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Hypalon is a material used in Navy SEALs Zodiac RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats). SEALs use these for amphibious assaults and incursions.
This material is formed with a layer of synthetic fibers threaded in a matrix and sandwiched between a flexible polymer.
Please Note: These are photos of a prototype strap. I stitched this on my sewing machine that did not take kindly to the Hypalon.
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Whenever possible, I prefer to reclaim and upcycle material that could serve a second life.
I have gotten a hold of some salvaged hybrid material from a duty proven Navy SEALs Zodiac.
This particular piece comes from a decommissioned Navy SEAL Zodiac Milpro FC470 Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC).
Later, this craft redeployed in Search and Rescue missions, hence SAR.
I tried a rough prototype strap from it and really dig the fit and feel of it. To me it feels like the best of both worlds, decon ready and still has somewhat of a fabric feel owing to the nylon inner core.
I designed a watch strap so first responders and essential workers (and everyone) concerned about contamination won’t need to worry about damaging straps from cleaning.
Among our crew, we have many Valiant Alliance members, first responders and frontline in police officers, physicians, PAs, medics, military, and ministers.
I want to air drop some ground support.
For each SAR/decon strap you commission from us, we will donate and equip a Valiant Alliance first responder member at 30% OFF instead of the standard 15% discount. (If you're Valiant Alliance, go ahead and back the project and we'll issue refunds as other crew members pledge.)
Why SAR/decon? SAR = Search and Rescue & Decon = decontamination
The material needed a few characteristics:
My first thought for strap material was silicone/rubber. However, I’ve never really liked the feel of rubbery straps.
What’s more, the readily available options are cheap and flimsy. Yes, we could dump some disposable $2 straps, but I’m not about that kind of waste and rubbish.
And making custom silicone/rubber straps would require making moulds, which is outrageously expensive, and the minimum order quantities are out of control. Even worse, lead times right now with factories are several months out just to get started on design, and even then dates keep getting pushed later.
I ordered some military spec tarps. It wasn't thick enough and just ended up feeling like plastic. I sent it back.
So, I researched thicker nylon weave matrix tarps that provide a better feel while providing quick cleaning. Those samples provided a nice feel and there were some potential options there.
Right now, I estimate I have enough material to make roughly 60 single layer straps.
One hiccup is that I don’t have any spare/loose titanium hardware in inventory.
I queried my titanium strap hardware manufacturer to see how quickly they can make us some buckles and keepers — the ones on our ballistic nylon straps. My minimum order quantity is 500 on those, with a two month lead time.
So, do you have Redux ballistic nylon single pass straps that you've worn out?
I've been thinking we could upcycle the hardware since those will last pretty much until the end of time no matter what you throw at them.
We're small, but we want to do our part in resource stewardship.
So, if you're interested, just drop your old strap in the mail to us and we'll give you $10 credit toward this strap or if you just want to donate the hardware for another crew member we can give you store credit.
Ship here, and just include a note if this is toward a strap or credit: Redux & Co. 114 John St. #413, NY, NY 10038
When we receive it, we'll drop you the code.
The other goal of this project is to put my truly talented friend to work. It's been a rough several months as you can imagine, and I'd like to get him some work.
This would be an amazing project to build some mission critical decon straps and give some fierce material a third tour of duty — while helping out a neighbor by putting his skills to work.
We field a ton of inquiries about when we'll restock on ballistic nylon straps. While I like getting those made for you, the minimums are so large I wanted to wait to produce another batch with the new watch designs.
However, since I might have to order 500 sets of hardware for this project anyway, I figure we can make some new ballistic nylon straps while we're at it. Or I can just hold onto the hardware for other special edition straps.
If we go for more ballistic, I want to order a mix of new colors.
When you order one of these straps at the Foundry level, I'll also invite you to join a special squad to help me narrow down the choices.
Then we'll offer it up for a final vote to the entire crew.
Do you remember the days of only broadcast TV?
I remember stations sometimes blacked-out the screen to make sure the emergency broadcasting system was working.
This is our blackout screen. (H/T Derek Sivers for the reminder)
I have no idea if any of this will go anywhere, but I figured I'd kick myself if I didn't open up my "cabinet of curiosities" (H/T Austin Kleon) for you and give you a quick tour.
See if there's anything you dig.
That said, this marks the launch of Project/artifacts. Small batch, handmade gear with upcycled materials.
It's such an honor to quip you with gear — and words of encouragement — for your missions.
But the realities of running a small business and working a day job, and being present with my family, and church community, and you know how it goes ... cloud the vision and make it seem downright impossible some days.
Of course there are components I'll never be able to make myself. But there are (many) projects I've had on the backburner, which are in various stages of design and prototype. Many are far enough along to be good enough for my personal use.
But I would like to put them out here for you to see. And ask if you’d like one. If these earn a spot in your kit.
I've taken these projects to viable prototype phase (i.e. they fulfill their purpose in my daily operations), but I would like to take them to the next level.
Rest assured, I don't ship anything until I'm 100% certain of quality and build. Case in point: Titanium band gauntlet.