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Belt Pack Zipper Pull Re-Repair

In our last episode, the zipper tab on my belt pack had worn through:

Eroded YKK Zipper Tab

Eroded YKK Zipper Tab

I “fixed” that by the simple expedient of running a key ring through the latch that used to hold the tab. That held for half a year, which isn’t to be sniffed at for a zero-cost repair.

A few days ago, the abused latch popped off the slider, leaving the NSA tag and ring in my hand:

Belt Pack Zipper - missing tab and latch

Belt Pack Zipper – missing tab and latch

I scuffed up the surface with a file to provide a bit more grip for the inevitable epoxy, then clamped a brass tube athwart the slider:

Belt Pack Zipper - wired brass tube

Belt Pack Zipper – wired brass tube

The tube ID passes the ring with enough clearance to make it work out. The general idea is that the tube provides rigidity for the ring, the wires hold the tube against the pull, and the epoxy holds the wires in place. I fully expect the sharp edges around the tube’s ID will gradually wear away.

Threading 14 mil stainless steel wire through the slider’s pivot hole:

Belt Pack Zipper - wire opened end

Belt Pack Zipper – wire opened end

… and under the latch guide:

Belt Pack Zipper - wire closed end

Belt Pack Zipper – wire closed end

… required a few tries and produced some nasty puncture wounds, but eventually it all hung together long enough to let me tuck some JB Kwik epoxy into all the nooks and crannies:

Belt Pack Zipper - epoxy curing

Belt Pack Zipper – epoxy curing

That’s wide masking tape covering the work area. As it turned out, good preparation like that meant I didn’t slobber epoxy anywhere it shouldn’t go; had I omitted the tape, there’d be a smear down the side of the pack.

Fast-forward to the next morning and it’s all good:

Belt Pack Zipper - repaired

Belt Pack Zipper – repaired

The missing latch locked the slider in place, but I think I can eke out a miserable existence with a loose slider…

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  1. #1 by William on 2016-04-21 - 14:17

    What I love about your blog is when you take an ordinary problem and engineer the living crap out of it. You, sir, are an inspiration. :)

    • #2 by Ed on 2016-04-21 - 15:11

      It sure beats raising potatoes on Mars… but probably requires the same mindset. [grin]

      Mary offered to make me a whole new belt pack, even though this one ain’t hardly used up: when that brass tube eventually breaks off, I’ll take her up on the offer.

      Thanks for the good words!

      • #3 by Vedran on 2016-04-22 - 09:00

        You could also ask her to just replace whole the zipper. We do it all the time with windsurfing equipment bags because metal sliders corrode, and plastic ones fail in wear.

        Though I must agree with William, that would obviously be Just Wrong :):):)

        • #4 by Ed on 2016-04-22 - 19:40

          Her feeling is that she built the bag to last a thousand years, so un- and re-stitching the zipper would pretty much destroy the whole thing; I definitely defer to her opinion on that topic!