Trim and Seal Nylon Web Belts Quickly, Easily, and Smoothly - Circular Cut
I have a bunch of infinitely adjustable tactical nylon web belts that I've bought or made and they're great. The only thing is, the ones I bought came in size ranges rather than an exact size, and the ones I made had to be cut to size. In either case, you have to cut the free end of the belt to your waist size. A square edge is no good because it easily gets caught in the belt loops of your pants while you're threading it, especially if the belt width is close to the loop width. The common belt and loop width is 1 1/2" so this is cutting it close. You need a tapered or curved end for fast, easy threading. I came up with this simple solution that will give you a perfect semi-circular, neatly fused belt end, in a few minutes, once you gather the few tools you need.
- butane lighter
- spring clamp with plastic tips removed or C-clamp
- small scissors (from dollar store)
- scalpel or X-Acto type knife with sharp blade
- 2 fender washers the same diameter as the width of the belt material
Step 1: Align fender washers on either side of the belt
Align side-to-side and up and down
Then clamp all together, and readjust as necessary.
Step 2: Carefully cut around the washer-and-webbing "sandwich" at the end
- Use a sharp blade.
- Hold the knife as shown, like you would when paring vegetables, or whittling wood.
- Note that the blade is always aimed above the thumb in case you slip.
- Use a 'sawing' motion to insure a smooth cut.
Step 3: Trim any stray fibers
This will make for a nice neat fusion of the raw edge.
Step 4: Fuse the raw edge with the lighter
- Go all around the raw cut edge with the lighter on medium flame.
- Make several passes to be sure to melt the nylon but don't burn it.
- Don't go beyond the diameter of the washers or you'll melt the straight edge of the webbing.
- The washers act as a cooling barrier that prevents the heat from going beyond them and making a sloppy edge.
- Notice that I smoothed a blob with my finger.
Step 5: Check the edge to make sure it is smooth and you're done.
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