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Homemade Messenger Bag materials

Old 06-24-05, 06:25 AM
  #1  
celephaiz
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Homemade Messenger Bag materials

Yo guys, so I am commissioning my sister to sew me up a new "summer" courier bag. So basically, there have been discussions on using non waterproof bags that wont trap sweat on you back and brands and styles of those bags. However, I haven't seen anything specific as to what you would use for fabric, homemade strapping system to make the shoulder strap adjustible. any ideas? (by the way, getting a sister to stitch something like this up was one of the best ideas i ever had... saved some real loot)
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Old 06-24-05, 06:53 AM
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Try a water proof inner liner, a sponge-like padding in between layers (for ventilation and padding) and waxed canvas (thin) for an outside shell (it is semi water resistant, so you may want to go with unwaxed - but then your sponge-like pad would get soaked).
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Old 06-24-05, 06:56 AM
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wouldn't a waterproof inner liner defeat what I am trying to do? I mean if its waterproof, it doesn't ventilate. Well i guess there are materials that would but I'm not making a gortex bag here... would waxed canvas be comforatble? would two layers of waxed canvas be breathable enough? durable enough?
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Old 06-24-05, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by celephaiz
would two layers of waxed canvas be breathable enough? durable enough?

you might want to check out some of the canvas materials used by tent makers... it is available in various weights... all the way from 8 ounce to say 15 ounce. For the bottom of the bag you could double up the canvas.

the tent canvases are really nice materials because they are not waxy or sticky.... and they are designed to fight off mildew... yet they breathe very well...

google "sunforger canvas" for more information.


msl
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Old 06-24-05, 07:17 AM
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thanks. have you attempted a similar endeavor? I'm sure my sister has fabric stores in mind, but do you know of any local places that i can check out such fabrics in person to help make my decisions?
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Old 06-24-05, 07:32 AM
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I ride with a newspaperboy bag for the summer.
All cotton, it feels cool and comfortable.
I purchased an eyelet kit from the local fabric store; the kind with a punch and anvil that one hits with a hammer to seat the eyelets.
After a little experimentation, I found the best places to put the eyelets, and I run a bungee from an eyelet on the bag to an eyelet on the chest strap, and this stabilizes the bag just like a Chrome bag's stabilizing underarm/chest strap does.
I carry a ton of stuff.
It sits across my hips in back and doesn't shift.
I feel cool no matter how hot it gets, and I love it.
I'll get someone to take a picture of me riding with it and post it on Saturday.
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Old 06-24-05, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Ken Cox
I ride with a newspaperboy bag for the summer.
All cotton, it feels cool and comfortable.
I purchased an eyelet kit from the local fabric store; the kind with a punch and anvil that one hits with a hammer to seat the eyelets.
After a little experimentation, I found the best places to put the eyelets, and I run a bungee from an eyelet on the bag to an eyelet on the chest strap, and this stabilizes the bag just like a Chrome bag's stabilizing underarm/chest strap does.
I carry a ton of stuff.
It sits across my hips in back and doesn't shift.
I feel cool no matter how hot it gets, and I love it.
I'll get someone to take a picture of me riding with it and post it on Saturday.
thats the kinda stuff i'm looking to hear. I like the bungee system for stabilization but i am personally morre comfortable riding with the bag higher up on my back. To do so, the shoulder strap has to be pretty tight, and therefore, easily adjustable. Do you have, or know of a system easily achieved with homemade parts (like home depot rings or something) to make an adjustible shoulder strap?
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Old 06-24-05, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by MQracing
the tent canvases are really nice materials because they are not waxy or sticky.... and they are designed to fight off mildew... yet they breathe very well...l
HEY!
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Old 06-24-05, 08:47 AM
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You probably won't find any local stores carrying what you want. Local stores only sell frilly crapola for dresses and quilts and stuff.

You only need the very back of the bag to be breathable, not the rest. People are always trying to make bags out of goretex and stuff, and you really don't need breathable for the whole bag. A waterproof liner would be fine, as long as you don't have solid cordura up against your back.

I recommend getting some samples from companies that sell sunforger canvas. I can't recommend any offhand, but for other outdoorsy fabrics I can recommend http://www.seattlefabrics.com They sell all sorts of cordura, nylon, and other industrial strength stuff for people making their own bags.

For buckles, go to http://www.itwnexus.com and place a sample order. They'll let you order up to 15 items for free as samples. They won't necessarily send you exactly what you order, but my sample order got me enough buckles for a complete messenger bag, including compression straps.

peace,
sam
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Old 06-24-05, 08:53 AM
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i'd check around army surplus stores. theres one where i live that carries all sorts of buckles, straps, fabrics (all heavy duty army type stuff) for relatively cheap.
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Old 06-24-05, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by phidauex

For buckles, go to http://www.itwnexus.com and place a sample order. They'll let you order up to 15 items for free as samples. They won't necessarily send you exactly what you order, but my sample order got me enough buckles for a complete messenger bag, including compression straps.
this is great stuff. I wish there was more metal but free is hard to argue with.
So i'm looking through and I will need buckles clearly, but how to make the shoulder strap adjustable?
I see the plastic cam buckles that look like was TimBuk2 uses but I have not been pleased with my experiences with that.

I think i have heard about a "D-ring" setup. How do those work? how many do you need? how big should they be?
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Old 06-24-05, 09:07 AM
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I made a bag for gardening out of a tent ($1.00)I bought at a garage sale. If you found a new enough tent at garage sales you might find a fabric that works - the other thing is you might check at any local awning or tent makers - sometimes they will sell you fabric or even give you their scraps - some scraps are quite large.
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Old 06-24-05, 09:11 AM
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Actually, most fabric stores usually have a good selection of canvas. It comes in different weights and colors (I see striped quite often, meant for awnings I guess).

My wife is a proffesional seamstress, so I have been in far more fabric stores than I ever imagined. Go take a look around!
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Old 06-24-05, 09:19 AM
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ok and finally, what about shoulder straps. I don't really want a canvas strap. What they have on the big name bags is more or less what I'd like to pick up. any ideas on where to look for that stuff and maybe on comfort issues?
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Old 06-24-05, 09:25 AM
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A D-ring setup (if it works like every D-ring cinch I've ever seen) uses two rings in the same spot. To secure it, thread the strap through both rings from the bottom, and then take the strap back over the top, and pass back through the bottom D-ring. Here's a photo demonstrating. The rings themselves should be slightly wider than the strap you're securing.



This project sounds really interesting, keep us posted.
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Old 06-24-05, 09:29 AM
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ok so on D-Rings:
why is that preferable to say a cam buckle (timbuk2 style) other than the difference between metal and plastic? Is it possible to get a metal cam buckle? for the record, i am calling it a cam buckle because thats what it is called in the website posted in this thread. I have no idea if thats a brand name or what.
how easy is it to adjust while on the move?
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Old 06-24-05, 09:39 AM
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*People are always trying to make bags out of goretex and stuff, and you really don't need breathable for the whole bag.*

I've never heard of any bags that were made with goretex..even backpacking packs. And as for people building their own bags with goretex - I'm pretty sure it's next to impossible to get your hands on the actual material (which is a thin white film) and even if you did you'd need the equipment to apply the goretex to the fabric.

Also - as much as goretex and the industries that use it claim it's breathable..it's really not all that.
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Old 06-24-05, 10:12 AM
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One last materials question:
Laptop Sleeves. Where to find the padded sleeve material. I'd like to get the material so i can custom fit it to the laptop and stich it into the bag
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Old 06-24-05, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by celephaiz
One last materials question:
Laptop Sleeves. Where to find the padded sleeve material. I'd like to get the material so i can custom fit it to the laptop and stich it into the bag
i've had good luck making padded straps with closed cell foam, which is really cheap. you could probably also find a used yoga mat or sleeping pad for free.

a
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Old 06-24-05, 10:22 AM
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To those saying you can't get certain things, please look at the seattlefabrics.com webpage, you can get all manner of multi-ply gortex brand fabrics, urethane coated fabrics like cordura, silnylon coated nylon fabrics, etc. Just about anything you'll find on a messenger bag or a technical backpacking pack can be found there.

They also sell metal cam buckles meant for 2" dive strap webbing. Those cams are beefy as all hell. You can also get 2" 'seatbelt' style webbing at REI cut to length for a reasonable price.

ITW Nexus also has a 2" secureloc ladderlock buckle that would be strong enough for most messenger bag applications, and would be very simple to use, even as a temporary solution until you track down the 'perfect' hardware.

For the laptop sleeve, you may need to be a bit creative. You can get foam from most fabric stores, and you can get cloroplast from most yard signs (its that white plastic that looks like corrugated cardboard that political yard signs and stuff are made from). If you took a few rectangles and sewed them together on three sides, and then used these rectangles to make a laptop shaped bag, then you could slide a piece of cloroplast with a piece of thin foam glued to it down into the side panels, stitch it closed, and have a pretty handy laptop sleeve. Cloroplast is as good as gold for people make their own gear, since its lightweight, cheap (or free around election time), and easy to work with.

peace,
sam
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Old 06-24-05, 10:32 AM
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Here's a list of materials Pac Designs uses to make their bags:

http://www.pacdesigns.com/materials.htm
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Old 06-24-05, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by phidauex
They also sell metal cam buckles meant for 2" dive strap webbing. Those cams are beefy as all hell.
True that. Check it.

m.
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Old 06-24-05, 10:59 AM
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Hey, that strapworks.com place is sweet! They offer a great selection of metal hardware! I'm adding that to the bookmarks for sure.
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Old 06-24-05, 12:29 PM
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MEC has buckles. They sell some of the Nexus stuff that PAC uses
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_l...=1119637482143
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Old 06-24-05, 02:12 PM
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I'd put one of these on a strap somewhere to help keep peds out of your way :



http://www.itwnexus.com/catalog/inde...270e20bceaf32e
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