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Nickman983

Preserving Helmet Chinstraps?

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I was looking at one of my helmets just now and realized that the long chinstrap is hanging on by a thread. It looks like the stitching essentially disintegrated from the rust that formed while it rested against the inside of the helmet. I'd like to try to keep the chinstrap attached if possible. Generally I like to go by the "less is more" mindset with things like this, but I'm concerned that, even if I don't mess with it, it may eventually fall off just from moving the helmet around to clean.

 

Any thoughts on how best to handle this? Is there anything I could do to preserve the chinstrap without ruining it or am I best off leaving things alone as much as possible?

chinstrap.jpg


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A drop of super glue works well and is least intrusive repair.


"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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Thanks for the suggestion. That's exactly what I was thinking would be the best way to keep it from falling off. I hate to repair it but I think it would be the best solution in this case. At the very least, with how the stitches broke, I think I can repair it without it looking any different than a normal chinstrap.


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You could also get a rubber band or some sort of clip to hold the to parts together. It will take the stress of the remaining stitches and wont make you have any permanent fixes in terms of not being able to go back. It'd be best to find some low pressure so not like a binder clip to avoid any indentrations in the canvas part of the chinstrap. 

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That's normally what I would do but at this point the chinstrap is hanging on almost literally by a single thread, so my concern is even with gentle handling it will fall off sooner rather or later.


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Super glue or re-sew it.


Mike B. in 'Bama

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Fabric glue works well or period thread.

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Can we see the results when you decide what you will do?

marty

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Thanks for the suggestions all. I think I'm going to do some research and pick up some fabric glue this week. I think that's the best repair in this case.

While redoing the stitching would work, it wouldn't look right due to rust staining on the inside of the chinstrap. Thankfully the bar tacking is in place on both sides of the chinstrap and has just deteriorated in the center, so I think I should be able to get this repaired without making it obvious. I'll update after I've gone through with the repair.

1901629273_chinstrap02.jpg.93de2202449f222538622d6599a74e37.jpg887835398_chinstrap03.jpg.1b27367e50ffbf25c690a928bae936b5.jpg


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I would carefully hand stitch it back together, using thread from a WW2 era sewing kit , a GI would do the same in field conditions, and the straps are original to the shell, this would be the closest to replicating a repair, they wouldnt have super glue available, a quick field repair wont harm it.

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Super glue and then a touch of activator to Harden fast as suggested by others 


"Rise and rise again until lambs become lions."

 

Always looking for ww2 USMC items, helmets and any camo'd items

 

 

"thinking outside of the box"

 

New website

 

https://combatusedmilitaria.com

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I ended up picking up some fabric glue and tried that on some surplus crimp on chinstraps I had laying around. This ended up not working at all. I'm not sure if the glue I chose was just not good or if the glue was soaking into the chinstraps but I think a glue stick would have worked better than the glue I ended up trying.

 

I'm not sure if super glue would have worked better but I'm apprehensive about trying that due to how it supposedly reacts with cotton. I may give a different fabric glue a shot and see if I get better results.


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I ended up trying another fabric glue and had much better results this time. I used Bish's Original Tear Mender which actually worked this time and resulted in a pretty strong bond. It's a bit difficult to work with since it doesn't have the viscosity of other glues so you need to be careful that it doesn't run somewhere unintended. I used as little glue as I could, held it in place for ~5 minutes to wait for it to start bonding, and then let it sit for another hour or so. If I really wanted to I could probably break the bond but even with the chinstraps buckled behind the helmet I think it should hold up well.

 

I probably could have done a bit better of a job but for the most part you can't tell that anythings been done to the chinstrap unless you were looking for it.

 

 

chinstrap 04.jpg

chinstrap 05.jpg

chinstrap 06.jpg


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On 5/19/2020 at 2:49 PM, Nickman983 said:

I ended up picking up some fabric glue and tried that on some surplus crimp on chinstraps I had laying around. This ended up not working at all. I'm not sure if the glue I chose was just not good or if the glue was soaking into the chinstraps but I think a glue stick would have worked better than the glue I ended up trying.

 

I'm not sure if super glue would have worked better but I'm apprehensive about trying that due to how it supposedly reacts with cotton. I may give a different fabric glue a shot and see if I get better results.

I would not have suggested superglue if it could potentially damage anything. Superglue works well, works fast, preserves the look of the "original" bartacking, does not damage the cotton,  does not release after the repair is completed and is near impossible to see after the repair.

 

Fabric glue is for lightweight  fabric, as you found out, kinda like if you were making a dress. It is not for thick layered reinforced cotton helmet straps. In the end, the repair looks good and your happy.


"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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On 5/13/2020 at 4:29 PM, jasonm said:

Fabric glue works well or period thread.

 

I suppose it would... if you want it to look like it was repaired.


"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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On 5/17/2020 at 8:19 PM, BOLO said:

I would carefully hand stitch it back together, using thread from a WW2 era sewing kit , a GI would do the same in field conditions, and the straps are original to the shell, this would be the closest to replicating a repair, they wouldnt have super glue available, a quick field repair wont harm it.

 

I disagree. If we are trying to preserve the look, then resewing, no matter what era thread you use, does not preserve the look. It makes it look like someone repaired it, which looks even less original.


"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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4 hours ago, Bugme said:

I would not have suggested superglue if it could potentially damage anything. Superglue works well, works fast, preserves the look of the "original" bartacking, does not damage the cotton,  does not release after the repair is completed and is near impossible to see after the repair.

 

Fabric glue is for lightweight  fabric, as you found out, kinda like if you were making a dress. It is not for thick layered reinforced thick cotton helmet straps. In the end, the repair looks good and your happy.

 

I agree

Scott wouldn’t have suggested something that would have potentially harmed the item. 
 


"Rise and rise again until lambs become lions."

 

Always looking for ww2 USMC items, helmets and any camo'd items

 

 

"thinking outside of the box"

 

New website

 

https://combatusedmilitaria.com

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If I had had some super glue handy I probably would have given that a shot first but since I had to buy something anyway not to take the small risk that super glue might burn the chinstraps. The first fabric glue I tried was definitely more suited towards thinner material but the second one I ended up using is much more heavy duty. It claims it can be used on leather, canvas etc. I think I have a trashed liner chinstrap laying around somewhere I may give it a shot on. In the end the repair worked and looks reasonably well, which is all that really matters


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1 hour ago, Nickman983 said:

...the small risk that super glue might burn the chinstraps...


Burn? Where did you hear that?


"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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8 minutes ago, Bugme said:


Burn? Where did you hear that?

 

Super glue (Cyanoacrylate) apparently has an exothermic reaction with certain materials  including cotton.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyanoacrylate#Reaction_with_cotton,_wool,_and_other_fibrous_materials

 

I think the chances of it burning up a chinstrap are probably small but since I had to buy something anyway I decided to try the fabric glues first.


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15 minutes ago, Nickman983 said:

 

Super glue (Cyanoacrylate) apparently has an exothermic reaction with certain materials  including cotton.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyanoacrylate#Reaction_with_cotton,_wool,_and_other_fibrous_materials

 

I think the chances of it burning up a chinstrap are probably small but since I had to buy something anyway I decided to try the fabric glues first.


Im going to say the chances of burning the chinstraps are nigh impossible with a touch of superglue 

 

 


"Rise and rise again until lambs become lions."

 

Always looking for ww2 USMC items, helmets and any camo'd items

 

 

"thinking outside of the box"

 

New website

 

https://combatusedmilitaria.com

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20 minutes ago, Nickman983 said:

 

Super glue (Cyanoacrylate) apparently has an exothermic reaction with certain materials  including cotton.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyanoacrylate#Reaction_with_cotton,_wool,_and_other_fibrous_materials

 

I think the chances of it burning up a chinstrap are probably small but since I had to buy something anyway I decided to try the fabric glues first.


Yeah, that may be a bit of overthinking but, OK.


"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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