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Last fall I was talking (via email) with Malcolm Coderre, owner of The Hidden Woodsmen. The Hidden Woodsmen is a boutique shop that takes old world backpack designs and remakes them using modern day materials. I became engrossed with The Hidden Woodsmen sometimes around 2018 - 2019. I wanted a Day Ruck. Unfortunately the prices were just out of my comfort range. A member of another Forman heard my wailings and lamentations and came through for me. He offered me a used but like new HW Day Ruck, along with a HW Haversack. My grail backpack was inbound!

When my Day Ruck arrived I was not disappointed. It was all I thought it would be and more. The craftsmanship was exquisite. This was the second time in my life that I can remember that the adage "wou get what you pay for" applied. ( The first time was a premium rifle build. )

the Day Ruck is a 25 liter backpack that is just about perfect for day walks in the woods and overnighters. I added a couple of side pouches from The Hidden Woodsmen and it became just the right size for overnighters.
Motor vehicle Automotive tire Luggage and bags Bag Wood


My next purchase from The Hidden Woodsmen was his 60 liter Deep Woods ruck. It’s an outside framed pack that mates to the ALICE pack frame. I bought this new but on sale. Malcolm runs sales on his products fairly often and you can actually get veay good prices considering the quality of his work. I always thought the ALICE pack was useful, if not the most comfortable. But some advice from our @CamoDeafie helped me with the comfort. He introduced me to FireForce USA. Their ALICE suspension systems make all the difference in the world. When I put The Hidden Woodsmen Deep Woods Ruck on the frame, it was even more comfortable. I think this is due to the more rigid nature of the pack along with the slightly smaller size. I will never use this pack much, maybe once or twice a year. I like to take some winter time and spend it in one of the close by national forests. The large size is necessary then to carry all the gear I keep for warmth.


My next purchase was the Forest Rucksack. This is a 30 liter pack that has honestly become a favorite. Unfortunately it doesn’t see much outdoor use anymore. It has become my weekly travel bag. My suitcase if you will. Normally loaded with clothes and my weekly medicine supplies and foodstuffs. This bag is perfectly sized and extremely comfortable. I think I would be satisfied with this one as an outdoors bag if it were the only one I had.
Outerwear Product Dress shirt Tartan Textile


My next purchase was the HW Day Ruck EDC. Actually I purchased 2 of these. I normally buy earth tones. Ranger green, foliage, earth brown. And I bought my Day Ruck EDC in Ranger green. Everybody liked the pack, but the comment was made that it looked like a military pack. Of course I wanted the "gray man" look,so I ordered another one in black. It’s a zippered 18 liter pack. The black one is used every day. It Carrie’s my computer, lunch,anything that I use daily. It is not a get home bag. I took the Ranger green one and outfitted it for that. It stays locked up in the cargo area of my car. This is my most used and dare I say favorite. It’s a very comfortable pack.
 

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They look good quality. I aspire to get my own bags to that level of quality. Am saving up for a high speed industrial sewing machine to make backpacks and gear faster while not trashing the machine. Singer 4411 isn't able to handle Tex70/ size 69 thread apparently. It can do Tex45 thread or lighter. Singer 15-91 from 1950s handles the 69 thread awesome. Its 0.6 amp direct drive motor starts struggling at 8 layers of 1000D Cordura, so am looking at industrial sewing machines. But I also have a 1960s Kenmore 158.850 machine with 1.2amp belted motor, however it needs tuning up and repairs first. Got a guy a hour away who works on old machines who could look at it. He does have some industrial sewing machines for sale, mostly tailor grade though, and not medium-heavy fabrics grade. Heavy duty yes but not canvas-gear-leather duty.

Anyways; wife said no to the Tropical rucksack, unless I sell one to three rucksacks. She says I have too many rucksacks
 

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They look good quality. I aspire to get my own bags to that level of quality. Am saving up for a high speed industrial sewing machine to make backpacks and gear faster while not trashing the machine. Singer 4411 isn't able to handle Tex70/ size 69 thread apparently. It can do Tex45 thread or lighter. Singer 15-91 from 1950s handles the 69 thread awesome. Its 0.6 amp direct drive motor starts struggling at 8 layers of 1000D Cordura, so am looking at industrial sewing machines. But I also have a 1960s Kenmore 158.850 machine with 1.2amp belted motor, however it needs tuning up and repairs first. Got a guy a hour away who works on old machines who could look at it. He does have some industrial sewing machines for sale, mostly tailor grade though, and not medium-heavy fabrics grade. Heavy duty yes but not canvas-gear-leather duty.

Anyways; wife said no to the Tropical rucksack, unless I sell one to three rucksacks. She says I have too many rucksacks
I don’t know where the rest of my post went? I bought the new HW Deep Woods 35 liter internal frame. At least ordered it. It will take a week to get here. I am a Hidden Woodsmen junkie, but I swear, this is my last HW rucksack. I have all my bases covered with this last purchase. I will buy more pouches I’m sure, just no more backpacks.

Honestly @CamoDeafie , I feel guilty every time I post about buying a new backpack. I should be sending my requests to you. I have seen pictures enough so your stuff to know you make good stuff too. Don’t sell yourself short. And we are at least forum friends.

I really needt to sell some of my stuff too. With this last purchase I doubt I will ever use my Helikon Tex bags anymore. And I have a
LL Bean Continental I have not used in a year or more. Guess I am just a hoarder.
 
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Right, with the lighter Guttermann Heavy duty thread on the Singer 328K, I was able to get good balanced stitches before the tension assembly got trashed from using 69 thread. The same thing seemed to happen to the 4411. Singer 15-91 does great with the 69 thread, so I am doing some stuff with it on my free time.
 

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Right, with the lighter Guttermann Heavy duty thread on the Singer 328K, I was able to get good balanced stitches before the tension assembly got trashed from using 69 thread. The same thing seemed to happen to the 4411. Singer 15-91 does great with the 69 thread, so I am doing some stuff with it on my free time.
A good friend locally has an identical twin who is a paratrooper veteran. He has Industrial strength sewing machines. Likely overkill for backpacks, from what Shane described to me. But you do so much, overkill is a great idea
 

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A good friend locally has an identical twin who is a paratrooper veteran. He has Industrial strength sewing machines. Likely overkill for backpacks, from what Shane described to me. But you do so much, overkill is a great idea
Well, it depends. There are these classes of industrial machines, all of which are high speed, production types.
Straight stitch, no walking foot, light fabrics to medium fabrics

Straight stitch, may or may not have walking foot, medium to heavy fabrics

Zig zag stitch (most often swimsuits and others with elastic); light to medium fabrics

Bar tacking, all fabrics, very expensive, grouped further by stitch numbers

Cylinder bed straight stitch; almost always for shoes and such, very sturdy, very heavy duty, a few old ones are just for socks and similar delicates, but they aren't common.

Combo stitch (both zigzag and straight), may or may not have walking foot, usually medium to heavy fabrics, often seen with jeans makers and the like where bartacking is needed at the start of seams

Cover stitch and blind hemmers, unique machines, burly looking but really not for heavy fabrics unless specified for canvas drapes like seen in old theaters

5-10 thread sergers, overlocks, specialized machines for production garments

Walking foot industrial machines, usually medium to heavy fabrics, often just straight stitch, some are leather grade and others are for canvas and coats. This class is what I'm really after but the other class that don't have walking foot systems, may do OK depending on model and brands.

Some industrial machines comes in twin needle format, usually for shirts and garments. If you see two rows of stitching on the outside, but the backside looks like a zigzag, thats a twin needle setup with 1 bobbin/lower thread, and 2 upper threads

Then we have this group...
Portable walking foots, most all are made in China. One model no longer produced was British made. Sailrite bought patents and improved on the original Thompson walking foot portable machines but same factory makes identical looking machines with less quality pieces for Tuffsew, Omega, Rex, Consew, a few others. The Sailrite machines have a cult following with boaters. However, they don't have the same durability reputation of Juki and a few other large industrial machines.

A lot of part time gear makers swear by the Japanese made Kenmore 158 series, Japanese Class 15 clones of the Singer 15, Singer 15 series, Singer 201s

Also, a lot of older portable overlockers are used for garments, usually 3 thread to 4 threads.
 

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The amount of trivial and obscure knowledge on this site never ceases to amaze me. Who needs World Book or the Interweb?
 

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The amount of trivial and obscure knowledge on this site never ceases to amaze me. Who needs World Book or the Interweb?
We just need the interwebZ to remain connected
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The amount of trivial and obscure knowledge on this site never ceases to amaze me. Who needs World Book or the Interweb?
I am a charter member of KOOKS ya know

That is "Keepers Of Odd Knowledge Society"
 

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I am a charter member of KOOKS ya know

That is "Keepers Of Odd Knowledge Society"
Perhaps we should change the name of the site to KOOKs and Hi Points. quite a few kooks land here. Keeps things interesting
 

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Anyways, ideal shop layout for me would be up to 4 different machines, 2 or 3 industrials, 1 or 2 domestics, depending on type..

1 straight stitch walking foot industrial

1 bartacker, 42 stitch type for MOLLE webbing

1 overlocker/serger, may be domestic, may be industrial, haven't found one that accepts T70/ 69/ E bonded nylon thread, I want similar to whats used for the overlocked edges on some ALICE rucksacks

1 domestic zigzag for lingerie/swimsuits for the wife.

A glass topped large cutting table with a hot knife (makes things so much easier...)

A Line 24 industrial snap setting tool on a heavy duty bench

Another industrial sized setting tool, not sure which but there's one for the gypsy snaps like on the USGI ponchos and shelter halves.

A rack with rods for webbing rolls

Another rack for rolls of fabric

This would basically be a production shop capable of making a lot more things faster.
 

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Well, Defie, with your skill and talent, as well as your drive, my money says you get there.
 
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Anyways, ideal shop layout for me would be up to 4 different machines, 2 or 3 industrials, 1 or 2 domestics, depending on type..

1 straight stitch walking foot industrial

1 bartacker, 42 stitch type for MOLLE webbing

1 overlocker/serger, may be domestic, may be industrial, haven't found one that accepts T70/ 69/ E bonded nylon thread, I want similar to whats used for the overlocked edges on some ALICE rucksacks

1 domestic zigzag for lingerie/swimsuits for the wife.

A glass topped large cutting table with a hot knife (makes things so much easier...)

A Line 24 industrial snap setting tool on a heavy duty bench

Another industrial sized setting tool, not sure which but there's one for the gypsy snaps like on the USGI ponchos and shelter halves.

A rack with rods for webbing rolls

Another rack for rolls of fabric

This would basically be a production shop capable of making a lot more things faster.
Build a shed. Problem solved if you build it yourself they are a hell of alot cheaper than a kit or already built ones. I built m last one under a $1000. 12×12×10 high inside roof. With power. I needed the high roof so I could drive my rider inside. Plus I made 6foot doors on both sides so I could drive through it.
 

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Build a shed. Problem solved if you build it yourself they are a hell of alot cheaper than a kit or already built ones. I built m last one under a $1000. 12×12×10 high inside roof. With power. I needed the high roof so I could drive my rider inside. Plus I made 6foot doors on both sides so I could drive through it.
Or take out a mortgage for a decent 3-4 bedroom house with a 2 car garage, and turn 1/2 the garage into shop space while leaving room for the family van, since wife doesn't drive.

Edit. We are currently renting a 2 bedroom apartment on the 2nd floor. But are putting money away and discussing getting either a credit card or a credit line of savings at the local credit union anyhow. With a possibility of a part time job with my bro as my boss at our resale gig when he gets his LLC paperwork all squared up and finding the resale shop space thats decently affordable where I could at least start with one industrial machine; we could work towards actually having myself a shop and a home for the kid
 

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Or take out a mortgage for a decent 3-4 bedroom house with a 2 car garage, and turn 1/2 the garage into shop space while leaving room for the family van, since wife doesn't drive.

Edit. We are currently renting a 2 bedroom apartment on the 2nd floor. But are putting money away and discussing getting either a credit card or a credit line of savings at the local credit union anyhow. With a possibility of a part time job with my bro as my boss at our resale gig when he gets his LLC paperwork all squared up and finding the resale shop space thats decently affordable where I could at least start with one industrial machine; we could work towards actually having myself a shop and a home for the kid
Forgot you lived in an apartment. If you buy a house. Build a he shed. You will run out of space in the garage quickly. I have had to build 3 sheds now. And I have a 4 stall garage and loft. I stall area is just for my tools nd guns stuff. Its not near big enough. Thats 24 by 19. You can never have enough storage and work area.
 

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Forgot you lived in an apartment. If you buy a house. Build a he shed. You will run out of space in the garage quickly. I have had to build 3 sheds now. And I have a 4 stall garage and loft. I stall area is just for my tools nd guns stuff. Its not near big enough. Thats 24 by 19. You can never have enough storage and work area.
Yeah, we'll see what happens. :D anyways, back to the topic. Yeah, if I can sell at least 2 of my extra rucksacks, I would be able to get the Tropical rucksack in Woodland to complement my Med and Large woodland ALICE rucks... I already have woodland shoulder straps and a MOLLE waist belt.. maybe just need a FILBE frame.. or I could stick with the ALICE metal frame.. or spend a lot more for the Tactical Tailor MALICE frame...
Tactical Tailor MALICE Pack Frame - STRILLS Compatible

It would be the most expensive frame I own. A bit more money than the DEI 1606MC with pad set that I ordered for my 2,000+ cubic inch coyote brown ruck that I sewed up myself.
 

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Animal product Clothes hanger Seafood Wood Art


Not counting the 3 other rucksacks in the outside storage closet.
From L to R;
Modded woodland CFP-90/Field pack Large Internal frame
2,000+ci coyote rucksack, self made
1,700ci coyote rucksack, self made
Woodland 1609 framed rucksack, self-made
Woodland Large ALICE(2010s, was new made) on MOLLE II 1603 frame, self-modded
Woodland Medium ALICE(late 80s)
Some Asian knockoff of Becker Patrol pack with ALICE frame pocket, and shittiest belt ever
960ci MOLLE bag, olive green, self made
Camo Green Medium ALICE (1990s)
Camo Green Large ALICE (2000s, roughly)
Blackhawk SOF Ruck, 10 pocket type
 

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Or take out a mortgage for a decent 3-4 bedroom house with a 2 car garage, and turn 1/2 the garage into shop space while leaving room for the family van, since wife doesn't drive.

Edit. We are currently renting a 2 bedroom apartment on the 2nd floor. But are putting money away and discussing getting either a credit card or a credit line of savings at the local credit union anyhow. With a possibility of a part time job with my bro as my boss at our resale gig when he gets his LLC paperwork all squared up and finding the resale shop space thats decently affordable where I could at least start with one industrial machine; we could work towards actually having myself a shop and a home for the kid
Watch the credit/BS stuff, it's tempting but if you take the bait, often fatal... ask me how I know :eek:
 
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