Leon Paul Team Bag Repair

Discussion in 'Armory - Q&A' started by jjefferies, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    Ok, I like my LP Team Bag as a souvenir and practicality and use it daily for local travel. It's far too fragile for air travel though. So it's only been used in the back of my car. Before now I've had only one problem. As I like to have it standing on end, as it is built to do, the handle to one of my epee's managed to punch through a seam holding the zipper at the bottom end. I fixed that by putting a piece of foam pad in the bottom to take the brunt of anything pressing down. But last night I found that the handle was rather loose and didn't slide back in as usual. Once at home I looked closer and found the upper bracket holding the tubes that the handle fits in had cracked on both sides. See the attached photos. At first glance it would appear the bracket is held in by two pop rivets. Removing them it now appears the bracket is attached to the tubes in some manner other than just form/press fit. Has anyone disassembled one of these mechanisms far enough down to be able to comment on or give advice as to how to remove the upper bracket? I can probably fabricate a new bracket but would like to remove the old one with minimal damage all around. And I've queried Leon Paul about purchasing the bracket itself but fear that they would not be able to sell it separately without the whole assembly. Not to mention shipping might make that approach prohibitively expensive.
     

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  2. Mergs

    Mergs Podium

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    From the pictures, I'm not so sure that the broken parts are the tubing or just the plastic cap/guide. A possible fix would be first to glue them back together with CA and then put a zip tie around them to keep them together and add additional strength.
     
  3. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    The broken part is a plastic bracket that you might be referring to as a cap. Two pictures below of the tubes which run down the length of the bag ending at a bracket at either end. The upper bracket is the broken part. I've tried to make it clearer but with black on black it's a bit difficult so I put a piece of white paper behind. What may not be obvious is that the breaks are on both sides of the bracket and on both sides of the opening where the tubes fit through, i.e. 4 breaks in all. None is complete though one is all but. It appears to me that this is a design flaw as the handle which carries most of the weight is a lever into the tube at this point causing flexing and eventual failure as the tube moves around. I'm of the opinion that I can fabricate a replacement part out of steel with relatively straightforward. But I don't want to damage/destroy the tubes or the handle parts which slide down into the tubes when I take the plastic bracket off. And then there's the issue of how the tubes are fit into the plastic bracket. It appears to be press fit but there might be other considerations that's what I was asking about.

    Regarding the fix. I did consider gluing and binding with eitherzip ties or some other way of strengthening the connection. But
    1. It would be difficult to get zip ties around the part due to the geometry.
    2. that would be just a band-aid waiting to fail. both_brackets_reducedin_size.jpg broken_bracket_closeup_reduced_in_size.jpg both_brackets_reducedin_size.jpg broken_bracket_closeup_reduced_in_size.jpg
     
  4. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Assuming the brackets are plastic you could try Shoe Goo to glue and to add material into the break rifts and around them. You can form and shape the stuff like putty if you wet your fingers, and it dries hard and tough. I have used the black variety to rebuild a latch mount which had been torn off my golf case ( among other things ) and it has held really well.
     
  5. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    Hi Inq,
    I'm familiar with shoe goo and as an adhesive it works fine. But here I'm looking at a lever (the handles) pivoting around the end of the tubes that normally they reside in (when pushed back down). Even with 35 lbs, weapons/clothing/shoes/mask/tools/etc, that really rachets up the forces working on that one little spot. Probably talking about 100lbs or more force. Which is why I referred to it as a design flaw. Lord only knows what it would be like if it were all made out of plastic as I've heard a complaint say later ones are built. If I were to go with trying to repair the existing bracket I would probably opt for an epoxy. Something like JBWeld. But as Mergs suggested that would need to be complemented with something else to take the shock like zip ties. But given the geometry as you can see in the photos it would be very difficult to adequately apply zip ties around the broken part.

    If I were to go with just a patch job then I'd probably be looking at another repair within six months. My current thinking is to replace the plastic bracket with a piece of 1.5"x1.5"x4" angle iron(steel). Drill two holes where the pop rivets go to hold it to the back (screws instead of pop rivets), drill and file out the 3/4" square holes where the tubes fit through. Issues would include how to fit the tubes through and make a permanent connection (JBWeld?) and whether the tubes are adequately strong enough to take the new forces in such a small area. But the tubes_and_brackets are what makes the bag rigid.

    So at this point I'm just trying to figure out how it was originally put together, so I can determine how to best replace the bracket and its function.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
  6. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    When all else fails apply a hammer, lightly. Here are photos of the handle and bracket removed from the bag. Note the ball bearings and springs which act as detents. I'm now looking at the bracket to determine if I could encase it in something like JBWeld and metal. Or if I need to fabricate a new one.
     

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  7. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    After a lot of consideration I took Mergs suggestion, drilled a couple of holes arranged a zip tie around each side and then put JBWeld in the cracks and slathered JBWeld over the tie and side of the bracket. This later was in the area of a Hail Mary just hoping. Will report back on the results in case anyone else runs into this particular problem.
     
  8. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    thanks Mergs. Tonight I had an opportunity to look at Mark Wheeler's bag. We both like the bags from the standpoint of size and convenience but I find his doesn't have the same problem as mine. Rather his blew out a pocket when he had weapons on both sides. Still it had 4 years of service including air travel. Whereas with mine the only service was to be tossed in the back of the car. I wonder if other bags are as fragile?

    best regards
     
  9. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    Just in case anyone else should find this subject of interest and wish to know the results of the endeavors to fix the bag. The idea suggested by Mergs of using a strong zip tie (required drilling a hole in the plastic bracket to allow the tie around the top of where the tube fits through) combined with JBWeld (my addition) was a bust. Two nights out and the cracks reappeared (through the JBWeld) as there is a good deal of flexing when the handle is at full extension.

    A little more description of the situation, the main tubes, light steel, square 3/4" on side, run the length of the bag and provide most of the linear strength of the bag. The handle is made up of two tubes, also light steel, 1/2 inch on side with a plastic handle at the top. The handle tubes fit inside the main tubes and slide up and down. There is a detent on both sides consisting of a ball bearing backed by a small spring about the size of an epee pressure spring. The bearing/spring fit into a passage in a plastic end piece force fit in the bottom of each handle tube. The ball bearing is pressed against the inside of the main tube and when the handle is extended fits into a small hole in the main tube. When the handle is fully extended there is approximately 1 1/2 of handle tube still in the main tube. With the handle fully extended as when schlepping the bag around in airports/vehicles/venues the 1 1/2 inches of tube bear the full weight of the bag and its various twists and other forces. The top of the main tubes are held in a plastic bracket. The main tubes have deformed and are beginning to break, the bracket has broken approximately half way through the length of where the main tubes rest.

    Other thoughts on repair:
    1. My first thought was to replace the bracket with steel fabricated from 1 1/2 inch (on side) angle iron. After some thought this appeared to pose issues as the 1 inch of plastic bracket holding the main tube would be replaced with 1/8 inches of steel posing possibly another failure point.
    2. Mergs suggestion of how to repair the existing bracket with a zip tie and then combined with JBWeld around the entire assembly which has failed as mentioned.
    3. Dwight Chew has suggested fabricating a new bracket out of hardwood. This would avoid the issue with steel being a new pressure point and allow the forces to be distributed over a greater area where the main tube is held. Disadvantages are cutting two square passages in the wood and allowing for the detent which acts as a stop limiter to work.
     
  10. fenceart

    fenceart Made the Cut

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    oh, I just can't resist a post about LP bags..... I have already aired my disappointment with some (important) aspects of this bag, so I shall not restate those. I want to write about the handle. Though my solution is not for the collapsing handle in the specific need expressed by jjeffries, I too had concerns about my handle and its durability. Mine has not failed.... yet. But, I won't be shocked when it does. My first handle repair was to, well, reattach it. Drilled through the handle and metal tubes to put a screw long enough to have a lock nut on the other side. The bag came with the handle attached with 1/4" sheet metal screws, one of which fell out immediately, while overseas. So, that's fixed, I was very worried about the handle failing on my next trip overseas, so I rigged up an emergency handle. I tied parachute cord around the plastic bracket that is affixed to the bottom of the bag to make the loops to which I can attach my emergency handle.. That bracket is at least secure, and you can fit the cord through and knot. I think the photo shows it ok, but this is the plastic tubing that allows the handle to collapse into it. I then spied this Jeep grab handle in a friend's vehicle thinking, this would work! You can see the McGyver rigging in the photos. Sure, the handle is not as stable as a collapsible metal handle, but then again, this bag constantly tips over as there's some problem with its center of gravity or something as you roll it, with our without the top zip attachment, it is unbalanced and will flip while rolling at the slightest unevenness of the terrain (ooooh cobblestones!) So, an alternative....because there is a lot of downward pressure on those tinny little tubes and frankly, I don't think any glue will hold this well.
     

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  11. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    [QUOTE="fenceart, post: 1201165, member: 30377" ... My first handle repair was to, well, reattach it. Drilled through the handle and metal tubes to put a screw long enough to have a lock nut on the other side. The bag came with the handle attached with 1/4" sheet metal screws, one of which fell out immediately, while overseas. ....[/QUOTE]

    Yeah, had that one too. My solution was to put a piece of wood inside the handle tube and screw into that. Running a screw completely through the tube and out the other side is a next step I suppose.
     
  12. fenceart

    fenceart Made the Cut

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    yeah, my biggest fear was being somewhere away from a Home Depot or Ace and having the darn plastic thing just come off.. then what???? at least it happened while I was near an armory bench!
     
  13. Mergs

    Mergs Podium

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    Well, crap.
     
  14. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    Yeah, could well have been the implementation. Someone more adept might have been able to carry it off. Course given how the bag is used maybe nothing short of replacement might work. I'm out looking for real hardwood. Do you have any idea of how difficult it is to find a piece of 12"x2"x2" genuine hardwood? Remembered having something ideal in my scrap pile. Sadly it's only 5 inches wide.
     
  15. dcchew

    dcchew Podium

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  16. Mergs

    Mergs Podium

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    What kind of hardwood are y
    What kind of hardwood are you looking for? Oak is readily available in that size at the Box Stores. Why don't you try the other suggestion I sent you?
     
  17. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    Fascinating. But the lower length which is what gives linear rigidity to the bag is shorter in those parts (apparently) as the diagrams simply say "fixed length". And then there is
    "Please allow 1-3 cm error due to manual measurements . Please kindly understand."
    Which I don't understand. =:0
     
  18. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    Had my mind set on something denser. But will ask at my local hardware store about local suppliers.

    Problem, even when I first got your suggestion is that I had already slathered the JBWeld around the zip tie and end. Getting that off is next to impossible. So putting something around that is likewise difficult. Oh well, back to the drawing board. Or help Mark Wheeler finish destroying his bag and then ask for the unbroken parts.
     
  19. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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    LP sent me an email saying their bags are 10% off through March 31st (with code..). Maybe a new bag is in your future.
     
  20. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    What code?
     

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