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creating holes in ccf pad
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victor larivee
(vlarivee) - MLife

Locale: white mountains
creating holes in ccf pad on 02/23/2014 14:06:19 MST Print View

I want to create a ccf back pad for my gg gorilla pack that enhances air circulation. Thought if I was able to cut lots of holeS in a wally world ccf blue light special (wait that's Kmart) that might do it. Trying to cut circles in the ccf has proven to be more challenging than I thought. Any suggestions?

Matt Weaver
(norcalweaver) - F

Locale: PacNW
Re: creating holes in ccf pad on 02/23/2014 14:59:50 MST Print View

Xacto knife.

victor larivee
(vlarivee) - MLife

Locale: white mountains
Cool on 02/23/2014 15:05:06 MST Print View

Thanks Matt looking to also make one for your old zpacks zero. Loving it so far

Ryan "Rudy" Oury

Locale: East Bay - CA
Re: creating holes in ccf pad on 02/23/2014 15:11:03 MST Print View

I suppose it depends no what size holes you're shooting for and how pretty you want it... but I'd think that whatever you do, you need thin & SHARP cutting tools.

If not worries about prettiness... for small holes, I'd think a small paddle bit and a drill would do well enough to punch a bunch of holes quickly. If larger and you don't care about them being circular, a sharp utility knife should be fine.

If you want prettier, clamping the material between two pieces of wood will make the cuts cleaner.

I'm also thinking some sort of large syringe style "needle" made out of rolled aluminum flashing could be pretty sweet too. Have the leading edge beveled so it slices through. You'd probably be limited to holes bigger than ~1" though.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Re: creating holes in ccf pad on 02/23/2014 15:16:35 MST Print View

You could heat up a metal rod of the right diameter (like 1/2" rebar?) over your pocket rocket stove, then melt the holes where you want them. This should work, but you might have to trim the edges of the holes with small scissors. Wear gloves, as the rod would get pretty hot, right?

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: creating holes in ccf pad on 02/23/2014 16:33:17 MST Print View

Rather than a metal rod you could use a metal/plastic/ABS/PVC pipe and cut your holes. Roughen up the end and it will cut great.

Also, if you melt the holes they may have a hard edge (uncomfortable) that the scissors might not get.

Edited by bestbuilder on 02/23/2014 16:34:42 MST.

Delmar O'Donnell

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Eyelet Hole Punch on 02/23/2014 18:56:27 MST Print View

Eyelet Hole Punch

aka Hollow Punch

Edited by Bolster on 02/23/2014 19:00:03 MST.

Jesse Anderson
(jeepin05) - F

Locale: Land of Enchantment
Re: Re: Re: creating holes in ccf pad on 02/23/2014 20:18:20 MST Print View

I seem to remember Roger showing a pillow he made out of an open cell foam. If I remember correctly he used a length of copper pipe that he lightly sanded the inside of to sharpen the end a bit, then with used that to punch a grid of holes through the foam. Sounds quite a bit like what you suggested and the results I remember seeing were pretty good.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: creating holes in ccf pad on 02/23/2014 20:56:57 MST Print View

As Jesse said.
Basically, you make a large cork borer (Google it). A drill press helps. If you sharpen the end of the tube (I used stainless steel tubing), which makes for a much neater cut, never ever put your finger up inside the tube when it is rotating!


Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: creating holes in ccf pad on 02/24/2014 00:27:07 MST Print View

You can buy driven leather punches in a variety of sizes. Whack the end with a hammer with the pad on a solid surface. If it will cut leather, a CCF pad shouldn't be too hard.

Driven leather punches

Glenn S

Locale: Snowhere, MN
Re: creating holes in ccf pad on 02/24/2014 01:02:59 MST Print View

It's just blue foam, any thin-walled piping would probably be just fine, even without sharpening the edges up. How big do you want the holes? Cut around the edge of a small steel can and it'd be plenty sharp enough. Twist and press and bore right thru it.

And E
(LunchANDYnner) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
holes on 02/24/2014 06:35:36 MST Print View

If you want larger holes, like 1.5" diameter, you could buy a little can of tomato paste. Instead of opening it up so that the lid is cut out, you can position the can opener so you cut around the side of the can. You'll have a nice sharp cylinder, plus you can myog some tasty sauce.

Edited by LunchANDYnner on 02/24/2014 06:36:13 MST.

Glenn S

Locale: Snowhere, MN
Hole borer on 02/24/2014 06:41:15 MST Print View

Ya, that's the steel can idea I was getting at.

I just got home and was curious, so I took the bottom part of a trial size Barbasol shaving cream can, which is about 1 1/4" diameter, and tried boring a hole with it. The cut off edge is real smooth, since this is what I make my alc stoves out of. It didn't cut very well at all. So I dug out my hole punch and made 5 half- hole punches around the top to work like teeth. It bored thru it like butter. Not the smoothest cut, but man was it fast, and plenty acceptable results IMO. The less pressure I applied, the smoother the cut was.

Edited by Glenn64 on 02/24/2014 06:59:23 MST.

Ryan "Rudy" Oury

Locale: East Bay - CA
Re: Hole borer on 02/24/2014 09:16:30 MST Print View

I think this was the basic idea I was conceptualizing, just in an odd way. If you didn't want to buy a pipe or wanted quick modification of size, you could take a wooden dowel and hose clamp a small piece of aluminum flashing around it to make the punch... then to increase size, wrap filler around the rod (tape, cardboard, etc) to get to desired diameter and then put flashing back on. Serrate the edge like glenn mentioned and it would cut great.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: creating holes in ccf pad on 02/24/2014 09:45:42 MST Print View

I think the more technical side of this issue is what size should the holes be.
anyone have any insight on best hole size ?

David Olsen
( - M

Locale: Channeled Scablands
Re: creating holes in ccf pad on 02/24/2014 09:47:47 MST Print View

Some soft metal pipe. The use one of these or a round file or a stone on a dremmel to sharpen it inside and out.

then use a hammer and a piece of trex or soft wood to punch the holes.

You might also try a holesaw with the foam held flat with a piece of plywood as a clamp and template.

Edited by on 02/24/2014 10:04:48 MST.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: creating holes in ccf pad on 02/24/2014 09:57:24 MST Print View

Do they need to be holes? Couldn't slots work?

Have a router?

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: creating holes in ccf pad on 02/24/2014 11:05:09 MST Print View

Jigsaw. Hole saw. Spade bits.



Edited by ViolentGreen on 02/24/2014 11:06:51 MST.

Glenn S

Locale: Snowhere, MN
Re: Re: creating holes in ccf pad on 02/24/2014 11:21:37 MST Print View

As far as hole size and placement, that might require a bit more trial and error. No need to make them all the same size. I guess I'd start with a full pad, then load up the pack to the max and wear it. Take note of where the biggest pressure points are, like the shoulder blade area, and make smaller holes there, then larger holes out along the mid sides where there's less pressure and padding needed. You wouldn't want your pressure points falling in and out of holes causing chaffing and such.

I also wonder if swinging your arms back and forth will be enough motion to pump the air through the holes to circulate it. Sleeping pads already incorporate holes for pockets of warm air to be trapped. Might need some horizontal channels cut in the pad too, to let it breathe

Edited by Glenn64 on 02/24/2014 11:34:43 MST.

victor larivee
(vlarivee) - MLife

Locale: white mountains
Done on 02/24/2014 18:58:22 MST Print View

Thanks for all the suggestions. I ended up going with the tools I had on hand, a 3/4" spade drill bit and a soldiering gun. I created grid lines on the pad 1.5" apart then drilled through the CCF into a piece of wood. I first drill one row then offset the next row. After all the holes were drilled I then used the soldiering gun tip to melt lines connecting each hole and to allow air to flow in the sides. Pretty much came out like I hope and at only 42 grams should work.

blue pad with holes