New field bag design and story

Posted: April 5, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,
ZeekoBag is an idea, a design project, a pursuit, and a philosophy.  We sew because we need to – selling has been secondary.
That said, we want to sell these bags.  Chronic dumpster-divers always need more space in their shop.

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Talking to my friend and style consultant Quinn Comendant the other day, I figured out that if my bags were retailing for $100 in a shop, that I’d have to sew 12 hours a day, 5 days a week to pay my mortgage.  They each take a long time to craft…

Quinn said “why don’t you blog each bag, and give people an option at the end of the entry to click to buy that item?”

 

I like that idea.  Each one of these bags has many stories behind it, and I like the idea of knowing where things that you put your money into come from.  I like the idea that anyone slinging one of my bags could tell someone else a story about where their bag came from.

 

So here is a story about the bag I made today.  If you like it, feel free to buy the bag – we’ll throw in the story for free.

 

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My buddy Tim is a firefighter in the Bay.  He drives down there 2 days a week and works 48 hours straight.  He says that if it is a rainy Friday, that they know that they will be out on the freeway.  He doesn’t like being out on the freeway.  Tim hooked me up with the roll of hose, above.

 

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The hose is double jacketed – the outer jacket is a tough, coarse-woven nylon, the inner is coated with rubber, and super tough.

I split the hose, and pull the layers apart, cut it to length, and wash it.  Then I sew it onto a coated tarp. The tarp was cut out of a ‘wildfire training shelter’ – a replica of the tinfoil tents that you are supposed to crawl into if you are a firefighter being overrun by a wildfire.  The tinfoil ones are delicate, and you are supposed to practice donning your shelter once a year, so they make ‘training shelters’ out of tarp.  Anyway, the Forest Service invented a new kind of shelter recently, and they are throwing the old ones away, including the practice versions, so I scored this nice tarp…

 

It is waterproof, bonus!

 

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After the hose is sewn onto the tarp, I trim it with webbing (army surplus bought by the roll).  I trimmed the end of the hose with the end of the tarp, added some reflective webbing bought from an Ebay’r in Canada, and capped it off with a design cut from truck inner tube given to me by a local tire shop.  I like using pieces with patches on them.  I stitch a line around where I plan to trim to hold it all together, then trim it round.

 

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I cut 1″ wide strips of inner tube, and use this to trim the edge.  Sewing inner tube is tough, as the needle gets so hot from the friction that it burns thru the thread.  I oil the needle as I go, and this works well.
If you buy this bag or another one of our inner tube trimmed ones, you might want to armor-all the rubber it it starts to dry out, down the road. 

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I am trying out different ways to pad the strap – this one uses a strip of cotton-jacketed fire hose, and two layers of webbing capped with the Ebay reflective tape.  

 

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Main panel roughly complete, with flap strap attached.   Next, I cut sides out of another kind of fire hose (rubberized) and trim them with webbing, rivet the strap and hardware onto them.  
Now the hard part, which is sewing the sides onto the body of the bag.

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Everything structural gets rivets – this bag has 32 structural rivets.  This is much easier now that we have our press set up to punch thru all of this material.

 

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 Rivets

 

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The name tag is 3/8″ aluminum tubing from the ReStore, pounded flat, and stamped with a punch.  Here is a link to some pics of how the punch got made:

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Done, and good to go!  The buckle is a parachute harness adjuster.  Aluminum, army surplus.

 

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I have been making these for a day trip size, and you can stuff a jacket under the flap if you need to. 

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I like the patch on the inner tube.  
This is the first bag we have made since I made our name punch.  Numero Uno.  

 

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Handcrafted, and one of a kind, with a lifetime warranty for workmanship.  

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