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Messages - cdhtac

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Off Topic / Re: Carry websites?
« on: December 05, 2018, 07:17:20 AM »
I check out soldier systems and Jerking the trigger blogs daily.. but those are about all types of gear, not just carrying systems

Packs and bags / Re: Backpack #7 multicam.
« on: August 11, 2018, 03:40:25 AM »
As far as that zippered pocket (in front panel) goes;

I am sure that there is a hidden line of stitching over there, and that visible one isn't the only one.  But i would add another visible line of stitching, just for show. It gives a product a bit more finished and higher quality look. An average user might not realize that the zipper is not held in place with only a single line of stitching.

A superb build quality (and design) is what sets the gear made by like guys us apart from average mass produced the civilian products.

And that should show in the product

Off Topic / Re: Solar Eclipse
« on: August 24, 2017, 11:02:06 AM »
In Finland, we have a solar eclipse that lasts for 9 months.. we call it winter :D

I have two methods for attaching the straps;

The first one is for small packs, described by TwoWayTrauma on his post.. Itīs a nice and simple method, which keeps the layer buildup in the seam into a minimum, and also kind of puts the straps automatically into a natural angle.

The second method is for medium and large packs;

2" webbing is box-x`d into both shoulder straps, which in turn, atre box-xīd into the backpanel. Also notice the box-x (well, more like a diamond-x) which is sewn through both straps. (on the other side of the backpanel, i have hotglued an extra layer of 1000d for extra strength. After the box-xīs, i cut the excess of that fabric away)

The great thing about this method is that it allows the use of load lifters (which i think is an absolute must when making anything bigger than a small pack), and also the straps have some space to move, so they will adapt to the body of the user

Hope this helps

Packs and bags / Re: X-Pac Civilian Backpack
« on: March 11, 2016, 03:48:09 AM »
I really like what you did with the paracord in the shoulder straps, but that paracord pals matrix doesn't really work (visually), at least not for me :) frankly, the look that it gives for the pack is perhaps too DIY

I like how you did that hydration sleeve, i'm going to borrow that idea when i have time build packs again :)

Packs and bags / Re: Top loading pack
« on: January 18, 2016, 01:48:37 AM »
Thanks guys!

I don't think you have enough PALS on that pack.....LOL.

Dude, you can never have enough Pals :) Check out the pictures at the end of this post and you will see whatīs with all the pals :)

On the sides of the lid, you have some loops of what appears to be 3/4" webbing.... What are those for?

No particular reason.. i just felt like it needed some loops over there, just in case i happen to have a need to run shock cord through them or something like that

I was issue a top loading pack and I am normally not a fan,

I wasnīt a big fan of top loading packs of this size either, but now that i have used one an EDC pack for a couple of months, i am beginning to like the design

Anyway, hereīs a little update; I just finished a few accessory pouches that i was meaning to build for this pack. A couple of tall GP pouches, one large GP pouch and one flat admin pouch

Packs and bags / Top loading pack
« on: January 13, 2016, 03:13:36 AM »
Hereīs my latest pack, itīs actually the second top loading pack ever that i have made. A couple of months ago i decided to make myself a new EDC pack, but having made dozens and dozens of panel loaders/other pack designs with zippered main compartment, i felt like i needed a new challenge, and learning how to make top loading packs seemed like a challenge enough. I started with a prototype and after using it for a few weeks, I was surprised how much i liked the design (easy access to the main compartment, etc) so i decided to build myself a new one, based on that prototype.

The pack is a daypack size, and i will be mostly using it as my EDC pack at work. I had plans to replace the mesh in the backpanel with Spandura, but it didnīt really work out like i was hoping for, at least with the backpanel design which has pretty much become a standard for my packs. So i took the easy way out and used the spacer mesh. When i have the time, i will look into how to make the backpanel design work with Spandura. (i will have to redesign the shape and the size of the closed cell foam padding that goes inside the backpanel, which will take some trial and error.. Didnīt have time for that right now)

Raincover/identification panel pocket in the bottom of the pack

Pocket in the lid

Inner side of the lid has a mesh pocket

Inside the pack; Long sleeve pockets on both sides and two zippered pockets in the front part. The pack also has attachment points for TAD molle panel, which you can see in the picture

Packs and bags / Re: Tactical cooler bag
« on: September 28, 2015, 12:28:52 AM »
That's not just tacticool, it's a tacticooler.

I actually thought of that :)

I figured the most cost effective way to go about it would be to cannibalize another cooler for its insulation.

one thing to keep in mind is that the insulation material that most cheap commercial bags have, is pretty crappy. Thatīs why iīm thinking of acquiring some Mylar for my next bag (itīs actually quite cheap)

I personally like having uninsulated external pockets. They are a great place to store some things like silverware, napkins, moist towlettes, etc... I like to keep that stuff separated from the condensation of ice packs or spills.

There is an uninsulated sleeve pocket on the other side of the bag, the next will have those on both sides.

Packs and bags / Tactical cooler bag
« on: September 20, 2015, 03:27:02 AM »
Thatīs right, a tactical cooler bag :)

Iīm one of those fitness-fanatics, so obviously iīm pretty neurotic about my diet as well, which is why i always take my lunch with me at work. So basically i use a cooler bag every day. Until now i have been using cheap commercially made cooler bags that you can find from supermarkets and gas stations, but the problem with those is that they are made by the lowest bidder from crappy materials and that shows.

The idea of making my own cooler bag has been haunting me for a year, and now it was time to try it out. Maxpedition does make a "tactical" cooler bag, but those cost 109 euros in Finland, and that is WAY much more than iīm prepared to pay for a maxpedition product. If it were made by a high quality manufacturer, i would have no problem with the price, but maxpedition? gimme a break...

As i have never done anything like this, i decided to start with a working prototype first, and after getting it right, moving on to a design with a bit more features (zippered pockets on the outside, etc). Not that i would actually need zippered outer pockets in my cooler bag, but the lack of features/details makes this pack look pretty boring.

The walls, bottom and the top lid are lined with 5mm closed cell foam (that will help the bag to keep itīs shape, as well as provide some insulation). As the actual insulation material, i used insulation fabric that i cannibalized from a couple of commercially made cooler bags.. How was that to work with? i will get back to that later.

A couple of things i learned while making this project;

1) Making a bag like this without a cylinder arm sewing machine is quite tricky. Itīs possible, but quite challenging (because when i started to sew down the zipper, the sheets of closed cell foam were already in place)

2) The insulation that i cannibalized from those commercially made cooler bags, had an open cell foam backing, of about 2mm thick. So it was a total bitch to work with; it increased the seam thickness, and you know when you sew two pieces together that both have foam backing (open or closed cell), the edge of the pieces kind of "burst" out, making the binding of the seams a bit more difficult

3) the insulation material did not work really well with the feed dogs of my machine.. not at all actually. I had to cover the side facing the feed dogs with a masking tape to be able to sew it

I am bound to make a new version of this bag at some point, so i did some googling about which material to use as an insulation and where could i get it?

It seems that something called "Mylar" would do the trick:

Also, itīs available from Finland in some gardening stores, and it doesnīt cost that much:

Packs and bags / Re: First shot at an assault pack
« on: September 10, 2015, 10:42:53 AM »
Try terminating the seams of the PALS loops inside your seam allowance the next time.

When i determine the dimensions (mostly talking about the width here) of my packs, i do not think how wide the pack should be, in centimeters.. I think how wide the pack should be in Pals columns. Just for the reason you mentioned. I do not like to leave the ends of the pals webbing exposed on either end, and because of that, i normally use a 3 part center piece; One with the other side of the zipper sewn in, one with the second side of zipper sewn in (this side usually has the stormflap) and one with Pals sewn in. This picture should explain what i mean:

I prefer a separate bottom piece, because this makes it easier to sew symmetrically.

Separate bottom piece also adds some structure to the pack, and i like that feature in packs

I like the shape of your shoulder straps, however, i tend to finish the binding to the top end; i think itīs not that visible over there. I also prefer to sew down the binding to the shoulder straps with two lines of stitching; It gives a more finished look, and adds some stiffness into the straps

Aaaaand one more thing :) I always make the top and bottom corners rounded (top corners always more rounded than bottom corners). That too adds some structure to the pack (also, the zippers operate more smoothly especially if the zipper has a stormflap) . Here is the basic backpanel template that i use with my assault/other small packs:

Tutorials and techniques / Backpack tutorial (from 2011)
« on: September 09, 2015, 12:13:00 PM »

I made this tutorial back in 2011. And since then, i have come a long way when it comes to making backpacks. (so please donīt think that this is the level that i am on, right now) Some of the techniques shown in the tutorial, i do not use anymore. I have been meaning to make an up to date tutorial, but i simply havenīt found the time to do that. As you will see; documenting a backpack build and then making a tutorial of it is not a small task.

But i still think that although iīm personally not happy with this tutorial anymore, as my skills have developed a lot after making this, some people can still find this useful. Most of the basic ideas still apply.

If there are any major changes into my way of making packs, i have written those in this tutorial with bold lettering

1.) I wonīt go into details about measurements, etc.. Iīm just showing you what kind of process it is to make a backpack. This is such a big project that making a “Donīt use your own brains, just follow these steps and youīve got yourself a backpack”-tutorial would have taken ages to make. Maybe this will encourage more people into making backpacks, especially the less experienced ones after they see that there really is no greater mystery behind packs;

They are just like GP pouches, although bigger and they have shoulder straps.

2.) There are a lot of different pack designs. For this tutorial, I chose a simple, clamshell type backpack (pretty much like ATS RAID or Cobra.. (This actually looks a LOT like Cobra). If you have never made a backpack, I recommend you start from something simple like this.

3.) The techniques/methods iīll show you, are not “the one and only way to do this or that”. This is just the way how I make backpacks.

4.) I have left out certain details/phases, like how to sew Pals, how to box-x, and stuff like that.. I assume that if someone is giving their first backpack project a go, they already know the basics of this craft.

5.) When iīm speaking about measurements, I use the metric system, so sorry about that, guys in US.

6.) Do your best to keep the seam thickness into a minimum. For example, if you look at the pictures of the finished pack closely, you will see that the zipper on the front panel which goes all the way down to the seam and the loop of webbing for the srbīs of the upper compression straps, are on top of each other.

This is not the way to do it. Itīs not the end of the world, but still, it adds to the thickness of the seam.

Ummm... Of course, i did that on purpose, just to make a point:)

No one ordered this pack from me, nor did I even have any need for a pack like this, so I made it only for the tutorial. This is an E&E / Small day pack.

Letīs start.

A backpack consists from 4 parts;

Shoulder straps


The side/bottom piece

Front piece

And usually, thatīs the order I start making a pack.

First; hereīs how the end product should look like.

Letīs begin from shoulder straps.

There are a couple of ways to make these; The “inside out”-method, and the “sandwich the padding in between bottom and top layer of the shoulder straps and bind around it”-method, which I used with this pack. This method gives a pretty sharp looking result, but it requires you to have at least adequate binding skills. I know from a bitter experience that bad binding can ruin a perfectly good project.

I still suck at binding curves, and my binding attachment doesnīt seem to help me with that, hence the angles on both ends of the straps. Angled corners are a lot easier to bind than rounded corners (at least for me)

As this will be an E&E-type of pack, I didnīt use any spacer mesh/air mesh with it. Also, when I started making packs, I thought that the thicker the padding is, the more comfortable it is to carry. Thatīs not the case, of course. Itīs more important to shape the shoulder straps correctly. Correctly shaped straps will divide the weight evenly, and they are also less bulky, which is especially important if you are carrying the pack while wearing body armor

Start off from making a template for the straps. If you already have a pack which you find comfortable to carry, make the template using the shape of itīs straps as a reference.

Cut the top and bottom layers using the template.

Tack down the webbing using hot glue, and sew the webbing in place (remember to box-x it from the both ends)

Cut the padding using your template. I used 4mm thick closed cell foam. (Like I said, this will be a small pack, so that will do) Use spray on adhesive in attaching the top layer and the bottom layer into it (not a necessity, but it helps and I prefer it over hot glue)

Apply the binding tape. I like to use Gutermanīs fabric glue and a whole lot of paper clips to tack it in place. After the glue has dried (it only takes a few minutes) itīs pretty easy to sew down the binding tape. If you have vertical webbing/elastic in the straps like I have here, remember to double back over them, so they will be triple stitched. For the binding tape, I used two lines of stitching, one close to the edge of the tape, another one close to the edge of the strap.

Box-x two pieces of 2” webbing into other end of the strap (the end which goes closer to the body of the pack) The straps will be attached from these 2” webbing into the body.

Make a template for the backpanel (same works with the front piece as well). Hereīs what my template looked like. Itīs measures are Height: 44cm Width: 28cm. I used a 1 cm seam allowance, so the end product is somewhere around 42cm/26cm

For the outer layer, I used 1000d cordura, and for the inner layer, I used 500d cordura. Cut one each.

Hot glue and box-x the straps into the outer layer of the backpanel (the 1000d). After that, sew a 2” webbing over the part where the straps attach to the backpanel (shown 2 pictures below)  (i donīt use this anymore; i donīt like how this kind of strap attachment looks.)

Hot glue the padding for the backpanel in place. After that, tack down the inner layer of the backpanel over it (forgot to take a picture of that, sorry)

If you want to, you can now sew some ”airchannels” into the backpanel.. Whether they actually allow any airflow is questionable, but they will help stiffen the backpanel, and give the pack a more finished look. You can skip this part if you want to.

Then we will make a pocket/sleeve for the frame sheet. In some commercially made packs, the pocket for frame sheet is also meant to accommodate a hydration bladder. However, if you want to do that, you have to add pleats into the pocket.. Otherwise, when you put a full bladder inside of it, the backpanel will bulge out. Surprisingly, there are a lot of commercial packs where the frame sheet/hydration pocket is made without pleats.

Tack the frame sheet pocket in place using fabric glue. I also added some looplocks for tying down stuff (the two on the top part of the pack are for TAD`s admin panel). That webbing+triglide combination is for attaching a hydration bladder.

Then we will attach the webbing which goes into the shoulder straps, into the backpanel. If you want to do it properly, this is pretty much the only way to do it.

We will start out by making a triangle. Fold the long side of the triangle. Tack down the webbing. Fold the other side of the triangle. Box-x the webbing. Then tack down the triangle+webbing combination into itīs appropriate place.

Hereīs how it should look like once finished:

If you want to, add attachment points for the sternum strap (forgot to take a picture a picture, but I will see them later on.

Now you can sew around the backpanel and itīs finished.

Measure the dimensions for the side piece. This is a clamshell type of pack, so the zippers should go under the pack.

The length for the side piece for my pack was 110cm

Then we have to determine the width of the side piece. I wanted the other side to have a storm flap. Also, I wanted the side which is attached to the backpanel, to have two columns of Pals.

The other side which attaches to the front piece, is much narrower

Then cut the side pieces

Tack down the zippers (#8 is a nice all around size) with hotglue or fabric glue. (these days i only use hot glue, not fabric glue)

The storm flap fold

Sew the zippers in place. Use two lines of stitching (one line is too few, 3 lines is too many)

Hydration port: Sew a piece of Velcro, exactly in the middle of the side piece. Sew around it.

Turn the side piece over, mark an X inside the box formed by the stiches. Then make additional markings around the X like this;

So basically, the middle lines mark where we have to cut through. The lines around it are a reference for stitching.

Stitch around the outer lines like this:

Cut an X in the middle of the X which is formed by the stitching, and you will a yourself a hydration port. There are many way of doing the hydration ports, this is just one of them.

Carrying strap.

Cut a piece from 2” webbing (how long? itīs up to how big you want the handle to be)

Fold the webbing from the middle and sew over the folder area. Tack the carrying strap into itīs appropriate place, and then box-x it.

Sew down any pals webbing or what ever you want the side of the pack to have. Attach both sides with the zippers Now the side piece is ready.

Attach the side piece into the backpanel with paperclips to determine the measurements for the bottom piece. With this pack that dimensions were width 20cm +2cm for folds and the height; 14,2 cm ( thatīs how wide the side piece is, with both sides of the zippers attached).

Make the bottom piece. I usually give it two layers and sandwich the side piece in between them. Again, outer layer from 1000d and the inner layer from 500d (i havenīt used the sandwich technique for years. These days i use a single layer as the bottom, sew it into the zipper piece and bind the edge)

Attach the bottom piece into the side piece+backpanel combination with paper clips and mark the lines where you have to sew the bottom and sides together.

Sew any webbing you might want the bottom piece to have. Install a grommet if needed.

Tack down the side piece into the bottom piece. Itīs now sandwiched in between the two layers of the bottom piece. Sew.

Do the same for the other side

Tack down the compression straps to the sides (4 in total)

Attach the finished side piece into the finished backpanel with paper clips. See that it fits perfectly. It HAS to to fit perfectly. If it doesnīt fit, itīs not too late to make adjustments.

Sew the side piece into the backpanel. After first line of stitching, fold the sides over and inspect the seam to make sure everything looks ok. If everything is ok, sew another line of stitches, Then apply the binding tape (not shown here) and sew it in place (again, I used fabric glue to tack down the binding tape)

Attach the other ends of the compression straps, if you havenīt done it before

Hereīs what it should look like before binding the seam.

Make the front piece. Those two loops of webbing at 10 and 2 oīclock and those 3 looplocks at the bottom are for attaching a beavertail, donīt mind them. I also made a zippered pocket into the front piece. Before I sewed down the pals, veclro and the other stuff, I attached the front piece into the side piece+backpanel combination with paperclips to make sure it fits perfectly.

Then make the inner side of the front piece. Now that Velcro backed admin pouches are in fashion (like BFG dappers), I didnīt bother with making any organizing pockets, I just used long strips of velcro.

Tack the outer and inner layers of the front piece together, attach it to the side piece+backpanel combination and sew the first line. Then turn the pack over and check the seams. If everything is ok, sew the second line. Apply the binding tape, and youīre done.

Hereīs a finished pack with the beavertail on:

And hereīs how it rides on my back:

Packs and bags / Re: Small assault pack
« on: September 01, 2015, 10:24:42 AM »
As a side note, cdhtac, every time I see those packs I'm amazed! They are works of art.

Thanks man, much obliged :) Thatīs actually an old pack, wait ītill you see whatīs coming next :)

Having a cheaper "webbing only" option would be a good idea

For a couple of combat sustainment packs that i have made to complement my own combat kit, i have actually made simple straps out of webbing, in addition to padded straps. On regular days i have used the padded straps, and with a beast mode on, webbing straps. I have never been a fan of mounting a pack directly in a bodyarmour, unless it has been done with a quick release system.

Correct. I like using a camelbak better bottle with a tube, because I consider it easier to clean.

Roger that. Are you familiar with Sourceīs hydration bladders? I switched from CB into using Source hydration systems like 5 years ago, because those are a LOT more easy to clean and dry

Packs and bags / Re: Small assault pack
« on: September 01, 2015, 08:36:02 AM »
Great idea with the V-shape, I'll try that on my next piece.

I'm still thinking about the straps though.

No probs, this is what this forum is for..

I prefer to make my straps contoured and bind around them.. Personally i think the end result looks better than with inside out-method, but thatīs just me. For a pack of this size, i think plain straps like what you did for your previous pack will work just fine; no need for the contoured shape

Below is a picture of the straps that are standard for my small packs (Although my pack designs vary greatly, instead of always re-inventing the straps, i only have two standards strap designs; one for small packs, one for larger packs)

With a pack that small, i think you could even get away with making the straps completely out of webbing (especially if itīs meant to be used with a PC; then having no padding would actually be an advantage instead of a problem)

Platforms / Reconnaissance chestrig
« on: March 29, 2015, 10:35:41 PM »
Now that a certain country is acting week after week, more and more like a Nazi Germany, i figured itīs time to finish a project i have been putting off for a long time; My version of the Finnish army reconnaissance chestrig.

Well, actually, the issued rig sucks so much that the only similarity this has, is that itīs made out of mesh like the issued rig is.

That mesh is actually cool stuff; Our new plate carriers are also made out of it and i heard that originally, it was designed as a camouflage net for ships (!). The other side of the mesh is green camo, the other is grey camo. As far as i know, itīs not sold for individuals, i just happened to get my hands on a small piece of discarded and cut up netting. Itīs very easy to work with because it does not stretch into any direction, and thus has a zero (well, almost) shrinkage.

I figured that since itīs made out of mesh, it might be worth showing off.. other than that, thereīs nothing really special about it. I made this for my personal use, basically as my gtw-rig

The corners of the bib attach with SRBīs so that when putting the rig on, the bib can be easily tilted forward, out of the way. The bib can also be stowed inside the rig (map pocket) The shoulder straps are lightly padded (3mm closed cell foam)

That loop velcro in the back of the bib connects with the closing system of the map pocket when the bib is stowed away

Hereīs a close up of the mesh

Concept, design, and engineering / Re: Bonding Cordura
« on: March 12, 2015, 11:25:12 AM »

Off topic.... What's your middle layer for? Just lining the spacer mesh? And in that case, is it really necessary?

i just donīt like the idea of having the closed cell foam right after the spacer mesh, thatīs all... Also, it brings some extra stiffness for the belt, which is good

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