Mini -FILBE pack in 500D Cordura

Sewed up a Mini-FILBE (Family of Improved Load Bearing Equipment) Pack in 500D Cordura, Coyote Brown, Flame Resistant coated; using USGI webbing and hardware. The pack is a simple packbag, just one large compartment, no lid pocket, and covered in MOLLE and ALICE webbing.

Specs

19x12x9″, approximately 2,052 cubic inches

7 rows of MOLLE on main bag body

2 rows of ALICE on main bag body

3 rows of MOLLE on lid and bottom

Drawcord closure with flat black grommets and OD stripped paracord

Duraflex buckles from National Molding in Coyote Brown

ITW-Nexus Coyote Brown 1″ D rings; 1.5″ black D rings

ITW Nexus LadderLoc buckles

Black Oxide Tri-bar tabs for frame attachment and compression strap attachments

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Main pack in slick mode

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side of pack showing compression strap

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frame and suspension side

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Showing how side compression strap attaches to frame side horn via black tri-bar buckle

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bottom of pack showing MOLLE for additional lash points or pouches

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with frame and suspension removed. Pack can be used frameless via the 4 D-rings, using ALICE shoulder straps or similar straps available from Fireforce USA and Tactical Tailor

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Upper corner frame attachment point with black tri-bar buckle

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Detail of where the black tri-bar attaches on the frame upper corners behind the shoulder yoke assembly

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Lower frame attachment strap with D ring for frameless carriage

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Detail of how the upper 1.5″ D-rings interface with the load stabilizer buckles on the shoulder yoke assembly. I might add more webbing to stabilize the D-rings in those location to prevent twisting.

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Showing the interior. It is one layer of 500D fabric where the white side is the Flame Resistant coating, and double layer on the back/frame panel. Also you can see how I attached the paracord to the corners for drawcord closure.

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Detail shot of drawcord closure with OD paracord, 0.5″ hole diameter grommets, and USMC surplus duraflex chest rig webbing mount buckles for side compression straps

 

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Shot of pack with 2x USMC IFAK pouches, 2x SDS canteen pouches attached

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Side view of pouches on the pack, showing how close the webbing and fabrics are in colors.

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Comparison shot of Mini-FILBE next to Propper made USMC FILBE pack; yes the USMC pack is HUGE compared to the Mini-FILBE.

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Two shots of FILBE, Large ALICE, and Mini-FILBE packs; the Mini FILBE with pouches seems quite similar in size to Large ALICE, but is shorter in height.

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USMC FILBE next to Large ALICE rucksack. The FILBE is again, much larger than the Large ALICE rucksack.

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Stuffed the FILBE bag as much as I could to better show the size differences

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another view of size differences

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Also stuffed the Large ALICE ruck, again to show differences.

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Side profile shots of the three bags

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Lid size comparison; in these photos, none have frame and suspensions on, to better show the relative sizes.

I do not have an example of a Medium ALICE rucksack to compare against the Mini-FILBE; but I have a hunch it is just a teeny bit smaller.

 

 

Redid the A-tacs tent fly closure

I redid the A-Tacs pyramid tent’s fly/door closure, so that there is an overlap to keep inclement weather out. I used US Military herringbone patterned 1″ binding tape with button holes cut and sealed with a lighter, it may look slightly crude, due to not having a buttonhole attachment and proper zig zag stitch Fashion Disc for my old Singer 328K machine…but it works pretty good… Easiest to open and close from the inside, although it closes OK from the outside

Now..on to the photos!DSCF1977

3-quarter view in direct sunlight; there’s a slight slack on the sides, but it could be made taut by using the back pull out to another pole or to a tree, or to a ridge line.

 

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Another 3 quarter view, mostly in shade.

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Side view, please excuse the reflective glare; It shows how the crossed poles are leaning forward instead of being vertical.

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Head on to the closed door; The way I set the whole thing up, I staked the back corners and the center door tie down first, then raised the tent with the poles, then staked the last corners down… it might have been better to do the door corners and doors first before the rear corners…. I may add a couple center panel pull outs to the sides if I feel it is necessary.

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With one door out of the way, and other door staked down. There is room enough for 2 skinny people in there, or one person with equipment.

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Close up of the herringbone tape with buttonhole slits melted into the tape and sewn to the door panel.

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Close up of the Army BDU plastic buttons. I used the machine, with a riser plate, and a special button foot, hand cranked using the L and R needle positions on the machine.

 

A-Tacs FG pyramid tarp tent

Sewed up this pyramid shelter out of 5 yards of  Polyurethane/silicon coated waterproof 1.9oz Ripstop Nylon in A-Tacs FG camouflage colors. Final measurements are 7 ft 10 inches long, 4 ft, 7 inches wide, height at peak, 50 inches. I will have to redo the door closure system to get the overlap needed for further weatherproofing.

There are a total of 11 tie out loops, I may add a few more if it would enable one to do more variety in setups like a blind or an observation post, or something similar to that.

Right now the support it uses are 2 standard aluminum adjustable tarp/awning poles lashed together… it will be changed out for something more low visibility later on.

On to the photos!

 

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Progress photo; door triangles cut and laid next to edge of front of main body, it is folded here, it should show how it looks when laid flat and folded in half.

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front view of the shelter; You can see how the doors have no overlap, and a serious gap that would allow weather to go in….so it is being redone right now.

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Side view, please pardon the USGI poncho peeking out, the poncho is  quite a bit wider than the shelter; The slight inclination of the door panels is evident here. One could add a rectangular tarp or poncho awning here for more space and for cooking/dining/general activities.

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The back view of the shelter, You can see the additional tie outs in the center of each of the 3 edges, and the center of the primary seam line on the back panel. The roof tie out is in case the user wants to have additional space inside the shelter, and the other tie outs are for more secure staking of the shelter in high wind areas, or for alternate shelter layouts to make up for space restrictions.

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Inside shot of the shelter with the doors folded back. The extra length is apparent here compared to the USGI poncho, and the relative narrowness is also evident here. I chose this width and length for a single person with room enough for gear/equipment/furred partner (dogs!), although two persons can snuggle up in there if needed.

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Close up of the door closure system, 1st try. It is simply 6 US Army BDU buttons, and elastic loops that fits on them. The loops will be replaced by something else that would provide me with the overlap needed to keep weather out. This is one of the lightest, most silent methods of closures that I can think of for the purposes of this shelter.

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Shown rolled and wrapped with the single peak line. The Coyote Brown  roll is the Bushcraft USA 10×10 Coyote tarp made of the same type of fabric (1.9oz PU coated Ripstop nylon). The pyramid shelter rolls into a smaller package, and is a bit lighter, even with the door closures being included.

Hi Point .45ACP Chest holster

Sewn up a prototype padded chest holster in Mossy Oak 500D Pack Cloth with 3/8″ closed cell foam padding. It is the first pistol rig I have ever made, and is designed for the Hi Point .45ACP Model JHP handgun. Carries 1 extra mag on it, and has extra long chest strap for big chests. Side Release buckles for retention of both handgun and magazineDSCF1735

view of holster loaded up.

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Back of holster, showing the stitch lines where the trigger guard stops

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Emptied,  showing magazine pocket and handgun retention straps undone

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Mirror selfie showing how holster lays. Doesn’t seem to need another strap to stabilize it.

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Close up, centered on chest

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Another view offset, showing the diagonal orientation.

I find that if I bend over, it doesn’t loosen up or go awkward, but that’s with the cross strap being adjusted to as small as possible. With the main weight being on the top of the gun, and the cross strap holding the holster from that same area, it is pretty stable.

OD lumbar pack for MOLLE I waistbelt and V strap adapters

Built a large lumbar pack for the 1st generation MOLLE (MOLLE I) ruck waistbelt; as the belt is quite sturdy and has attachments which allows the user to attach an ALICE buttpack to it. Materials; 1000D Cordura Nylon in Tactical Tailor Olive Green; 1″ Nylon webbing in OD #7, ITW-Nexus hardware. Approximately 740 cubic inches, a little over 12 liters.

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The large MOLLE Lumbar pack on the 1st gen MOLLE belt

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Side view

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Upper view

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Shown with 1980s ALICE OD butt pack, and 1990s-2000s ALICE/MOLLE butt pack (really is ALICE but were issued with the 1st gen MOLLE items)

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Close up of the top 1.5″ triglide mounts to stabilize the lumbar pack to the 1.5″ webbing

I also made a set of V strap adapters to interface with Tactical Tailor’s padded MAV harness; and to enable users to attach to the 1st gen MOLLE waist belts, of both types

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Shown attached to the MOLLE I Ruck waist belt; You can see how the waist belt has the hardware for the ALICE butt pack, with metal loops for the woodland butt pack’s lashing straps.

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On a standard 3 piece MOLLE I utility belt; they are commonly found either missing the 1.5″ vertical webbing, or with a different belt attached (either SPEAR ELCS or MOLLE II). The outboard sleeves are nearly identical to the SPEAR ELCS H harness pieces, only they have 3 metal rectangle loops to connect the 1st generation vest panels.

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Close up of the adapter. I used ITW-Nexus’ Strap dividers for 1.5″ webbing, 1.5″ webbing tapered to points, and sewn to 1″ webbing.

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Close up of the lower ends of the V straps, using 1″ Tri-glides and utilizing 3 of the waist belt’s metal loops (There are a total of 12; 6 per side, for adjusting where the vest panels go)

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Pouch/pack attached, 2x Combat Medic Vest system triple ammo pouches, 2x canteen covers, 2x Tactical Tailor Large utility pouches, 1x Tactical Tailor Zippered medic pouch, and the lumbar pack.

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Showing the gap between the pouches for the 1″ webbing to go through.

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Upper view with belt standing up

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On Utility belt; with all 3 sections adjusted smallest possible; from outboard to center; 2x Grenade pouches, 2x CMVS triple ammo pouches, 2x Canteen pouches, 1x SAW 100rd pouch with old  ALCIE?M1967 Jungle First Aid Kit’s plastic box insert.  This set up is very similar to the ELCS H Harness, or Eagle DFLCS H harness, or any of the older PLCE/H-Harness rigs offered by Eagle, London Bridge Trading Company, Blackhawk! Industries, and British Tactical.

Acquired another commuter project! burgundy Sears Free Spirit bike

Got this from a guy out in the country….haggled on price and got it for a good price I feel…it’s an early 80s Free Spirit PhysioFit bicycle with 26″ wheels, 10 speed, Shimano Positron stem shifters and FH series derailleurs, Sugino 3-piece crank set, with double chain ring….the original steel wheels had bad axles and dry rotten tire casings, so I swapped the casings and SUMO 26x 1.75 wheels from my Coyote Brown Huffy “bug out bike” project; and spent a few hours with Ajax cleaner and water on the chrome parts….due to the knobbies, I am unable to use the rather nifty half- fenders, but I cleaned them up anyhow, since I anticipate that I will put Kenda K-shield tires on the SUMO wheels…. EDIT: apparently the Shimano FH Derailleur came out in 1982 according to http://www.disraeligears.co.uk/Site/Shimano_Positron_FH_derailleur_%28PF20%29.html

DSCN1825with knobbies put on, and with original half fenders still on; test rode and turns out that due to the knobbies on the shoulders of the tire casings, there’s a rubbing sound from the pinch in the fenders where there’s clearance for the MX brakes.

DSCN1835all cleaned up and fenders removed!DSCN1836Side view, I replaced the WAY TOO wide vinyl “cruiser ” comfort seat for the brown Troxel seat from the Huffy

DSCN1838Head tube with a funky add on decal, added by the previous owner… I like it so I’m leaving it….until I sell the bike.

DSCN1840Sugino chainring/crank set

DSCN1839Shimano Positron shifter; it shifts pretty smoothly even with the extra 6th speed cog in the rear!

DSCN1837DAT RACK. I’ve not seen another that employed 2 bolts to the brake bridge area without eyelets…its pretty sturdy, welded steel rod construction…it was caked with rust and scales….I’ve done my best…but honestly I think it’d be better sandblasted and coated silver…..still, its a nice sturdy rack.

DSCN1835quarter view, the cruiser bars allows for an upright riding position, and while the frame is a couple inches smaller than my former commuter Cycle Pro Oswego, it is still comfortable for me. The frame length is very similar, just shorter…Chain stay length is amazingly 460mm (or 18″), the same as the CyclePro Oswego…In fact, even though it is clearly meant to be a cruiser, I can see myself taking this around town for commuting and possible overnight tours…the frame, I am not sure who made it…..but it is a lugged brazed steel tube construction, and the lugs are pretty good….Heard that the Sears Free Spirit bikes were made by Puch of Austria, and Huffy, and Murray, among others… but I am not sure who made this frame, as it reminds me more of the Taiwan and Japanese bicycles….