DIY Raft Pads - am I nuts? - Page 5 - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-30-2016   #41
 
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
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One improvement I have considered is gluing a closed cell foam pad to the open cell pad to get the best of both worlds. The closed cell foam would need to be thin to allow rolling; that said I rarely roll my pads now as they live on the cooler and dry box and are stored unrolled at home.

I just tired of the discomfort of open cell foam once the inevitable pinhole arises.

The DIY option is intriguing. Please post a follow-up with field testing when you get the chance.

Phillip

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Old 04-30-2016   #42
 
Castle Rock, Colorado
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Found this article on Seattle Fabrics' site:

So you want to make a Dry Bag
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Old 04-30-2016   #43
 
Castle Rock, Colorado
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And the referenced article: http://www.paddlewise.com/topics/boatequip/drybag.pdf
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Old 04-30-2016   #44
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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A few more pictures

Here are a couple more pictures of the pad. I'll let you all know what the results from the trip are. Also, I painted some of the HH-66 on the foam and it did not react or melt, so it looks like the off gassing as the glue cures shouldn't be an issue. I have both valves open thought, just to let the fumes clear out a bit.
Longer term, I'd like to get better with the heat welding and make some more pads and a dry bag for a guitar and a few other things, but the glue sure is a lot easier.
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Old 05-01-2016   #45
 
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Belgrade, Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by restrac2000 View Post
One improvement I have considered is gluing a closed cell foam pad to the open cell pad to get the best of both worlds. The closed cell foam would need to be thin to allow rolling; that said I rarely roll my pads now as they live on the cooler and dry box and are stored unrolled at home.

I just tired of the discomfort of open cell foam once the inevitable pinhole arises.

The DIY option is intriguing. Please post a follow-up with field testing when you get the chance.

Phillip
Ok, I'm not trying to hijack this thread as much as it might seem at first.... but I've been blessed to to be the owner of a pair of the greatest sleepeing pads ever derived.... they are known as Pacific Outdoor Equipment Cadi bomber pad.... They are unfortunately long out of production but to illustrate a little of the concept here is a link to an amazon page:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pacific-Out...=1&*entries*=0

The point of this whole diversion is that they are essentially (although not litterally) a drop stitched sleeping pad. Why is that important to me? You can put pressure in it.

The concept linked above is a 2" thick (if I recall; I have 2, I've just never actually measured their thicness) bed of sleeping hapiness. FWIW, My wife, just lets hers self fill - I blow 4-5 fair blows into mine and to each of us the pad is just as comfy as our memory foam bed. To me the important attribute is that those puffs, put a little pressure in it, making the 2" pad feel like its 5" thick. I have 2 Paco Grande's as well and those, as all of you know, you cannot put pressure into. While they are way better than sleeping on the ground, they still let my fat ass sink through and as a result I toss and turn on them. The Pac-outdoors pads are the shit, I can lay on my side and sleep as solidly on them as I do at home.

Why do I bring this up? well if you are making your own shit, think about putting a real bonded pad into your concoction (in lieu of just foam padding). I swear, to me the ability to add a little pressure on uneven ground is an absolutly wonderful addition to nocturnal slumber equipment. My thought for the build your own pad crowd is to figure a way to adapt a manufactured 2-3" bonded pad, inside an outer DIY shell. The valving would be the hard part, but I assure you - if you ever get a chance to sleep on a "bomber" pad then you'll be figuring out how to replicate it.

If Jack (JPW) reads this post, please....please figure out a way to incorporate a bonded, air filled chamber inside your pads. I so fear the day that my "bomber" pads give up the ghost that I'm starting to limit their use to just long trips. Somebody please come up with a new equivelant!!!!!!!!! I don't trust my own patience to glue up my own ideas...with success. And I emplor you to direct the next evolutionary step in your invention.
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Old 05-01-2016   #46
 
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Belfair, Washington
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We have been working on producing a "cooler / dry box pad" I had some drop stitch sleeping pads made up as prototypes that I have been using for the past two seasons and love them. The only problem with the drop stitch pad is if it gets cold at night there is not much insulation factor and you get cold. But I do believe Elkheaven is right that may be the way to go. The big problem is drop stitch material is very expensive! Cost on a cooler pad would be around $175-$200. Would people be willing to pat that? Give me feedback and I will keep working on them.
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Old 05-01-2016   #47
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkhaven View Post
The point of this whole diversion is that they are essentially (although not litterally) a drop stitched sleeping pad. Why is that important to me? You can put pressure in it.

I have a big Jack's pad and have been thinking along the same lines. It'd be great to get rid of the bubble at my feet that happens when I blow air into the pad and lie on it. As I've followed this thread over the past few days I was wondering if one (maybe me -- almost ordered the materials yesterday) could glue-in longitudinal strips of PVC on the inside that would keep the two major panels (ground side and sleeping side) at a more uniform distance, and then put in narrower pieces of foam that nest tightly between the strips.

On the valve front, does anyone have experience attaching the NRS float bag valve into virgin material? At $.50 it is cheap.
NRS Float Bag Valve at nrs.com

I like the idea of the float bag valve since it is low mass inside of the pad.

If wanting a bigger valve, the Summit Valve would be cheaper than the Leafield C7, at least given the prices on NRS:Summit 1 Valve for AIRE Tributary at nrs.com
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Old 05-01-2016   #48
 
Park City, Utah
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Originally Posted by altaholics View Post
Thanks for the feedback! Based on feedback from folks that have tried similar projects it seems like it's reasonable to proceed.



So I went down to the tarp supply company (Tarp Fabrics) and they sold me a 3x5 sheet of 18 oz. PVC tarp (same as paco pads) for $5 for me to practice on, so I may be underestimating the cost of the tarp some, but I'm not using raft material so I don't think I'm off by an order of magnitude. (My original post assumed costs for making one, not all the pads) The product comes in sheets as long as I want that are 61 1/4 wide, so it looks like I can roll it over and make the long seam without any trouble. Assuming 3" thickness, overlap for the seam, and some extra space for a little wiggle room inside, that would put my max width at 26 inches which will feel luxurious after using a 20 inch Thermarest.



After calling several local upholstery places it looks like I'll be sourcing my foam off ebay. Who knew foam was so expensive? I'll be using foam like this: 3"x 24"x 72" High Density Seat Foam Cushion Replacement Upholstery per Sheet | eBay or this: 3 x 27 x 82" Foam Rubber Sheet Cushion Replacement | eBay . Based on the prices, I underestimated my foam costs too by 6 to 15 dollars, depending on which I get.



This brings me to the question of valves. I've only used C7 and military valves (Riken Nez Perce - still going strong, don't fail me now! I said I was starting on the cheap. Once I'm out of grad school I hope to upgrade). I can source other valves at much lower cost than the C7. I know it's the Cadillac of valves because everyone uses them all the time, but I don't even need to inflate these. Would a Halkey Roberts or other valve do the same job? Is there a compelling reason to use the C7 or is there some other valve out there that would work well?



I'll be getting the heat gun soon and ordering some foam once I've perfected my technique with the heat gun, so keep and eye out. I'll be happy to post photos. Just don't tell be cheap rafters shouldn't be on the river.... it makes me feel bad.

The pad looks great. I'm in the valley as well. What glue did you use ?


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Old 05-01-2016   #49
 
Park City, Utah
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How much material did you buy ?


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Old 05-01-2016   #50
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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[QUOTE=tczues;431558]How much material did you buy ?


In one of my first posts on this thread, I put a link to Sharp's Tarps, a truck tarp manufacturer in Salt Lake. They were very helpful, both for information about the products and advice for how to bond them. They sell tarp by the yard @ $7.50 per yard. I think I bought 7 feet and they gave me the end of their roll, so I ended up with about 9 or 10 feet for the same cost. I used what they recommended to bond the tarps HH-66. They sell it there too.
It's really set up for truckers, so they also have 5x5 squares that truckers buy to cut patches out of to repair their tarps on the road. I used some of that for practice before I tried the large project.
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