Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Hip Belt

I finally made it over to Tandy Leather to begin construction of my hip belt.  The leather I had purchased from Facebook Marketplace for $25 was double thick and somewhat dried out.  The Delta Rings are much beefier than I need, but in the absence of making custom rings will have to do the trick.
This time I was working with Shawn who was super helpful getting me going and being an extra pair of hands which was very beneficial for the draw gauge.

Started off cutting an end with a utility knife.  Then I measured off 55 inches and cut the strip off of the length of leather.  Next we used a draw gauge to trim the leather down to 4" thickness by removing approximately 3/4."  At this point a fold needed to be made and we utilized an adjustable v-gouge to remove some material and relieve the leather for a bend.  Next, I started punching the holes for the rivets.  At this point we realized the leather was more dried out than we originally thought.  Shawn suggested conditioning the leather before installing rivets.

I applied Dr. Jackson's Hide Rejuvenator and will let it soak in for 24 hours and then buff off the cream.

For rivets, I am planning a 4 hole pattern using #9 brass rivets.  Brass has a shear strength of 30,500 psi.  So my #9 = 3/16" has an area of 0.0276 inches and a shear strength of 842 pounds.  With 4 rivets, I should be good to a 3200 pound lift.

The cost of a 25 pack of rivets is $25 and the rivet setter is another $10.  Together with the Delta rings that were $5 each (I purchased five to save on shipping).  I am at $85 for the project.  I will have enough material to make several more items and may choose to do so, but certainly not to offset cost.  More likely to help somebody out.

So far the leather I am using is definitely too thick and the delta rings too beefy.  I could certainly get away with single thick leather and would be better off with custom delta rings.

UPDATE 4/25/2024 - Well the hip belt is complete and should work fine.  Installing the rivets was not too bad.  It took me a little while to line things up and punch holes.  The more painstaking work was flattening out the non-finished side.

One issue is the size of the delta rings.  They are really thick which makes it difficult to connect the grab hook and quick link.  In the immediate term I attached some oval carabiners which should work for the weights I am moving, but not for the big boys.  Perfect world, I would file them delta rings down to accept the quick link opening and shackle opening.

Delta Ring Diameter - 0.53 inches
Grab Hook - 0.46 inches
Quick Link - 0.44 inches

Taking off a tenth of an inch may not sound like much but will be tough with a hand file.

3' of 5/16" chain ($15), 5/16" grab hook ($10), 5/16" quick link ($5) set me back another $30 on the project.

This unfortunately confirms my theory that being able to perform heavy lifts is an expensive, space consuming and time consuming endeavor.  

$25 - Leather (have leftover)
$20 - Delta hooks (used 2 of 5 purchased)
$35 - #9 brass rivets and setters (used 8 of 25 purchased)
$30 - Chain, grab hook and quick link
$110 for the belt, but also a great learning experience.  I have enough material to build a neck harness or full harness.  I need to practice with Ironmind neck harness some and give the hip belt a run for its money tomorrow.

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