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3A Vest Repair?


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#1 Aaron Horrocks

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 07:48 PM

I recently picked up this vest, and upon fitting and resizing, I found a huge crack all the way across the plastic of the strap that goes over the right shoulder. I don't think I should use this vest until I get that fixed, since all the wait will be on the thin strip of leather.

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Can I try to glue this together? Or melt it back together? What type of plastic is this?

Maybe I should just send it to the professionals?
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#2 RonBaldwin

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 07:52 PM

talk to Peter Abraham at Tiffen. He used to rebuild vests (maybe still does on the side?!) and can tell you everything you need to know.
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#3 Janice Arthur

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 08:46 PM

I can help.

Janice.

(don't melt it)

Steadijan@hotmail.com
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#4 Aaron Horrocks

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:22 AM

Peter Abraham at Tiffen has basically said that they can't repair it because they couldn't get parts for it. But I'd be under the impression that a new piece of - whatever this plastic is - could be cut to size and sown back into the leather...

Janice, could you cover what is it that you would do, and the cost? Thanks.
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#5 Janice Arthur

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:58 AM

Peter Abraham at Tiffen has basically said that they can't repair it because they couldn't get parts for it. But I'd be under the impression that a new piece of - whatever this plastic is - could be cut to size and sown back into the leather...

Janice, could you cover what is it that you would do, and the cost? Thanks.



Aaron;

see PM.

Janice
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#6 Daniel Urbain

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 12:47 AM

If you live in LA there is a guy in Van Nuys who repairs 3A vests out of his shoe repair store. Jack at Sylvan Street Shoe Repair 818-780-3601
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#7 Aaron Horrocks

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:48 PM

So I took this vest into Tap Plastics, and the expert there said it was polypropylene.

I bought a plastic welder, and with all the welding rods it comes with, I could swear that the vest material closer matches polyethylene.

Does anyone know for sure which plastic type is sown onto the leather?b
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#8 Janice Arthur

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 07:38 AM

Aaron;

I don't know the material but I think Poly... makes sense.

I will say there are so many plastics and plastic combinations it could be slight variations of a lot of any number of well known plastics.

Here are your options for repairs.

1) Plastic Welder, probably doesn't have the strength to repair this 'fracture/stress' point for very long is my theory. Vests always break there. I mentioned to you a while back to span the gap with a piece of leather or thin aluminum that you bolt on both sides with washers to keep the small bolts from tearing out, is your best and cheapest and fastest solution. (put the heads of the bolts on the inside and the nuts on the outside for comfort through the pad.)

2) Buy a piece of plastic for vest from Tiffen, cut it to fit etc., for $150 and make it fit by putting in the other parts of the vest, probably a bunch of work but your avatar shows an able bodied, smart looking guy who could probably figure it out.

3) Go to shoe repair place with your piece of leather to span the gap as above and maybe they can sew it over the broken place.

Hope this helps, good luck.

Janice
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#9 Aaron Horrocks

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 08:22 PM

A weld, should be the best form of repair. If it doesn't hold, which would be surprising, I can weld it again, and weld another patch on. Or in fact, do that from the start. If the "weld" fails, I can always do a patch job after the fact, with more plastic or riveting or screwing in an aluminum plate. Or buy a replacement plastic part to have sown in on the leather.

This plastic welder, is the largest heaviest duty 120V, made in USA one that I could find. It's for fixing automotive plastics. I'm sure that it will do the job. I'm going to be giving this thing a try in a month or so, depending on USMC training...

As far as the $150 plastic... Tap plastics would be about $30 a square foot, and I'd just have to trim to size.


For my technical expertise, I've used to build robots, firearms, restore 1950s Army vehicles, and I've done a bunch of wood shop and arc welding classes. I'm pretty confidant that I can fix this plastic part if I use the right tools.
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#10 Janice Arthur

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 09:26 PM

A;

Whatever your welder cost up to you but for a three inch repair not worth the purchase if it was me.
(I wouldn't want the thing cluttering up my garage for that probable one time use?)

Since you can replace the plastic so cheap that's the best bet in my book.

Good luck

JA
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#11 Aaron Horrocks

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 01:19 AM

I think the worst thing cluttering up my garage is the 20 ton press, but when I need to bend a piece of metal up to 1" thick, it's a life-saver.
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#12 Stefano Ben

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 03:33 AM

The Leather it's the best solution!

Steve
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