Drysuit neckseal replacement.^

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
Post Reply
User avatar
Jonas Karlsson
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 10:41 pm
Location: Varberg, Sweden

Drysuit neckseal replacement.^

Post by Jonas Karlsson » Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:44 pm

Hi! My neckseal on my Lomo drysuit needs replacement. The suit is two years old, extended use, I am totaly satisfied with the suit by the way. Somehow the neckseal seems to have widened, become to large so to say. A bit strange I think...I thought that latex did not have the ability to do this. I noticed this this week during some rolling practice.

Tried to search this forum...found no discussion just some recommendations on companies in the almanac.

The question is...is this something I can replace on my own after bying replace kit and glue etc? Found some photos here

http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/139866810INJYFc

...the neckseal replacement look rather complicated...anyone got some experience from replacement on your own?

Thanks

Jonas

Nick P
Posts: 237
Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 8:40 am
Location: Looe, Cornwall

Post by Nick P » Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:14 pm

Jonas,
I've no experience of the Lomo suit, but I have replaced dozens of neck (& cuff) seals on dive suits and on RNLI issue drysuits. It is not an easy job, but nor is it difficult if you are well prepared and confident at tackling new skills.
Usually the most laborious task is removing the old seal and glue (use bostik thinners (531?) and an old teaspoon or coin to scrape the old adhesive off. Note - some dive shops avoid this stage by cutting the old seal at the suit/seal join and glueing the new one directly on top of the remnant of the old one. This is a quick but not necessarily good way of doing it, at some point you will need to remove the old stuff.
The main problem in attaching the new seal is to ensure it is glued evenly in spatial terms around the 'neck hole' it is easy to end up with spare material in either the seal or the suit, due to over or under stretching of the seal (depends on suit shape too).
I've not seen the method shown in your link, but the principles are the same. RNLI method recommends marking suit and seal in 'eighths' i.e. every 45 degrees around the circle, so that both parts can be lined up.
I'm now realising this is more difficult to describe than to demonstrate !!
Some folk find it helps to use a 'former' inserted through the neck hole of the suit - traffic cone, basket ball, fender - whatever is the right shape/size for your suit design.
Be sure to use one of the 2-part glues rather than a single part tube type glue - they don't last. The 2-part adhesives are contact adhesives and reach maximum strength when put under pressure using a small hand roller (wallpaper roller?) once the join has been made.
You're right tho', latex seals don't last long and degrade due to UV, natural oils in the skin and worst of all - fuel oils. I used to replace latex seals on my diving and RNLI drysuits every 18 months before finally changing to neoprene seals (more restrictive, but warmer for diving).
Guess it depends how long you spend in the sun and how much you sweat!
Hope this helps
Nick

User avatar
Jonas Karlsson
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 10:41 pm
Location: Varberg, Sweden

Post by Jonas Karlsson » Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:24 am

Nick,
many thanks for your reply and effort in trying to describe. I think I will have a go and try to replace the neckseal on my own. Totaly agree with you that it is fun and important to learn new skills :)

Found this on Mcnett web by the way...this way looks a little more easy but I will take your advice on 2-part glue.

http://mcnett.baron-co.com/page.cfm?pageID=3562

...if I end up in totaly mess...I can always hand it over to a professional then...

Again...many thanks!

Jonas

User avatar
Cornholio
Posts: 579
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:36 pm
Location: Kincraig- "This Is NOT The Sea!"

Post by Cornholio » Mon Aug 11, 2008 4:13 pm

I finally bit the bullet and did the wrist seals on my Typhoon suit. The seals had seemed to disintegrate very rapidly and I'm sure UV was the main culprit, as it's not often oily sun cream is needed here in the frozen wastelands of Scotland!! I used a litre stainless steel flask as the form with some light card gaffer taped to make it just a little larger.
Jonas- can you post how you get on with the neck as mine needs done probably sooner rather than later? I have the seal and glue so want to do it(well- it's a waste of cash if I don't!), I think it's possible with some very careful planning, and I don't want to glue it internally, rather do it from the outside but think I would need to carefully trim down the new seal so I don't go on the fabric and leave it looking well rough- i.e. trim the old one off with an inch or so left and try and get it as accurate as possible to cover the entire old seal(this is probably sounding confusing now....!)
I too looked at Aquaseal, the Kokotat site recommends it, and it's not as tricky as Bostik 2402, meaning you can move it around and let it set rather than having one (potentially disastrous) bash at it with 2 part adhesive?! But I'm sure Nick knows his stuff and it(Aquaseal) sounds crap!
Bostik stinks but it does the job...here's a photo mid surgery waiting for the glue to dry....

Image

Afterwards with 7 days to cure(one inside out shot) I didn't have a roller but went around the seals pressuring as much as I could with fingers...

Image
"God tells me he can get me out of this mess, but he's pretty sure you're f****d..."

User avatar
Jonas Karlsson
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 10:41 pm
Location: Varberg, Sweden

Post by Jonas Karlsson » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:20 am

Cornholio

Many thanks for reply! Nice pictures, it looks like a great job!

I can definitaly post how I get on and include pictures of the work, I promise to do this. But it will probably take some more weeks before I get going. I live in Sweden and I plan to order seals, glue and so on from Lomo - www.ewetsuits.com this will maybe take a week and a half with shipping.

Then...maybe another week for "mental preparation" ;)

By the way thanks for mentioning Kokatat website, I looked around yesterday and found the site with instructions...quite good I think.

Jonas

User avatar
Cornholio
Posts: 579
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:36 pm
Location: Kincraig- "This Is NOT The Sea!"

Post by Cornholio » Tue Aug 12, 2008 4:55 pm

Yes- the Kokotat instructions are pretty thorough!! I've got some plastic sheeting at work which somehow cuts well, I'm planning to make a circular template for the inside area of the drysuit then transfer it on to the new seal to see how much of the new seal I may need to trim off.
It will be worth taking the time to do it properly with lasting templates- if all goes well this attempt, then I should be able to do it another couple of times then finally it may have to go in for the professionals to do(ie removing all the old seal that has built up)
Lomo give you advice if you email them, very friendly and good service!
This link may be useful if you haven't already seen it.....
http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/foru ... ght=bostik
"God tells me he can get me out of this mess, but he's pretty sure you're f****d..."

User avatar
tizereyes
Posts: 657
Joined: Thu May 19, 2005 9:51 pm
Location: Devonshire

Re: Drysuit neckseal replacement.

Post by tizereyes » Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:34 am

Jonas Karlsson wrote:Tried to search this forum...found no discussion just some recommendations on companies in the almanac.
Jonas
Dont' forget to search on 'Inland' too - there have been lots of discussions there too.

Personally, I've replaced wrists but left the neck to the professionals! Looked a bit tricky.

User avatar
Cornholio
Posts: 579
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:36 pm
Location: Kincraig- "This Is NOT The Sea!"

Post by Cornholio » Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:28 pm

Well, on Sunday I changed the neck seal, finally, and it looks like it's more successful than I could have hoped for!
Firstly I would suggest ignoring the ring/disc sizes on Kokotats site, no use at all!
I got a cardboard box, cut a hole with a diameter of 7 1/2" and placed the suit over it and the old seal into it (this was a rough guess, cut out with a bread knife...).

Image

This enabled me to plop the old seal through the hole and establish the true diameter of the neck at the fabric edge which was 9 1/8". I decided that I wanted an overlap of 3/4" around the circumference so got some plastic and cut a ring with an internal diameter 7 5/8" and outer 9 1/8" using a jigsaw and sanding it accurately on a bench sander.
This is effectively the area to be glued...

Image

Image

After placing the neck seal on a flat bit of hardboard I could carefully use the inner diameter to trace a line to cut off the old damaged seal.

Image

Next I used the plastic ring to trace the outer diameter size on to the new seal, as the excess would need to be trimmed, to fit within the fabric area.

Image

Using the box, I placed the ring around the hole and put the newly trimmed seal into that. Then it was a case of taping down both the seal to the ring and the drysuit to the board(taped only under the old seal, not the fabric). For this I used double sided B&Q carpet tape (which luckily adhered far better to both the hardboard and plastic than it did the latex as I found when removing it all!).

Image

Image

Then the glue- This was worth taking time so that when the 2 surfaces were joined there were no missed bits- I glued right up to all edges.
It looks a bit crinkly but this had no effect overall once pressed together. The main problem I had with the Bostik 2402 (shelf life EXP Aug 2008!) was that I had used it for the wrist seals a few weeks back, and even after ensuring the hardener bottle was sealed tightly I found it slightly gelatinous like it was going off! Luckily it was liquid enough to mix in the main tin, which was getting chucked after anyway.

Image

After carefully lowering and pressing by hand to remove any air bubbles from the inside(after the suit was detatched from the board), I gave it 24hrs compression...

Image

The finished product!

Image

Image

Very pleased, but considering a tin of Bostik, a neck seal and postage is £25 from Lomo, and that for £34 (plus £8.25 Special Delivery if you can keep the parcel under 2kg!!) Rubberman could do it far easier I reckon!
The tins only have a shelf life of a year too, so it's not cost effective to keep one as part of an "emergency" kit as it may be no use when you need it....
"God tells me he can get me out of this mess, but he's pretty sure you're f****d..."

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

Post by MikeB » Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:01 pm

Rubberman could do it far easier I reckon!
Yes, but a superb write up - even if not too many of us will have access to a bench grinder let alone all those weights!

Nice one. Mike

User avatar
Cornholio
Posts: 579
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:36 pm
Location: Kincraig- "This Is NOT The Sea!"

Post by Cornholio » Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:26 pm

Cheers Mike! Knew those dusty weights and bench in the house would have a use some day! Luckily our apprentice at work is an industrious chap, he has accumulated a mountain of woodworking tools and is now on his 5th electric guitar, hence the sander!!!
"God tells me he can get me out of this mess, but he's pretty sure you're f****d..."

User avatar
Jonas Karlsson
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 10:41 pm
Location: Varberg, Sweden

Post by Jonas Karlsson » Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:00 pm

Wow! Cornholio...your the man! Looks like great work...and splendid pictures...and that is what I call compression ;)

I had to work hard this week...at work...yes at work...so I am up to order my things from Lomo this week.

Again thanks for those pictures Cornholio, that will absolutely help me a lot. I post my pictures here when I done with my seal replacement

Take care

Jonas

User avatar
Helen M
Posts: 1717
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 6:40 am
Location: Dumfries, SW Scotland

Post by Helen M » Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:37 pm

Very, very impressed Cornholio. Bit sad photographing it all - but - hey - think that must apply to all of us! I too photograph EVERYTHING!

Mike B - I so can't believe you don't already have the bench and weights! An essential piece of kit in the grand scheme of life!

H - x

ps - Loads of good advice Jonas - ummm - very good luck.

User avatar
waltfos
Posts: 297
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 3:54 pm
Location: Largs

neck seal

Post by waltfos » Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:46 am

Helen M wrote:Very, very impressed Cornholio. Bit sad photographing it all - but - hey - think that must apply to all of us! I too photograph EVERYTHING!
Im impressed too Cornholio, true almanac stuff.
Hey was that the Tesco waterproof camera and did you take them from the bath good quality pics lol

User avatar
Cornholio
Posts: 579
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:36 pm
Location: Kincraig- "This Is NOT The Sea!"

Post by Cornholio » Thu Aug 21, 2008 5:22 pm

Sad possibly Helen- but it was for ideas for Jonas, descriptions are long winded alone!
The bargain waterproof Tesco camera(or at least my one...) isn't that waterproof. A few of us went out on the Tay at Stanley for some WW and the next day it wouldn't work, so I opened the USB cover and detected some moisture. In the battery compartment the water was quite evident....
I dried the camera out by gently shaking excess water out then used the silica gel sachets you get in shoe boxes to do it thoroughly, put in the battery compartment- they were really damp when I took them out so must work quite effectively. It is still working perfectly(thank god it wasn't salt water...)
The battery is ruined- won't hold much charge(£50 from Jessops for a new one?!!! Got one from Germany on Ebay with more capacity than the standard- 1000ma/h compared to 730ma/h for £10 inc P+P)
Not sure if I haven't closed the compartments properly, or the frequent rolling practice has forced water in- it was in the BA pocket so not in direct line for water pressure...
This is getting long winded, do you want some photos?!!
"God tells me he can get me out of this mess, but he's pretty sure you're f****d..."

Post Reply