Strong Camera Straps on the Cheap!

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Newt_on_Swings, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    I've got way to many cameras, and sometimes buying new straps gets expensive. Here is a way to make high quality straps quickly and inexpensively. One, four foot long strap with rings and locks will cost you $1.88+ tax shipped to your door (lower US) and about 10 minutes of your time.

    Here are the materials you will need:

    IMG_0283.jpg

    4 feet of BlueWater 9/16" Climb-Spec Tubular Webbing, $0.28/ft, 9 kilonewtons strength capacity. (measure your strap you use most often, could be longer or shorter for you and add extra foot)
    http://www.rei.com/product/610111/bluewater-916-climb-spec-tubular-webbing

    Hi Tex Corp Trovato Ladderlock - 3/4 Inch, pack of 2, $0.33
    http://www.rei.com/product/612234/hi-tex-corp-trovato-ladderlock-34-inch

    Hi Tex Corp Split Ring .75" - 4 Pack, $0.43
    http://www.rei.com/product/626517/hi-tex-corp-split-ring-75-4-pack

    Razor blade

    Pliers

    Safety Goggles

    Marker (black or silver)

    Optional:
    Hi Tex Corp Triglide Buckles - 3/4 Inch - Package of 4, $3.00
    http://www.rei.com/product/612229/hi-tex-corp-triglide-buckles-34-inch-package-of-4

    Shipping is FREE with no minimum purchase from REI for now.

    IMG_0284.jpg
    Strap sizes left to right: Nikon, Olympus, REI black webbing, REI blue webbing, Lowepro. The 9/16 inch size works very well for me, its a good width for my neck, and the material is very smooth on the skin. Webbing can be flipped if you do not want the contrast stitching. It is solid color on other side.

    IMG_0288.jpg
    Components left to right: Triglide, Ladder lock, OEM Olympus split rings, 3/4' Split rings.

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    Mark and set webbing on a durable flame/heat resistant surface. I held the webbing taught with two soup cans. (This step can be omitted if you are ordering only one length of webbing for one strap, I bought multiple lengths)

    IMG_0292.jpg

    Heat razor blade under medium-low flame for 45 seconds to 1 minute. (be sure to wear your goggles) and cut through webbing with firm downward pressure.

    IMG_0293.jpg
    You can either leave it as is, or you can smush the edge of the webbing flat with still hot razor. Diagonal cuts maybe easier to insert in next step as well.

    IMG_0296.jpg

    Insert webbing into triglide or ladder lock with split ring. Adjust length on camera.

    IMG_0297.jpg

    End result. I also tapped the ends with gaffer tape to make them extra secure. They work very well, the rings don't grind on the side of the camera as the webbing is wide enough to protect it. Ladder locks work well to secure the load, and are a bit easier to insert and configure. Triglides are more traditional and slightly smaller. Instead of using an open burner, you can also use a lighter or matches, but there will be some fumes, or you can opt to just cut and super glue the ends to keep from unraveling.

    If you have slightly smaller sized split rings, they will work fine as well, I had an extra pair from my lowepro speeder straps that were just smaller than the REI ones and they work a little better. Triangle split rings would be ideal. You can also add on dual side release buckles and sew material together, or use additional triglides to give you a quick disconnect strap. Would require 4 lengths of webbing.

    Note: though the webbing is rated at 9kilonewtons, the triglides, ladder locks, and split rings are not.
     
  2. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Straps and buckles are available in fabric stores, although may be more expensive there. Hardware stores should carry split rings.
     
  3. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    Ugh!
     
  4. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Also you can probably do this with a scrap leather belt too I realized, if you cut it up with a razor. And the price would come down even more. That would probably be my next project. I happen to like my belts right now hehe. maybe ill drop by a thrift store or check my basement.

    So far the straps work great, I had it on my neck this weekend for pretty much the whole day from 10am-9pm and it worked great.
     
  5. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    You can get all manner of leather strapping and fittings at Tandy Leather http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/en-usd/home/home.aspx
    I make up my own straps for cameras, bags, everything this way. With a little work they're quite professional looking and leather is MUCH nicer than plastic.