July 21, 2008

Major Modifications

I've done three troops in quick succession in the past month, and as a result, I've had to do a lot of repair work on my armor, particularly the thighs, shins and ab plates, pieces that have a lot of mobility and experience a lot of stress as a result of regular activities and putting the armor on and taking it off.

At the Weird Al Concert, I had to use white duct tape to hold my legs together because the Velcro that I use has been coming undone. There, I talked to a fellow trooper, TK, who showed me the system that he used, and I've talked to troopers since then who've done similar things - snaps and glue. So, getting back from a recent event, I picked up a snap kit, Gorilla Glue, a thin plastic For Sale sign and a bottle of Goo Gone.

Step 1: Removing all the Velcro from the thighs, upper arms, shins, chest / back plate and soon, the forearms. I used my leatherman to strip everything out, and then have started using the Goo Gone to get rid of the residue from the Velcro that I've used over the past four years. Thus far, it's working pretty well, getting rid of all the crap that's built up.

Step 2: Once the armor's cleaned up, I'll do a little sanding to give the glue something to stick to. I found that I need to get some clamps for when I actually glue it. I've since glued one side of the upper arms, which I need the clamps for (once I get to the other side). I'm going to glue the fronts of the shins and thighs.

Step 3: On the backs of each leg part, and the shoulders/chest/back parts, I'm going to affix snaps. To do this, I've taken the sign and cut small squares out, to which I've started glueing the snaps to, using super glue, which I'll then affix to the tops and bottoms of each back. With the fronts glued, I can use snaps to keep it together. I'll do the same thing for the shoulder straps and upper body parts, which will hopefully keep everything together a lot better than the Velcro has been, making the entire suit easier to utilize and have it be lower maintenance.

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