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 Shammah's Girth Belt Tutorial - pix heavy!

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Shammah


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Shammah's Girth Belt Tutorial - pix heavy!
« on: Jan 07, 2014, 02:06 PM »
Iíve gone back and edited this to hopefully make it more understandable and to change the photo hosting site. If you see anything that isnít clear, please let me know.
First off, this is what weíre going for. Iíve had several people use the basic ideas described here to build their own custom belts such as with double buckles on each end. Please, feel free to do whatever you like with the design to make it your own. This is simply a starting point with basic concepts.



This is a craft, and as such should be fun. Donít feel bad if it doesnít come out right the first time. I often completely undo and retie the whole thing just to get the right look. Tying knots is fun (and somewhat therapeutic), so don't get in a big hurry with it. Two things about a project like this; they're knots, if they don't come out to your satisfaction untie them and do it over until they do. And, never cut off the ends until you're happy with what you've done.

The first thing you'll need to do is acquire weld rings. These are some dandy ones found in a scrap bin, but they can be found in leather shops, hardware stores, and lighter duty ones in the macramť section of your local hobby store. These are 2" I.D. 2 1/2" O.D. rings, you'll want to use rings that will look right - size wise - with the thickness of cord and width of the belt you're going for. ;)



I made a tang for one of the rings by bending a piece of 1/8" stainless rod around the ring then shaping it in my vise, and with a hammer.




Then just cut off the excess and bent the end that was just cut to line up with the tang.



Next, I measured my mid-section where I'm going to be wearing the belt and came up with 40". I had a piece of leather in mind that I wanted to use for the tongue and wanted a 6" gap, so I subtracted that length from the 40" to get 34". Next, I got a piece of scrap 1" X 4" board about 4' long and put two cup hooks on the top of one end then measured my 34" and put two more cup hooks there.



I then ran my cord back and forth from ring to ring, through the rings until I had enough strands to give the overall height (width maybe?) I was looking for. In my case I was looking for 3" and it took 10 strands. To be sure I had enough length to tie knots (which consumes a lot of material) I added two more lengths from ring to ring.



I'm using 1/4"cotton sash cord on this project and because of how the knots are finished it's best to frap the ends. This will keep the cord from unraveling and give the tips strength to do the last bit of weaving. I used some old nylon leader line (the same stuff I weave this with at the end). I cut (well, because it's nylon it's easier to burn) a 12" piece then made a loop about 1 1/2" from one end. Something like kite string would work fine and would take dye unlike this nylon. ;)




Next, lay that on the end of your cord (loop is away from the cut end of the cord) and make sure the short end extends past the cut end of the cord like so.



Then begin to wrap the line tightly around the cord and the short end of the line. The closer to the cut end the better (I started a little farther from the cut end than I should have here).



Ideally you get about 1" wrapped. Then feed the end of the line through the loop that was formed at the top.



Last, pull the short end of the line (next to the cord cut end at the bottom) and that will collapse the loop and hold the frapping tight. You may need to experiment with how tight you wind this, if it's too tight you won't be able to pull the string at the bottom. Too loose and the frapping will come undone.



It should come out something like this.



Note: The line should be kept tight so when you're done the cord end doesn't come unraveled or flex around. You'll see the benefits of this at the end. ;)

Once that's done, I like to run the length of the cord through my hands a few times from end to end to get any coil memory out of it. This lessens the amount of twisting up it will do when you're working with it. Had some help from a friend that adopted us a couple of weeks ago.



Next find the center point of your cord and run the cord through the first buckle to that center point. I started with the buckle end. Note: Each time you go through the ring or loop you should pull the entire length of cord through; if everything is loose it's tough to tell for sure what you're doing. ;)




This should give you equal lengths of cord on each side of the buckle. Now, orientation. I was tying with the crossover on top. You may opt to have it on the bottom, that's fine as long as you're consistent. Take the bottom cord, cross over the top cord,



Go back up through the ring (note how I came up through the ring on the opposite side of the tang),



Then back through the cross loop you just made.



Pull it up snug and it should look like this.



Now you can see you have two separate cords. From this point you'll be working one cord up away from you (what will be the top of the belt) and the other down to you (bottom of the belt). Take either and run it down through the top of the opposite ring.



Cross over the top of the cord coming from the buckle end. If it's the top cord, bring the end up (outside the ring) towards you and cross over. If it's the bottom, bring the cord up away from you. When you cross over, the end of the cord will face the direction you're going - up or down.



Take the end of the cord up through the ring then through the loop you just made.



Then snug it up. Note: don't get these knots tight at this point, just snugged up so they, and the lines running from ring to ring stay neat. We'll tighten everything up at the end. ;D



Take the top cord back to the buckle end, go down through the buckle ring, up between the cord you just ran and the first top cord you ran to get your crossover. From this point it's a repeating pattern taking the bottom cord back to the buckle, top cord  to the ring, bottom cord to the ring, etc. Make sure you're doing the crossover so that the free end of the cord faces out on the top or bottom correctly as you go. Something like this:



Otherwise the cords will be twisted between the rings. So, how do we finish this off? Once you have the height you're looking for (I was going for 3") bring the cord end down through the ring,



and up between the length ways cords (just like you have been doing)



Then back through the loop you just made.



Now work the end of the cord through each of the knots right up against the ring this is why you want to leave the knots loose (and why I suggested frapping the ends  ;)).




Now the other side. Same thing only going around the ring and the other cord end.





Now, this is the secret to good knots. Go back to the first knot you tied (middle buckle in this case) and tighten all the knots in the order that you tied them.



Working the slack out now, while you can control it, will give the best results in the long run. as you troop with this it will wear in a bit and conform to you. Once you have the slack worked out pull the cord ends tight and check your work.



This is when you decide if you want to untie it and try again, or meh, good enough, and cut the cords. ;D

Last part of the project is to weave some reinforcement between the cord strands to keep them from gapping and give a uniform height all the way around. I start with a piece of the leader line about 18" long. Fold it in half and stick the fold between the top two cords.




Next take the two loose ends and feed them over the top cord and through the loop.



Pull the ends down across the belt. Unlike the cord weaving, with these reinforcing strands you want to tighten the knots and keep them tight the whole time. Twisting the top cord up and keeping a steady tension on the line ends should tighten the line on the top cord. Now, feed either line end up between the bottom two cords.



Go over the two lines coming down from the top and back through the bottom two cords.



Push the bottom cord up towards the top cord (compressing all the cords together), pull the two lines snug across the top of the cords then pull the end of the line you just fed through the cords tight.



Using one hand to hold that line end, feed the other line end up through the second and third cords, over the top of the lines and back down.




Holding the second line tight, take the first line feed it up through the third and fourth cords, over the lines and down between again.





Continue alternating lines until you get back to the top two cords. Towards the middle of the belt it gets easier to start pulling the lines towards the top of the belt (from underneath) rather than the bottom. Feed your line through the top two cords over the loop that you used to start. You may want to go back and pull the lines tight again, they tend to get loose while you're weaving.



Feeding the leader lines back through the two top cords again grabs all the cords from both front and back sides and really holds everything together. Check the tightness of the lines one more time then tie off the lines with your favorite knot (I like square knots).




Weave the other end of your belt. Then I measured to find the center between the two ends and did a weaving in the center. I continued to measure for the centers (between the reinforcements) and did weavings there until the spacing was about 2" between.



As for getting your belt off the cup hooks, mine was just slack enough to pull it off one hook at a time. If yours is too tight then get some pliers and straighten the hooks (they're cheap). If you opt to cut the hooks DON'T DO IT WITHOUT EYE PROTECTION! I don't need any blind Mandos on my conscience.

That's it for the basic belt. Give it a shot and have fun with it. ;D ;D ;D I'm going to work on the leather now and will update this post as that gets done. Thanks for reading and if you have questions or comments, I'll do my best to clarify and edit here.

« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 04:14 PM by Shammah » Logged
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Re: Shammah's Girth Belt Tutorial - pix heavy!
« Reply #1 on: Jan 07, 2014, 02:15 PM »
Very nicely done. Thanks for making a different style tutorial on the girthbelt. I'm sure it will be helpful to some.

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Re: Shammah's Girth Belt Tutorial - pix heavy!
« Reply #2 on: Jan 14, 2014, 09:51 AM »
I can't even begin to explain how helpful this tutorial is. I'll definitely be taking inspiration from it once I get to work on my belt :D Thank you Shammah!

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Shammah


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Re: Shammah's Girth Belt Tutorial - pix heavy!
« Reply #3 on: Jan 14, 2014, 11:02 AM »
Thank you. ;D If you see any way it can be improved please let me know. ;)

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Re: Shammah's Girth Belt Tutorial - pix heavy!
« Reply #4 on: Jan 14, 2014, 05:42 PM »
I love a good in depth tutorial. Good job and thanks

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Re: Shammah's Girth Belt Tutorial - pix heavy!
« Reply #5 on: Jan 22, 2014, 01:46 PM »
Very nice. Looking at getting a girth belt as its the last soft part i need. Was thinking of buying one but this looks so much better and also can  get my crafting skill in underwater basket weaving from college throw away elective some use. :D


Great tutorial.

2 questions: thoughts on Dyes-would you suggest doing it? if so what kind? leather dye?

Also, is that a piece of leather on the opposite O Ring. How did you attack that piece?

Thanks

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Shammah


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Re: Shammah's Girth Belt Tutorial - pix heavy!
« Reply #6 on: Jan 23, 2014, 12:13 PM »
Experimenting with wood stain (which is a lot like leather dye) on the cotton, it does O.K. but needs a dye bath I think. We have a black walnut tree and I'm thinking of using some husks to soak it in. The leather was going to be sewn on, but really isn't as heavy as I'd like so I'm using snaps for easy replacement. I'm going to shape a metal plate that will hook from loop to loop and see how that works. Pardon the overalls, just threw it on to get a pic for you.



Short of a walnut tree I'd go with Rit or some other dye bath to get the color throughout the material and wood stain on the leather (which works pretty well, but takes some experimenting). As far as underwater basket weaving, it's a highly underrated skill. I was getting pretty good at it, but couldn't hold my breath that long. ;D

« Last Edit: Jan 23, 2014, 12:24 PM by Shammah » Logged
Vhett Manda Clan - Iowa, USA
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Dynas


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Re: Shammah's Girth Belt Tutorial - pix heavy!
« Reply #7 on: Jan 23, 2014, 01:21 PM »
yeah my basket weaving was much better once i got SCUBA certified! :D

I was thinking about using the Rit Cotton Dye at joaans. Probably dye the rope first, then let it dry and then weave the belt.

EDIT:  After looking here, decided RIT may not be good but seems to have  alternative though kinda expensive.

http://www.thedentedhelmet.com/f20/new-way-die-girth-belts-22378/

Overall looking good.

« Last Edit: Jan 23, 2014, 01:31 PM by Dynas » Logged


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Shammah


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Re: Shammah's Girth Belt Tutorial - pix heavy!
« Reply #8 on: Jan 23, 2014, 03:04 PM »
Nice color too. I'm still kind of stuck in the use-what-you-got-and-experiment phase. I have time on this as there' so much more to finish on my kit. Good luck with your belt!

(SCUBA, why didn't I think of that?)

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Vhett Manda Clan - Iowa, USA
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Two things left for sniper... TIME! GIVE ME TIME!
Cabur Akaata #38     M.A.B.E.L. #042... Perfect!
VRCA #067                 M.A.C.K. #43
M.A. #175
Sniper WIP: http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=90431.0
 


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