Jump to content
justjoseph63

SNAP Setting 101

Recommended Posts

OK, future Troopers, many of you have asked about how to set snaps for your armor connections, so I thought I'd whip up a little tutorial.

Please note that the example that I am making is based on using the "double snap" connection system  (see last photo).  I highly recommend this method, especially on the back/kidney, kidney/butt, and ab/kidney connections, as it provides an extra layer of confidence.  Yes, it costs a bit more to do due to the extra snaps involved, but you can be sure that no matter what happens, you will NEVER have a piece come loose or fall off on a troop.

Also, this is the method I swear by.  Many may have used others, but after countless troops I have experienced no problems.

 

So here we go............

 

Materials needed:

1.  Hammer

 

2.  Soldering (woodburning) iron.  (Available at home improvement  and craft stores.  WELL worth the $10-$12.00 investment).

NOTE:  The tip of this thing gets CRAZY hot, so be very careful where you set it.  Many come with multiple tips, but I suggest the pointed one.

NoZIVzz.jpg?1

 

3.  Snap setting kit.  (Available at all craft stores).  Please note that I am showing both sides of the base... more on that later.

 

                 Convex side                                                      Concave side

RedtMca.jpg?1     dD7w7oD.jpg?2

 

4.  For this purpose, I am using 2 inch (5cm) wide black nylon and 1 inch (2cm) black nylon.  The 1 inch wide part will be attached directly to your armor.  I suggest using E-6000 glue and clamps for this.  

 

5.  Snaps, of course!  Don't "cheap-out" when buying these.  The cheap ones come undone very easily and are garbage.  For this tutorial, I am labeling the 4 parts as such:

tthiDjD.jpg?2

 

STEP ONE

 

Cut the 2 inch strapping to about 4 inches long** (or as needed) for the particular connection.

Cut the 1 inch nylon into 2 inch lengths as seen below.

 

**NOTE:  The actual length will depend on there you are using them, i.e. the kidney to posterior plate connections will be shorter.  Just be sure there are no gaps, and that the 1 inch wide base pieces are in the correct position before attaching them.

 

Example:  COdSc8c.jpg?1

 

 

7YqjagD.jpg?1

 

The ends will be a bit ragged and will fray.  Use the soldering tool to seal them.

 

9xDVedh.jpg?2

 

Again, using the soldering gun, make 4 holes in the 2 inch wide nylon as seen below.  Be careful not to make them too large (just larger than the shaft of the snap base) or the snap may eventually pull out.

 

Ty2jX7V.jpg?1

 

Take one of the 1 inch wide nylon pieces and slide it up under one end of the 2 inch wide piece, even with the end.   Once it is lined up, use the soldering iron to make holes in the 1 inch wide piece.  This will assure that the holes for the snaps line up correctly.  (VERY important)!

 

oAo6Djm.jpg?1

 

You should end up with this:

 

UBVOtXv.jpg?2

 

Repeat for other side, but be sure not to get the sides mixed up, as one set of holes may be wider.

 

Insert one of the male bases into one of the holes in the 2 inch wide piece.

 

pQwggim.jpg?1

 

Flip it over and place one of the male snaps on the post.

 

BSs2ott.jpg?1                      LSDuQEb.jpg?1

 

Place the base in the concave side of the snap setting kit base.  Place the striking rod in the center (straight up and down) and strike it several times firmly with the hammer.  The inside shaft should be sufficiently widened to keep the top from coming off.  There... your snap is set!

NOTE:  Do not attempt to do this step on a regular table.  You need a hard surface, and a heavy duty workbench or concrete surface works best.

 

Repeat this step for the remaining 3 holes.

 

Now onto the 1 inch wide strips..

 

Insert one of the female bases into one of the holes, then (as above) place one of the female snaps on top.  Place the female snap base into the convex side of the snap setting base.  Again, using the striking rod, give it a few good whacks.  (Getting the hang of this now)?

 

7VglPno.jpg?1

 

This is what you should have at this point (only one end shown) 

 

Dxlz8iY.jpg?1

 

CONGRATULATIONS, you have one strap completed! :salute:   Now that you realize how easy this is and have it down to a science, repeat as necessary.

 

                                                                                            NOTES

 

1.  For added security, the double snap system can be applied to other areas as well, including shoulder bridge attachments and bicep to shoulder bridge, (example below)   This is especially good for those who wear packs (HWT, Sandie, Spacetrooper).

8DLWGSM.jpg?1

 

2.  Snaps set in elastic (as seen above) can pull out over time with repeated use.  I recommend doubling the elastic over before attaching the snaps.

 

3.  Be sure to use the female base on all the straps that will be glued to your armor.  The reason being is that the bottoms are flat, insuring a tight seal.

pf7rktc.jpg?4

 

4.  Some folks set the female snaps in ABS instead of nylon when gluing them to the armor.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, it's just a different way of accomplishing the same goal.  The reason I use nylon is that I find it conforms to the curved parts of the armor better, and gives a larger surface area for the glue to adhere to.

 

5.  Some use CA (super) glue to attach the 1 inch nylon to their armor.  I have found that it can get brittle and break off or even cause warping on ABS due to the heat it puts off while drying.  E-6000 needs to be clamped and takes more time, but trust me, it's worth the wait.

 

6.  When gluing the 1 inch nylon to your armor, do NOT keep the 2 inch wide nylon attached with the snaps.  Some of the glue may seep through the hole in the snap and glue the whole connection together.  Not a good thing.

 

If you should have any questions, just ask here or PM me, and best of luck on your build!

 

    Photo 1 (Double snap system.. note clamps).

CrdSoQr.jpg?1

 

                                                                                              :jc_doublethumbup: SHOUT OUTS: :jc_doublethumbup: 

 

Gary jr. ( @flashpoint0214 ) The guy who introduced me to the double snap system!

Jeremy (Copper) who supplied the nice clean photo of the double snap system.

 

  • Like 16

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, this is much better than the crappy/basic one I did in 2006.  Def worth a pin - great job!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awww.. thanks!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

awesome tutorial!  I believe at this point in time, I can give anyone a run for their money on bent, misaligned snaps......I probably bought an extra 2 bags of Tandy line 24 snaps because I've ruined so many female side snaps (the convexed ones).

 

For those having trouble keeping the both sides of the snap mated straight, here is what I did:

 

  • glued some rubber to the convex side of the base tool.  This made sure that the it wouldn't slip/slide around during each whack
  • started using a rubber ended mallet to initiate the deformation of the post (steel hammer bad....but can be effective with the male side snap as it is more forgiving)
  • finish off the final blows with the plastic side mallet

 

When I used a steel hammer on the female snaps, they tend to go helter-skelter and the post would flare out and seal way too quickly....usually in misalignment.  Take your time with the blows from the rubber mallet; this will allow you to keep your snaps aligned as they are set into place.

 

I'm OCD so I couldn't live with the misalignment.  it was still functional, but looked pretty sketchy.  Plus, I didn't want to throw down $200 for the vice tool at Tandy Leather :(

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Advanced mode!

 

I would caution anyone who uses the (ABS paste) method to be extremely careful, as if you are not you could seriously warp / damage your armor. Acetone is scary stuff!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just for a bit of variety:

 

I like to use "revolving punch pliers" for making the holes.  It's nice and fast, and cuts a nice clean hole.  I found I didn't actually need to seal the webbing after with a lighter but I did for the elastic.  Only real gotcha is make sure you have some scrap fabric/elastic between the bit you're punching and the anvil or you might chip the punch, it's also easier to get a nice hole this way.

 

Mine are a rebrand of these: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blackspur-BB-RLP102-Heavy-Revolving-Leather/dp/B001JYLJB0/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1524209141&sr=8-10&keywords=punch+pliers

 

I've never checked them against the Tandy snaps, or cheap snaps but the Prym Vario pliers are worth their weight in gold.  No hammer or anvil needed, a snap takes seconds and is PERFECT every time.  I do need to test them against some other brand snaps at some point.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Prym-Vario-Pliers-Punching-Tool/dp/B000P1ASDI  and you'll need at least one set of https://www.amazon.co.uk/Prym-Sport-Camping-Fasteners-Silver/dp/B000QNWW84/ref=pd_sim_201_6?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=CE1ZC0EVZ59QGH0S9FCV to get the correct tools for the pliers.  These are the snaps I used, I bought a box of 100 and don't regret that at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent tutorial.  I would like to highlight Josephs comment about not skimping on snaps.  USE GOOD SNAPS!  I bought some run of the mill snaps at a fabrics store and have had to replace nearly all of them over time with good sturdy snaps (Tandy in my case).  Cheap snaps are not well shaped and made of weak/thin materials that WILL give out on you.  Having snaps crumble and fail during a troop is not something I would wish on anyone.  I cannot stress this enough.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m surprised I have not seen/read this thread before now. I haven’t even started on my first set of armor, but I can tell this system is going to be helpful. Thank you Joseph; great work here! 

 

Edit: We’ve talked about this system before in a PM about a year ago. I have thirty (Tandy Leather) Line 24 snaps on-hand at the moment. How many more do you think I’ll need if I just want to reinforce the vulnerable areas with the double snap method? Please excuse me if this has been asked elsewhere on this thread. 

Edited by Erice3339

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Erice3339 said:

I’m surprised I have not seen/read this thread before now. I haven’t even started on my first set of armor, but I can tell this system is going to be helpful. Thank you Joseph; great work here! 

 

Edit: We’ve talked about this system before in a PM about a year ago. I have thirty (Tandy Leather) Line 24 snaps on-hand at the moment. How many more do you think I’ll need if I just want to reinforce the vulnerable areas with the double snap method? Please excuse me if this has been asked elsewhere on this thread. 

I only posted this a few months ago, which is why you may not have seen it.  The best diagram I have is from Jeff (wingnut65) of the Tampa Bay Squad (below).  The only difference in mine is that I use 2 snaps on the shoulder bell to shoulder bridge connection.

 

wXbXJe1.jpg

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, justjoseph63 said:

I only posted this a few months ago, which is why you may not have seen it.  The best diagram I have is from Jeff (wingnut65) of the Tampa Bay Squad (below).  The only difference in mine is that I use 2 snaps on the shoulder bell to shoulder bridge connection.

 

wXbXJe1.jpg

I see. I have this diagram saved. If I order two more 10 pcks from Tandy, I’ll have fifty pieces/snaps. While it’s not enough to fulfill this diagram completely, I think it’ll provide me enough to reinforce most areas. I’ll have to determine what areas I get skimp by with single connections. Thank you again, Joseph. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/19/2018 at 1:04 PM, GilFran007 said:

bent, misaligned snaps

Hey Gil, 

 

Correct me if I am misunderstanding something here, but why does it matter if the female snaps are misaligned if the base of said snaps and nylon are getting glued to the armor? Wouldn't the misalignment then be hidden from view? Or is there an underlying structural issue with this? I read that you mentioned it was still "functional", but I am concerned that, on a very limited budget, I might end up needing to buy more snaps if the misalignment (which I did not think was that serious) turns out to be a bigger problem than I initially thought. Thank you in advance for your help. 

 

~Eric 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey Gil, 
 
Correct me if I am misunderstanding something here, but why does it matter if the female snaps are misaligned if the base of said snaps and nylon are getting glued to the armor? Wouldn't the misalignment then be hidden from view? Or is there an underlying structural issue with this? I read that you mentioned it was still "functional", but I am concerned that, on a very limited budget, I might end up needing to buy more snaps if the misalignment (which I did not think was that serious) turns out to be a bigger problem than I initially thought. Thank you in advance for your help. 
 
~Eric 
In my experience, misaligned snaps generally happen when the material you are using is too thin for the post to deform on to it's mating half.... It deforms to it's optimum limit, where it is straight, has no where else to go so it starts to skew with every blow.... Unless you are really careful.

Machines help you keep the arrangement straight for sure, but you can do the same manually with allot of care and patience.

A slight misalignment in the mating parts, either male or female, will still work. If you want it dead straight, put more material in between for it to pinch in on our use a machine. If the snaps misalign to the extent of say half it's radius, I would say that it would need to be rejected.... If you are OCD like me ;)

If you are using e6000 glue, you can always put the snap straps in that are a little skewed.... If they fail, it's easy to replace...... As long as the troop you are on is not of the utmost importance ;)

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, GilFran007 said:

I would say that it would need to be rejected.... If you are OCD like me

So it sounds like, as long as the female snap straps still adhere to the armor, having them aligned on either side of said strap is a matter of aesthetic preference as long as the snaps are not bent (i.e. still flat), no? 

 

2 hours ago, GilFran007 said:

If you are using e6000 glue, you can always put the snap straps in that are a little skewed.... If they fail, it's easy to replace

 

When you say “fail”, do you mean come loose/off of the armor? If so, how would misaligned snaps cause that if they are still flat with the strap thereby allowing the E6000 to adhere the strap to the equally flat surface of the armor?

 

If the snaps still lock as well, would the female base not be hidden from view, so that one could no longer tell whether the two female pieces are aligned or not (i.e. since only one piece of the female snap is able to be seen by looking at the surface of the strap because the other, or the base, is glued to the armor on the underside of the strap)?

 

I think I might be misunderstanding something. If it would help, the following image is an example of one of my straps that feature a misaligned female snap assembly: 

 

447GYIs.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
When you say “fail”, do you mean come loose/off of the armor? If so, how would misaligned snaps cause that if they are still flat with the strap thereby allowing the E6000 to adhere the strap to the equally flat surface of the armor?
 
If the snaps still lock as well, would the female base not be hidden from view, so that one could no longer tell whether the two female pieces are aligned or not (i.e. since only one piece of the female snap is able to be seen by looking at the surface of the strap because the other, or the base, is glued to the armor on the underside of the strap)?
 
I think I might be misunderstanding something. If it would help, the following image is an example of one of my straps that feature a misaligned female snap assembly: 
 
447GYIs.jpg
Those don't look bad at all and if the male counterpart holds firmly in there, you should be okay.

You are correct, if it's out of sight, it's out of mind and the functionality is still there. The guy at Tandy leather told me misaligned snaps will still hold for the purposes that we are using them for.

If you want to avoid misalignments, use a softer mallet and take more time pounding the posts down.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, GilFran007 said:

the functionality is still there.

That is a relief! I thought I might have to drop another $60 on metal buttons... 

 

Some of my female snaps are worse than others, I think. I’m hoping they’ll still do their job though. They still lock (actually kind of difficult to get apart too) and are flat on the underside for gluing. 

 

I’ll see if I can pick up the tools to follow your procedure in your original reply to minimize misaligned snaps. I appreciate you sharing that here. 

 

Thank you for your time and attention, Gil.

Edited by Erice3339

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's what the community is for ;)

Plus, in a double snap straps configuration, you just increased your odds of everything holding together ;

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have seen both ABS and 1’ webbing used for mounting the male side of the straps to glue to armor parts. 

(I have used ABS in the past for my FO Pilot)

 

What are the advantages/disadvantages of the two approaches?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On thinner armors (less than 2mm) it does seem that using ABS plates can lead to deformation of the plastic (non-permanent!), from mine and others experience.

 

Some people have had the webbing cause discoloration of the armor, but I think it was found to be because of using sub-par cheapo stuff from Amazon/eBay etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Along with my ask before you act deal, just a point of clarification if you will. The material that actually attaches the parts together, the 2 in by 4 in strip, is that elastic or Nylon straps? or is either one ok to use? I got the snaps set in the 1in by 2in and will have both 2in nylon and elastic delivered tomorrow, but which should be used for the interior strapping?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joseph used webbing here, I personally would recommend elastic for some flexibility.  For elastic add an extra inch at end and then fold that back to double it over for extra strength.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have an unusual way of pairing up the snaps. This is how I have always used them.

szBNFNJ.jpg

Setting the snaps this way gives you a low profile male snap plate glued to your armour and the bulkier female snaps on your elastic straps. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do the same as TM. I thought that was the natural way to set them.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, themaninthesuitcase said:

Joseph used webbing here, I personally would recommend elastic for some flexibility.  For elastic add an extra inch at end and then fold that back to double it over for extra strength.

A lot of that will depend on the particular connection.  Some larger framed Troopers shooting for L3 have a problem with gaps between the a/kidney and kidney/back plates as well as what I call (for lack of a better phrase) "Trooper butt", where the posterior plate sticks way to far out under the kidney.  Using nylon will help keep these areas tight and aligned, but can unfortunately restrict movement if there is not much wiggle room.  Using elastic is great if you can get away with it on any connection, but as Chis mentioned, be sure to double it over before setting the snaps in in it.  (I glue the double fold together before adding the snaps on mine for added strength).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...