locale: Florida
what needle for hdpe on 07/02/2014 21:13:29 MDT Print View

What needle should be used with hdpe? I'm trying to sew two layers of 1/32" with a 80/12 microtex needle and an having trouble with the needle bending. Would something like a jeans needle be more appropriate?