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Posted: 1/19/2006 6:26:35 PM EDT
A good buddy gave me two level IIIA panels from a vest he didnt need. They are way to big for me to use w/out choking the life from me in the patrol car.

Does anyone know how to "properly" cut kevlar panels? i could remove the outer shell and then sew it back up easy enough, but can this be done without damaging the actual panels? what would i need to cut them?

thanks for any input!

lwc
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 6:33:04 PM EDT
maybe some kitchen shears, the kind that cut thru bone. My panels look like you could use a ripper(sewing tool) to get the trim off and then cut the kevlar and then sew it back together, but that looks like alot of kevlar in my vest and, well that's just a shit load of work even if you have a sewing machine, hell just cutting it looks like too much work, like as in buy a new vest too much work.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 6:34:26 PM EDT
I don't think you should do it to panels you intend to wear. I cut one up one time and the panel was prety ragged afterwards. I think you'd be seriously compromising the integrity of the panel.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 6:38:36 PM EDT
the places that make them have razor saws, basicly a band saw that has a razor blade. you can also cut them with scissors but you would have to do one or two layers at a time. and probably need new scissors every 5 cuts. they should also be stitched together so make sure if you cut threw the stitching you will need to restitch it.

basicly you can do it but it will be time consuming, and i dont know if i would trust it. use it for range fun, or cut it in to a soft trama plate, that way if it fails you still have another safty level under it.

around here soft trama plate sell for about 100 bucks, you might be able to get 3 out of each panel. so keep one and make 500 off of it and buy the right size
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 6:41:12 PM EDT
In a previous life I had the opportunity to write some PR articles for one of the major vest manufacturers. They used a good heavy and sharp pair of scissors and then just sealed and ragged edges with heat.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 6:48:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By wolfman97:
In a previous life I had the opportunity to write some PR articles for one of the major vest manufacturers. They used a good heavy and sharp pair of scissors and then just sealed and ragged edges with heat.



this is what I've seen them do. It was a special on one of the discovery channels about the bullit proof vest, the first one, what it stopped and it talked about the creater, it showed him taking hits from a AK-47 from a few feet away, while on a boat, well it showed them making them and it showed them cutting them with shears, like I said and they hot knived the sides
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 6:51:53 PM EDT
wolfman, the place you wrote the pr for used scissors... i bet that takes a while, there was a show on years ago that i saw, they showed the the saw they used it was scary it cut 20 or so layers like butter. the way they did it was to stitch the layers then cut them to shape using the saw, then they heat seals them with a vertical hot plate just by running them against it
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 10:13:00 PM EDT
Ceramic scissors would probably be the best bet way to go.

I believe Kevlar layers are typically sewn together with Kevlar thread.

Also, this stitching affects the ballistic effectiveness (in general, more stitching increases effectiveness but makes the vest less wearable). In other words, modifying the stitching could change the threat level.

It might be easier for you to just gain some weight!
Link Posted: 1/20/2006 3:51:16 AM EDT
Ask the guys here: lightfighter.net/groupee/forums/a/frm/f/829100313

However, before you post, go and introduce yourself, as the guys there tend to jump one's shit if you don't...
Link Posted: 1/20/2006 4:19:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/20/2006 4:27:27 AM EDT by TheOtherDave]
A good pair of Fiskars scissors will cut Kevlar and hold and edge. I use them in my composites molding side business and they are as good as the day I bought them 5 years ago. No, you won't cut through all 47 layers in one pass but they will get it done. Don't spend big $$ on special Kevlar scissors unless you do it for a living and have to cut boat cloth...

The only bad part will be sounding just like your wife when she uses them to cut out coupons: "HEY! Those are my *good* scissors!!"

Dave

Link Posted: 1/20/2006 4:45:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 199:
Ceramic scissors would probably be the best bet way to go.

I believe Kevlar layers are typically sewn together with Kevlar thread.

Also, this stitching affects the ballistic effectiveness (in general, more stitching increases effectiveness but makes the vest less wearable). In other words, modifying the stitching could change the threat level.

It might be easier for you to just gain some weight!



That and i'd need to stretch about 6 inches...i'm 5'8 mu buddy is 6'2.

thanks for the info though guys!
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