User avatar
By Shwalamazula
#4813016
I have been working on my uniform in tandem with my Belt Gizmo.

I am also trying to get together at least a stunt level ghost trap. My friend is hosting a Halloween party at our favorite karaoke bar and is going as Beetlejuice. He basically wants me to do an intro skit with him where I talk to him in a steaming trap whilst taunting him for being captured believing saying his name 3 times doesn't work in our state of the art laser confinement traps. Turns out, I am wrong and start singing Day-O.

Anyhoo, I wanted to add my bit of uniform building to the forum in case something interesting pops up that is useful to someone.
User avatar
By Shwalamazula
#4813022
The uniform I went with was a Tru-Spec. I am 6' 0" and 300lbs with a 44" gut. This suit fit perfectly. I went with the 2XL-R.

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The suit came with a velcro name patch. I was thinking about removing the patch but when I got my name patch in from the GBFans shop, I noticed it had an adhesive backing. This made things easy; I just ironed the patch on to the Velcro back and now I have a groovy removable name badge for my suit.

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I ordered my patches from Katarra8. The patches look good and color seemed spot on. I have never sewn a patch before so this was a bit of a pain. I went to Joann Fabrics to get needles, thread, and a thimble. Silly me, forgot the black thread. So I sewed on the patch with the red thread. Once I get some black thread, I will sew the rest of the patch.

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User avatar
By Shwalamazula
#4813029
Being a large man, the belts wouldn't fit me. I found some dark green belts at my local Army Surplus store and tried them on only to be disappointed in my gut. On a positive note, I learned that you can connect 2 of these belts to make a larger one. With this info, I ended up ordering 2 white belts on Amazon.

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I am just at the tail end of the belt sizing so I had to double over each belt and give one a bit more slack to fit properly. This left doubled over material that looked less than fantastic. I grabbed some belt minders along with my keyrings from the Army surplus store to clean the look of the belt.

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User avatar
By Shwalamazula
#4813252
Brain started bleeding from tearing up my Gizmo, so I took a break and started working on my hose port. I read up on some other builds and found the magnetic connector to be very desirable. My big issue was trying to figure how I would wash my uniform without it getting torn up in the washing machine. I could remove the plug from the costume each time and re-sew it but I found that after the patch, I am not a fan of sewing.

I got some N52 Neodymium magnets. They are 3/4" and 1/4".

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I started by cutting the tip off the hose connector.

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I then drilled out the connector. This was a little annoying because I have not had the safety training at our TechShop for using the drill press. I had to put the connector in a vice and drill it out with a power drill.

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This left me with a nice 1/4" diameter hole in the connector. I countersunk it enough to fit 3 magnets in it. I filled the hole with epoxy and inserted the magnets. I then epoxied over the magnets so that they would be nice and stable.

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While I let that dry, I put the little nub I cut off the connector in the vice and started drilling.

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I started with small bits and worked my way up to a 1/4" hole, drilling deep enough to fit another 3 magnets in it. The rubber cracked a bit while I was drilling but it wasn't too bad.

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I put epoxy in the hole and added my magnets. I also added epoxy to the outside of the nub and inserted it into the hose to cure. While waiting on the cure, I made a friend that was kind enough to put the large portion of the connector on the drill press and bore out a nice 3/4" hole on the backside for me. The hole was 1/4" deep so that I could easily fit 2 of the 3/4" magnets inside of it.

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The rubber warped while on the press. I assume this was because of the vice and the heat generated from cutting. To fix this, I put the connector in a vice when I added the epoxy and magnets. I aligned the magnets so that they would attract to the little magnets on the other side of the connector.

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I let the the connector set in the vice for an hour to make sure the epoxy set nice. When I pulled it out and tested the hose, I had a nice connection.

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Sadly, I didn't anticipate the amount of torque the hose put on the connector. The magnets held well as long as the hose didn't move. As soon as the hose started flopping around, the connector came right out. This left me a bit bummed out. I will have to retry this build.

In the meantime, I grabbed more epoxy and permanently re-connected the nub to the connector. 6 magnets were sacrificed to this boo boo. The nice thing is, these magnets are inexpensive. If anything, the 6 magnets behind the 3/4" magnets will strengthen the overall field.

I grabbed a scrap piece of steel and checked to see how strong the main magnet was. I was surprised to find that it took quite a bit of force to pull the connector off the steel.

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I placed the steel plate in the pocket of my jeans (thicker material than the jump suit) and was able to attach the connector just fine. It took a significant amount of force to pull the magnet from the plate and there was no funny looking pull on the fabric. It was even harder to pull the two apart when I added another pair of magnets to the back side of the plate.

I take my metal shop safety training on Saturday. Once training is complete, I am going to cut the plate into a circle about 1/4" smaller than the OD of the connector. That metal circle will be sewed into my suit so that I will have a magnetic tube connector. This will allow me to wash the suit without having to tear up the material with removing stitching all of the time. I will sew fake stitches on the connector so that it looks sewn to the suit.

I am happy that half of my plan turned out how I wanted. Next time, I will use bigger magnets.
User avatar
By PssdffJay
#4813265
I used a 5/8 spade bit to drill out the connector and then a 1/2" spade bit to counter sink 2 1/2" magnets. I drilled about 3/4 to 1" into the connector. I've never had any issue with my hose with that method. Never thought to save the nub.
User avatar
By Shwalamazula
#4813296
That was the consensus I reached. The magenets worked well but they were just too tiny. The 1/2" ones would have been a better call. I may order another connector and hose after Halloween and try to make that work. The large 3/4" magenets in the back of the connector hold to the suit really well, I may not even care to do a quick disconnect for the nubby bit and just keep the big one.
User avatar
By c05ta
#4813307
Seeing as how your basically done already I'd say don't worry about it, but for future reference I've had a leg hose connector sewn on my suit for about 3 years and never had an issue with it going through the wash.

The only problem I had was the nub snapped because I would just kind of roll my suit or even fold it and the nub woukd bend then I'd jam all my other gear in to rather snug fitting box before and after events.

When the nub snapped off I just hastily drilled the base out and epoxied a 3/8" bolt shaft in there. It worked fine.
But it should also be noted that the connector was a hand me down and had been used and abused for no less than a year before I got it too.
User avatar
By Grimmy GB
#4813323
Hey Chuck...FYI...I used 1/4" magnets. I just stacked 2 in the connector and only one in the hose. I get that "snap" every time, and it holds extremely well. I don't see why yours wouldn't be stronger.
I wash my suit inside out with the connector and have had no issues with anything tearing up or melting.
User avatar
By robpenfold
#4813370
Chuck, I used a 5/8" forstner bit to hollow out the connector. I super glued a 1/2" neodymium magnet inside the connector. Then I used two 1/4" neodymium barrel magnets in the hose inside a plastic hose barb. They hold really strongly to the 1/2" magnet. I also did the magnet on the outside of the connector because I didn't want to sew it on to my flight suit. I used a 1" neodymium magnet super glued to the back of the connector countersunk to be flush then a regular washer (same size as the base of the connector) goes on the inside of the suit.

I would use a second magnet in the hose and it should hold just fine. Also make sure the polarity of all your magnets are aligned.
User avatar
By Shwalamazula
#4813538
Yup, bigger magnets needed. I think the nub didnt hold because I put too much epoxy inside of the large connector. That couple mm of material must have created enough of a gap to make it floppy. Oh well, learning process.
User avatar
By Shwalamazula
#4815310
I was looking all around to find keyrings that were on a leather strap. I couldn't find any in black (usually high gloss brown if leather at all). I grabbed a couple nylon ones from the local Army surplus. While out and about on Friday, I stopped into a local leather/bdsm shop and found what I was looking for. !!!
User avatar
By c05ta
#4815316
I would have never thought about a busy shop for fobs but I can totally see them having what we would use.... Now I'll never look at the costumes the same way.
User avatar
By c05ta
#4815553
Hahaha I've never had a desire to venture in to such a store, but I also remember a time when I never had a desire to wear a costume other than for halloween..

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