Apollo A7L Moon Suit

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Peter P.

New Member
Watched an Adam Savage video where he uses a “Janome, New Home” model unknown. I’ve also noticed Mr. Nagata using a “Brother, Lock 1034D”. Can anyone recommend which will work best in the world of sewing these fore mentioned fabrics? I know the Brother serges and does a double stitch. I imagine the Janome will do the same. Any help is appreciated as I have not purchased a new sewing machine in like 35 years!
My wife uses brother for years almost every day!
 

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Lear60man

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Soooo here is my little nugget to add. When I lost a glove on a space mission I was stumped. But I had enough material and sourced the silver material from an ironing board pad. The thing is, gloves are super hard to do yourself.....especially for a first timer. I bit the bullet and handed over the remaining glove to a known seamstress. She knocked it out of the park for $75. Money well spent.

Just a thought.
 

Kokanee

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I don't suppose we could get the buckle stl broken out into it's components could we? I would love to print one out, but do the round bar in aluminum or brass.
 

lmgill

Sr Member
Given the PLSS hangs on this, I would think you would want the whole thing in metal. I don't see how it would be usable otherwise.
 

Kokanee

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I'm not doing the PLSS (so far), but you're right i should do the whole thing in metal to be future proof in case i do it.
 

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Lear60man

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Given the PLSS hangs on this, I would think you would want the whole thing in metal. I don't see how it would be usable otherwise.
I dont know if 'hangs' is the right word. That buckle prevents it from being pulled into your neck from the weight of the back pack along with the strap that goes down the stomach....into another internal strap around the waist. Heck....its a whole strapping system if we want to be techinacal. But yes, i would want to recreate it in metal. Kens buckle is an amazing recreation and a perfect launch point for those who wish to take it to the next level in metal.
 

lmgill

Sr Member
Unless you pressurize the suit, the weight of the PLSS pulls on this bar protruding from the buckle on the top of the hold down strap. There is no "internal" waist strap on a real suit, and again, unless the suit is pressurized the waist strap does very little to hold the weight of the PLSS, even an empty "prop" one. I'm not sure what you think a whole strapping system is, as there is only the 2 shoulder straps and the waist strap. The front vertical strap is only there to be able to shorten the front of the suit, so when you are in a sitting position, the helmet isn't over your head. It is not intended to support the PLSS in any way. When a suit is pressurized to 3.9 psi, it gets as hard as a basketball, and the entire suit is nearly rigid. Without this "Hold-down" strap in front, the seated astronaut would have the helmet disconnect ring up to his nose, or would not be able to stand up straight. If you look, you will notice, any pressure suit designed to work while sitting, will have this hold-down strap in some form or another. The exception is the new Boeing suit, which uses a zipper system that takes up this extra space in the front while seated.

The design of an item is most often 50/50 - Material / Design (shape) based on the environment or loads the item needs to endure. Change the material or the environment and the design generally no longer works as intended.
In the case of a pressure suit (spacesuit) the entire PLSS support "system" is engineered around the fact that the suit is a semi rigid structure, and, only needs to function in 0 or 1/6 gravity.
Removing the pressurized suit from the equation, means the PLSS now wants sag down, and pulls the suit up in the front and adding 1 gravity, only makes it worse.
The buckle and hoop on the real suit is stainless steel, and an aluminum is marginally strong enough for a prop PLSS, in fact we use stainless to make the hoop part because it gets damaged otherwise.
To be clear, I never criticized Ken's 3d design, just the fact you will need this piece in a sturdier material than 3d printed plastic, if you intend to attach a PLSS.
 

Lear60man

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Unless you pressurize the suit, the weight of the PLSS pulls on this bar protruding from the buckle on the top of the hold down strap. There is no "internal" waist strap on a real suit, and again, unless the suit is pressurized the waist strap does very little to hold the weight of the PLSS, even an empty "prop" one. I'm not sure what you think a whole strapping system is, as there is only the 2 shoulder straps and the waist strap. The front vertical strap is only there to be able to shorten the front of the suit, so when you are in a sitting position, the helmet isn't over your head. It is not intended to support the PLSS in any way. When a suit is pressurized to 3.9 psi, it gets as hard as a basketball, and the entire suit is nearly rigid. Without this "Hold-down" strap in front, the seated astronaut would have the helmet disconnect ring up to his nose, or would not be able to stand up straight. If you look, you will notice, any pressure suit designed to work while sitting, will have this hold-down strap in some form or another. The exception is the new Boeing suit, which uses a zipper system that takes up this extra space in the front while seated.

The design of an item is most often 50/50 - Material / Design (shape) based on the environment or loads the item needs to endure. Change the material or the environment and the design generally no longer works as intended.
In the case of a pressure suit (spacesuit) the entire PLSS support "system" is engineered around the fact that the suit is a semi rigid structure, and, only needs to function in 0 or 1/6 gravity.
Removing the pressurized suit from the equation, means the PLSS now wants sag down, and pulls the suit up in the front and adding 1 gravity, only makes it worse.
The buckle and hoop on the real suit is stainless steel, and an aluminum is marginally strong enough for a prop PLSS, in fact we use stainless to make the hoop part because it gets damaged otherwise.
To be clear, I never criticized Ken's 3d design, just the fact you will need this piece in a sturdier material than 3d printed plastic, if you intend to attach a PLSS.

Lots of good info. The knowledge of the RPF never ceases to amaze me.
 

kenlandrum

Sr Member
Unless you pressurize the suit, the weight of the PLSS pulls on this bar protruding from the buckle on the top of the hold down strap. There is no "internal" waist strap on a real suit, and again, unless the suit is pressurized the waist strap does very little to hold the weight of the PLSS, even an empty "prop" one. I'm not sure what you think a whole strapping system is, as there is only the 2 shoulder straps and the waist strap. The front vertical strap is only there to be able to shorten the front of the suit, so when you are in a sitting position, the helmet isn't over your head. It is not intended to support the PLSS in any way. When a suit is pressurized to 3.9 psi, it gets as hard as a basketball, and the entire suit is nearly rigid. Without this "Hold-down" strap in front, the seated astronaut would have the helmet disconnect ring up to his nose, or would not be able to stand up straight. If you look, you will notice, any pressure suit designed to work while sitting, will have this hold-down strap in some form or another. The exception is the new Boeing suit, which uses a zipper system that takes up this extra space in the front while seated.

The design of an item is most often 50/50 - Material / Design (shape) based on the environment or loads the item needs to endure. Change the material or the environment and the design generally no longer works as intended.
In the case of a pressure suit (spacesuit) the entire PLSS support "system" is engineered around the fact that the suit is a semi rigid structure, and, only needs to function in 0 or 1/6 gravity.
Removing the pressurized suit from the equation, means the PLSS now wants sag down, and pulls the suit up in the front and adding 1 gravity, only makes it worse.
The buckle and hoop on the real suit is stainless steel, and an aluminum is marginally strong enough for a prop PLSS, in fact we use stainless to make the hoop part because it gets damaged otherwise.
To be clear, I never criticized Ken's 3d design, just the fact you will need this piece in a sturdier material than 3d printed plastic, if you intend to attach a PLSS.
Thanks Imgill!! Good stuff!
My plastic buckle is just for test fitting. Plan is to send it to shapeways for printing in metal... just had to make sure it all fit well before shelling out the expense of a metal print. (Edit: I just uploaded and its $160 for Polished Nickel, may have to try printing in metal at home!)
 
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Kokanee

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
giv'er! going to start my first glove on the 17th, very eager to see how yours turns out!
 

kenlandrum

Sr Member
Made an attempt to sew a glove this weekend and while I didn't finish completely, I think the worst of it is complete. I used my standard single stitch machine for some of it and hand-stitched the rest. In some case I would quickly stitch parts together by hand to make sure of the fit and then go back to the sewing machine to tighten things up. As promised I tried to document things best I could...enjoy!
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Started with trimming out the fingers. Once I cut them out I found it helpful to transfer the pattern to the back of the fabric with a pencil. This turned out to help out a lot, especially when doing the hand stitching.
pattern.jpg

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Next I used my machine to sew up the sides of each finger, checking to make sure that the finger tip parts would fit through correctly. One was tight and had to be re-sewn.
fingerssewn.jpg
finger.jpg

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Hand stitched the fingers together. First in between the fingers then the flaps on the sides.
fingersattached.jpg
fingerscomplete.jpg

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Before I could sew the palm on to the fingers, I had to prepare the palm piece.
First I cut the palm out, transferred the pattern to the back with pencil, the cut out the knuckle flap and palm reinforcement.
I felt like the palm reinforcement part needed some stiffness. Same withe the knuckle flap. So I trimmed out a couple of pieces of index stock to fit inside. I also trimmed off a piece of 1" velcro to sew in place.
cuttingKnuckle.jpg

velcroattached.jpg

KnuckleFlap.jpg
palmPrep.jpg
palmcomplete.jpg

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Now I'm ready to attach the palm to the fingers. To assure a proper fit, once again, I hand stitched and then went back with the machine to sure things up.
topSewn.jpg

topComplete.jpg

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Test fit the tips again and added the knuckle flap. Also did a test print for the "glove-side" of the wrist ring. Tonight I'll try and get the double stitch needle going and finish up. BTW, I also need to smooth and paint the finger tips to the correct color.
palm.jpg

side.jpg
top.jpg

GlovesideWristRing.jpg

rings.jpg

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That's all for now. Updates to follow!
 

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kenlandrum

Sr Member
Aww balls, they don't ship to Canada... I'll have to find another solution then.
This looks like the same stuff, but it's not on sale. FYI, I bought a yard of it and I think I could get like 4-6 gloves out of that. So if you can get a foot or so I would just do that.
 

Kokanee

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
This looks like the same stuff, but it's not on sale. FYI, I bought a yard of it and I think I could get like 4-6 gloves out of that. So if you can get a foot or so I would just do that.
Awesome, thanks! Really appreciate all the "pathfinding" you're doing on this project.
 

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