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HOW TO: DIY rear calf closure clips, aka Bra Clips


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Hello Troopers, 

 

Thought I'd post a build thread on rear calf closure clips, aka Bra Clips. I know you can buy a box of clips at your local fabric or hobby store for under $2 however, since this is a DIY organization I thought I'd post this for those who like to do it all themselves.

 

Items needed:

 

Carbon Steel Crafters wire or similar $5

3/4"W x 3"L, Elastic, White, x6 (3 for each calf). Cutting to size before or after you make the hook doesn't matter

 

Tools:

 

Ruler, Pencil and paper

Small/Medium sized plain Needle Nose Pliers

Safety Wire Twist Pliers (Best), Small/Medium sized Vise Grip Needle Nose Pliers (Better), or plain Pliers 

Small/Medium sized Wire cutters

Pick or medium nail

Sewing Machine with medium to heavy duty thread (Best), Needle and thread (Better), or glue (E6000 or Zap-A-Gap) 

 

Here's the wire...BC1.jpg

 

Steps:

1)      Cut a 4" section of wire

 

BC2.jpg

 

2)      Using your thumb and forefinger start begin to fold the wire as shown

 

BC3b.jpg

BC4.jpg

 

3)      Using the plain needle nose pliers continue to fold the wire until the wire gap is closed

 

BC5b.jpg

BC6.jpg

BC7.jpg

BC8.jpg

 

4)      Using the plain pliers grab the wire at the folded point

 

BC9.jpg

 

5)      Now wrap the wire around the pliers tip 180 degrees as shown to create the hook

 

BC10.jpg

 

 

6)      Now re-position the pliers just below the hook

 

BC11.jpg

 

7)      Fold both loose wire ends to the side 45 degrees as shown

 

BC13.jpg

 

8)      Draw out a ¾" or 19mm guide

 

BC15.jpg

 

9)      Using plain pliers bend wire 45 degrees away from hook as shown

 

BC16.jpg

BC17.jpg

 

10)   Continue to bend both wires 180 degrees until they cross over each other as shown. We will call this section the anchor.

 

BC18.jpg

BC19.jpg

 

NOTE: A this point you can either cut the wire ends where they meet and solder them together and jump to step 20, or if you don't have a soldering

iron, continue on.

 

11)    Using pliers hold anchor section (NOT SHOWN) then bend the wire ends away from hook as shown

 

BC20.jpg

 

12)   Now for the tricky part. Continuing to use the plain pliers grab anchor section just below the hook as shown

13)   Using your other hand twist the free wire ends about 3 or 4 revolutions. It should look like this

 

BC21.jpg

BC23.jpg

 

14)    Now grab the same area again with the plain pliers and hold on tight (keep this section of wires straight while we twist them tighter). Now grab the two free wires just past the twist you made in the previous step with the vise grip pliers.

 

BC24.jpg

 

15)   Rotate the vise grips 1 to 2 revolutions (the same direction you began twisting the wires by hand), this will tighten the existing wire windings to prevent them from coming apart under stress. NOTE: This may take a little practice.

 

BC25.jpg

 

16)   Remove the vise grips.

17)   At this point straighten any bent sections to resemble the image shown

18)   Using the wire cutters cut the twisted wires approximately 1/8" or 3mm from the untwisted anchor section (hook side) as shown

19)   Compare your hook assembly to the images I've provided.

 

BC29.jpgBC30.jpg

 

20)  Now grab one of your elastic strips.

 

NOTE: Black nylon is shown for illustration purposes only. 

 

21)  Fold one end of material ½" or 13mm. Make note of crease location.

 

BC31.jpg

 

22)   Poke a pic or nail into the center of the crease, at the center of the material half as shown, to create a hole for the hook

 

BC33.jpg

 

23)   Feed the hook portion through the hole, then pull on the hook to secure the anchor side firmly against the material.

 

BC34.jpg

BC35.jpg

 

NOTE: Prior to this next step it has been suggested attaching addition material to the material as a pull tab to assist in removing the hook from the armor. This can be done simply by adding a extra 1" or so extra material by looping it like a "S" behind the hook during the gluing or sewing process. I'll add this to this thread shortly.

 

24)   Finalizing: This next and final step/s requires you to connect the two sections of material together around the anchor portion of hook completing the assembly. There are multiple ways you can accomplish this. A) Hand sew B) Sewing Machine or 3) Glue. The next section I will be demonstrating the Sewing Machine method. If you choose to hand sew or glue you are done! Glue the opposite end to your armor, drill your holes for your hooks and Waa La, enjoy!

 

25)   Sewing Machine method: Fold the two material sections around anchor point of hook assembly as shown.

 

BC36.jpg

 

26)   Place area to be sewn in machine (Hook side up) as shown.

 

BC38.jpg

 

27)   Depending the quality of machine you have you can either start at the edge of the material or in the middle. Sew the halves together and up the sides for added security (prevent hook from falling out when not in use).

 

BC40.jpg

 

 

Dritz size 3 bra hook used here to illustrate hook similarities. 

 

BC43.jpg

 

28)   That's it, you're done!   

Edited by ukswrath
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DIY all you want. I'll stick with ready made. But I'll strongly advice against nylon webbing for calf enclosure using these hooks. The elastic they used was there for a reason making the original suits, IE you need the material to flex when you pull the hooks out of the holes. Also, your "finished" strap has no pull tab, so you will have a lot of trouble grabbing it to get it out with your leg stuck inside.

 

Sorry to sound so pessimistic. You've done a nice job of bending the wire. It looks really neat. But you are re-inventing the wheel. ;)

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Thanks Mathias, noted, and thanks for your input. If it's a EIB or Centurion requirement to use the elastic then those reading this, use elastic.

 

If it's not, then I don't have a problem using nylon because my calves give enough to detach the hook, but that's just me.

 

The Grab Tab is a great idea I will have to look into it, personally.    

Edited by ukswrath
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No there is no requirement to use elastic. It's just impractical not to.

 

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

 

Thank you Mathias, I understand your point. The nylon is just an option (not canon), kinda like Velcro, and who would use Velcro? This thread is for those DIYers like myself. I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel just a personal & crafty way to put it on the car. Cheers

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Hey Steve funny you mentioned the sewn in over the counter hooks. One of the final images shown is actually using one of those (it's the one that looks a bit shinier). I just took the loops you would had sewn to the material bent them to the shape similar of the hook anchors I made. Same process minus a few steps. 

Edited by ukswrath
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The nylon is just an option (not canon), kinda like Velcro, and who would use Velcro?

 

Great tutorial! :duim:  I wish I had more of your DIY spirit, but I'm with Mathias on this one.  I went 'ready-made' whenever possible.    

Also... this centurion's calves are closed using velcro!   ;)  Hook closures aren't a requirement, even for EIB.  

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Great tutorial! :duim:  I wish I had more of your DIY spirit, but I'm with Mathias on this one.  I went 'ready-made' whenever possible.    

Also... this centurion's calves are closed using velcro!   ;)  Hook closures aren't a requirement, even for EIB.  

 

Well I can't say everything I've done was DIY, that would be a bunch of malarkey :D and I know most calf armor Centurions or others wear is Velcro, hence the sarcasm.. hehe  ;). Since I couldn't find a sales thread on calf hardware (not that it doesn't exist), I had an opportunity to be creative and took on the challenge. Some will use this, some won't. Until there's a "canon for dummies" section created I guess threads like this will continue to crop up :smiley-sw013:

 

In all sincerity though, I do appreciate all the constructive comments everyone has contributed. Can you imagine if we all still wore the 1st gen armor? Scary :shok:       

Edited by ukswrath
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I had bra clips on my TD calves and couldn't stand it.  I'm always looking for a new way to do it, so thanks for sharing this.  Troopers helping troopers in action on this thread.

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It is a great setup... I can just see my tired fingers already!

 

I would also suggest on top of using elastic.. that it is white. We can discuss back and forth regarding the black hiding against the black undersuit and so on, but they used white in the films, so I would go white.

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It is a great setup... I can just see my tired fingers already!

 

I would also suggest on top of using elastic.. that it is white. We can discuss back and forth regarding the black hiding against the black undersuit and so on, but they used white in the films, so I would go white.

 

Thank you all for your input. As suggested, changes have been made to the material section and the tutorial to reflect what is canon. 

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I know that I'm one of the guys who runs this here forum... but maybe someday someone can explain to me the difference between the HOWTO and the tutorial forums.

 

Maybe safety wire twister pliers would make things easier? (those are a little cheap but you get the idea.

 

-Eric

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Hey Eric, actually thought about twist pliers when writing this, love them. I guess if these style clips went viral sales or something I might invest in a set. Great tip.  :duim:

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  • 1 year later...

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