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Topics - Skunk Gear

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Vendors and sources / Brookwoods contact info
« on: August 07, 2018, 12:20:07 AM »
Another request for contact info> I'm looking for a sales representative at Brookwoods to buy rolls of cordura. They are not replying to the website contacts which i emailed several times.... Hope someone can help out   :)


Vendors and sources / PK supply contact information
« on: August 06, 2018, 05:34:10 AM »
Hi all,

Does anyone have an email-address to contact PK supply?
Their website is under construction and I can't find any info on there..

Thanx in advance!

Here's how I built a laser for my Brother KE430F bartacker machine. Great tip from StonePhotoGear and Gear Dynamics! It really speeds up the process of "aiming" the material in the work clamp.

The laser is held in a cooling block / movable clamp combination and connected to the machine on the eye-protection bar. It's a pretty rigid construction, it won't move by itself. It can easily handle the vibrations of the machine.
I don't know how long the laser light itself will hold, just had it for a couple of weeks. It doesn't get hot at all, so I hope it will stay with me :)

If you have a stable power supply, you might not even need the current driver. Not sure. I've read that lasers need a supersteady voltage and current.

I got all parts from ebay, except for a 5 volts wall power adapter, which I already had.
Make sure you get the crosshair laser lense. They also sell single lines, dots etc.

Total costs are something like 10-15 euros, depending on which power adapter you use. The assembly is really easy, 1 hour of work!

Here we go:

-Solder the output + and - of the power adapter to the input of the current driver. The current driver is really small so I opened up the power adapter housing and put it in there, wrapped in some duct tape.

-Solder the output + and - of the current driver to the laser + and -. You could also use a DC jack & plug.

-Test the laser. You can focus the laser beam by turning the end cap.

-Take the round baseplate of the laser mount.
-Screw the cooling block on the laser mount.
-Put the laser in the cooling block. I put some teflon tape over the laser focus, to make it tight.

-Drill and tap a hole AT THE RIGHT SPOT on the eye-protection bar of the bartacking machine. Make sure you tap with the size of thread of the laser mount. Or else connect with some more nuts. Check beforehand where to drill, the whole thing needs to be able to make the right angles etc. I wanted to laser to be right above the needle position or as much as possible, so I had to move the eye protection glass down one hole on the holding bar.

-My wall adapter had a convenient integrated on/off switch so i mounted it next to the on/off switch of the bartacker machine, under the table.

-Connect and tighten all parts, focus the laser and you're done!

Material Sourcing:

Tools needed:

-soldering iron and soldering lead
-some shrink tube or electrical tape
-some thin double electrical wire
-1/4" UNC 24 TPI (or 20 TPI??) thread tap

Parts from ebay: (I've put the descriptions and pics below, so the links don't expire)

-Aluminum Radiator Heatsink 22x27x46mm For 12mm Laser Module With Screws Silver
-Adjustable Red 5mW 650nm Cross Laser Module Focus Laser Head Industrial Grade
-650nm 532nm 780nm 808nm 980nm Laser Diode LD Drive Driver Current Adjustable
-360 Degree Clamp Base Stand Mount Holder For 12mm Laser Module Pointer Torch

You also need a 3-5 volts wall powered adapter.

Hope it helps!

Hi all,

This may be a bad case of RTFM, but i just can't find it...

I have a Brother KE-430F bartacker and i want to lower the work clamp amount via the operation panel. I think it will save quite some "aiming" time when the work clamp is just above the material, for instance tacking molle webbing on 1000D. The full lift amount is not needed there.
It would be great if this was programmable with the preset. The only hint in the manual is this one from the section for manually / globally adjusting it:

"Adjust so that the actual maximum lift amount for the work clamp is 17 mm above the top of the needle plate when the maximum work clamp height has been set to 17 mm using the operation panel."

Does anyone of you have a clue? thanx a bunch!!

Workspace, tools, machinery, and manufacturing / DIY Webbing Cutter
« on: February 10, 2017, 07:19:37 AM »
Hi all,

I was planning to type this down and share it for a long time, but was too busy moving the shop etc etc…as always.

As many of you, I started out cutting webbing with scissors and a lighter, but as that didn't cut it, I bought a HSGM handheld hot-cutter. Great tool, but i needed something that could cut straight more easily and faster.
I soon found out that I couldn't afford the step up in buying one. Especially that period :) Most reliable machines I found were something in the range of 450-600 euros so I decided to build one myself.
This turned out to be quite simple really. And very satisfying. It took me around 16 hours of work, plus some material sourcing and around a 100 euros total cost.

I wanted a 10cm (4") knife, but you make any size blade, just make sure the cartridge heater has enough watts to deliver the heat.
I just took some pictures of existing webbing cutters and just started out. I didn't accurately document it, it was a "go with the flow" build.

The main idea is that you have a steel knife, embedded in a heated brass bar. The heating comes from a cartridge heater,  powered by a dimmer circuit, which is connected to the mains. The brass transfers the heat to the steel knife evenly.
For safety reasons, the heater block and/or sheath MUST be bonded to earth. The dimmer circuit i used also has a fuse for safety.

The 25x25 mm square brass bar was drilled first with the exact diameter of the cartridge heater with a lathe and then one side was milled in the diameter of the steel knife. The 5 mm thick piece of steel was just cut milled and ground to a regular knife shape on one side. Doesn't have to be sharp off course. Just even.
Then the whole thing was bolted together, tightening the cartridge heater and the steel knife at the same time.

The brass / knife block is suspended with springs on the aluminum profile bar.
The profile bar has a wooded grip (doesn't get hot) and is connected with a simple hinge to the main shaft of the machine.

The aluminum protection plates on the sides were made of scrap material, as well as the steel bottom plate.
The bottom plate was screwed on a piece of wood since since it bent a little. At a later stage, i attached the steel guide bar on the left of the floor plate to keep webbing in place and also a big metal ruler on the right to easily cut various lengths without having to mark them.
For batch processing, you can clamp something like a wooden block at any certain length.

I attached a ring near the wooden grip for connecting a piece of webbing which enables cutting with your feet.

I also made an air suction unit out of a PP storage box, i got that idea of DIY tactical.

For the rest, I guess most of you can see how it's made from the pics, but if you have any questions, just let me know.

Hope this helps some of you on their gear making journey.

Some material sourcing & info:

Metal electronic case:

Dimmer (denoised):

Cartidge heater: Look for 500 Watts minimum:

Glass fiber insulated hose to insulate the electric wires from the control unit to the cartridge heater: ebay

Big springs on the "roof":

Compression springs for knife block:

Extruded aluminium profile bar 30x30 mm.  Also look for all washers and bolts that fit the profile. Should be widely available.

Brass piece : 25x25 and 10 cm long : Metals shop
5 x 30 x 100 mm steel bar : metals shop

The office / Contract manufacturing questions
« on: February 07, 2017, 06:00:59 AM »
I'm currently in a situation where I think some of you have been before. I tried searching the forum, but couldn't find topics about contract manufacturing. So here's my "problem":

I'm a one man show and normally I do fine with the orders I get in. But now there's a big chance of getting a couple of government orders (at the same time off course  :o)
These orders will be too much for me to finish within a reasonable time. I could do a part of it, but for the rest I need more hands to work.
It is a sudden spike of big(ger) orders and I cannot anticipate on what comes after that, so I can't really start hiring people full time to work on production.

What are the things to look for when doing contract manufacturing?

How do you do quality control? I have to make sure the finished product is exactly what's been ordered. How do you cover the risks?

Does anyone of you know good quality contract manufacturing, preferably in Europe?

And what about hourly wages? Is it doable money-wise to have a 1000 fairly complex pouches made? Selling price would be normal when compared to the same class of product. Or is 1000 pieces still too small scale?

I don't want my company to risk a "grow too fast and fail" scenario. On the other hand, I want to sell my products and I don't want to let the customer down.

Looking forward to hear about your experiences....thanx


Vendors and sources / 5038 3/4" Wolf Grey
« on: January 26, 2017, 07:42:57 AM »
hi guys,

I'm in need of 5038 3/4" Wolf Grey binding tape...1 roll should be good, but can work with MOQs if needed.
It seems very hard to find. Does anyone have a clue? The 1" version was easy...

Thanx in advance!

Workspace, tools, machinery, and manufacturing / removing markings
« on: September 19, 2016, 02:51:23 AM »
I'm curious about how you all deal with removing markers on fabric?

I mark most fabric with a Fons & Porter pen and one similar to that made by Prym. Most of the time, leaving those marks is not a problem and gives that "tailored" look :-) But I've had instances where i wanted to remove all markings and have a really clean product. But I find removing them with a wet rag quite a "problem". I can't actually get rid of them quickly. Especially molle-lines...And spending too much time on cleaning sucks balls.

Introductions / Hi from the Netherlands
« on: September 17, 2016, 10:51:36 AM »
Hi all,

Really happy i found this place!! I'm Jochem from the Netherlands and I've been running Skunk Gear since 2013. I'm a sports shooter and outdoor enthusiast and I make outdoor and tactical gear. I'm trying to maintain a balance between my regular job as a music producer, designing & sewing and family life. I'm not really good at that :-) ...

Anyway, I started sewing when i bought a 5.xx backback of which some seams ripped after a couple of months of mild use... so i went for it and tried to repair it. First slowly, then quickly, things started to change and i got some sewing jobs. Most of my stuff goes to sports shooters and the military at the moment. I'm spending all my hard earned cash to buy equipment and supplies and i'm very eager to learn "the trade".

I started out with my wife's sewing machine, after that a steel Pfaff 360, sold that and got a Global walking foot. Sold that as well and now i run a Durkopp Adler 767 auto, an Adler 267 dual needle and a Seiko LSC8BV cylinder arm. They rock!! In a couple of months I'll be getting a Brother bartacker and another cylinder arm for assembly. So right now..i'm totally broke haha

I'm in the middle of moving my shop (which was half of our living room in our city apartment) to the garage of the place we're moving to. for a cutting table!

I'm not very active on social media, but feel free to follow me on


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