How To Attach bolts to armor

  1. #1

    How To Attach bolts to armor

    I recently swapped out the old bolts on my armor for magnets, and decided i didnt like them that much and the bolts are just more secure and hassle free. Only catch is you HAVE TO place the holes in your vest right because there is no adjusting!

    So i decided i wanted to post up how i attach the bolts to the armor. I did this for all of the chest/Ab pieces and shoulders, but i will be showing my method with the collar plate for this thread.

    So since this is the collar, i never added magnets as the collar would never be able to handle any stress attached with magnets and would just slide back to slowly choke me to death lol...

    So first i removed the old bolts that were round head bolts that use to come off periodically. Round head bolts arent a good idea, i got them off very easily lol...but that was what i had at the time. Anyway, here is the collar, old bolts removed, and what i will use to attach the new bolts. Zap-a-Gap CA glue, Zip kicker (CA accelerator), and Metal set A4 epoxy from Smooth-on.


    i used these bolts:
    metric flat head screw 8mm X 1.25mm X 16mm you can get them at boltdepot.com here:
    Metric machine screws, Phillips flat head, Stainless steel 18-8, 8mm x 1.25mm - Bolt Depot
    16 or 20mm would be fine, i got the 16s.

    Be sure to put the screw in just far enough so the grommets you'll put in the vest wont show. I dabbed some Zap-a-gap on the armor..,
    ...kinda hard to see:

    ...and sprayed the head of the screw with the zip kicker..

    and then set the screw in place. Be precise because the zip kicker sets the glue very fast. Do this with the rest of the screws of course.


    Now we are ready to apply the Epoxy


    Metal set is a 2 part epoxy resin that is used in the airline industry and the military (thats what the label says anyway lol)


    so mix the 2 parts together till you have an even light grey color mixture


    then apply it over the head of the screw. its best to put it next to the screw and kind of push it in place


    Then you can get a little more around it. i had a couple of small cracks on the return edges as this armor is about 5yrs old, so i put it on the return edges as well to strengthen them up.


    Heres what it looks like on all the bolts


    This stuff takes a few hours to harden and is at full strength in 24hrs. I have never had this stuff fail me yet in any plication, so im confident this will hold very secure. I was even able to put a nut on it with the locking nylon in it

    Hope this can help some of you out!
    Last edited by Darth Voorhees; 4 Weeks Ago at 10:14 PM.

  2. #2

    Re: How To Attach bolts to armor

    I used Chicago screws (or screw posts). As well, I would rough up the side that sticks to the armor with a grinding wheel on the Dremel. Other than that, my method is exactly the same. Never had a failure!

  3. #3

    Re: How To Attach bolts to armor

    Thanks for posting this. I built mine with magnets but really don't like it. It works, but it's just not as secure as I'd like it.

    This was basically what I had in mind, but it's great to see it put into use.

    Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk

  4. #4

    Re: How To Attach bolts to armor

    Cool Necro! Chicago screws are a good idea too!

    Yea MisterFubar..thats exactly how i felt. It worked, but during my last troop, when i had to go back to the dressing room to get a nutrition bar out of my tote,, i shifted the armor bending down to get it so the rest of the troop it was lopsided...that was enough for me to swap it back to bolts. I have to make sure i line everything up perfectly straight this time ..,last time it was ever so slightly off and it drove me NUTS! lol

  5. #5
    DeathProof's Avatar
    Member Since
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    Victoria, British Columbia
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    Re: How To Attach bolts to armor

    Definitely going to do this with my armor. I have chicago screws standing by From what I saw on Daz's thread about the bolt method, he did the same where the bolts were glued first, then the holes in the vest. Could you also make the holes in the vest first, then put the screws through the vest to mark the armor? That way at least your vest is how you want it so you're not turning it into swiss cheese.

  6. #6

    Re: How To Attach bolts to armor

    You probably could do that. What I'm gonna do is make a template off the plates with the bolts attached and transfer to the vest that way, so no Swiss cheese lol. Last time I just put dabs of acrylic paint on the bolts and touched it to the vest to mark where to make the holes, which worked ok but it was a tad bit crooked. The templates will prevent that, plus I'm gonna have the vest on when I place the templates and have the wife help with that. I'll probably post up when I do that too. Right now I'm repainting my armor

  7. #7
    DeathProof's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2013
    From
    Victoria, British Columbia
    Posts
    604

    Re: How To Attach bolts to armor

    I was planning on making templates as well, tape them up to find the best fit, and then use a hole punch to create my marks in the templates. Finally, transfer that to both the vest and armor plates. In theory, it sounds right, but I figured it might be a two person job to get it perfect.

    Also, instead of the epoxy, I was planning on using Quick Plastic so I could just mold the putty around each bolt by hand.

    Looking forward to the pics!

  8. #8

    Re: How To Attach bolts to armor

    Sounds like a good plan to me!

    Last time I did this I used JB weld, and it held for a little but then popped off of the armor, but not the bolt...so when that happened I'd just superglue the bolt with JBWeld all over it back to the armor lol. I'm sure part of the reason they popped off was because the bolts had round heads, but I really thought the JB weld would hold.

    If the epoxy putty ends up popping off, try this metal set epoxy. It is the most ridiculously strong stuff I've ever used lol

  9. #9

    Re: How To Attach bolts to armor

    if you wrap the thread of the screw into tape or anything likely, you wont accidantly get the glue into the thread causing later trouble when screwing it into the nut.

    Also. If you put a Magnet on the topside of the plate you can pull the screw tighter to the surface. - when using an metal-epoxy like JB-Weld it will react to the magnet and pulled down also, pressing every little airbubble out of the glue.

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