Intending for UK Caving style Warmbac (Cordura fabric) / Meander/TSA (PVC) oversuits.
- Wash the oversuit! Glue will not stick to dirty / dusty fabric, and sewing through grit embedded in fabric is almost impossible Either washing machine or hosepipe + scrub the oversuit. Fabric can be further rubbed with alcohol to degrease.
- Sew the tear, gathering together the material if necessary Use fully Nylon thread so it doesn’t rot (Gutermann Top Stitch Thread is the best I’ve tried), a strong leather needle and ideally a sailor’s palm to protect your hands
- Smear 1-part glue over the stitching and repair. For Fabric oversuits, ideally use Aquasure or Black Witch. For Meanders use a flexible PVC glue.
- For PVC oversuits, now cut a patch to cover the sewn repair to about +1cm all around. Not too big, and make sure the edges are cut smoothly (rounded corner) so it can’t lift off Placing patch on suit and drawing round outline with ballpoint pen makes glue placement easier.
- Stretch out the oversuit on a baseboard / put a coaster / mess tin within the oversuit to press against Newspaper is good for covering the repair to prevent it sticking to boards, etc. Make sure to put some paper inside legs/arms to prevent them being glued closed.
- Smear glue over the repair (on the oversuit) you want a smooth thin layer, not globs
- For large patches and quick-gripping glue, having alignment marks on patch and suit can help – when drawing the outline, drawing a couple of crosses which cross the suit/patch boundary can make initial placement easier.
- Apply patch + compress, leave overnight You can consider using tissue / toilet / news paper layered on the patch so that the pressure is applied in the correct way. You can use dive lead, wood clamps or even park a vehicle on top of the repair. For repairs next to thick or non-flat suit areas (pockets, crotch, etc) relatively thick patch-sized padding might be needed to ensure pressure applied all goes on to the patch.
With thanks to Dave Wilson for additional points.
Summary: Clean them sensible, polish battery terminals with a pencil eraser, gently flex up contacts to stop batteries rattling.
- With battery boxes sealed closed, give the helmets a good scrub under running water, and clean the sweat + grease off the head band. Rinse mud off the perspex front carefully always under running water to avoid scratching.
- Take out the battery boxes tops and give them a good rinse under running water.
- Inspect the battery box contacts and clean them with a pencil erasure to move any light corrosion.
- Inspect inside the battery case (the bit on the helmet), and clean the battery contacts with a pencil erasure (one on a pencil, to reach!).
- Try the set with some batteries and make sure it stays lit as you shake the helmet. If batteries seem loose, gently lift up the terminals within the helmet. I use my finger tips for this, to avoid scratching / damaging the contacts. But my fingers are quite long!
- Pop them in the drying cupboard to dry them out nicely
- At some point they should have the fronts unscrewed, and the waterproof seal cleaned and regreased with silicone grease. But that can probably wait until another day!
Generally, as well as always taking the batteries out after a trip, the helmets should be dried for a number of days with the battery compartments popped open to avoid any corrosion. The little side lugs are actually designed to also act as little stands to prop open the battery compartment, when the helmets are stored 'correct way up'. Maybe consider storing helmets like this in one of the loaf-crates on a shelf? The battery cases tend to fall out from the dangling-pole storage, which isn't great...
Also: I think it would be a good idea to count how many good sets the club has, and fettling any 'abandoned' personal Bisuns in stores, particularly if considering running a 2x minibus or minibus+car trip! We should have 12X Duos in our 'core' stock, and a couple of additional converted Vertexs (white helmets).
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