Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Ariel Tool Rolls

So, as I suggested in my W/NG Toolkit post, we need a tool roll and I have just the sewing machine to do it. I may have to make some curtains by way of compensation for yet another evening playing with old motorcycle stuff though...

There are few tool rolls in the Ariel parts list, as far as I can tell. They are:
  • 6640-26 (Z/23), which appears in the singles parts list from at least 1930 until 1947 and the Square Four parts list from 1931 to 1952; Lists earlier than 1930 do not identify the tool roll by part number. Interestingly this also appears in the 1940 W/NG parts list.
  • The W/NG tool roll, which doesn't appear in the contract parts lists - in fact, the contract parts lists I have don't list tools at all
  • 6640-46, which appears in the singles parts list from 1947 to 1951
  • 6640-54, listed as a canvas tool roll in the 1954 FH list but as 'tool roll only' in the 1954 & 1956 singles list. One wonders if this is canvas at all???
  • 13217-55 is the 1955-on Colt tool roll
  • T3528 Tool bag is listed for Leaders 1958 to 1961; illustrated in the parts book, this is a plasticized fabric with fabric ties.
The details for the kit come from AOMCC member Ray Tolman, who has provided the club with a lot of information on the tool rolls and the tools themselves.

This appears to be a 6640-26 tool roll, appearing advertised with a 1928 Colt. It's similar, but not identical to Ray's civilian tool roll - the pocket section is made from the same piece of material as the main panel (just folded over - the pockets must be tight) and I'm not convinced there is a flap:


Does this have a flap?

This next one comes from Scott Williamson of Ontario, Canada. This is a tool roll from Scott's Dad's 1949 Square Four:

6640-46 Tool Roll

John Sullivan, AOMCC member from Austin Texas did a lot of research into the later tool rolls which appears in Cheval, July 2007

6640-54 Tool Roll
John's article describes the tool roll and includes dimensions such that I will be able to make a replica for my Huntmaster when it emerges from its current dormant state in a few years time.

Design

This is the overall tool roll, with the military version on the right and the civilian version on the left. I'm tempted to suggest that the civilian one is a 6640-46:



You can see that the military version is bound, has two straps, and has a much larger flap. All fabric is single thickness in both tool rolls. The military version also has deeper pockets, though the dimensions of the pockets seem to be similar otherwise.

Ray Tolman's words:

Both tool rolls measure the same in the pockets. The big differences are:
  • larger, rectangular cover flap
  • fabric edging around full perimeter and at top of all pockets, civilian roll has no edging and is constructed of lighter, less durable materials.
  • two straps with steel fittings vs more durable brass, IMHO, on civilian roll
  • slightly larger end flap on W/NG roll having rounded corners instead of angular corners on civilian roll
  • the W/NG tool roll should be more durable than the civilian one due to to the beefier construction. The steel strap fittings are prone to rust as compared to brass. Steel was likely cheaper to produce...
From this next picture, we can calculate the length of the pocket piece and make a pattern. We'll need to think about how much that tool roll has stretched over the years:



This close up shows the stitching on the pockets:


Stitching appears to follow this routing. There are two runs of stitching in the centre and between pockets 6 and 7, strengthening the larger pockets. Arrows indicate the direction of stitching:



This shot shows the strap length and the location of the rivets:



Here's the inner flap. Note also the washers around the rivet legs:

Ray tells me the civilian roll weighs 141 g and the military one 199 g; this could be down to the single/double straps as much. I guess, as the weight of the fabric. A strap weighs about 35 g.

Fabric, Binding & Thread

These are some close up views of the original tool roll Ray sent me.


There are 55 threads to the inch in this canvas:


This is what I am thinking of using:


Here is a binding I'm considering. It's a standard 16 mm bias bind tape:


Looking at this picture, its probably too narrow at about 1/4":


This is an alternative. It's a 20 mm cotton twill tape, folded in two. The texture is much more appropriate and it is a bit less green:


When folder, this will show about 9-10 mm each side, which is much more like Ray's example here:


Ray drew my attention to the thread, which is very thick button thread. I'm planning to use this beige gimping cord:


The original stitches are 0.135" long, or about 7.5 TPI.

Straps & Rivets

The original kit Ray showed me uses the standard 1908/1937 pattern webbing straps, with steel buckles. These are quite easy to find, but usually have brass buckles.


This civilian example does have brass buckles:


Note that the position of the strap, and the single rivet, are quite different to the military one. This is one of the straps I will use:


Its 17 1/2" long by 1" wide; the originals are 13 1/2" long. We can easily shorten that and lose the box/cross stitching behind the buckle - the original appears to use the rivet to retain the buckle loop.

We will have to find suitable bifurcated rivets. I have these:


They  have a raised round head which is 0.030" diameter, just like Ray's original; They are plated, not plain steel blackened; I will probably paint them with matt black acrylic. They are over-length at 0.325"; the originals are 0.250", but I can shorten the legs. They are clenched with this tool I made:



The notch on the middle is to allow the tool to carry on pushing the legs down, clenching the rivet, without the tongue in the middle bottoming out on the bottom of the slot. It will need case hardening before it's ready to do many rivets.

I'll get some washers to fit.

Patterns

These are the patterns for the military roll, cut from thin card. The holes are to enable me to mark the fabric with chalk at critical points:

Flap

Pocket pattern

Main roll pattern

The Prototype

So, after cutting the patterns it took an hour and a half to make the prototype, following the sequence in the pictures.

Patterns laid out on the fabric

The components

Pocket & flap binding pinned in place
Starting the stitching, it was obvious that the gimping thread was way to thick for the needle & for the sewing machine. I reverted to an earlier option:
This worked fine in the machine - it would, it is a standard polyester dressmaking thread. It just doesn't look the part:

The flap, with the binding stitched 

Pockets & flap with binding stitched in
In these two pictures you can see the blue chalk marks I used to align the pockets. These were made through the holes I punched in the patterns.
Starting to stitch the pockets
The pockets feel very tight.

The first pockets stitched in

Pockets stitched in

Flap in place, closed

Flap in place
I'd not planned how I was going to get around the flap with the binding, in that top left hand corner. I've fitted the flap too far to the left:

Finished


The binding around the corners is very untidy. I tried not too be too dainty with the sewing, recognizing that the original sewing is not very neat in places; this is a wartime tool roll, not your daughters wedding dress:

Looking good - but about to shrink

1st prototype - 7-8% too small

Pocket View - 1st prototype
The original, shown for comparison makes my pockets look very tight:


Now here is the roll with most of the tool kit in it:


Here's Ray's original tool roll:


Issues with the Prototype

I've a few thoughts about the development of the prototype:
  • Number 1 pocket seemed too tight initially; possibly Number 2 as well, but using the tool roll reveals that these loosen up as you learn  where to put the tools. Measuring up, I find that the pocket widths on the main panel are about right, but the pockets themselves are generally each about 1/8" too narrow.
  • The binding around the curved corners is very untidy; a sewing skill issue I think!
  • The flap is in the wrong place - the top left corned binding is untidy as the flap is fitted to far to the left
  • The thread is too thin
  • Maybe I should go for a more khaki canvas - P37 equipment is khaki; P44 is more olive green; I may also try an unwaxed canvas.
I've made a second prototype to address some of the issues. Pulling the first one apart, its aparent that with one wash it has shrunk about 5%. Look how the fabric is smaller than the pattern it was made from, most noticeably on the pocket length:


The second prototype is about 7-10% bigger than the first, and I made a better job of the corners. I re-positioned the flap, and I bought some thicker linen thread  which is still too thick for the machine. The pockets are each 1/8" wider than before. The only part I re-used was the main panel binding, which I used on the flap; everything else was scrap - but I can make a new pockets piece from the old main panel. Here is the new one, full of tools:

2nd prototype
You'll notice in that previous picture the straps are not fitted. I've case hardened the rivet punch, so now I can fit the straps:
Punching the rivet holes with a wad punch

Rivets, washers and clenching tool
Some of the rivets clench OK, but actually the angle of the faces of the rivet punch needs to be reduced, so that it splits the legs more easily.
Clenched rivet

And that's it, one finished tool roll:



Finished and Full

Both the new tool rolls together. The military one is much nicer:


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