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DIY Body Armor

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  • DIY Body Armor

    I've read that layers of felt bonded together with a mixture of sand and RTF sealant can produce panels for body armor. Has anyone tried this and with what kind of results?

  • #2
    Re: DIY Body Armor

    You'd be better off just buying the armor and doing your own sewing.
    Media vita in morte sumus


    • #3
      Re: DIY Body Armor

      Um, I think that anyone that tries it should get a Jeff Foxworthy sign made up before using it.

      Reminds me of the mall ninja talking about duct taping a steel plate to himself.


      • #4
        Re: DIY Body Armor

        I think the ancient Greeks used bonded layers of leather or felt. But they weren't dealing with, ya know, guns.

        How about taking two t-shirts and sewing a couple of phone books between them.


        • #5
          Re: DIY Body Armor

          Speaking of ancient or medival armor, the Chinese developed a composite body armor composed of paper and fabric. This "paper armor" was regarded as superior, by the Chinese, to metalic armors.

          I have read that some police departments in the Pacific Rim still employ bulletproof vests made from multiple layers of silk cloth. Its relatively cheap, locally produced, and it works against some pistol rounds.

          I think for our purposes getting sufficient amounts of silk to produce vest panels would be cost prohibitive. Alternately, it might be advantagious to introduce layers of silk or nylon fabric into the proposed felt composite. Silk and nylon can be obtained from thrift stores and yard sales.


          • #6
            Re: DIY Body Armor

            You are better off trolling cragslist for surplus body armor (police and mlitary) and then buying kevlar sheet from TAP plastics.

            TAP plastics also has a hybrid sheet material of Kevlar and carbon fiber, but the carbon fiber element offers zero protection until it has gone through the chemical hardening/curing process that requires the hardening agents (usually starts out as a thick liquid) and the hardening is done in a mold. Straight Carbon fiber should really be hardened in a large oven like structure which is cost prohibitive for even fairly well-off workshop owners.

            On the other hand, they sell kevlar sheet, and it is not hard to reverse engineer something fairly close to an NIJ rated armor composite by simply duplicating the number of layers and tightness of weave you find in the surplus vests. Generally, frag vests have a coarser weave, police vests a finer weave, and hybrids mix the two.

            The sheet material is not majorly costly, and damn sure less than silk when you figure how thick the end product needs to be.
            Life, Liberty and the pursuit of those who threaten them.


            • #7
              Re: DIY Body Armor

              It's been a long time since I bought my Second Chance "Monarch" IIa with the optional Titainum Trauma plate and I think it was almost $600 at the time. Just looked at Galls and their Point Blank SE IIIa vest is $399 so for the cost of an AK you can buy a brand new level IIIa vest. So you would have to be pretty broke to think about makeing one.
              Be polite, be courteous, be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
              If you had it to do all over again with what you know now. You'd just make different mistakes.


              • #8
                Re: DIY Body Armor

                I want to know how thick it needs to be in order to stop throwing stars and blow gun darts. Those are my primary concerns at the mall I patrol.


                • #9
                  Re: DIY Body Armor

                  airbags are made of kevlar. fyi


                  • #10
                    Re: DIY Body Armor

                    Lasergunner, that is amazing about Asian nations using body armor made from silk. The TV show, Deadliest Warrior, had a segment about Mongol Warriors. The mongols found that wearing two silk shirts under their studded leather breast plates would stop arrows that the leather armor alone would not stop. All these centuries later, silk armor is still being being used, now stopping pistol bullets. Amazing.
                    Death is whimsical today. - Gary Oldman

                    Zombies man...they creep me out. - Dennis Hopper