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Messages - Bootcat

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Vendors and sources / Re: first-spear tubes
« on: March 01, 2019, 04:48:25 AM »
Our experience has been different with ROC buckles.

We now have a few hundred carriers out with them. Some in daily LE use and some went to harsh places (jungle, desert, maritime).
A few have broken their locking latches (from pulling too hard on them) but even then the buckles still function. You could break two of the four lugs (ROC80) and the buckles remain operational. The Tubes won't work if you break their locking latch and replacement buckles are hard to find (the French Army sends the whole NFM carrier for repair when that happens).
Having 2 wide slots makes for an easier replacement compared to 3 narrow slots - we cut ROC buckles to offer a repair version until 2M has them available.
The alignment can be a PITA but the goal is to prevent the relative rotation of the two pieces from straining the locking lug.
Unless you have a non-elastic cummerbund there's just a proper gesture to learn to fasten them.

Besides, it's not like we have a lot of options in Europe. The Nat Molding one could be a better design but we can't buy them so who cares.

Yes I have a custom X-box pattern for sewing elastic to leg strap webbing in 38x30mm.
Haven't had the time nor urgent need to program other patterns.
What I can do once back from holidays is post somewhere the procedure for transfering patterns to the bartacker.

2M sent me their patent text. They are confident that it doesn't infringe on the Tubes patent.
Grab a seat, here's your popcorn...


I received a message from my contact at FirstSpear about the 2M ROC buckles we use along with some other brands in Europe and the USA.
FirstSpear believes the buckles infringe on their Tubes pattern and are starting the legal action.

For context: NFM has the distribution rights for Tubes in Europe but FirstSpear acknowledges that NFM is not selling them to anyone.
FirstSpear will not OEM produce carriers for export to Europe because of the NFM agreement so this way is blocked as well.
I heard that the Lindnerhof proprietary buckles might be available for sale.
I would rather use buckles from a manufacturer instead of a competitor for obvious reasons.

I haven't read the Tubes patent and can't judge whether the infringement claim stands (not a lawyer).
Link to the patent:
I have written about this to 2M and will keep you posted.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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