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View Full Version : Making a custom BC for ST Forum member "Dagrath".



ScottZeagle
08-05-2008, 15:37
"Dagrath" and his buddies ordered a few custom Brigades, so I figured I would snap a few photos and run through the BC making process for you guys...

The order was originally for an all green BC, but after I discussed the green options we had available with him, the guys decided to go for a bright neon yellow, so that they would really stand out.

The only suggestion I made was to keep the waist panels black, so that the BC would have some contrast.

The BCs hit the factory floor this morning, and I took some photos so you could all follow the flow.

First, the material is layed out and the patterns are marked:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3119/2736611660_1314050cab.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3003/2736611704_e056ae6fe0.jpg

ScottZeagle
08-05-2008, 15:39
Next, all the BC pieces are put into a Zeagle box and make their way through the various sewing stations. The box that the pieces start out in will be the same box that the finished product is shipped to the store in.

Here is the vest section of the BC as it starts its trip through the sewing floor:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3282/2736611782_2b59176e63.jpg

crgjpg
08-05-2008, 15:40
Would it be possible to show the whole process in pictures or a video? Is it possible to get an actualy tour?

Note: OK, I was too quick. More pictures posted after I posted.

ScottZeagle
08-05-2008, 15:41
And at the first sewing station:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3284/2736611920_ca689998ec.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3026/2735777237_52be738bf4.jpg

Jenn
08-05-2008, 15:42
That's pretty cool I had no idea that you can have a custom bc made. I will have to look into that when I am ready for another bc.

ScottZeagle
08-05-2008, 15:43
After all the parts go throught the initial sewing station, they are serged, and when they are done the BC starts to take shape:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3114/2735777357_44beb75b18.jpg

ScottZeagle
08-05-2008, 15:45
The BCs made it through the serger today and here is how they sit now:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3146/2735777429_2b407c6103.jpg

More pictures tomorrow, as Dagraths custom BC makes its way toward completion!!!

pir8
08-05-2008, 15:51
cool!!!

dagrath
08-05-2008, 16:42
Very, very cool! Thanks so much for posting the pictures. :)

We are all super excited to get them, and then go diving!

ScubaJ
08-05-2008, 16:47
Like our very own "How it's Made" show. Very cool Scott. Thx for sharing it with us. We promise to keep all trade secrets safe within the ST family. :smiley2:
Neat to see the process our Brigades went through.

I've always wondered why the industry moved away from the neon colors toward black. Black looks cool on the surface, but is much harder to spot underwater, making rescue operations and keeping track of your buddy harder. Especially in the swamp I dive (Lake Travis TX).

dagrath
08-05-2008, 16:50
I've always wondered why the industry moved away from the neon colors toward black. Black looks cool on the surface, but is much harder to spot underwater, making rescue operations and keeping track of your buddy harder. Especially in the swamp I dive (Lake Travis TX).

Yeah, we wanted something distinctive, bright and fun. We want to be noticed both on land and in the water.

I suppose it will come in handy if we ever get abandoned by our boat and the search planes are out looking for us too. :)

sravin1
08-05-2008, 16:51
very nice. thanks for sharing... waiting for the next set

brandon
08-05-2008, 16:54
Very cool, thanks for the pics Scott!

Nice looking BC Dagrath!

-B

Zenagirl
08-05-2008, 17:54
Scott, you're just the best! We consumers usually NEVER get to see the inside workings of a factory like this....thank you, thank you!!

Keep posting pictures please, I want to see how it all comes together. :D

Trey9123
08-05-2008, 18:47
Cool, I would love to see the finished product.

greenmoray
08-05-2008, 18:50
Awesome! Thanks for sharing the great pics, Scott.

Now you made me drooling for getting a new customized Zeagle BC.

mchain
08-05-2008, 19:21
Like our very own "How it's Made" show.

I love that show.
Thanks for posting the images and going through the proccess, very interesting.

rktman26
08-05-2008, 19:26
The bright neon yellow is a great color to post the pics of here. The contrast shows detail very well.

Ryanh1801
08-05-2008, 21:46
very very cool, thanks for posting.

Splitlip
08-05-2008, 22:18
Yeah, that yellow contrasts very nicely with the black.

Oh, wait. Wasn't there just something on cable last week about yellow and contrasting colors. My brain must be fried. Can't remember. Oh, well. Hey, congrats to the guys and my best wishes.

FailedExistence
08-05-2008, 22:19
Very cool pictures - thanks for sharing the pictures of the process.

ScubaJ
08-05-2008, 23:13
I've always wondered why the industry moved away from the neon colors toward black. Black looks cool on the surface, but is much harder to spot underwater, making rescue operations and keeping track of your buddy harder. Especially in the swamp I dive (Lake Travis TX).

Yeah, we wanted something distinctive, bright and fun. We want to be noticed both on land and in the water.

I suppose it will come in handy if we ever get abandoned by our boat and the search planes are out looking for us too. :)

Ya, y'all will certainly be noticed in those BC's! A whole gaggle of people in neon yellow BC's will be a sight to behold. :smiley20:

unclepooty
08-06-2008, 08:25
Yeah, that yellow contrasts very nicely with the black.

Oh, wait. Wasn't there just something on cable last week about yellow and contrasting colors. My brain must be fried. Can't remember. Oh, well. Hey, congrats to the guys and my best wishes.

:smiley36: yum! yum!

Vercingetorix
08-06-2008, 08:47
Yum-yum yellow.:smiley36:
At least the sharks won't be bothering the other divers in your party.

BoomerNJ
08-06-2008, 09:19
Yum-yum yellow.:smiley36:
At least the sharks won't be bothering the other divers in your party.

:smilie39:

I was waiting for someone to say it... lol! Cool pics Scott, thanks!!!

harb99
08-06-2008, 09:37
very cool - thanks for posting Scott - I look forward to seeing how the rest of it goes together

ScottZeagle
08-06-2008, 13:00
Well....

I had a meeting in Tampa this morning, so I asked our graphics person to take pictures of the process. She disn't exactly capture the people actually working on the BC, just some of the steps, (I probably didn't explain myself well enough) but here you go:

Here is the BC with the back webbing added, and then again after the binding is sewn on:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3213/2738275077_aee44cfa5b.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3015/2738275109_3fd524487d.jpg

ScottZeagle
08-06-2008, 13:03
Next, the large grommets are added - just in case you would ever want to dive double tanks:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3129/2738275159_1245ede102.jpg

Then the smaller grommets are added, which are used for attaching the waist panels, saddle strap (if used), etc.:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3208/2739114670_62699c19b7_o.jpg

ScottZeagle
08-06-2008, 13:05
The waist strap is sewn on next, and you can see the vest section really start to take shape:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3260/2739114768_2ba5e30973.jpg

ScottZeagle
08-06-2008, 13:08
The weight pocket, utility pocket, Brigade roll-up pocket, and rear saddle strap tab added:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3070/2738274563_9d92209d3e.jpg

ScottZeagle
08-06-2008, 13:11
The completed shoulder assembly:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3245/2739114722_b843c1430f.jpg

The vest section with the ripcord being added. Notice the swedge on the right side, which is actually inside the channel once the ripcord is complete...this stops the ripcord from coming completely out of the BC when you pull it.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3189/2739114044_41bc35068d.jpg

ScottZeagle
08-06-2008, 13:13
The vest, complete with ricord installed:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3039/2738274719_834615ccf8.jpg

ScottZeagle
08-06-2008, 13:17
The final product...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3288/2738274873_b92bf921c7.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2276/2739114340_5afc00d15c.jpg

Total time, from laying out the fabric to completion, just over 3 hours.

dagrath
08-06-2008, 13:45
Yum-yum yellow.:smiley36:
At least the sharks won't be bothering the other divers in your party.

Yeah, I was aware before I chose yellow. I am not worried at all, even though I dive in Monterey. :smiley36:

I think my odds of getting seriously injured driving to the dive location are higher than my odds of getting bit by a shark, or even ever seeing a shark. I am sure my dive buddies (the ones that didn't get yum yum yellow BCs) will be glad of the shark bait though. :smilie39:

dagrath
08-06-2008, 13:48
The final product...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3288/2738274873_b92bf921c7.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2276/2739114340_5afc00d15c.jpg

Total time, from laying out the fabric to completion, just over 3 hours.

Wow. That looks awesome! Thanks so much for taking pictures of the process. I was shocked when I got to the completion photo, you guys are efficient. :)

Vercingetorix
08-06-2008, 13:48
Scott and Dagrath,

That Brigade looks SHARP. I gotta start thinking of colors for mine. I'm going to Florida in December. Maybe I'll order one and stop by the factory to watch it being made (only 3 hours). Get it, and go diving there on the Florida coast (I've already got a dive planned for Epcot, but I can't use the Brigade there).

harb99
08-06-2008, 14:17
very nice looking BC :smiley20:

sravin1
08-06-2008, 15:10
thanks for the pics, that looks awesome...never had an inside look before on how a bc is made.

btw, is zeagle the only company that offers custom colours?

ScubaJ
08-06-2008, 16:28
The contrasting yellow and black Really looks good.
Great decision!
Congrats on the new rigs.

Zenagirl
08-06-2008, 16:32
VERY sharp looking, and so much fun to watch the process of how it was made.

Now we just need to see pictures of the divers all geared up in their new yellow Brigades out diving...above and below the water. That will complete the story. :)

One of the fun things about having a Zena is that if I wanted I could buy front panels in different colors and swap them out if I wanted.

BoomerNJ
08-06-2008, 16:48
That really did come out great looking! I love the color too, very cool! Honestly, I really didn't expect to like the final product, being yum-yum yellow & all, but it looks awesome! I think I might have to save my pennies & come up with a custom color Brigade of my own!

dagrath
08-06-2008, 16:53
VERY sharp looking, and so much fun to watch the process of how it was made.

Now we just need to see pictures of the divers all geared up in their new yellow Brigades out diving...above and below the water. That will complete the story. :)


We will definitely get pictures. At the very least, we will suit up in them as soon as they arrive and snap shots. My next dive trip is planned in 4 weeks, and at least one of the other two guys should be there. So we will get some pictures then too. :)

Rileybri
08-06-2008, 16:53
Scott and Dagrath,

That Brigade looks SHARP. I gotta start thinking of colors for mine. I'm going to Florida in December. Maybe I'll order one and stop by the factory to watch it being made (only 3 hours). Get it, and go diving there on the Florida coast (I've already got a dive planned for Epcot, but I can't use the Brigade there).


What is this? I thought you were a BP/w man?? What (other than the fact that they look so sweet, are hand made by someone who actually gives a dam about his product and is probably the gold standard for every other back inflate BCD on the market {regardless of what the other manufacturers and retailers think}) would you want to get on of those for??

actually I am seriously considering a Boston Red Sox custom my self (for traveling of course!)

rktman26
08-06-2008, 17:31
The completed shoulder assembly:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3245/2739114722_b843c1430f.jpg

The vest section with the ripcord being added. Notice the swedge on the right side, which is actually inside the channel once the ripcord is complete...this stops the ripcord from coming completely out of the BC when you pull it.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3189/2739114044_41bc35068d.jpg

What is this swedge thing? When I tried mine out yesterday, the ripcord came all the way out. I don't see how the weights could drop if the ripcord is retained.

By the wya, those yellow ones look awesome.
Thanks,

roofless
08-06-2008, 20:23
Thanks suckaz! Now I know how to make my own! muahahahaha!

/I kid

Very interesting process. Thanks for posting. Great free advertising too!

drako
08-06-2008, 20:37
WOW
Im a believer on the custom colors....I was thinking just regular black...but wow

harb99
08-06-2008, 22:47
WOW
Im a believer on the custom colors....I was thinking just regular black...but wow

me too - too bad I already purchased an all black one earlier this year - one with custom colors would have been very cool - guess i will have to wait until i either outgrow this one or it falls apart (which may be awhile)


as said earlier - thanks for the pics and the BC looks great

ScottZeagle
08-07-2008, 08:47
What is this swedge thing? When I tried mine out yesterday, the ripcord came all the way out. I don't see how the weights could drop if the ripcord is retained.

By the wya, those yellow ones look awesome.
Thanks,


The swedge allows the ripcord to come out just far enough to drop weight from both sides.

If your ripcord came all the way out of the BC, you should send it back and let us check it out...

If someone tries hard to pull it all the way out, it can be done...but it doesn't require THAT much pull!!!

harb99
08-07-2008, 09:29
The swedge allows the ripcord to come out just far enough to drop weight from both sides.

If your ripcord came all the way out of the BC, you should send it back and let us check it out...

If someone tries hard to pull it all the way out, it can be done...but it doesn't require THAT much pull!!!

The ripcord on my wife's Zena will come all the way out - is this something that we should have looked at?

Vercingetorix
08-07-2008, 09:33
What is this? I thought you were a BP/w man?? I loves me some BP/W. However, if/when I decide to go the TA/DM route, ScubaToys instructors will NOT permit BP/Ws; it's not a ST rule, but that of the individual instructor.

OH-JJ
08-07-2008, 10:13
What is this? I thought you were a BP/w man?? I loves me some BP/W. However, if/when I decide to go the TA/DM route, ScubaToys instructors will NOT permit BP/Ws; it's not a ST rule, but that of the individual instructor.


Sounds like you need a new instructor.

When I was doing the DM'ing the instructor wore an trans-pac and I wore my BP/W, we both had long hoses too.

diverdan_51
08-07-2008, 11:08
Great pictures!!! Thanks Scott and Dagrath for sharing.

rktman26
08-07-2008, 11:11
What is this swedge thing? When I tried mine out yesterday, the ripcord came all the way out. I don't see how the weights could drop if the ripcord is retained.

By the wya, those yellow ones look awesome.
Thanks,


The swedge allows the ripcord to come out just far enough to drop weight from both sides.

If your ripcord came all the way out of the BC, you should send it back and let us check it out...

If someone tries hard to pull it all the way out, it can be done...but it doesn't require THAT much pull!!!


I pulled mine all the way out, and it didn't seem like there was too much resistance. In other words, I'm pretty sure, almost positive, that I didn't pull the swedge off when I pulled the ripcord.

As far as sending it back, unless it's something I should REALLY be concerned with or it will void the warranty, I'd rather not send it back. I'm not worried about it, as from what I can see, the worst thing that could happen if I have to dump weight in an emergency is that I might lose the ripcord because it came all the way out. If there isn't more to it than that, I'll live with it.

And I will not speak badly about Zeagle sending me a defective product. As far as I can tell, this BC is extremely well made. The stiching and webbing are familiar, as they closely resemble alot of the web gear we wear in the military-heavy duty.

brains
08-07-2008, 12:12
Hey Scott,

What is the approximate up-charge for custom color similar to this one? Not asking for an exact price but rather an estimated add on or %?

andyrent
08-07-2008, 12:41
This post was really cool. I enjoyed seeing how the BCD was made.

Thanks again.

obrules15
08-07-2008, 12:45
What is this? I thought you were a BP/w man?? I loves me some BP/W. However, if/when I decide to go the TA/DM route, ScubaToys instructors will NOT permit BP/Ws; it's not a ST rule, but that of the individual instructor.


Sounds like you need a new instructor.

When I was doing the DM'ing the instructor wore an trans-pac and I wore my BP/W, we both had long hoses too.

My divemaster instructor wore just a backplate, but when he was teaching new divers he always wore a BC. It doesn't have to do with the DM candidate it has to do with demonstrating to new divers. They are using you as a mirror and since most divers start out with a rented BC you should have the same equipment as they do. Most DI I know will also only use a snorkel when teaching as well for that same reason.

Black-Gorrilla
08-07-2008, 14:39
that think is great looking!!!

how do those super bright colors hold out over time?

Shortyman801
08-08-2008, 23:40
It's surprising that 3 hours and some straps can cost up to 400$. My guess is that your mostly buying the idea here. I wonder how much it costs to make one...

I guess that's what you pay for getting a hand sewn made in America top quality BCD.

Well worth it from the looks of the final product, and the fact that your support an American business.

brandon
08-09-2008, 01:07
Yeah, and keep in mind that this is still one of the most affordable BCs on the market. There's numerous other BCs that aren't as well made, are much more expensive, and aren't made in the USA.

Look at the other $400 BCs out there and compare the quality / features!

-B

rktman26
08-09-2008, 16:42
I wish my first BC was only $400 and built as well as the Brigade. If that were the case, I wouldn't be buying another the Brigade.

rktman26
08-11-2008, 21:17
I dove with the Brigade today. Absolutely awesome.

The shore dive we do here is at Radio Island. From the parking lot, Google Maps measures the walk at .51 miles. I made the hike down the beach with all the gear assembled, wetsuit on, and 14 lbs in the weight pockets and an aluminum 80. The hike is much better with the Brgade than with my previous BC, as the shoulder straps are more like backpack shoulder straps.

When we got to the entry point, we entered the water to check my weight in about 4 feet. Weight was perfect. Trim was perfect.

Had a great dive and ended up using less air than my DB. He's usually a little better on air than I am, but I used 300 psi less than he did. I think it was because my trim was alot better than with my previous BC, and I was more comfortable.

I didn't mean to hijack this thread, but figured this was a good a place as any to post this.

Scott, I believe you've got a customer for life.

cbope
08-19-2008, 14:03
The final product...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3288/2738274873_b92bf921c7.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2276/2739114340_5afc00d15c.jpg

Total time, from laying out the fabric to completion, just over 3 hours.

Great pics, thanks Scott. They made me notice something that I first saw on my all-black Brigade just after I got it, but it's much more noticeable on the bright yellow color. Check out the 3 reinforcing stitches on each shoulder strap. Those wouldn't happen to be Z's (for Zeagle), would they Scott? Really cool idea!

dagrath
08-19-2008, 18:32
Woop! They arrived. Details over here:
http://forum.scubatoys.com/bcs-buoyancy-compensators-stab-jackets/16447-our-custom-brigades-arrived-last-night.html (http://forum.scubatoys.com/../bcs-buoyancy-compensators-stab-jackets/16447-our-custom-brigades-arrived-last-night.html)

Thanks Scott, you guys are pure awesome.

bottomdweller
08-19-2008, 19:01
I am just curious Scott, What brand of BC do you dive with?

ScubaToys Larry
08-19-2008, 19:27
I am just curious Scott, What brand of BC do you dive with?

Scott is thinking of taking a scuba course. He says it sounds like fun. :smiley36:

ScottZeagle
08-20-2008, 08:48
I am just curious Scott, What brand of BC do you dive with?

Is this a trick question???

Dive?? Like actually gather up gear, fill tanks, and get in the WATER???

People really do that???

If I told you how many dives I have done in the past year you would shake your head in disbelief.

:(

freeski4ever
08-20-2008, 09:46
I am just curious Scott, What brand of BC do you dive with?

Is this a trick question???

Dive?? Like actually gather up gear, fill tanks, and get in the WATER???

People really do that???

If I told you how many dives I have done in the past year you would shake your head in disbelief.

:(

Wow, it sounds like you and Joe and Larry have something in common. Once you get into the sales side of scuba, dives become few and far between. I guess its best to just stick to a normal career that allows you to enjoy diving rather than selling it.

bottomdweller
08-20-2008, 19:41
I think I am sold on the neon Yellow Brigades. They match my twin jet fins. I dive in the lake alot & like for my buddy to be able to see me. Is it going to cost me extra for the custom yellow Brigade?

freeski4ever
08-20-2008, 20:00
It's gonna cost you a little more, but to get specifics, PM Joe with what you want, and he'll get back to you with a quote.

Jipps
08-26-2008, 08:53
It is true, working in the dive industry tends to reduce the number of dives you actually get to do. Ive only gotten to log about 20 or so this year. And since im 35min from the closest dive site...thats terrible.

Joe_Tucker
09-02-2008, 12:55
Am I the only one that can't see the pictures in the beginning of the thread?

dagrath
09-02-2008, 13:35
the pictures still show up for me fine. Do you have flickr blocked?