Belt extenders for Block & Co. tip bags

Looking for belt extenders that fit Block & Company tip bags? We can make them.

A customer called looking for these. They had tried ordering some elsewhere only to find that the buckles weren’t the same so they wouldn’t work. The buckle on the tip bag was an ACW CSR 1″ which is something we have in stock. For under $3.00 each our customer now has belt extenders.

Not having been to more than 2 or 3 casino’s in my life, I don’t have a clue how a tip bag is used but I hope the employees need them because they are getting massive tips and need a secure way to transfer them to their bank accounts.

strap extenders

Here are examples of a 12″ and 24″ strap extenders made from #630 black 1″ nylon webbing and ACW’s 1″ CSR buckle. We can make these any length and this webbing comes in many colors.

Cannery gear

We were asked to make a knife sheath and adjustable belt for workers in fish canneries. They needed to be rugged, inexpensive and easy to use.

The sheath is made from our 2″ #673 webbing which is extremely stiff and in commonly used for scuba divers weight belts. A pair of rivets and a bit of sewing and you have a functional sheath.

Every sheath needs a belt and this one needed to be adjustable and easily worn over cannery aprons or waterproof rain gear.

Here we used heavyweight #560 polypropylene webbing in an 1½” width. There are a few inches of elastic webbing to keep it taught without being uncomfortable and a side release buckle to make it easy to put on and take off. Finally a slide keeps the tail end of the belt secure and makes sure it doesn’t decide to loosen on its own accord.

Like the sheath there is minimal labor in producing the belt, helping keep the cost down. Is this something to wear around town? No, but it does fulfill the need if you are working in a cannery.

More load testing

A strap was needed with 1000 pound breaking strength using 1″ polyester webbing that has a minimum breaking strength of 1000 pounds. We needed to test stitching patterns to come up with one that would provide the breaking strength needed and still be economical to sew.

Here is a test of a Double-W stitching pattern using Tex 90 polyester thread. As you can see we have exceeded the 1000 pound requirement and when the load was relaxed both the webbing and stitching looked great.

We also tried a few other stitching patterns but this one performed the best. The others would hold the load but afterwards it was obvious that they had been strained.

If your project requires something a bit out of the ordinary give us a call and let us offer some suggestions. (253) 883-5800

Nylon web dyeing

How does nylon webbing get its color? There are a number of ways, each with its own good and bad points.

One can dye the yarn as it is manufactured. This is called solution dyeing and the yarn ends up looking like this:

solution-dyed

The color goes all the way through the yarn and you end up with the most colorfast product. Some strength is lost and solution dyeing requires large production runs.


Another way is to dye the yarn after it has been drawn. This is called package dyeing and the finished yarn would look like:

package-dyed

The color is just on the outside and the strength of the yarn is not affected which is important in load bearing applications like safety harnesses. However if the yarn is used in a high abrasion application like a carpet having the color go all the way through is a plus.


Both of the methods discussed above require dyeing the yarn prior to manufacturing the webbing. If you have red yarn, you are going to get red webbing but what if you need purple (for all those Husky and Tiger fans)? Back to the vat to dye some purple yarn and then manufacture purple webbing. The minimum quantity you want to make is quite large for either of these processes. As with most items there are popular colors and those you just have to have but don’t sell in huge quantities. So how do you get all the colors offered without having to produce a lifetime supply of a marginal selling color?

The answer is to manufacture nylon webbing with un-dyed yarn (often called greige goods). Then when the order comes in for purple nylon webbing you piece dye your webbing. The end result will be webbing with good colorfastness without loss of strength. Like with package dyeing the color will just be on the outside, like staining wood. Minimum orders are low enough to allow for a wide variety of colors to meet all your needs.

Can you specify what process is used for your webbing? Not easily. If your needs are large enough to purchase a whole production run and you are willing to wait I am sure the mill will be willing to take your money. We deal with manufacturers we trust and the materials they provide meet our (and your) needs.

Gear Wranglers

Looking for something a bit lighter than a strap, check out our Gear Wranglers. They are perfect for securing your light gear, attaching a plant to a stake or even keeping the bag of potato chips closed.

Gear Wranglers are made using 1/8″ elastic cord and a cord lock to adjust their length. The come in 12″, 24″ and 36″ lengths and are packaged 6 to a bag. Like our Rod Wranglers the elastic cord ends are secured using a zipper pull.

Order your Gear Wranglers now, if you order 3 packs (you choose the size) and put the code ROLLIE-PAYS in the comment section of our check out, Rollie will pay the shipping by US Mail. This offer ends November 30, 2016. Our shopping cart is not smart enough to pick up on this offer but be assured we will take care of it prior to your credit card being charged.

If you don’t need that many Gear Wranglers, but want a great way to keep your fishing rods corralled, check out our Rod Wranglers, you can even use them to make up the 3 packs for free shipping.

Rod Wrangler
Rod Wrangler

Reflective webbing

We now carry 1″ black polyester webbing with a 9/16″ reflective strip down the center. This material is thinner than the standard webbing we sell which makes it easy to sew on to bags, packs or even a coat. It is still sturdy enough to use for the adjustment straps on a backpack or with a buckle to fasten something to your bike rack.

Polyester webbing is great for many uses since it has minimal stretch and doesn’t want to adsorb water. It is also quite abrasion resistant although the reflective strip will get worn off due to abrasion. We sell this material by the foot and you can order it online or come by our shop to check it out.

The trend seems to be that all of our outerwear is getting darker and darker making it difficult for drivers to see us when we are walking or biking. Carrying a bag or pack with plenty of reflective surfaces will help you or your children stand out as our days become shorter and weather gets worse. This material is easy to sew so adding it to existing gear should not be a major issue for anyone with a sewing machine.

Here is a picture of our reflective webbing taken in a rather dark room without flash (there was a dim night-light to the left of the webbing)-

reflective-web-dark

And here is a picture of the same piece of webbing taken with the flash turned on-

reflective-web-flash

The webbing in these pictures was about 12″ long and the picture was taken using an iPhone from 15 feet away. It is pretty amazing stuff!

Hunting season is fast approaching

We have made it through the dog days of summer, back to school gear is in the stores so hunting season must be fast approaching.

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We have 1″ buckles and nylon webbing in Coyote Tan. Polypropylene webbing in brown, taupe (light brown) and a bit left in forest green if you are looking for earth tones.

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If you need to make a sling, this 2″ polypropylene webbing is perfect. It has two rubber strips, the lighter color in the image, which help keep it planted on your shoulder.

We sell components but will also sew whatever you can design. Our minimum order is 1 and if you are in the Tacoma area, stop in and we can discuss your project.

Battery box tie down kits

We have designed a battery box tie down kit that will work as a replacement on Boston Whaler’s™ along with any series 24 or 27 battery box. The webbing is polyester and and all hardware is stainless steel (although we do not supply the fasteners).

The combination of the over-center buckle and polyester webbing allows you to get the strap quite tight and it won’t come loose. Polyester is the most ultra-violet resistant webbing we sell so this assembly is perfect for use in open boats where the battery box is exposed to the elements. The sewing is done using A&E’s polyester SunStop thread which has advanced UV protection and is non-wicking to provide excellent service life.

Thanks to Eldon and his team at the Sea-Dog Line for the use of a battery box. The stainless steel footman’s loops come from Sea-Dog.

We have these in stock so you can order them for same day shipment.

Polypropylene Webbing Breaking Strength

How do you determine the breaking strength of polypropylene webbing? It depends. There is no industry standard way defining breaking strength. One manufacturer might test 10 samples and take the lowest strength. Another might take the average and a third might take the highest. Being a commercial grade product that is not designed for use in life safety or overhead lifting no government agency is telling the manufacturers what to do.

The industry has two basic models of polypropylene webbing, lightweight and heavyweight. American Cord and Webbing (ACW) has their 549 material that ranges from 0.040″ to 0.060″ in thickness and in a 1″ width has a minimum breaking strength of 360 pounds. ACW’s heavyweight material has a thickness range of 0.055″ to 0.075″ and a minimum breaking strength of 560 pounds.

I have seen lightweight 1″ material listed as having a 600 or even 700 pound breaking strength. Is one better or different from the other, probably not.

Brand     Thickness     Breaking Strength
ACW       .040-.060        360 pounds
S              .040                 500 pounds
TS            ?                      700 pounds
ECW       .040                 550 pounds

What makes piece of webbing strong is the amount of material (polypropylene in this case) it contains and how it is constructed. Thickness tells you something about the amount of material for a given width.

So how do you figure out what to use? First the webbing is usually not the weak point in a strap assembly. Stitching or buckles can be much weaker. A 1″ side release buckle will have a breaking strength of around 200 pounds, much lower than ACW’s 360 pound breaking strength for the webbing. If you have a critical application the only way to be sure is to make some assemblies and test them. If all you are doing is strapping up some sleeping bags, strength is not an issue.

With polypropylene webbing chafe and ultra-violet (UV) exposure are two issues which will weaken your strap. Materials like polyester offer much better abrasion and UV resistance along with a higher initial strength. If you are repeatedly loading a strap consider nylon whose ability to stretch might help dampen the load.

My article How Strong Is Your Strap covers sewing pattern choices. Searching the internet you can find other information that will be helpful but at the end of the day, build a prototype and test.

Nylon webbing

Straps to Go stocks 4 basic types of nylon webbing:

  1. Standard weight with a breaking strength of around 900 pounds for 1″ width material.
  2. Heavy weight with a breaking strength of around 2750 pounds for 1″ width material.
  3. Mil-Spec with a breaking strength of 1200 pounds for 1″ material.
  4. Tubular with a breaking strength of 4000 pounds for 1″ material.
Standard weight on the left, heavy weight on the right.
Standard weight on the left, heavy weight on the right.

The image above shows commercial grade webbing in both standard weight (on the left in light green) and heavy weight (on the right in dark green). Note that when I listed the breaking strengths above, I said “about” since these are not load rated goods.

Mil-Spec on the left, standard weight on the right
Mil-Spec on the left, standard weight on the right

Here we have Mil-Spec webbing in Coyote Tan and standard weight nylon webbing in green. You can see the construction is different and the Mil-Spec webbing has a breaking strength of 1200 pounds (this material has a design strength unlike the commercial grade products).

Mil-Spec on the left, standard weight on the right
Mil-Spec on the left, standard weight on the right

This gives you an idea of the construction difference between the Mil-Spec and commercial nylon webbings.

Tubular nylon
Tubular nylon

Tubular construction is the strongest of our nylon webbings. It is really two layers of webbing so you get a breaking strength of 4000 pounds in a 1″ width.

nylon-webbing-tubular

This view gives you a good idea of the amount of nylon used in the tubular construction which is why you get the added strength.

What is each type best suited for:

  1. Standard weight is great for tie downs and general purpose straps. It is used on backpacks for attachment points and it works well with single lock buckles and slides to allow for adjustment.
  2. Heavy weight nylon is used extensively for pet leashes and collars. It feels nice in your hand (this is why it is used for leash’s, not that you need the strength) or around your pets neck. We also sell it for heavy duty tie downs. We stock a wider range of colors in the heavy weight product than our other offerings.
  3. Mil-Spec nylon is used in the same way as the standard weight commercial product. It is a bit stronger but the trade off is in stiffness. If you are making MOLLE loops, this webbing would be a good choice.
  4. Tubular nylon is the climbers friend. Slings and attachment points are commonly made using tubular nylon. It holds a knot well and feels good in the hand.

If you have questions on what product would best meet your needs, give us a call at (253) 883-5800 and ask for Rollie.