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Messages - Bootcat

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1
Workspace, tools, machinery, and manufacturing / Re: Hot Knife Pad?
« on: May 25, 2018, 12:37:39 AM »
Buy a big pad (Olfa 24"x36" for us) and fix a stop on the glass along one vertical edge aligned with the 0" line so you can push the webbing to a fixed starting position without checking.

2
Workspace, tools, machinery, and manufacturing / Re: Juki 1281-7
« on: December 28, 2017, 02:14:51 AM »
I've recently bought a Jack 6380HC-4Q with electric foot lift and automation. It has a similar transport system and a big bobbin. FWIW the vendor says that Jack nowadays makes better mechanics than Juki.
So far it does everything I wanted (like sewing over 10mm foam shoulder pads) so I think a triple feed has slim advantages over it and costs way more.
An unexpected bonus is that I can edge bind beautiful corners with a simple Chinese folder without changing the foot.
The big bobbin is a big advantage too.
Only issue I've had is the machine is designed for pulling thick thread from leather - the pulling action after cutting often pulls the (slightly elastic) size 69 thread from the needle eye. There are workarounds for that.

3
I've been using full body and torso mannequins for some time now. Some thoughts you may find useful:

- a white translucent torso without arms but with partial legs and the ability to stand it on a rotary platform (i.e. cheese plate) gives excellent results for product photography on a white background especially if you can place a lamp shining upwards in the crotch area. Partial legs are useful to display belts. Be sure to buy it in your Medium size - mine is a Small and some vests don't close properly on that size.

- a full size guy in flesh color is cool for static displays in the showroom or at a fair booth. Arms must be detachable because they will not be used most of the time. I bought a Large/Long (188cm) and a Medium/Medium (182cm) but didn't account for the stand and shoe height, 188cm is a giant Crossfitter in my showroom... Go for 182 and 175cm in a straight standing position. Having those two will allow you to try on your vests/belts on two customer sizes and take full gear pictures. Tape all the joints because they will come undone when dressing/undressing frequently.

4
Platforms / Re: Patrolling Rig V2
« on: August 31, 2017, 01:47:52 AM »
Good looking.
IMHO the excess webbing would hang down instead of up if you placed the triglides on the harness instead of the pannel.

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Vendors and sources / Re: Textile and equipment trade shows 2017??
« on: February 09, 2017, 10:08:54 AM »
I'll be attending IWA this year on March the 4th. EnforceTac is geared towards MIL/LE personnel, otherwise you can get in with an invitation from one of the exposing companies. They pretty much stay in place for IWA afterwards, only the public changes.

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Concept, design, and engineering / Re: QD Panel for Vest
« on: January 15, 2017, 11:52:32 AM »
An acceptable way is using the shoulder loops designed to hang the USGI Tactical Assault Panel from vests, i.e. 1,5" wide loop of webbing goes around each shoulder strap, is stopped from sliding down by the widening fabric (neck cut) + 1" strap hanging down with the appropriate buckle.


7
Your problem arises because you extend the stitching past the edge of the webbing, pulling the fabric slightly up.
The best way to combat this is stitching 22-24mm seams on 25mm webbing.
Another way, prescribed in USMC and US Army specs, would be to have 1+1/8" between PALS instead of 1". However I found this unnecessary with coated fabrics, and the Euro standard is 25mm, so closer to 7/8" than to 1+1/8".

Side note: the metric PALS grid is slightly wider (40mm instead of 38mm) but distinctly lower (25mm instead of 25,4mm), makes a real difference when designing a 15" high load bearing vest for example.

8
Tutorials and techniques / Re: Sewing mag pouch splitters/dividers
« on: November 24, 2016, 03:47:19 AM »
When I sew dividers in new pouches, I first sew the dividers in on one side, then the bottom corner on the same side, then the bottom corner opposite side, then the dividers on the opposite side. This way is the easiest to handle.

9
End result for me: I found electrical conduits (Merlin Gerin Electric, rectangular section, 30x10mm) that proved to do the job well for my padded slings. I have yet to try the bigger size with curved shoulder straps.

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Vendors and sources / Re: IOTV 10mm mesh
« on: September 07, 2016, 10:08:48 AM »
That's not the point, they have dozens of styles of mesh.

11
As far as I could figure, this system was pioneered by Lowe in their early packs in the eighties (look up the CFP-90 pack), and may have been the inspiration for the PALS system.

I have tried a few packs with this centered adjustment system. The main problem is, it's not stable in the vertical axis, meaning the pack rolls right and left when moving. Having the shoulder straps stabilized with the help of aluminium stays helps but it's not much good with a load exceeding 15kgs. Maybe a parallel ladder system would be the correct answer.

12
Ergonomics-wise, mounting the straps about 2" below the shoulder line is better, with or without lifters. I like the webbing method the best for the reasons described above. It also allows to assemble the whole pack without shoulder straps dangling around, then add the straps, and last the stiffener (always a removable PEHD sheet in my use).
I would add that adding a curve to the top 1/3 of the side walls (as seen from the side), said curve putting the top seam about 1" closer to the back (i.e. the back wall now mimics the curvature of the shoulder blades), allows for cleaner tensioning of the fabric when the pack is worn, and the load lifters are less important. If you look for it you will find this curve on some good packs (Arcteryx and Karrimor SF among others).
Also, straps work better when the back length is well suited to the user. I often see short packs sitting on the users belt and the shoulder straps don't curve correctly.

13
Concept, design, and engineering / Re: Attaching molle... How many layers?
« on: February 08, 2016, 02:18:36 AM »
Attaching to two layers is sometimes useful for heavy applications. The best option being,sewing to one Cordura layer of Cordura with webbing sewn underneath (think extraction strap for example).

14
Concept, design, and engineering / Re: ALICE pack reboot
« on: September 16, 2015, 12:37:33 PM »
Entrygear carries both frames and has a comparison pic:



The 1606 frame is quite short being designed for airborne packs if I'm not mistaken. No lifter straps needed unless you use one of the aftermarket (Oneiros Valley) addons that enable 2-3" of additional height.

15
BOGear, I guess you are further up the experience ladder as most of us here  :).

I would suggest consulting Mrs Fasanella's book about the aspect of batching and optimizing the cutting layout, you didn't elaborate how the cutting job is organized so maybe there are some thoughts for you there.
For the custom jobs organisation, look up the Toyota Sewing System at FI: http://www.fashion-incubator.com/?s=toyota, this seems to be a good way to produce small batches or single items.

A more strategic view would be: what's the cost vs margin of doing custom jobs? If they make you 30% of your margin but take up 40% of your factory time (for example), you may want to have less of them. The easiest way to do that is raise their price. (I understand that you want to keep the custom orders going for marketing's sake). A sewing factory efficiency goes up as batches increase, up to a point - the Toyota system teaches that stocking too much (whether supplies or jobs-in-progress) is inefficient.

About getting your hands off the daily business, I completely agree and going physically away is a powerful way to do that. As a business owner you are responsible for writing procedures for the day-to-day operations of the company so it can run without you, and maybe get sold someday if you want to. You are replaceable in every business task except the creativity part, hence you want to delegate everything where you don't add value to other staff (hopefully cheaper /hour than you, as well). Set simple rules for the cases when initiative is needed (for example, allow staff to spend up to xxx AUD when necessary without asking for your permission, ditto for customer refunds and so on). There are lots of business books teaching that, but most owners fear to let the reins go - thus acting as the growth limiter for their company.

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