Blast for the past and looking for some info

Posted by: pennys

Blast for the past and looking for some info - 03/29/11 08:56 PM

Howdy all... I know it's been a loooooong time since I've been here. Life is good, busy, crazy....the repair biz just keeps growing since fewer folks are doing it. Which brings me to my post. I'm looking for links on handling down. With all the stuff I know how to do, that's not an area I've done much with. However, now that Downworks is not doing mail order repairs anymore, I'm venturing into that territory. So far I've not dealt with adding down, but that's about to change. I did some web searching, but I couldn't put together the right search terms.

Anything you can point me to would be gratefully appreciated.

Penny S
(former moderator)
Specialty Outdoors
Posted by: wandering_daisy

Re: Blast for the past and looking for some info - 03/29/11 09:33 PM

Way back in the old days, Frostline kits would send the down in muslin sleeves that fit inside the baffles. You would then put the open end all the way into the baffle, push the closed end (essentially turn it inside-out and carefully pull it out of the baffle. It still was messy but most of the down did end up in the baffle. I bet Frostline wet the down to fill the bags and then sewed them up and put them in a dryer to fluff up the down. Just a guess.

Posted by: Haiwee

Re: Blast for the past and looking for some info - 04/01/11 07:37 AM

Good to see you back here, Penny.

I've done a lot of down projects, and they've always been a bit messy, but here is how I do it:

I empty some down into a paper grocery bag. Then I use a shop vacuum with the tube attachment to vacuum up the down. I tape a circle of no-see-um netting over the hose, then attach the tube and turn it on. Then, holding my hand over the open end, I disconnect the tube, slide it into the baffle I'm filling, and blow the down into the baffle.

A bit unscientific, I know, but for big projects (like a quilt) I pre-weigh the down on a digital scale so I have a general idea of how much I'm adding to each baffle. And no matter what you are going to lose some down. I work in the garage to contain the mess; some folks here work in a tent, but I don't like the idea of breathing down "snow flakes" in such an enclosed space. Figure from 5% to 10% loss.

One thing I've learned is every down supplier I've used tends to somewhat overstate the fill power of their down -- in my experience an ounce of "800 fill" down will, in practice, expand to fill about 700 to 750 cubic inches of space, so I always buy 20% extra to account for that and for lost down.

Hope this helps and I hope I've explained it in a manner that isn't too confusing.