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crazyjim

How to make seat belts?

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I have PE buckles and material from Scale Dreams, but I don't know how to put things together.  I've tried looping the material through the buckle, folding over and hitting with CA glue.  It looks too thick.  Any hints/tips/thoghts would be appreciated.

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I like lead foil, but it can be hard to find these days.

Some folks like cheap masking tape for seatbelts. Fold it onto itself. It will still be thin and it has a little bit of surface texture. I have also heard of using paper cut into thin strips.

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I use masking tape cut to fit the opening on the seat belt hardware. Put it through a bit and fold it over and it sticks to itself. then turn it over sticky side down and place it on waxed paper and paint it any color you want. When dry put it on the seat, it sticks by itself and cut off any excess. I usually put a dab of epoxy on the underside of the seat belt hardware resting on the seat, and also on the other end of the seat belt so it NEVER comes off. This method also works with shoulder harnesses too, and works for me. Try it!

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Well which part is to thick? Where yoir overlapping it to glue? Can you post a picture to show what your issue is? If it is your glue point you may just need to glue it then clamp it to keep it squished flatter. Wondering if you have the ribbon that is a shinny nylon with ruffles on the edges.

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I have some lead foil from dental x-rays but never tried it.

Masking tape sounds interesting but I have a whole bunch of material from Scale Dreams I'd like to use up.

Exactly why I must be doing something wrong, Scott.  The overlap is too thick even after using CA to glue it.No ruffles on the edges and it's not shiny material.

Thanks for tips fellas.

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For fabric, cut some strips from an old beater umbrella, silk tie, or (do they still make these?) silk handkerchief. The silk is very thin and has a texture you might like.

I'd soak the material in white glue first, let it dry, then cut it. A dab of Windex will help the bending process.

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I had p.e. buckle hardware that would accept 1/4" ribbon I got from Hobby Lobby.  I would cut the ribbon at an angle to make a point, and then slick it down with saliva.  This method took me hours but I finally got it!  Now I would use a type of medical tape that is like paper that I got from Walgreens; the pharmacist helped me out to choose the right stuff.  It is "Well" brand paper tape, latex free, 1" X 10 yards.

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Hobby Lobby has artist tape that works perfectly right off the roll. It comes in different widths, but the smallest looks about right.

It also comes in different colors, red, blue, and black(I think). It's pretty thin, not too sticky, and has texture like fabric.

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seat belts

The correct ribbon for seat belts is 1/16" width.  I had checked the usual sources like Michael's, Joann's and Walmart and none of them had anything smaller than 1/8". Hobby Lobby wasn't around then so I didn't look there.  So I went on eBay and found these.  I bought a roll of black, brown, gray and white.  I figured the white could be tinted to other colors as needed. This lifetime supply of seat belts was around $10

DSC00274

(my 65 Chevy Pickup)

I'll give you two ways to make your buckles.  You know those tacky plastic seat belts older kits came with?  They may have usable buckles. Some of them are very thick, so carefully sand the backs down to a reasonable thickness. Then cut them off the belts, paint and use with the 1/16" ribbon.  I always like to give my seat belts some character by gluing them down at angles that indicate use.

IMG 4223

(my 29 Ford Pickup)

Again, another one using old kit belt ends.

IMG 2333

(My 29 Ford Roadster)

Here's one using photo etch buckles. A bit more realistic results.  One big tip- photo etch is really too thin for belt buckles (the female end).  I use Evergreen strips the right thickness to add the necessary depth. Glue the buckle to the plastic strip, then cut the edge of the strip to match the photo etch part.  Sand edges smooth, then color with silver paint, or best yet your Molotov chrome pen. 

For those of you who are going to try to cut the belt out of a wider piece of ribbon, ribbon will shred if you attempt to cut it.   In order to be successful here, take some white glue, thin it out and cover the back side of the ribbon with it.  The glue mixture will soak in.  Once dry you can cut it without shredding.

For those of you who will make belts out of masking tape, first spray the sticky side with Testors Dull Cote.  It will neutralize the glue like it was never there.

Hope this is helpful!

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You might also want to look into photoetched brass seat belt material which can be painted. Sounds counterintuitive to use something solid to replicate something made of fabric, but the texture/weave of a real seatbelt is so tight an fine that it's difficult to replicate in scale. You need something with subtle texture so the belts don't appear smooth, but not something where the texture/weave is too coarse making them look out of scale. I picked these p/e brass racing harnesses up on eBay last year but have yet to use them. I added a piece of clear packaging tape to the back (to prevent bending while being stored) as they measure .005" thick (with the tape), so probably closer to .003" thick for the belts alone. I saw these within the last few weeks on eBay, and I think they came from either Japan or China:

WP_20180303_004.thumb.jpg.c730f629f4ee1d34c223f21da7713f84.jpg

WP_20180303_001.thumb.jpg.0a5d30569aa3d97cbe409552f1e49fdd.jpg

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