Armor Attachment Method: Jewelry Pins with Clutch Backs.

Fettastic

Active Hunter
Hey Team,

I have been looking into different ways to attach the armor to the flak vest. My goal was to find an easier way to attach the armor while still being able to make small adjustments and fine tune the placement while keeping the flak vest in tact. This is my solution for Easy, Cheap, Fast and Effective placement and attachment of armor.

Things you will need:

-Cardboard or Disposable Surface
-Bead Landing pins with clutch back (Jewelry Pins) -Note- you can find these at pretty much any fabric store. Michael's has 10 for $2.99
-Clutch Backs (I found these fairly cheap on ebay)
-5M Quik-Cure or JB Weld
-Sand Paper
-Cheap brush or something to mix and apply the glue to the armor
-Sharpie
-Beer ;)

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-Armor
-Flak Vest

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With the sharpie, mark out the areas you wish to apply the glue and metal tack from the jewelry pin.

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Sand these areas to create a tacky surface for the glue to bond to. Then clean the sanded areas with a wet towel and dry it off.

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Also sand the bottom of the tack from the jewelry pin to create a tacky surface for the glue to bond to.

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Mix the 5m Quik-Cure with a disposable brush and apply to the areas designated for the tack of the jewelry pin.
Set the tack on the glue that has been applied to the designated areas.
Only mix enough glue to do 2-3 tacks at a time and keep in place for 5 minutes. This stuff cures really quickly but the tack will slide around if you don't keep it in place for a minute.

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Let the glue dry for at least an hour before securing armor to the vest.
Place the armor in the desired placement and push the pin through the flak vest.

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Secure the pin with the improved locking clutch backs to the jewelry pins.

IMPORTANT: You need to purchase locking clutch backsinstead of the standard backs for the jewelry pins. The standard pins are apoor design and will pop off even with the slightest rubbing of materialagainst the backs.

There are two types that I have tried with success. Thelocking clutch backs, as pictured below, and the locking pin backs with set screws. You can purchase these on Ebay, they are readily available and are fairly inexpensive. Follow the links below.

Clutch Backs
Locking Pin Backs

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For the shoulders, placement is pretty important. If you install your pins too high on the shoulders, or too close to the edge, when you mount the armor in the correct location of the flak vest, the armor will stick out like wings. It's going to be a little different for everyone depending on the armor used and the size of the flak vest. For my gear I ended up going about 2" - 2 1/2" from the top edge of the shoulder bell and just above the hem of the flak vest sleeve. I only used two pins because you don't want these to be super stiff but instead you want them to be able to move freely when raising and moving your arms.

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This shows that they can lay down against your shoulder if installed properly.

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Wear, observe, reference and make adjustments where needed. That's the great thing about this method. If you don't like the placement...just adjust it and punch a new hole with the jewelry pin. No big deal.
I do recommend once you've decided and are happy with the placement to mark on the back side of the vest where the pins are. I just used a sharpie to mark the holes. This will allow you to remove the armor when needed and repeat the placement process with ease.

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I've been able to troop using this method for a good 15 hours of troop time now and not one of the clutch backs have been able to come off. None have bent or broken either. If you have any ideas on how to improve this method please chime in and advise. Cheers!

-Cameron-

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Armydad

Hunter
Not a half bad idea, but past experiences from being in the Army, and having all of our awards attach the same way, I have traumatic memories of loosing the pin cap and getting stabbed quite often lol
 
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Mullreel

Well-Known Hunter
As you move around the backs will come off. I have to wear a name badge using those every day so I know.

With that being said, I think this technique holds some merit. You are using enough pins that the loss of one won't cause a failure of the entire kit. But I would make sure you have some extra backs laying around.

Good idea overall
 
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Fettastic

Active Hunter
As you move around the backs will come off. I have to wear a name badge using those every day so I know.

With that being said, I think this technique holds some merit. You are using enough pins that the loss of one won't cause a failure of the entire kit. But I would make sure you have some extra backs laying around.

Good idea overall
Ok thanks! Good to know. Again, I haven't trooped with this yet so the experience is not there yet. Maybe I can look into something that would keep the clutch from coming undone...maybe just by putting some tape over the top of it will help? I have some experimenting to do.
 
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Mullreel

Well-Known Hunter
Once it is in place and you are good with the placement you could put a drip of CA glue on the clutch to hold it in place. It isn't like you will need to take them on and off again all the time like you would with a shirt.
 
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Skypig

Hunter
Great idea. Let us know how it troops. I might have to try this.


Sent from my iPhone
 
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Fettastic

Active Hunter
That is exactly what I was thinking! Well I was thinking elmers glue...I'll have to look into CA glue.
 
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Level3Fett

Hunter
This is looking good Cam, I spent a lot more on magnets.
Agreed on adding something to lock it all in...maybe hot glue would be a good choice worth exploring...nothing permanent , as it would defeat the principal.
 
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Branjan

Jr Hunter
They make rubber backs for them that are more durable and stay longer. Kinda like the ones Disney uses on their pins.


Sent from my iPhone
 
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Fettastic

Active Hunter
This is looking good Cam, I spent a lot more on magnets.
Agreed on adding something to lock it all in...maybe hot glue would be a good choice worth exploring...nothing permanent , as it would defeat the principal.
Thanks! Yeah, I'm thinking hot glue will be a good option.

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They make rubber backs for them that are more durable and stay longer. Kinda like the ones Disney uses on their pins.


Sent from my iPhone
Interesting! I'll have to look into it! Thanks Branjan!
 
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Skypig

Hunter
Did you attach the shoulder armor the same way? Or, did you go with velcro?
 
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Fettastic

Active Hunter
I haven't finished my shoulder armor yet but I am going to try this method with those as well.
 
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Drax

Hunter
You can also get "locking" pin backs for them. On version uses a hollow brass stud with a set screw which I'm sure would be very secure but may stick out the back a bit much.
 
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Fettastic

Active Hunter
You can also get "locking" pin backs for them. On version uses a hollow brass stud with a set screw which I'm sure would be very secure but may stick out the back a bit much.
That sounds almost perfect! I'm going to look it up and see if I can find what you are referring to. Thanks!
 
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Fettastic

Active Hunter
You can also get "locking" pin backs for them. On version uses a hollow brass stud with a set screw which I'm sure would be very secure but may stick out the back a bit much.
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I believe this is what you are talking about? I found these on ebay...(12) for about $4.00

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Also, found these!

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I'm interested if anyone has had first hand experience with any of these locking pin backs?

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tk675

Jr Hunter
oh this is a nice idea. Once I figure out how much to trim off my armor, I might consider this method. thank you
 
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Armydad

Hunter
View attachment 102913

I believe this is what you are talking about? I found these on ebay...(12) for about $4.00

- - - Updated - - -

Also, found these!

View attachment 102914

I'm interested if anyone has had first hand experience with any of these locking pin backs?
These locking pins are much more reliable! We use these for some of our awards on our dress uniforms. Almost impossible to remove lol
 
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Fettastic

Active Hunter
These locking pins are much more reliable! We use these for some of our awards on our dress uniforms. Almost impossible to remove lol
Which ones? The ones with the set screws or the pull type?
 
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