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Posted: 12/19/2005 11:59:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2005 12:00:05 AM EDT by FightingHellfish]
I have a Camelback Motherlode pack that I like a lot, but I would like it better if it had an internal frame sheet. I discovered that the frame sheet from a SDS MOLLE rifleman assault pack (a cheap POS pack) will drop right in and work well. Its a little tight so I trimmed it a little to not overstress the zippers. The pack works a lot better with the frame sheet, especially since I have several added pouches and pockets.

I also have an SRT style level IIA vest that I got from a guy I know for $20. I don't need the vest, but it is in good shape and I couldn't pass it up for $20.

My idea is this: cut one or both of the kevlar panels to the same shape as the insert I'm using now in the pack and use them as the insert. I would have a stiffer pack and a pack that would offer me additional ballistic protection, at least IIA, and more if it was practical to use both panels doubled up. If the kevlar is not rigid enough I could sew a carrier that would hold the kevlar and the skeletonized SDS insert to stiffen it.

Can I just cut the kevlar to shape and melt the edges?

What do you guys think about the idea as a whole.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 12:03:29 AM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 12:47:37 AM EDT
First, DO NOT heat fuse kevlar. Bad juju.

Second, cutting kevlar is a nightmare, by design. I use a fair amount of it (non-ballistic) for aircraft and motorcycle parts and have a special pair of ceramic shears specifically for cutting kevlar. It's possible to cut it with a razor blade, but make sure it's brand new and you have to push down HARD to make a clean cut. Never try and go over it in multiple passes. It'll just turn into a big, yellow fuzzball. I think what I'd do is stitch a loose seam around the outside edge then cut to about 1/4" outside that with ceramic shears.

I need a frame sheet for my pack, too, but I'm going to do it the cheap/lazy way and lay up a 5 layer kevlar (again, non-ballistic) sheet with vinylester resin on a foam mold. The vinylester resin will let it flex without cracking and I can use unidirectional cloth to tune the flexibility to the directions it needs, where it needs it.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 6:12:29 AM EDT
You can't heat fuse or melt Kevlar. It doesn't melt. It will sort of char and smolder, but not catch afire, or melt. You'll have to sew it or glue it.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 6:20:14 PM EDT
btt
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 10:11:37 PM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 11:02:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Unicorn:
You can't heat fuse or melt Kevlar. It doesn't melt. It will sort of char and smolder, but not catch afire, or melt. You'll have to sew it or glue it.



Glue wouldn't be good, either. It'll change how the fibers react to stress. Best bet is to stitch some webbing around the edge to bind it. Hmm... maybe RTV or silicone would work. It won't add any stiffness so it shouldn't bother the strength.
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 1:52:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/25/2005 1:52:44 PM EDT by easy610]

Originally Posted By SniperKage:
First, DO NOT heat fuse kevlar. Bad juju.

Second, cutting kevlar is a nightmare, by design. I use a fair amount of it (non-ballistic) for aircraft and motorcycle parts and have a special pair of ceramic shears specifically for cutting kevlar. It's possible to cut it with a razor blade, but make sure it's brand new and you have to push down HARD to make a clean cut. Never try and go over it in multiple passes. It'll just turn into a big, yellow fuzzball. I think what I'd do is stitch a loose seam around the outside edge then cut to about 1/4" outside that with ceramic shears.

I need a frame sheet for my pack, too, but I'm going to do it the cheap/lazy way and lay up a 5 layer kevlar (again, non-ballistic) sheet with vinylester resin on a foam mold. The vinylester resin will let it flex without cracking and I can use unidirectional cloth to tune the flexibility to the directions it needs, where it needs it.



+100. A real bitch to cut! Cut up an old vest and lined the opening flap of my flash bang desginated pouch....those things can give quite a burn if they go off when you didn't intend them too!! Highly unlikely? Yes, but easy to prepare for...why not...
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 11:38:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SniperKage:
First, DO NOT heat fuse kevlar. Bad juju.

Second, cutting kevlar is a nightmare, by design. I use a fair amount of it (non-ballistic) for aircraft and motorcycle parts and have a special pair of ceramic shears specifically for cutting kevlar. It's possible to cut it with a razor blade, but make sure it's brand new and you have to push down HARD to make a clean cut. Never try and go over it in multiple passes. It'll just turn into a big, yellow fuzzball. I think what I'd do is stitch a loose seam around the outside edge then cut to about 1/4" outside that with ceramic shears.

I need a frame sheet for my pack, too, but I'm going to do it the cheap/lazy way and lay up a 5 layer kevlar (again, non-ballistic) sheet with vinylester resin on a foam mold. The vinylester resin will let it flex without cracking and I can use unidirectional cloth to tune the flexibility to the directions it needs, where it needs it.



What kind of machine could stitch through a kevlar armor panel? Could a shoe repair shop or upholstery place do it?
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 4:44:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/29/2006 4:45:10 PM EDT by Dog1]
When I was a Reserve Police officer, I got a vest that was too long for me. At the time, I was not able to afford my own armor, so I took the vest apart and trimmed the sheets.

I took the inserts out, seperated the kevlar sheets and trimmed them down.

It took a lone time, but with a goos hobby knife and a shit load of blades I did it. Re-sewed the vest up and it served me for a year until I got my own.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 4:49:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FightingHellfish:


What kind of machine could stitch through a kevlar armor panel? Could a shoe repair shop or upholstery place do it?



Kevlar is not puncture proof. Anyone wearing a second chance vest can easily be stabbed. It is designed to stop projectiles, not cutting/stabbing instruments.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 6:24:59 PM EDT
Yes, you can cut Kevlar rather simply but it is tedious. I had to trim down a 28 layer 3a vest and I used a brand new pair of tin snips from the hardware store. You will have to get a decent pair and only cut one layer at a time, two at the max.
Its gonna wear your fingers to the bone, so wear gloves on the cutting hand so you dont get blisters.
The kevlar will dull the tin snips after about fifty or sixty cuts, so at that point what I did was just go and exchange them for a new set(hah, hah).
Try to cut close to the back of the scissors to get clean cuts, but once it gets dull, your gonna have fraying, then when your said and done you can tape all the edges with duct tape to keep it all together. I could have thought about using some silicone on around all the edges to keep it from moving around, then hit it with the tape.
Good luck.

JB
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 6:25:50 PM EDT
Yes, you can cut Kevlar rather simply but it is tedious. I had to trim down a 28 layer 3a vest and I used a brand new pair of tin snips from the hardware store. You will have to get a decent pair and only cut one layer at a time, two at the max.
Its gonna wear your fingers to the bone, so wear gloves on the cutting hand so you dont get blisters.
The kevlar will dull the tin snips after about fifty or sixty cuts, so at that point what I did was just go and exchange them for a new set(hah, hah).
Try to cut close to the back of the scissors to get clean cuts, but once it gets dull, your gonna have fraying, then when your said and done you can tape all the edges with duct tape to keep it all together. I could have thought about using some silicone on around all the edges to keep it from moving around, then hit it with the tape.
Good luck.

JB
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