Sunday, December 13, 2009

Refurbished Woods No. 200 Pack: Finished

Finally got around to organizing the photos of my completed refurbished canvas pack project. All that was left was the making of the tumpline. This was quite straightforward and is nearly identical to the Canoe Tump made earlier. This pack tump however, has 1" wide tails that are only 10" long to fit the pack's buckles and is also riveted rather than assembled with brass Chicago screws.


Copper rivetted pack tump; Buckled into place

When taking the pack out for a test run, it was loaded up with plenty of stuff, including some heavy junk (a few 5 pound splitting wedges, hammers, etc.). Sure enough, the frameless pack is a awkward with the shoulder straps alone. But with the tump in place, the weight is held closer to the spine and placed more strategically between the shoulders. Just like the tump carry with the canoe, you need to lean forward a bit, but at the right balancing point, even the hands can be released as you feel the weight transfered to the spine. At full capacity however, I'll likely be gripping the tump strap with both hands for a more balanced carry. Here are some lateral shots taken a while back. This past weekend, the area was hit with 110cm of snow in 48hrs and is now transformed into a winter wonderland.


Shoulder straps alone; Balanced with the tumpline

After taking these shots, I realized I forgot to give the axe holder a test run. With the axehead strapped into the holder and the handle secured with leather lace through the packs eyelet rings, the axe is quite secure in position.


Axe holder of the No.200 Pack

Overall the whole pack has now been transformed and has many more years of use left in it.


Before and...


...After

Out of curiosity, I visited a local outfitter that had a Woods No.1 Special pack for sale ($115 CND + tax). After spending all this time working with my own version, the new models seem to be made with thinner canvas and the leather components made from cheap veg-tanned leather that had not been treated for outdoor use. I imagine that after exposing the pack to the elements of a canoe trip the leather would quickly harden and crack. The cheap splash rivets were attached with minimal support, just leather "washers" on the inside which were weren't even stitched into place. The splayed edges of the rivets were sharp and could easily tear any waterproof drybag inside the pack. Even the tumpline had sharp edged rivets protruding which I pictured cutting into the fingers of the poor soul who tried to hold onto the strap. All in all, a sad testament to the so-called "quality" of today's workmanship compared to years gone by.


New No.1 Special Pack; Tumpline with sharp rivet edges - very shoddy



2 comments:

abduk said...

Definite change is quality.
I somehow doubt there will be someone refurbishing one made today in 20 years time.

Nice job on the leatherwork.

Whats the next project?

Andy said...

Lovely work, Murat! I've a few ancient Duluth Packs at home that could use that kind of treatment. One of these days...

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