- Part 1: Intro, proof of concept, rough draft
- Part 2: Refinement
- Part 3: Peak Design slider
- Part 4: Adjustments, storage/transport, real world results
- Part 5: Questions and material options
Stage 3: Refinement
Now it is time to make a product you want to be seen using.
Materials I used:
I listed other options and considerations in the last post in the series.
- Two 1.5″ wide leather belts about 36″ men’s length
- I opted for good-enough $30 Levi’s belts from Kohl’s (on sale)
- Two 1.5″ D-rings
- I ordered welded, stainless steel, flat black (powdercoated*), 1/4″ (6mm) thick D-rings from Strapworks.com which ended up being not quite $4 each after shipping.
- 1/2″ (near) black Chicago screws to join the straps together (ebay)
Joining the two belts is essential for making the harness:
- Easier to put on
- Stay in place better (I have sloping shoulders so I like having the join higher up)
I opted to go the simple route and use Chicago screws which I ordered through eBay.
I eyeballed the punches thinking that the visual center would be good enough. Oops! Didn’t look great (about 1/8″ off). Save yourself a headache and punch them at the same distance. Luckily or me, the punch wasn’t too far off and I could use the punch scrap to fill the incorrect hole hidden under the Chicago screw.
Gunmetal better matched the buckles which would have been great if my sliders were matching leather, but I preferred flat black because:
- My sliders were black seat belt webbing
- I wanted the slides to work with other belt colors if I got different belts to better hide with different clothes.
*A word about powdercoating:
In a previous life, I was a sign designer and I had a great guy (Don Frazier at Sign Art in Kansas) who would take care of all my sandblasting and powdercoating needs. Powdercoating creates a really strong finish, but it leaves a contact point somewhere.
Since D-rings are so small, the contact point is hard to hide. Some paints work better than others. Gunmetal looked great, but flat black did not do so well in the first round.
Luckily, Douglas Foster, president at Strapworks, was understanding and had black D-rings redone to minimize the contact point. These look fantastic (with a little sanding on one of them).
I highly recommend Strapworks.com and don’t forget to contact support if you have any questions (Contact Us link at the top of their site).
To handle the end of the belts, I used the same black 3/4″ elastic material that I used in the slide.
I could have spent time trying to find some leather that matches, but I’m just happy with this for now.
(The straps were extra long in this version because I ended up having to get longer belts than I wanted in order to get two matching belts. If you can be patient and get 34″ belts, you will not have so much strap seen above.)
I got dark brown with black edges to mostly match with most clothing, but I think that I might get black belts, too, in order to have a strap that hides in my black clothing. Luckily, the sliders are really easy to move from belt to belt.
The back/interior of the belts were rough. You can see it in this photo.
I didn’t want it to damage my clothes so I took sandpaper to it. It is softer now, but it is still a little rough. Presumably, it will soften with age.