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Repair/Replacement of Web Gear Grommets and Snaps


pwcosol
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pwcosol

Gents:

 

Went thru all 20 pages and did not find that anyone had laid out what is required to repair/replace damaged or missing grommets and snaps. Since my primary interest is USMC 782 gear, this is what I will be referring to. There a many varieties of both grommets and snaps...some older of which are no longer available. However, much of what was utilized from WW2 to the present is. Knowing the specifics of the correct replacement components are key. Second in importance is having the right tools for the job.

 

GROMMETS:

What got me started is two shelter halves (a 1952 green USMC "NEW TYPE Homer-Walden 1952 & 1953 Mitchell Camo). The former had two severely damaged grommets and a third which appears to be a field repair. It also had a crushed button snap. The latter also had a brass field replaced grommet as well). I used a tapered mandrel, hollow piece of tubing and a brass mallet to open up the grommet holes in the first SH. This worked but the grommets were only marginal, so decided they had to go. Fortunately I also had a period Army NT SH which was severely torn, so I could utilize some donor components.

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pwcosol

(Continued from Post#1 due to time-out):

 

The snap could not be restored so it was to be replaced as well. Next I performed an online search and using measurements from original, intact grommets, I found the types and sizes necessary on Ebay. For the grommets they were blackened brass, 3/8 inch inside diameter (C.S.O. #B1-2 3/8 in. hole). The snaps were 5/8 O.D. ("DOT" button 5/8 in.. O.D. E6244). You specifically want U.S. manufactured material from C. S. Osborne or Scovill (a.k.a. "DOT"). Having obtained the proper grommets and snaps, I was ready to remove the faulty ones and replace. The old grommets were removed by grinding the crimped edge away on the reverse side with a Dremel. This allowed the two halves to be separated and removed. The snap just needed the small, crimped spot in the hollow part to be drilled off and those parts came away as well.

SH Grommet Obv.JPG

SH Grommet Rev.JPG

Shelter Half Grommet Hole.JPG

Grommet Set to Crimp.JPG

Brass 3 8ths In Grommet.JPG

Br 3 8ths in Grommet Crimped.JPG

Button Snap Cap.JPG

Button Snap Catch.JPG

Button Snaps 1.JPG

Button Snaps 2.JPG

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pwcosol

The tools I utilized to secure the grommets were several sets of manual anvils and crimp sets with a good brass hammer acting as the press. The hand-held sets are marked as to internal diameter of the grommet to be crimped. In photo #2 you can see how the male part of the grommet rests in a concave surface on the face of the anvil awaiting the hole in the SH to be inserted through and the flat ring added to be ready for crimping. The snaps can be attached with a anvil (concave black piece) and use of various small hand sets. However, I also had a Hoover Snap and Set tool and of the three male/female sets I had for it, fortunately among them was the exact one for the snaps I needed. This was simply putting the two matching sets on the tool (base at the top and set on the piston ram), adjusting the tension, and squeezing the handle...worked like a charm. These tools are featured below. I hope the membership finds this article helpful...

 

 

Grommet Set Tools 1.JPG

Grommet Set Tools 2.JPG

Grommet Set Tools 3.JPG

Snap Set Tools.JPG

Hoover Snap and Set.JPG

Hoover S and S Sets.JPG

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pwcosol

What follows is an addendum to posts one through three:

 

Regarding the grommets for the shelter half, the underside of the original flat rings have small spikes on them. Some heavy-duty grommets use these to embed the fabric within the grommet halves so it cannot slip or move about under strain. I did not find any mil-spec flat rings like this available. The answer was to salvage them from the donor SH. Note: When using a small Dremel grinding wheel to grind away the crimp, do so on the inside of the hole outwards. This will help break the crimp ring down without damaging the flat ring which can be reutilized. One other point worth mentioning is the US Army "NEW TYPE" shelter halves are not really compatible with the USMC pattern. Only one row of snaps will line up when trying to take two halves to make a pup tent. The Army snap types are different as well. In addition, the Army tent has a reinforced canvass strap for the guide rope at each end, where the USMC still utilizes a grommet hole for that purpose.

 

 

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dmar836

Great tips, thanks for posting.

I have seen the spiked rings on more modern grommets but I have never tried to blacken them. I'm not sure what sizes are available but they would still not be period.

Dave

P.S. I have also machined tools for setting certain hardware.

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pwcosol
6 hours ago, dmar836 said:

Great tips, thanks for posting. I have seen the spiked rings on more modern grommets but I have never tried to blacken them. I'm not sure what sizes are available but they would still not be period. Dave

 

Thanks for your input. I have attached a photo of period "spiked grommet washers" I salvaged from the "US" marked/damaged shelter half. Since I saw no such washers of this particular type for sale, if available, they would likely have to come directly from the manufacturer(s) I mentioned (but one probably has to buy 500 to get them!). As for period, my guess is if a field repair was required, whatever expedient was on hand could be utilized. This might even entail stitching a salvaged patch with an intact washer, from a donor shelter half onto the recipient. Seems the shelter half which may have been in service the longest, was the Mitchell pattern (1953 to late 1970s?). If a grommet needed replacing on a 20+ year old shelter half, they (USMC) might have used whatever was in inventory to effect a repair....

3 8ths in Female Spiked Grommet Washer.JPG

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pwcosol

Thought I would post an additional photo of a USMC "NEW TYPE" shelter half with what is likely a field repair. Of note, the Homer-Walden NT SH bears a "wide" "USMC" inked marking on the center of the material. The other maker, TWEEDIES, utilizes a very thin "USMC" marking. The NT SH pictured was made by the latter. Note how a scrap panel was cut out, stitched around the perimeter to the host tarp and heavy machine stitching utilized over the torn areas.

 

 

USMC NT SH Repair.jpg

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