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Thanks for starting this thread missiongravity!

I'm in the process of making a mesh floor for JPW Cutthroat. The JPW frame doesn't work for me, so I'm sourcing that elsewhere (Whitewater Machine Works).

I plan to use 10 oz vinyl 11x11 mesh with 1.5" wide 22 oz vinyl coated polyester on the edges. The mesh will be sandwiched between 2 layers of the fabric with grommets every 4-6". That will be attached to the frame with 1/2" webbing.

I ordered some extra materials and made a small mock up to do some destructive testing to see what is likely to fail first. I used the 1/2" all-thread to pull it far tighter than when it will be installed in the cat frame.

My biggest concern is with the grommets- the vinyl fabric was elongating a bit around them a bit. It seemed like they might come out of the holes in the fabric. The grommets are just the basic ones from Amazon. Amazon.com They are the ones you set with a hammer so there is a higher likelihood of inconsistently set grommets.

I looked at some of the $50-70 Chinese grommet presses on Amazon- most have comments that the grommets for that press are brass cover steel. Which means they will rust sooner or later. And coming from China, I'm guessing it will be sooner. Comments indicate that grommets from other companies don't fit in the dies for those basic presses.

CS Osborne has a very nice looking press for $180. But each set of dies for different size grommets will set you back another $85 or so. Of course the CS Osborne grommets are also much more expensive.

Has anyone come up with a press that uses decent grommets without being overly expensive?
 

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Don’t bother with a press for one project.

Spend your money on a good set of hand dies. Get rolled rim grommets and spur washers from CS Osborne. These have teeth that actually positively engage with the fabric for a much stronger connection.

The CS Osborne hand dies and punches are lifetime tools that your kids will inherit. For half inch webbing, you’re probably looking at a number #2 or #3 grommet.

The spur washer grommets (2series) have their own corresponding dies(217-x) So in your case, 217-2 or 217-3

As for grommet nomenclature, it’s color, series, and size. G=brass, N=nickel plated, B=black oxide.

N2-2 is a number 2 nickel plated grommet.
B2-3 is a number 3 black oxide grommet. And so on.

Not as big of a deal in coated fabrics, but it doesn’t hurt to punch your holes with and undersized punch and then enlarge them by melting/sealing the edges with a soldering iron. This can dramatically reduce the chance of tear-out.

Also, webbing is fine, but I’d avoid nylon. It will stretch and rot.. I’d recommend 5mm solid braid polyester cord. (Same stuff oars are often wrapped with)

Hope this helps.

My #217-2 die View attachment 73192

Thank you very much for the detailed reply! I was looking at the spurred washers and wondered if they were effective. I'll definitely use them and the CS Osborne dies.
 

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Seattle Fabrics had a problem with their ordering system this past weekend. They have a 10% discount effective now through March 16th. Enter "take10" in the Apply Coupon during checkout.

I had an email from them about the problem and their discount. Unfortunately I was sufficiently determined (aka stubborn) and got my order placed so I don't need anything else. Hopefully someone else can benefit from the very short lived discount.
 
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