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Modding the EFP Vest


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#1 Charles King

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 05:26 PM

First, I like to thank Steve Francol for taking my good hard earn money to buy his EFP Vest second hand. :) Thanks buddy. I also bought his gimbal and I must say I am please with both. Hey Steve, I had talked to Mikko a couple of days ago and he had mentioned that you were looking for a buyer. Well, it was a coincident when I told him I bought the goods of of you. :) Any how thank you. P.S. Boy that import tax blew me outta the water. :blink:

Okay, though I was happy to get the EFP vest I still thought I needed to upgrade it myself. So here it is. Still upgrading by the way and will add more pics so maybe others who have the vest might want to upgrade theirs.

Here are pics of the EFP Vest which I have been modifying. It is not 100% complete. I want to replace the upper back padding with new black or brown leather and change the padding Corduro covers to black ones. I will then replace the old style connecting method to straps. Which should have been done in the first place. I am not too fond of the one-side locking method on the EFP.

I have remove the original Steadicam vest arm bracket mount which will be replaced with my design that we have come up with. The bracket will also be replaced with a thicker one. Also having a new female block machined as well.

The changes in the pics are the ratchets on both the upper chest and lower waist section. I removed the original Velcro straps and had two sets of black leather straps made to accommodate the locking ratchets. The difference is night & day. The adjustment of the snug fit feel on the fly is a huge improvement. I will also be adding cross straps on the back. So far, so good.

The first pic shows how the original EFP vest looks like( I do not remember where I got the original pic). The others are my mods.

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#2 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 06:54 PM

Charles,

Bravo on the changes. You'll love the back straps, so yes, don't forget them.

A quick counterpoint. Before you get rid of the original top with one side riveted and the other employing the picture hook connection, you may want to pause and think. When I used a model 1 vest, I did extensive mods but I resisted replacing the top portion with FastTech connections and webbing because I was afraid of loosing rigidity. Before I was done with that vest, the upper spar broke and I replaced it with the upper spar from an Ultra (1st version) with the system I just described. Indeed, the vest did lose some of its rigidity. Yes, it worked okay and looked better, but the old way was better. Think before you leap.

Good luck.
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#3 Charles King

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 08:29 PM

Charles,

Bravo on the changes. You'll love the back straps, so yes, don't forget them.

A quick counterpoint. Before you get rid of the original top with one side riveted and the other employing the picture hook connection, you may want to pause and think. When I used a model 1 vest, I did extensive mods but I resisted replacing the top portion with FastTech connections and webbing because I was afraid of loosing rigidity. Before I was done with that vest, the upper spar broke and I replaced it with the upper spar from an Ultra (1st version) with the system I just described. Indeed, the vest did lose some of its rigidity. Yes, it worked okay and looked better, but the old way was better. Think before you leap.

Good luck.


Thank you for the heads up o that issue. I had already considered this and had already decided to make a new spar with new attachments more rigid than the EFP. Though I am trying to save as much of the EFP as possible I still like the idea of the vest to be able to handle more weight without breaking from under me ;) But I appreciate your concern. Thank you. :) I'll keep you updated.
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#4 Steve Fracol SOC

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 11:43 PM

Charles,

Your welcome and thank you for the purchase. Your hard earned money that was passed to me is buying more Steadicam stuff as we speak. I am keeping the money in the family so to speak.

Nice job on the Vest. Very impressed.

Keep the photos coming.

Regards,

Steve Fracol, SOC
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#5 Charles King

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 03:39 AM

Charles,

Your welcome and thank you for the purchase. Your hard earned money that was passed to me is buying more Steadicam stuff as we speak. I am keeping the money in the family so to speak.

Nice job on the Vest. Very impressed.

Keep the photos coming.

Regards,

Steve Fracol, SOC



Ha HA. :D No probelm Steve. Glad to hear it's in the family. :). Thanks for the comment.
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#6 Brett Manyluk

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 04:01 PM

You may have mention this already Charles, but make sure to replace the interior spar (the on that everything is fastened to) as the were too thin on the EFP and subject to stress failure. I've seen it happed to others, it happened to me, and elsewhere on this forum. A thicker piece in stronger aluminum will easily do the trick.

I like the ratchets BTW.

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#7 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 05:33 PM

Charles,

"I had already considered this and had already decided to make a new spar with new attachments more rigid than the EFP."

You can have the strongest spar in the world, but if the attachment points aren't solid, it is a moot point. My point was that the old fashion "picture hook" connection on one side and rivets on the other are arguably for rigid than two plastic FastTech connectors and webbing. Look at the evolution of the Master/Ultra vest to the latest version as an example. Certainly not saying that the early versions were no good, but most would agree that the latest one (along with the PRO) uses more solid connections.

Cheers,
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#8 Matt Burton

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 08:15 PM

Nice work Charles,
But how do you attach your feet to the snowboard now ?
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#9 Charles King

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 12:20 AM

Nice work Charles,
But how do you attach your feet to the snowboard now ?



:D :D :D Good one. Luckily I don't snowboard :P

Charles,

"I had already considered this and had already decided to make a new spar with new attachments more rigid than the EFP."

You can have the strongest spar in the world, but if the attachment points aren't solid, it is a moot point. My point was that the old fashion "picture hook" connection on one side and rivets on the other are arguably for rigid than two plastic FastTech connectors and webbing. Look at the evolution of the Master/Ultra vest to the latest version as an example. Certainly not saying that the early versions were no good, but most would agree that the latest one (along with the PRO) uses more solid connections.

Cheers,



Quite agree Alec. I didn't say I would be using the plastic FastTech connectors. Like I said, I am trying another method that will make the attachments solid. Thanks agian for the concern :)
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#10 luis castro

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 08:57 PM

Nice job on the Vest. Very impressed. need paint
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#11 Charles King

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 10:16 PM

Nice job on the Vest. Very impressed. need paint


Thanks. I'm having new thickerchest plates made as well as new spars. So you can say a total reconstruction of the vest. ;)
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#12 Charles King

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 12:26 PM

Just got my new leather strap s replacements. I also got my new waist band:

The old EFP leather straps:

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The New leather straps:

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The Old EFP waist plastic band:

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The New Waist Band:

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As you can see I had to remove the permenent pop-nits or whatever they are called to be use the same metal curve supports on the new one. Using allen bolts makes removing the plastic and other parts much simple. I would have prefered they used this method from the beginning. That's mine personal. Anyway, things are progressing nicely.
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#13 Todd Ferguson

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 01:01 PM

Hi Charles, nice job on the modifications. Where did you get the ratchet style buckles? I'm also curious why you replaced the old leather shoulder portion? Was it worn out?


Todd Ferguson
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#14 Charles King

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 02:06 PM

Hi Charles, nice job on the modifications.

Thank you Todd. :)

Where did you get the ratchet style buckles?

The rachets were bought at a sporting good store. Simple snowboard equipment. ;)

I'm also curious why you replaced the old leather shoulder portion? Was it worn out?

I replaced for a couple of reasons:

1. I wanted fresh leather. I like things kinda new.

2. I was also replacing the spars that were broken and decided to go ahead and make new spars. That means I'm reconstructing new ones, differently designed and thicker ones to carry more weight.


Todd Ferguson


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#15 Todd Ferguson

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 06:47 PM

Hi, thank's Charles. It looked snowboard/ski like. Good luck on the spar. Curious to see your replacment when you are done.


Todd Ferguson
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