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Topics - cdhtac

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Asset exchange / WTB: #8 YKK coil zipper (from Europe)
« on: July 16, 2020, 11:35:32 AM »
I would need 10 meters of #8 YKK coil zipper in CB, Olive or Tan499 ( in which case i would need about 20 sliders as well). I guess multicam might work as well.

Preferably from Europe because covid19 has really seem to slowing down mail from U.S

Asset exchange / Looking for OD/similar #69 bonded nylon thread
« on: May 26, 2020, 08:26:04 AM »
Hi guys,

I'm looking for olive drab/similar shade of green (for example, AE34067 "green olive" or AE90784 "neutral mo") #69 bonded nylon thread, preferably made by American&Efird and preferably from Europe as i don't want to pay an arm and leg for the shipping. (If no one in the old continent has it, then arm and leg it is)

Or do someone have a source to get #69 bonded nylon from Europe? It seems that you can only find polyester thread from europe and i think that's pretty much crap.

Materials science / The use of FS-tubes
« on: April 26, 2020, 03:45:56 AM »
I remember there being discussion over here about the use of FS-tubes?

I understand that FS sells their tubes for U.S based gear makers, but are very jealous about how they are used and by whom?

Well, i am based in Europe and a customer asked me to build him a design which involves FS-tubes, which he would supply for me.. if i take the project, should i expect to get a call from the FS lawyers? :)

Ok, i've been planning on coming up with my own shooters belt design, and instead of using webbing to create the pals-matrix, i figured using laser cut pals would save a lot of time and make the belt more affordable.

Now here's the problem; i know nothing about laser cutting fabric. I am of course going to outsource the cutting, but is there anything i should know about laser cutting?

How about the material; would ACRONYM 500D laminate do the trick?

Do any of you guys do cutting on order? I would like to try the design first before buing a lot of materials

Asset exchange / WTB: some camo green 5038 and 55301
« on: April 23, 2018, 09:49:31 AM »
I would be interested to try how camo green works with Finnish M05 camo, but the shipping costs that for example Jontay offers, are pretty outrageous even for a small amount.

So, anyone here small amount of solution dyed CG 5038 (maybe 10-20yds) and 55301 (5-10yds) to spare?  55301 is not a must, it's the 5038 that i'm mostly interested in.

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 / 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:

Materials science / Which materials for a "vintage" type shoulder bag?
« on: September 17, 2015, 09:58:50 AM »
Usually when iīm wearing civvies, i prefer a casual, vintage type shoulder bag over a bag that screams "Tactical"

I really love the bag that iīve been using for 10 years now, but unfortunately itīs starting to wear out (has been doing so for the past couple of years, actually)

So i got this crazy idea of making a new one myself.

Bearing in mind that i only know how to sew cordura (because thatīs what i learned to sew with and havenīt had any need for anything else), i have a few questions:

a) What is the material that is commonly used in this type of bags? I am guessing itīs cotton duck fabric, am i right?:

If so, it seems to be sold in a couple of different weights; # 8 and #10. What is the difference (other than the weight) and which one would be more suitable for the task?

b) I was thinking of making the inner parts of the bag from 500d cordura.. Would it work with cotton duck fabric? As for the webbing, solution dyed AA-55301 (and 5038 for binding) should work just fine?

c) Which kind of thread should i use.. Can i get away with using #69 bonded nylon (because thatīs what i already stock) or should i look for other type of thread?

d) How is that kind of material to work with? I mean, shrinkage, fraying and all the other things i should know or to take into account

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:

Vendors and sources / OD thread?
« on: June 21, 2015, 05:59:49 AM »
I have tried my best google-fu, and i canīt seem to find A&Eīs ODS-1 (35495) in #69 anywhere.

Well, threadexchange has it, but they only seem to sell it by the case, and iīm only looking to get one spool, two at most. John Howard also seems to stock it but itīs one of those annoying companies that donīt have a simple web store.. Do they even sell single spools of thread or are they more like a wholesale company?

Anyway, any help where to find A&Eīs OD thread would be appreciated; all i have is A&Eīs olive green thread, which looks pretty gay when used with RG materials.

(Edit) Alternatively; if someone has a spool to spare, i would gladly buy it. No shipping outside US is required

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

Packs and bags / My latest pack (FEB2015)
« on: March 09, 2015, 03:12:57 AM »
Dammit @lessa@dro, i though i would be the first one to post a pack in here >:( ;D

Anyway, hereīs my latest creation.. I ran out of clever names for my packs a while a ago, so i just call it FEB2015 pack, for the lack of a better name.

Itīs a 1DAP/EDC pack for my personal use. The shoulder straps are removable, so if needed it can be mounted on a back of a BA or LBV with quick release system.

I have made like 40 (or something) packs already, but what makes this project stand out from the other packs, is the technique i used for making the beavertail/cargo panel. I have never used the inside out method. I had my doubts about it, but now that i tried it, i like how it turned out. To go with the pack, i also made a couple of tall 2Pals wide GP pouches.

Introductions / CDH-Tac Finland checking in
« on: March 09, 2015, 02:45:04 AM »
Hi guys,

Most of you know me from diytactical forum by the name of "jma78" but i figured that since i have not yet established myself on this forum, i might as well use the name under which i do business.

Been sewing gear since 2009 and i guess you could say that i specialize in backpacks and problem based designing.. Those two fields of gearmaking suck when it comes to "effort/gain"-ratio, but they are the most fun to do. I am active duty military, so sewing is something i do on the side.

CDH-Tac Finland is my brand, and you can find me from facebook.

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