An illustrated guide to harness construction by Keith Lawrence.
|Get together all the bits you need, things like D rings, clips, a couple of weight retainers and about 4m of webbing||Lay the backplate down front (concave) side up. Start by threading what will become the right shoulder strap down through the inner of the slots..||Turn the backplate over and thread the waist strap back through the plate via a weight retainer. When the harness is finished you adjust the shoulder strap lengths by feeding the waist strap through these weight retainers.||Turn the backplate front up again. Not forgetting to thread on any D rings etc. first (we've all done it...) the shoulder strap goes over the top of the backplate, through the top slot (from the back to the front), then down (from the front to the back) through the lower slanted slot. Make sure that you get the twist in the shoulder strap correct, look at the later picture of the left shoulder strap and follow one edge of the webbing to see how it should go.|
|The webbing now runs across the back of the backplate (yes, it covers the hole - see later) and threads through to form the top of the left shoulder strap.||Thread the left shoulder strap as a mirror image of the right, not forgetting any D rings of course! At the bottom of the backplate thread it through to form the left waist strap, via another weight retainer.||Finish off the waist strap with a buckle, knife, D rings and anything else you want. Don't start cutting webbing yet, feed the waist strap through the weight retainers to get both shoulder straps the same length and the right fit.||To cut webbing use something like a putty knife heated in a gas flame. When suitably hot the knife will slice through and seal the webbing.|
|You've just covered the upper backplate hole with webbing!||From camping suppliers, outdoor pursuits or some DIY shops you can get a brass eyelet kit (the one shown here is antique!). You'll also need a hammer.||I use a heated 6" nail held in some Mole Grips to make the initial hole in the webbing using the backplate hole as the guide.||Loosen the webbing and enlarge the hole with a heated nail, the hole needs to be big enough to get the brass eyelet through.|
|Tidy up any excess webbing plastic due to making the hole with a craft knife.||The eyelet should now go through the hole...||...put the eyelet jig together (they vary in design) and hit it with the hammer!||You should end up with a nice neat brass eyelet in the webbing that lines up with the backplate hole.|
|I use a Dive Rite Classic air cell, you may want to use a smaller wing for a single cylinder.||The finished backplate and harness is a separate unit.||The twin set with its stainless steel bands is also a separate unit.||The threaded studding that clamps the SS bands in place will probably need adjusting for the spacing of the backplate holes (11" is standard) and the amount of thread poking out of the "inside" of the cylinder assembly.|
|Lay the cylinders down and place the wing over the protruding studding.||The backplate then goes on top of this so that the wing is the "sandwich filling" between the cylinders and the backplate.||A couple of wing nuts and washers secure the whole assembly together, adjust the studding thread length so that just two or three threads poke through the wing nut and they don't dig in your back.||Now spend at least a month trying to work out your hose routing on the set :-)||Single Tank Adaptor|
|For diving with a single cylinder you will need a Single Tank Adaptor. This adaptor takes the place of the twin set in the assembly and your single cylinder goes into the tank bands as normal.|