Introduction: How to Mend Your Fraying Smokejumper Belt
I bought an outstandingly well made Smokejumper belt from Best Made Company.
This belt is made of kevlar and nomex, has a hot-forged parachute harness D-ring as a buckle and, well, let's just say that I'll probably break before the belt does.
The one flaw with the belt was the end of the webbing - it started to fray pretty quickly. I don't have a sewing machine capable of getting through this fabric, so needed another way to prevent the end from fraying any further.
Here's a quick 'ible showing how to repair it with some superglue.
You will need:
• Your belt (this will work with any fabric belt that's fraying at the end)
• Superglue - doesn't need to be anything fancy, for the purposes of this exercise, superglue is superglue.
• A sharp blade
• Some clamps or a vice (or a really steady hand)
You can see the end of the belt starting to fray in this shot - this is after I've trimmed it up a bit to neaten it, but it'll keep getting worse if left unchecked.
Lay the belt out, and get your superglue
Carefully apply the superglue to the last 3-4 rows of the fabric. It will wick into the material pretty quickly. This will be easier to do if you're using regular superglue, the thin, runny stuff. You will have a harder time if you've got a gell superglue.
Let it thoroughly saturate the fabric and soak in.
Then turn it over and do the same to the other side.
When you turn it over, be careful to not let the wet superglue glue it to your bench.
Here's the result after letting the glue soak in.
Leave it for a couple of hours to completely cure. If it's left alone, the glue will be clear like this. If it gets too much moisture on it, then it'll go white and cloudy.
Ensure that you don't glue it to your bench top, to your fingers, to the superglue tube or anything else.
Get out your trusty ol' stanley knife and make sure you've got a nice, sharp blade.
Clamp the belt down very securely (make sure the superglue is 100% cured before you begin this step!)
If you have a steel straightedge, you can use that - we just need to stop the belt from moving around and ensure we're cutting a straight edge.
Cut the fraying end off. This will be quite difficult as you're cutting through kevlar, nomex and cured superglue.
You won't be able to cut it all in one stroke, just keep running the knife across the end in the same spot, over and over, and eventually you'll cut the frayed end off.
Here's the nice, straightly trimmed end, there's still 2-3 rows of fabric with glue in it so this end isn't likely to fray again any time soon.
The end will be quite stuff, so you can roll it back and forth a few times to soften it up a bit - this won't affect the performance of the superglue in stopping it from fraying.
You're now done. Put it back on around your waist and step out in style.
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