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3A Vest Repair?


Aaron Horrocks
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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 months later...

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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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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  • 2 months later...

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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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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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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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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  • 10 years later...

It's been over 10 years, but this post was referenced elsewhere, and I was asked if I ever did get a "plastic welder" and fix my vest?
I did! I got the MiniWeld Model 6 (5600HT) from the Urethane Supply Company. It was the heaviest duty one that works on 120V (110V), and the other models use 240V (220V). 

The repairs have held these last 10 years... even though a few other things have broken on it. 
So far I have yet to use the vest for filming, only for cosplaying a Smartgunner Colonial Marines from the movie ALIENS. 

Which, by the way, we did some photos and filming this weekend. 
 

 

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