Shop Tom Bihn
1-800-729-9607
emailus@tombihn.com
Tom Bihn Forums: Community discussion on travel bags, laptop bags, and backpacks. Tom Bihn has been designing and making bags since 1972. The best materials and innovative construction.

Results 1 to 9 of 9
Like Tree25Likes
  • 5 Post By jujigatame
  • 9 Post By jujigatame
  • 6 Post By moriond
  • 3 Post By jujigatame
  • 1 Post By moriond
  • 1 Post By jmoz

Thread: Making other bags better with TB-sourced hardware

  1. #1
    Registered User jujigatame's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    65

    Making other bags better with TB-sourced hardware

    Iím something of a geek for the hardware that comes on a lot of bags. Buckles, hooks, snaps, toggles, etc. Aside from being fun to play around with these items can let you make a lot of your own modifications to bags and change things to suit your individual needs and preferences. There is a level of satisfaction that comes from doing it yourself even if itís something minor.

    There have been plenty of instances Iíve seen cool hardware on a bag and wished there was a way to get just a few for a reasonable price. Often times you can track down what the part is through manufacturers or wholesalers. However, not all of the hardware is readily available for an individual consumer to buy. Or maybe you can get it but itís sold in minimum quantities only suitable for those in the business of making bags. Itís not like ITW Nexus has a slew of retail stores across the land where you can browse and buy whatever you want. In truth thatís probably a good thing because if there was such a place Iíd spend countless hours there fiddling around and bankrupt myself in the process.

    Tom Bihn helps to overcome these problems. They sell hardware on their website right alongside all of the other products, it is very reasonably priced and youíre not required to buy more pieces than you actually want or need. So I bought some hardware in an attempt to improve the functionality of a few non-TB bags.

    First up is a Kifaru ultralight pouch. In addition to use as a packing cube I envisioned it as capable of being used as a small shoulder bag.



    In order to be a shoulder bag it needs a shoulder strap. There are tabs at each end of the zipper that could be used as attachment points for a strap.



    I tried a TB simple strap with swivel hooks but given the extreme light weight of the bag it felt like overkill in terms of mass and bulk. I tried a TB 5/8Ē strap but that was too narrow for my liking. I took a length of 1Ē webbing and a few buckles to make a strap but without any native attachment hardware I needed something to connect the strap to the bag. I tried split rings, carabiners, snap hooks and other things but they were either too heavy, clunky or just not a good fit aesthetically.

    Enter the Double Gatekeeper. After looking at the removable waist straps where TB utilizes this pieces it was a no-brainer that I should have gone this route all along. Itís sized for 1Ē webbing I was already using and so with a pair of these clips I had my strap.





    It fits neatly on the tabs, goes on and off quickly, and holds securely. The 1Ē width provides a good balance of being just large enough for comfort but small enough to fit the minimalist nature of the bag. The Double Gatekeeper ended up being the perfect piece to make the strap setup work the way I wanted it to work.



    *continued in next post*

  2. #2
    Registered User jujigatame's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    65
    The other bag I modified was a Timbuk2 duffel.



    Its original shoulder strap ran through SRBs at either end of the bag.



    While this made it easy to put on and take off the strap it left me with three issues.
    #1 Ė No swivel, which is something I want if at all possible on a shoulder bag that will be taking any significant weight. In my use of the bag so far the lack of a swivel was more of an annoyance than a serious issue in but I wanted to change it anyway.
    #2 Ė If I found another strap I wanted to use on the bag Iíd be somewhat stuck. Anything that didnít terminate with a 1.5Ē male SRB at both ends wasnít going to plug & play with the bag.
    #3 Ė The leftover female SRB piece left on the bag looked a bit clunky when the strap was removed. Itís a minor nitpick but I was hopeful it could be addressed.

    Cutting off the SRBs left a shallow webbing loop at each end like so.



    The strap I wanted to use was a TB Simple Strap with the original Timbuk2 pad.



    To get a hard attachment point for the strap clips I used a pair of 1.5Ē cheater D pieces from TB.



    How do the cheaters to connect to the bag? Usually youíd feed them through a triglide buckle that's already sewn into a bag but I didnít have that. It turned out the webbing on the cheaters was just long enough to feed through a triglide and leave a closed loop at the end.





    So how do we marry the bag and the cheaters when they both have closed loops? A 1.5Ē Gatekeeper does nicely.





    The final product is a bit longer than I had wanted and it looks rather like Frankenstein. But when the strap is in use it gives me the functionality I was after so that ultimately trumps the homely appearance. Plus the Gatekeeper allows it to be completely removed if needed to eliminate any chance of getting snagged on something or some unscrupulous person trying to snag it for themselves. And if I want to change to a different strap itís not a problem because the cheater D hard points will take any kind of hook.



    So with Tom Bihn-sourced hardware I was able to make two good bags better with minimal time and expense. It took me much longer to photograph, write and edit this thread than it did to put together my strap solutions. ;-) But hopefully it will inform folks about what you can do with just a few pieces of plastic, polyester or metal. A bag doesnít just have to stay the way it is if you donít like it. You can improve the way it works to suit you better.

  3. #3
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Honolulu, HI
    Posts
    2,827
    Quote Originally Posted by jujigatame View Post
    Iím something of a geek for the hardware that comes on a lot of bags. Buckles, hooks, snaps, toggles, etc. Aside from being fun to play around with these items can let you make a lot of your own modifications to bags and change things to suit your individual needs and preferences. There is a level of satisfaction that comes from doing it yourself even if itís something minor.

    <snip>

    Enter the Double Gatekeeper. After looking at the removable waist straps where TB utilizes this pieces it was a no-brainer that I should have gone this route all along. Itís sized for 1Ē webbing I was already using and so with a pair of these clips I had my strap.





    It fits neatly on the tabs, goes on and off quickly, and holds securely. The 1Ē width provides a good balance of being just large enough for comfort but small enough to fit the minimalist nature of the bag. The Double Gatekeeper ended up being the perfect piece to make the strap setup work the way I wanted it to work.
    Great ideas and pictures, @jujigatame. I think there's a way to shortcut your double-gatekeeper + strap solution for the Kifaru. Tom Bihn uses this same 1" webbing strap + double gatekeeper combination as a detachable shoulder strap for the Field Journal Notebook, and although the FJN has been out of stock for a while, you can still purchase the strap, and other accessories for the FJN on the Field Journal Accessories product page drop-down menu under the Shoulder Strap - $3.00 listing.

    Name:  TB1910_16b.jpg
Views: 499
Size:  382.9 KB

    Name:  TB1910_15b.jpg
Views: 507
Size:  290.5 KB

    I agree that the 1" wide strap is more comfortable for light bags. I use a 1" strap from my Breve (a discontinued TB bag for carrying iPads) on bags like my Side Effect or Packing Cube Shoulder Bag as described in this post, and shown below with the wider standard strap of the Cafe Bags shown in the corner for comparison:




    Quote Originally Posted by jujigatame View Post
    The other bag I modified was a Timbuk2 duffel.
    <snip>

    To get a hard attachment point for the strap clips I used a pair of 1.5Ē cheater D pieces from TB.



    How do the cheaters to connect to the bag? Usually youíd feed them through a triglide buckle that's already sewn into a bag but I didnít have that. It turned out the webbing on the cheaters was just long enough to feed through a triglide and leave a closed loop at the end.




    This is another clever solution. But I have to tell you that I believe I bought the last pair of 1.5" Cheater D rings from the Parts web page back in June. It had disappeared from the drop-down menu a few days before I tried to order, so I had to call in. I found that Matthew had one remaining pair on his desk, and after confirming that I really did need/intend to use the Cheater D rings, he sold it to me. I haven't found that they restocked the Cheater D rings in either of the two sizes. I also have an old 1.5"" Cheater D ring that I used to convert my ID bag for use with an Absolute Strap. (See the Adapter thread.) Not sure whether either of these will be restocked.

    Very clever adaptations! I enjoyed reading this thread.

    moriond

    ETA: If you read through @nsh's Field Journal Notebook Review thread, you'll be able to see pictures that show the FJN both with the attached strap and, near the end, without the attached straps.
    Last edited by moriond; 10-01-2014 at 03:42 PM. Reason: corrected typo in name and added link to FJN thread

  4. #4
    Registered User jujigatame's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    65
    Wish I'd taken a closer look to see that Field Journal strap beforehand. Perhaps I should have guessed TB already had a solution before I even knew there was a question.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    169
    For the duffel, is there a reason you can't just loop the cheater D webbing directly through the gatekeeper and eliminate the tri-glide inbetween the two?

  6. #6
    Registered User jujigatame's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    65
    The cheater has no built-in means of holding the itself together when folded over to make a loop. If I didn't use a triglide there would still have to be something to hold the webbing in place to form the loop. I might have considered having it sewn to make a permanent closed loop if I had access to someone with the appropriate machinery and skill to match TB's work.

  7. #7
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Honolulu, HI
    Posts
    2,827
    Quote Originally Posted by ClaireJ View Post
    For the duffel, is there a reason you can't just loop the cheater D webbing directly through the gatekeeper and eliminate the tri-glide inbetween the two?
    @ClaireJ I can take a stab at answering your question. The reason you can't simply loop the cheater D webbing directly through the gatekeeper is that there's nothing to keep the webbing end from slipping out. The webbing end of the Cheater D is just webbing: somebody folded the end over and tacked across to sew it so that the end stub is double thickness, but there are no loops or other ways that the webbing can be attached to the smooth plastic of the Gatekeeper clip, and the webbing end itself, even doubled over, would simply pass through the gap between the sides of the Gatekeeper clip. You could loop the webbing around one end of the Gatekeeper clip and then sew it closed, but you'd have to use a machine that is heavy-duty enough to do a good stitching job on the webbing.

    However, when you pass webbing through a Tri-glide, the angling of the webbing that is passed up and over the center bar of the Triglide, and the fact that @jujigatame has doubled over the end of the webbing, so that it is double thickness (more resistance against slipping loose) and he has placed the sewn, seamed end of the webbing so that the thicker sewn section will pull up against the plastic edge of the Triglyde if you tug on the small loop in the end, all acts to secure that looped end from slipping free from the tri-glide.

    The open end of the Gatekeeper clip is secured to that loop, which is held in placed secure from unraveling by the way the webbing end is looped through and then around the Tri-glide with the thick, sewn end acting as a "stopper". This wouldn't work if the webbing end weren't the right length to form this "loop"

    Normally, when these Triglides are sewn onto bags (such as the large Cafe Bag), with a webbing loop around the center of this "buckle-like" part, there are also "teeth" on the underside of the outside edges of the "buckle". When webbing is threaded through this "buckle", the teeth catch, and prevent the webbing from slipping more -- so that when you adjust strap lengths, they stay fixed. In addition, the reinforced sewn edges of the Cheater D ring accessory webbing would keep the end from slipping through the "teeth", as well. The trick, here, was to use a Triglide without teeth, together with the cheater D ring, to find a sturdy, slip-free solution that could be assembled without sewing.

    HTH.

    moriond

    ETA: I'm going to point you to a couple of posts by @jmoz in a thread about making a Large cafe Bag work as a Surrogate for a Packing Cube Messenger Bag.. There are pictures in this post that show the Cheater D ring and Triglide. In fact, the picture in the parts section is the "old" cheater D ring version:

    Name:  7308d1405627167-lcb-pcmb-substitute-cheaterd.jpg
Views: 350
Size:  164.3 KB

    (This picture is still up in the parts images, but it is the "Adapter" that was used on my old ID bag to allow it to take the Absolute Strap. I slipped the original strap ends free if the "toothed" Triglide, and threaded in the webbing end of the "cheaters."

    You can see that if there were not a "toothed" slide, there would be nothing to keep the webbing from sliding free, unless you sewed it closed.
    Last edited by moriond; 10-02-2014 at 10:25 PM.
    Janine likes this.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    169
    That makes sense - thanks for the explanations! I didn't realize the webbing was just threaded through the tri-glide and not sewn in place. Marveling at all the little details with these pieces!

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Delaware.
    Posts
    256
    Bag hacking is a lot of fun, really. If what you want doesn't exist, a bit of ingenuity makes it possible. Nice work @jujigatame!
    Janine likes this.


Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0