My sewing equipment is limited to a speedy stitcher. And for spur grommets I would need to buy the appropriate size, the punches and the hole puncher.

Max resolution photos link at end (new window)

Thanks.


Max res photos:

[img]https://farm1.staticflickr.com...211_df4eeceb3a_c.jpg[/img]

[img]https://farm1.staticflickr.com...687_7325db3864_c.jpg[/img]

 

Original Post

Send it to Chris at Down Range Gear?  It’ll get done right the first time.

 Might take a little while, but it will be right.

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

Is this your idea, or have you seen someone else do the same and are trying to copy it? 

Yes, I see some issues as raised in the diagrams. Forget fraying, grommets (and snaps) in elastic can be weird.

If the point to make it adjustable I'd tend to want to shitcan the entire sewn elastic bits and replace with grommets (or similar) in the vest itself, but that's getting to be a lot of modification. 

Because of the crossed webbing (elastic?) above this, I worry that the whole geometry will get off kilter and it will bunch up when modified. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

My idea but I'd love to see all the ways this might have been done.  I've seen one other photo online where the elastic was replaced with the typical adjustable nylon strap and buckle setup.

In the NAVAIR manual it talks about replacing the elastic webbing with same webbing of appropriate length, ie: still non-adjustable.

I'd like to retain some elasticity so my other idea was to still cut the elastic down the middle, add on some length of standard nylon webbing where I can install a spur grommet, with the ends sandwiched onto the elastic and sewn through.  

Depending on how much elasticity is left I might run paracord (or 1/4in shockcord) in a corset style lacing pattern that allows for adjustability (heavier/lighter clothing and such).

Grommets into elastic which will then be pulled on is asking alot. 

I would put nylon tabs at the ends of the cut elastic starting around the center of the yellow dots, then install the grommets a little farther out.

Maybe set it up on hook and loop like 4 compass wristbands?  You could seamrip the elastic off of one side, add a buckle then double it back, or just add extra webbing to the elastic and run 4 itw ladderloc buckles on each side like a cheap plate carrier.

 


 "We have no scars to show for happiness.

We learn so little from peace."

Thought bubble suggestion

Ditch all the exposed elastic strapping

Put a grommet on each side (above & below)  where the remains of the elastic strap is flag stiched into the vest.  Do this on both sides.

Note: if, as someone pointed out, the vest material won't take the grommet, you could:

A: put the grommets through what remains of the elastic stap flag stitched into the vest or

B: remove all the remaining elastic strap, replace with a reinforcing strip vertically down each vest side edge & then grommet through that.

Do a series of HD shock cord though each set of grommet pairs..but to the diagonally opposite one of the pairs: like crossed boot laces.  It would take some fiddling around to get the right tension but should avoid scrunching.  Also, if one is severed or is buggered by chemicals damage- you don't loose the lot.

Alternatively, Lowlite's & your corset idea sound good but doubling the grommets (as above) might make it better.

 

 

Linz and Lowlight are on the page I was on. Lacing like old school vests, say the Tac-1

Image result for eagle tac 1 vest

They used paracord, but one common mod was to change out for elastic cording as you mentioned in the OP. 

Anyone who can professionally do grommets should be able to punch through the existing elastic and vest material, all in one. That should provide enough reinforcement without sewing or stitch-ripping everything out. Just cut the elastic off flush. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

I'm missing something.

Why do you feel the need to change?  Do you want the thing to be tighter and closer fitting (because it probably will be, given experience with the old GI flak jacket and the SRU-21/P).  Just curious -- how often do you wear this thing while flying GA aircraft (like Alaska bush pilot daily)?

Is the present elastic damaged?

Thank you everyone for your input.

The present setup is too small lol.  I have about a hand-width of space remaining at the zipper front.  I can ALMOST stretch the bottom portion to mate up the zipper ... almost.

But even without my current gut I find that adjustability is a good option to have.  I'd like to avoid compromising the current setup beyond cutting the elastic webbing down the middle and keep the elastic webbing as tab extensions (and keep a slight bit of stretch back there) to add on the nylon webbing.  

Here is a new diagram I did to illustrate the tab idea.  (the 'scale' isn't perfect due to the limitations of Mac Photos):

 

I think your best bet would be to hot knife the elastic off, almost flush with the vest.  Then use the remaining elastic (centered on box-X pattern) as a doubler for grommets.  Should be no problem to punch through vest and elastic material in these locations, and set a grommet.  Most grommets are set in thinner build ups, where the possibility of tear-out exists.  With the additional elastic doubler, the grommet has more thickness to set, which is actually a plus in this case.  Yes, it will weaken the box "X" but so what; it is no longer needed, other than to hold down the edges of the new grommet doubler.

You can then lace either paracord or shock cord, as desired.  This would be the quickest solution.

Alternative 1:  Again remove the elastic.  Sew on short loops of 1" webbing, spacing as desired (approx. 1").  Use this to lace two sides together with cord of choice. 

Alternative 2: A less  desirable alternative would be to hot knife the elastic at mid point, fold back and stitch down to base, creating cord tunnels.  I would use a "chaffing strip" of some kind of webbing inside the folds to prevent tear-out.  Again, cord of choice.  Elastic may not be long enough for this option. 

Alternative 3: Again hot knife elastic at mid point, and then sew webbing loops, folded over elastic, sandwiching it in between the webbing.  Trim elastic back, if required, to approx. 1" base, for a box -"X" pattern to attach webbing to.  Making loop approx.  1 1/2" overall.  Cord as before.  I don't think it needs much space for stretch; I would put webbing almost flush with base. Depends on which cord you use I suppose.           

Personal opinion.  Putting grommets in the elastic is basically guaranteeing failure at some point.  Without some kind of non-stretch doubler, on both sides, I think it will eventually tear out.     

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

Yeah, IDEALLY, if I had time, I would open everything up, shit-can the elastic, and start over.  I don't like having something sewn in that will degrade over time- like elastic.  I prefer shock cord in these apps because I can replace, not to mention adjust it.

Depends on how much stretch you need to the joint.  If you are relatively static, as in sitting in the cockpit, then really you could get away with a non-stretchable joint.  So yeah, paracord, or even 1" webbing with adjustable hardware would work, as long as you keep the hardware relatively smooth/flat.

Also depends on how much tension is needed in the joint.  Again, seated, static, you really don't need any support in this app; just eased out to be more comfortable on long flights.  And perhaps a little cooler with better circulation.     

So yeah, it's all time and money.  A field expedient needed last week, or something you have plenty of time to fool with.   Any good parachute rigger worth his salt should be able to knock this out. 

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

Other option I wonder about, not having seen the whole vest loaded up or knowing if this is a uniform requirement etc: Do you need to mod this vest or can you just shitcan it and get something else? E.g. an AIRSAVE w/o lift harness is often available surplus darned cheap and is horribly adjustable. As a lightfighter I assume you have 473 spare MOLLE pouches you can toss on where needed.

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

Ha, I definitely qualify for that.  My buddy who trained me as a rigger had a nice E&E kit he built, that  rigged onto his pilot emergency chute, like a reserve.   So if you typically fly with a chute, then this is an option.   He was one of the jump pilots at our DZ so that was typical for him.  

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

I'm just curious why anyone would even want to wear a vest in a GA aircraft (assuming you're flying it for pleasure) because if it was work related there are guys who would take care of it for you. 

I normally use a Hill People Gear kit bag or a Mayflower UW rack type arrangement for flying without armor. I want my back to be as clean as possible to help with seating position and posture. The few things I need to carry with me and want on my body fit well in a chest rig type arrangement. For extraction capability, I find that a regular climbing type seat harness is the best low profile option and can be stowed in a pouch until needed. For life preserver use I typically wear the Mayflower down low with an LPF secured over the top, or the LPF secured over the HPG kit bag (that's a little bulky though). 

There are more modern options that will be far more comfortable and durable than a vest modified in your description. Heck, even buying a new vest probably won't cost what the mods will and you'll get the durability of a new item. 

shoobe01 posted:

Other option I wonder about, not having seen the whole vest loaded up or knowing if this is a uniform requirement etc: Do you need to mod this vest or can you just shitcan it and get something else? E.g. an AIRSAVE w/o lift harness is often available surplus darned cheap and is horribly adjustable. As a lightfighter I assume you have 473 spare MOLLE pouches you can toss on where needed.

There's actually a youtube video of an Alaska pilot who went with that sort of vest.  

I've tried a vest before, specifically a 5.11 shoot-me-first vest.  Great structure to the vest but way too hot.  I may try an AIRSAVE.

As far as this SV-2B is concerned it is actually new (new-old stock specifically) in bag.

What can I say, I geek out on this stuff lol

I had rigged up something before, on a TT split chest rig, the one that buckles in front, using molle pouches but it turned out to be rather bulky/cumbersome.

I would remove that elastic between the panels and put grommets in the boxed X squares, in the triangle covered by your thumbnail.  That nylon will tear after awhile.  Us 3/8" or 1/2" brass grommets with nylon or elastic cord.  You can have a cobbler do this or do it yourself with a $10 grommet kit.

Or 

That's a SV-2B vest stitched on a SRU-21 vest at a parachute loft.    Complete with leg straps and a rescue belt.  I have since put MOLLE straps on the left pocket to attached a three pocket magazine carrier.

Here you can see the infinitely adjustable corset panel on the back.

It ventilates well and the rescue belt provides real estate for more gear if I need it.  Never wore a parachute with it but a 3 day pack fits well enough and I have tested it in my truck.

 

 

 

 

....

Sincerely,

 

Trajan Aurelius

 

 

When violence is the local language, be fluent.

 

“Governments may think and say as they like, but force cannot be eliminated, and it is the only real and unanswerable power. We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.“   Lt. General Paul Carton de Wiart, British Army

 

Grommets. Always. They also give you that much more 550 cord...

Know thy enemies, but be aware of thy friends...

 

The average age of the world's great civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence:
from bondage to spiritual faith;
from spiritual faith to great courage;
from courage to liberty;
from liberty to abundance;
from abundance to selfishness;
from selfishness to complacency;
from complacency to apathy;
from apathy to dependency;
from dependency back again to bondage."

Lots of good stuff here.  Y'all shoulda been riggers.  Good way to go with the grommets n cord, however, I would take that seam apart, shit-can the elastic, and then run a doubler (maybe Ty 12) vertically down the vest to sink the grommets into.  That way you're not stressing the base material so much.  Boxing in the Ty 12 will spread the load more evenly over the base.  

As for why an E&E kit, well, depends on your orientation (!).  Since my buddy was a combat vet, paratrooper, and forest service Hotshot, he was just naturally pre-disposed towards bad shit happening.   Also I remember we did build a kit for a guy who was doing a big cross-country trip up into AK.  So you may have an actual/legal requirement to carry a bunch of stuff.

As to different ways of doing it.  Yeah as always.  Some guys like mil-spec Av stuff, some guys chest rigs, some guys whatever is at hand.  The chest rig format makes a lot of sense, since it is oriented for somebody seated in a vehicle.  Whether it needs to worn or just at hand, depends on situation.  

As to rigging in with a pilot emergency chute.  As vast majority are back/ back-seat models, the front is clean for your kit.  Just a matter of rigging with ripcord.  My buddy ran a pouch, but you could just as easily run a modern micro chest rig.  All you need are two equipment D-rings on the front of the harness, like a static jump rig with front reserve (MC-1B in my day).  Then add two reserve snap hooks (or equivalent) to E&E rig of your choice and hang it on.  This keeps it low and away from ripcord handle.

You could run a chest rig with it's own harness, rigged jump style (in-board) under your parachute harness, but then it has to stay on.  Just be sure and practice some hanging pulls at your local paraloft every few months (maybe while you wait for your re-pack), so you won't forget where the ripcord handle is.            

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

Nah, that actually works pretty good.  Honestly I would prefer that to grommets.  Anytime you can use webbing and eliminate hardware is good practice in my book.

I have made chest rigs, and  PC's with this lace up system and have found no wear on the loops with normal use.  The shock cord will wear out before the loops show any wear.  

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

My current plan is to fold the 'center' and then fold it over.  Which of course makes no sense lol.
(think webbing handle)

I'm not sure which is better.  Folding it as shown in the pics or fold it the other way.

Since I don't know what it is officially called here are some pics:

Ok, all by hand with the speedy stitcher, using mil-spec nylon thread.  A couple of pool sessions and an open water training session (Gulf of Mex) into and out of the liferaft and everything held up fine.  Looks like I'll stick with it

 

SV-2B modification
SV-2B modification

 

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