justjoseph63[Staff] Posted April 19, 2018 Report Share Posted April 19, 2018 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. Some builders 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. 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 4. For this purpose, I am using 2 inch (5cm) wide black nylon and 1 inch (2cm) black nylon. The 1 inch strips 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: 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: The ends will be a bit ragged and will fray. Use the soldering tool to seal them. 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. 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)! You should end up with this: Repeat for other side, but be sure not to get the sides mixed up, as one set of holes may be farther apart. Insert one of the male bases into one of the holes in the 2 inch wide piece. Flip it over and place one of the male snaps on the post. 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)? This is what you should have at this point (only one end shown) CONGRATULATIONS, you have one strap completed! 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). 2. Snaps set in elastic (as seen above) can pull out over time with repeated use. For added strength 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. 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). SHOUT OUTS: 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. 18 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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