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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,
With what's going on in the financial and political world lately, I'm deciding to go easy on purchasing extraneous kit. I was going to buy a new gun bag for the SKS this weekend, but will dig out an old olive drab coat I have, cut off the sleeves, and sew my own gun bag. It might look ugging fugly, but it will be serviceable.
What are all your experiences with crafting kit, making do, and can you offer any tips?
This would be a good thread for getting us to think creatively as well, which would come in handy in the bush.
I've also made a carrier/quiver for the compound bow and arrows from one of my wife's knee high leather boots, but cutting the foot off it and sewing it closed at the bottom. It actually looks like a leather quiver :).
Anyone else?
 

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Prophet
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1,261 Posts
As an avid backpacker/4x4'er, i've made some pretty strange looking storage pouches outta used garmets. jeans torn and fallin apart? I'd just cut off the torn legs and trim em down, sew up one end and use em for tool rolls(great for the truck). the rest of the jeans would be kept for the summer months.
I've also taken old backpacks and salvages pouches, straps, and materials from them for other uses.

peace
al
 

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You want to make sure you match your thread to the fabric; if you are hand sewing fairly heavy fabric, waxed linen thread is a good one, buttonhole thread or heavy quilting thread are also good. Wax your thread if you're not using waxed linen, or use Thread Heaven [available from fabric and craft stores].

Don't put one end through and then knot the ends together if hand sewing; instead, double the thread, put the two loose ends through the needle, and sew through the loop in the thread for your first stitch. That way as you sew, you will be less likely to have one end of the thread bunch up on you; keeps the threads tidier.

Use an overcast stitch on your edges or zigzag on a sewing machine so that the fabric doesn't ravel. Go over stress points, and reinforce them with a patch of the same material.

If sewing on a machine, use quilting thread and take a piece of the fabric you want to use and fold it over and sew it and see how the tension is; sewing machines can get out of adjustment over time. You want your thread tension to be =-=-=-=- the dashes being where the threads are evenly tensioned as they cross and not =_=_=_=_ where the underscores represent one thread being tighter than the other; that causes a allows wear and IMHO isn't as strong.

The absolute best way to reduce fugliness, by the way, is to make a pattern first out of stiff paper or other fabric. That way you know you will be cutting your 'good' fabric in such a way as to minimize loss that can occur if you don't have a pattern and only eyeball it. Add seam allowances [given the nature of what you are making, I'd say go with a 3/4" seam] and double sew every seam, first on the actual line you want to be the perimeter of the thing, then once between that and the cut edges of the seams.
 

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when i got my sks it didn't have a sling. i looked at a few and when i got home my wife said one of our duffle bags was ready to go to the trash as i was putting it out i noticed the shoulder strap, and tada it works fine as a rifle sling. just to be sure i hung it from the porch with 30 lbs on it for a few days to make sure it could handle that kind of use.
one season later and still perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Great replies, all. Will apply wax to thread, great idea!
You know, I didn't even think about that - using a dufflebag/backpack sling for the SKS (mine didn't come with one, either), though it seems obvious. Necessity brings forth new ideas.
At the moment I'm concieving connecting the homemade SKS bag to my main bug out pack, leaving the hands free to carry the 30-ought.

Oh, if anyone's interested; ghillie suits are damned expensive, and even to make one is pricey and time consuming with all the materials you have to buy.
I made a great ghillie suit by simply purchasing one of those cheap mossy oak hunting tarps, the thin ones with the perforations, for $14.00 then sewing in strips of olive drab from the aformentioned coat, and brown strps from a pair of old corderoys.
The tarp was long enough that I could cut a piece off and bushrag my rifle.
I tested it out with some buddies and was practically invisible. One guy put his foot down inches from my head, nearly walked on me. One of them had a dog, and it walked right by!
The peforations in the tarp are perfect for supplementing with foliage in the field, and the whole contraption is not nearly as hot as a genuine ghillie suit.
Just an FYI for the hunters out there, or those who think invisibility might come in handy.:thumb:
 

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Pursuing freedom.
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Great idea on the ghillie suit. Also like the idea on the duffel bag straps. I have 3 of those in storage and didn't want to throw them out, but didn't know what to with them either. Since I have a good Eberlestock pack, I wouldn't want to hump the duffels. I need two slings, so there is one bag without straps, and I am sure I need a pouch or two that can be made with the bag material itself.

Excellent postings.
 

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In my bob, I keep a small crafting kit. A portion of a stick of JB Weld, a small bottle of false nail adhesive (superglue in a better-designed bottle), nylon thread and upholstery thread, a glue gun gluestick, and a few needles.

The gluesticks can be melted to make a great sealant for tents and tarps. Plus you can wrap thread around them. JB Weld is amazing. I'd have a whole stick if I didn't keep finding uses for some of it ;), and super glue is another modern wonder. I keep a smaller tube in my first aid kit for quick cut repair.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Building a new ghillie suit now.
Total cost: About $30.00
Items Involved:
X 1 Lightweight mosquito jacked with pullover hood. Cost: $15.00.
X 1 Spool of olive drab yarn. Cost: $2.00.
X 1 Tube of Shoe Goo. Cost $1.50.
X 15 Burlap sacks. Cost: Nothing. I liberated them from a "municipal" work site at a park.:taped: Not really a crime, they were left to rot over the winter by some negligent park employee.
X 2 Packets of O.D. dye from a dollar store. Cost: $4.00, ironically.
X 1 Packet of Brown dye. $2.00
X 1 Packet of Rust Dye. $2.00

The mosquito jacket is great, as the hood includes a complete face cover that can be sewn over. It's light weight, and can breath.
I'll try to take some photos of the process and post them with the final result, but may have to ask for someone's help, as I don't know how to post pics.
Half way through the cutting and dying process now, so don't know when I'll finish - this stuff's labour intensive and time consuming. Let me know what y'all think when it's done.
 

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Student/Teacher
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I bought a couple rolls of 3/4 and 1 1/2 nylon strapping and buckles on ebay to customize my gear. I never throw away old clothes I make char cloth from the under clothes, bags tool rolls etc. from the pants, patch material shop rags from shirts.
 

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Knocked Down But Up Again
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If you can't find waxed thread, heavy-duty dental floss works amazingly well. I think it's sold uner the brand name of Dent-o-Tape.
 

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Wide awake
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Oh, if anyone's interested; ghillie suits are damned expensive, and even to make one is pricey and time consuming with all the materials you have to buy.
I made a great ghillie suit by simply purchasing one of those cheap mossy oak hunting tarps, the thin ones with the perforations, for $14.00 then sewing in strips of olive drab from the aformentioned coat, and brown strps from a pair of old corderoys.
I made a ghillie last year with another method. I estimate that I have nearly 100 hours invested in it, but if there are any other die-hards out there, here's another method for a very effective ghillie:

Procure: (1) set of utilities with cover (hat), (2) large tubes of gorrilla glue, approximately 150 yards of string netting, about 50 burlap sacks in mostly brown with some greens. The whole set up (if you have the utilities already) will cost about 35-30 bucks. (You can get the burlap, glue, and the netting from a craft store.)

First, lay out the utilities and make sure that you have netting glued to the entire surface. Glue at each place the horizontal string and vertical string touch. Make sure you have plenty of play in the netting. If you stretch it tight, it will make your utilities constricted, and they won't fit correctly. Don't forget to do the cover (hat). Its not common in nature to see a head floating around in the woods.

Next, cut your burlap into 14" X 3" strips. Once you do this, you'll be able to remove all the short 3-inch strings, leaving you with just a 14-inch-long bunch of string.

Take half of that string, and set the other half aside. Tie the string in a double overhand knot at each horizontal section of netting. Then, do the same in another section with the remaining string.

Repeat ad nauseum. In a hundred or so hours, you will be all set!

Make sure that the colors are similar to what you would find in the location you will use your suit. Remember, black is uncommon in nature. Browns work well, with a little less greens. No matter the season, you'll always find browns (trees trunks, dirt, etc.) You should be using two or so different colors, and don't forget to make patters in the suit to break up your outline. You don't want to just make one color by mixing two different shades of burlap, or you'll be missing the point. A properly made ghillie breaks up the outline of a human form.

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"Civilize the mind, but make savage the body."
 
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