Author Topic: Recommended tools for a beginner  (Read 241 times)

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slowmoguy

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Recommended tools for a beginner
« on: March 07, 2019, 04:09:33 PM »
I have been reading threads. All are good in their own way for me to read.

So, hot knife - a simple $20 soldering iron with sharp edge will do? It seems a salvaged or recycled glass door/table top with a measuring chart beneath it will do wonders for clean and consistent lines.

What other things would be nice?

I would be interested in the whole laser cut aspect, it looks very sharp and well.. I am not certain that it 'weighs less' comparing 1000D and 1" webbing versus multiple layers of 1000D with the top laser cut.. though it is clean. I like that and have been interested. On a side inquiry - is the HANK/CSM/Hypalon worth getting into? That is another 'trend'.

I have seen some ebay laser cutters.. dunno a thing about it.

I want to do belts, carriers and other bits. Nothing too major yet. I have ideas that.. is in my head. However, refining it and producing them will be a compromise of reality of cost versus skill.

Would it be more cost effective to learn simple sewing technique and use 'chalk lines'(a colored pencil, lightly scribed on materials) with manual effort? I am.. 'cheap'. Less invested.. means more rapid recoup investment. Yes it takes extra time.. but.. $8000 invested is easier to pay off than $20,000.

Ideally would like to keep costs low, do this in my spare time and.. six years down the line when I exit strategy military.. I will have my shop complete.

I used to be an automotive technician. I invested into some gunsmithing lessons.. I want to have a do all building. Jack of trades. Fix up and flip vintage cars, turn a few 1911's and AR's, keep up with the multi-gun shooting and maybe flip some tacticool gears.

Keep myself in reasonable living. Wife wants to be back working then. Kid will be doing school. We both will be in late thirties.

Offer me insight and advice please? I want this to work while potentially driving a schoolbus part time and taking a large roll at the family farm.

I am open minded and receptive. Have been mentoring with skilled persons from all trades. Time for my dreams to culminate.

My goals are small scale and simple. Not wanting to be the next crye or anything.

Please guide me?

Thank you
SloMOguy

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Re: Recommended tools for a beginner
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2019, 10:30:42 PM »
SloMo,

I see that you have posted many questions. You seem to be very motivated to start sewing soon. I get the impression that you have little to no experience sewing at this point. Here is some down and dirty advice I would have been happy with in the beginning. I too started sewing while active duty. I remember looking at all the gear around me and thinking I could do it better. Once you get into sewing, you start to realize why things were made the way and why they were using the construction techniques they did.

T111
These machines are awesome for beginners. Spend the $500-1000 and be set for the next 5-10 years. I have used mine to see through 3 layers type 13 webbing over 4 layers of 1000D with 138 thread and a size 25 needle. These machine are simple enough but have a bunch of attachments.

Hot Cutter
The $20 hot gun will not come close to performing within your expectations. They're fine for small runs if you're melting 5038 (binding webbing) or maybe 17337, but will barely cut 55301. It will also be extremely under powered to melt belt weight webbing like type 7 or 13.
Your table idea sounds cool, but when it comes to webbing, however, I find that I usually cut my webbing long and then cut it to size after its attached to the fabric. Obviously there are many reasons for cutting webbing to length, but I think I you'll find your table to be excessive and that monry could have been spent elsewhere.

Laser cut material
Can be lighter in certain applications, will potentially be heavier for your designs at first.
But I'm not going to tell you how to design your gear. Here is my recommendation for getting started though.
Purchase:
5 yards of 500D
100 yards 1" 5038 (binding)
25 yards 1" 17337
25 yards 1" 55301
25 yards type 7, a couple plastic 1.75" cobra buckles
Some 1" plastic buckles like SRB's
With the above materials, make a couple of common pouches - M4 mag pouch, 6x6 general purpose pouch, canteen pouch. You'll get a feel for measuring, cutting, layout, layer buildup, machine tolerances, etc.

I say all this because the gear I built in my head before I bought a sewing machine looked glorious on paper but didn't work in reality. Hell, i just built a bunch of pouches that i thought would be amazing, using a new to me sewing technique, and they all failed miserably.

Think of sewing like an AR15 - the barbie doll for men - I can buy a bunch of parts, and build a gun, but if I don't understand the weapon system, the firearm won't function. It takes the experience of an armorer to make the parts work in harmony. Same with sewing.

slowmoguy

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Re: Recommended tools for a beginner
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2019, 01:52:00 AM »
K.I.S.S

Awesome. I was thinking the same thing about the sewing machine. Pretty in line with what I was thinking.

Will research all those materials. Is there a list of 'trusted suppliers' floating around? I have seen rockywoods and a few others by my own searching.. but, if people have sources they are willing to share which will square me up at less dollars - great.

I have a pretty good assault pack and a few mag pouches to refer. I agree. It is complex.

I was thinking basically straight stitch a very simple plate carrier. Invert the materials. Double stitch everything, triple the areas i felt needed more strength. Roll it inside out and velcro the end shut.

I believe less is more. Which is why I was asking about the 'modern' pals. I know zilch about laminates and stuff.. best keep it easy.

Correct, I know very little beyond what I learned as a young kid watching a few people work sewing machines. Those small desktop ones.

Appreciated.

Being I was an automotive mechanic for.. a decade and am used to fabricating things.. would a simple homemade cutter work? When doing composites, I help a friend make a large saw. Some 2x4's got ripped down and made into a 30" bow. Held a single 16ga single strand wire. Used it to cut foam for making body parts.

Something akin to this possible to cut webbing or otherwise? I would need to dig out some notes, but it was a set resistance and simple 110v plug. The wire gets hot and burns the foam... or in this case, webbing or other desired article.

Thank you!!

Globe

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Re: Recommended tools for a beginner
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2019, 07:38:22 AM »
Yes, there is a list of suppliers floating around.
http://gearmaker.org/index.php?topic=46.msg260#msg260

ttps://jontay.com will have everything on the list I suggested, they only carry 500D in black though.

Rocky Woods is a fine source when you're getting started or if you're prototyping. I would never make a finished product that I would sell to someone from materials sourced from them.
You're probably like everyone else here... high attention to detail, no compromise on specs, and stubbornly so. Rocky Woods won't live up to those expectations for a finished product.

slowmoguy

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Re: Recommended tools for a beginner
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2019, 10:08:41 AM »
I am very grateful for that informaion.

I am.. very strict on things. Like, IP any gear before first use. If the lines are not visually true.. my teeth grind.

That said - want my ducks all lined up to follow this through. Working on many things.

Any other material manufacturers or vendors to avoid?

It has to handle real military abuse. How can I take pride in something I did, if it does not.

I am getting a solid outline.

Any reason to not use 1000D for everything? Pouches, bags, carriers? Outside of cost and weight.

essal

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Re: Recommended tools for a beginner
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2019, 10:29:26 AM »
My list of material would be:
- 5 yards of 500D Cordura
- 50 yards of 1" webbing (you can most likely get a full 100 yard roll for less)
- Maybe some 1.5" or 2" if you think you'll use it, or some 1.75 if you really want to do belts
- 2" roll of hook and loop (~25-35 yards are rolls)
- Some plastic hardware that you see the need for

I bet that if you aren't picky on colors, members here could probably sort you out with all the random shit you get sent by some suppliers or just old stock.

For tools:
- A good pair of scissors. Doesn't have to be $100 pair, but nice big scissors are better to work with.
- Thread trimmers. I like the Chinese scissor types.
- Mechanical pencil with white chalk
- A grommet setting pliar. The Prym one is great if you can find those locally.
- A metal square (to draw all the boxes that are your pattern pieces)
- A lighter (to burn threads and sear webbing ends (before you fold them))

When I started out, I think my first offical order was from Gerald Schawrtz Inc., being outside the US it was nice to have a one stop shop. https://www.geraldschwartzinc.com
They have US made products as well as OCONUS which are cheaper. I've been happy enough with their products. I think they only sell webbing and fabric by the roll, but it's fairly inexpensive as to buying by the yard. Never used them, but I think Jontay might be a part of GSI or at least seem to have the same sources.
Rockywoods is a good source for low volumes.
As a beginner you can stick to one type of fabric. It's hard enough. 500d is easier to work with than 1000d.
Nora Tactical
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Re: Recommended tools for a beginner
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2019, 02:33:51 PM »
500D is bad ass. 1000D is not better because it’s a bigger number. ALICE equipment held up really well and only utilized 420D fabrics. Don’t get hung up on the D numbers, choose the fabrics on the performance numbers. 500D is an all-round great weight.

Try this as an exercise... Build two pouches and make them EXACTLY the same. Make one out of 1000D with 55301 webbing, and the other from 500D with 17337. You choose the design. Then be extra critical of the differences.
Remember, this is just an exercise. I’m not saying that 55301 only goes with 1000D.

When I first started, I made all my stuff with 1000D exteriors and 500D liners. That shit was heavy.

slowmoguy

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Re: Recommended tools for a beginner
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2019, 03:45:21 PM »
I believe my OCP's are ripstop.. they are 50/50 nylon and something else. Not sure what it says on inside patch.. I also believe they are 500D. Seems to hold up. They feel more heavy than the scorpions...

Was only curious if 1000D would wear and last longer for things like carriers, rigs, etcettera. Especially when crawling or forcing oneself into tight areas.

Also know that a lot of manufacturers now boast using 500D. I was under the impression that heavier fabrics would last longer, is all. The webbing numbers I do not understand yet. Granted heavier is not always better. Just looking with the aspect.. I personally prefer "bomb proof" over "skinny girl/weight weenie" when forced to choose only one.

I can always build my body for the extra weight. Another five pounds does add up after a long ruck, I know. Very well. However - having "bad" or "busted" gear in the field is worse than heavy gear.

Thank you all again. It is really furthering my knowledge.

essal

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Re: Recommended tools for a beginner
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2019, 01:44:45 PM »
So denier is the weight (and only weight) of each yarn that is woven into the fabric. Lets say that 1000d in terms of nylon is double the size of 500d (it might not be, but it could). This gives the yarns better abrasion, as there is more material to abrade away before you have a failure in the scientific test. 500d is ~75% of the weight in terms of weight and abrasion resistance (there are more 500d yarns in a 10x10" piece of fabric than with 1000d, that's why it's not half the weight).

Are most failures due to abrasion in the tactical gear world? In a way, but it's mostly due to sharp edges from magazines etc. that are in high abrasion areas- which is NOTHING like how the scientific test of measuring abrasion is done.
I would worry more about correct stitches and design than material selection if your question is about 1000d or 500d Cordura nylons- and I'd go with 500d. If you're learning you want a fabric which is strong enough to last, but easy enough to work with so that the things you make actually end up looking good and being made correctly.
Nora Tactical
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Re: Recommended tools for a beginner
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2019, 06:09:27 PM »
I would add a quality seam ripper. I like suture scalpels vs. the ones that some machines and sewing shops sell.
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