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West Vest Revamp


TNump

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I am considering doing some modifications to my West Vest Platinum as well as a good cleaning and possibly paint job. 

What is the best product to use to deep clean the pads for both the CP and the shins? Too many seasons of dirt and sweat. 

My my first mod will be to cut the oversized  chest/throat pad off. Any particular reason I shouldn’t? 

Second mod would be possibly repainting the plates grey or black. Any advice on this? Also with color in mind, anyway to revamp the color of the padding since it has faded over time. 

Lastly before anyone suggest it, I have just ordered a new UmpLife harness and it is awesome!

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First, an updated harness makes all the difference in the world. Any of you out there still with the original Wilson harness please do yourself a favor, and upgrade.

I've never seen a reason for keeping that dopey throat pad.

I wash my full pad in my utility sink. Soap it up with Dawn, scrub it with a gentle brush, rinse the hell out of it, squeeze the water out, and hang to dry (indoors). I did that about once a month, when it was my primary rig.

Painting plastic is tricky, and don't know a good method for doing so. I've a crappy painted Platinum in my garage now, looking for Plan B.

 

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2 hours ago, TNump said:

I am considering doing some modifications to my West Vest Platinum as well as a good cleaning and possibly paint job. 

What is the best product to use to deep clean the pads for both the CP and the shins? Too many seasons of dirt and sweat. 

My my first mod will be to cut the oversized  chest/throat pad off. Any particular reason I shouldn’t? 

Second mod would be possibly repainting the plates grey or black. Any advice on this? Also with color in mind, anyway to revamp the color of the padding since it has faded over time. 

Lastly before anyone suggest it, I have just ordered a new UmpLife harness and it is awesome!

Rustoleum has a brand of automotive "paints" for interior and plastic. I have seen the results used on an old vinyl bucket seat and it wasn't bad at all. Particularly the fabric portion turned out very well. As to how long it lasts, I do not know.

Painting plastic, like many things automotive requires many light coats and a consistent motion ...........but these paints come out of a rattle can, so inherently there are shortcomings....

good luck!.....post pics when done!

    

Edited by Stan W.
clarity
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How does one clean an old sofa?

couch-660x400.jpg

or how about this?

89988.png

That looks really appealing to sit on down and take a snoozer on, doesn't it?

I've said it time and again, Wilson's nearly 20-year old West Vest is not doing any of us any favors in terms of using modern materials for improved protection, breathability, and lightweight-ness. In addition, while Douglas will (for a price) take back in your Douglas CP so as to recondition it, Wilson won't even take your phone call on the matter. Prior to Team Wendy having to drop the service, a number of us would have recommended that you send your Platinum CP in to Team Wendy and have them build a new padding jacket using – anybody from Wilson reading this? – technical wicking mesh and their advanced, proprietary foam called Zorbium. Not only would it be (dramatically) more breathable, but it would noticeably reduce the bulk (half the thickness / volume) while offering increased energy absorption. That service, unfortunately, is no longer offered, and there are several of us here on U-E who are endeavoring to address that absence.

The problem isn't the West Vest Platinum (or Gold, for that matter) itself, as a piece of protective equipment. The problem is what Wilson does with it, and how Wilson treats us, as umpires, in regards to it.

With that said, here's what can be done to revitalize your existing Platinum CP:

  • Separate the padding jacket and components from the carapace plates. The body of the padded jacket does unfasten from the carapace with velcro tabs. Even the shoulder pauldrons unfasten from their domed plates with velcro tabs.
  • In a wash tub, or a soaking tub, or a large Tupperware / Rubbermaid tub-container, or even using your bathtub (if it doesn't have a slow leak, and you don't need to shower for several hours), you'll want to place all the foam jacket pieces. The real shameful thing that Wilson did with their CP's is they use brushed nylon for the casings (cheap, cheap, cheap) and sofa-cushion foam for the innards. Every manner of microbe, bacteria, and grime is squatting in there, and we need to evict 'em. So, get a Technical Wash. Nikwax makes one, often sold via retailers like Campmor, REI, Cabela's, Gander Mountain, and (dare I say) Bass Pro Shop. Why? Because most outdoors gear is comprised of nylon. A Technical Wash is going to be devoid of perfumes and detergents that will coat the fibers in the name of "stain protection" that only defeat the material's ability to wick and transfer moisture. I'd rather you use a bacteria-killer, like Odoban, to kill the smell-causing bacteria than to mask it with a perfumed detergent from Tide or Gain, despite it using Febreeze. Make a solution of water and technical wash, agitate it (stir it up), and then immerse the padding components into it. Use inexpensive dinner plates to hold the padding down if need be, and let the components soak in there for a few hours.
  • While the padded components are drowning soaking, take stock of your carapace components. Now's a great time to clean the plastic. If you have corroded or broken rivets, these can be replaced with Chicago Screws (ask for details) rather easily. If you are planning to repaint the carapace, use an alcohol-based solution so as to prepare the plastic to receive paint. Use a fine (200+) grit sandpaper to take the lacquer sheen off, and the plastic will be more receptive to binding to the paint. Oh, and go ahead and erase all that Wilson -applied nonsense about patent numbers and MLB logos and stuff – no one really gives a hoot about it.
  • By all means, remove the stupid superfluous upper-chest / neck billow (yes, I spelled it right) cushion. It serves absolutely no purpose or function other than to deaden the "CLACK!" of the dangling throat guard against the CP when struck. You'll find that the CP's carapace isn't notched or isn't lacking under it. Once you remove it, you'll hold it in your hand and go, "Huh! So this is all it is?" and realize that it's just a silly gimmick.
  • Consider drilling holes in the carapace to reduce weight and aid in ventilation. You won't compromise the protective integrity of the ABS plastic – it can take it! It's far denser than it needs to be anyway. Why? Because the plastics industry has come a long way in 20 years!
  • Once prepared, paint the carapace. One coat may suffice if you allow for adequate drying time (at least a day). Two coats, with a 4-6 hour curing time between them, will likely do the trick. By all means, consider purchasing and using a sealant (clear finishing spray), either in matte or gloss finish, so as to seal in the color and reduce the abrasive transfer of paint to your shirt. Again, allow adequate curing and dry time of at least a day when it's all said and done. If you want to affix decals and stickers, do so before spraying the finishing sealant on, and that way, everything looks intentional and uniform. Expand your imagination... why do black when you could do liquid gunmetal? Perhaps a vinyl wrap of carbon-fiber print appeals to you? Or, maybe take a walk on the wild side and do it in digital camo, or do a fade-blend of two different paint colors, or paint it in purple (so they don't see the bruises!), or... Oo! Oo!... paint it in royal blue or cobalt so it looks like a Carlucci! Live a little! Who cares what color it is? No one does! If they did, the Platinum would have been black from the start!
  • After a few hours (2-3) of soaking, take the padded components out of their bath and, using a kitchen or utility brush, scrub out the loosened grime from the nylon. Squeeze and rinse, repetitively, a few times, and then hang the components out to dry for several hours. After a few hours, squeeze them some more to push water out, and rehang them. Painting these pads is exceptionally problematic, because painting is applying a coating to the fibers, something you really don't want to do, because that defeats the material's function of wicking moisture and heat away from your skin. Invariably, the paint will come off and transfer onto your under-clothing and skin. The only other option you have, then, is to dye it, wherein the process infuses the color – dye – into the fibers. Most off-the-shelf dye doesn't work too well with synthetics, like nylon, but Rit has recently developed a dye for synthetics called, oddly, Rit II Dye (or Dye-II or Dye-2). The process relies upon heat, and you have to get the water up to near-boiling, stir in the dye, and then soak the items in the solution for 30-45 minutes. I tried this with polyester umpire pants, and while the color came out a beautiful, near-perfect shade of deep charcoal grey, the pants did, irrevocably and irreversibly, shrink. This might happen with the padded components, but it might not to any great detriment. A benefit of getting the water that hot – near boiling – is that it will kill just about every bacteria and microbe hiding out in the padding.
  • A few days later, reassemble your CP and reattach your RayFlex harness.
  • Go volunteer at the nearest baseball game you can find and test it out!
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I've stated this several times on here – tell me you need me to call a game in 10 minutes, and you already have gear for me to use, handing me a Wilson CP, Wilson shin guards and a Wilson steel DynaLite mask in the process, I will gladly do the game without complaint about the gear, and probably hand it back to you saying, "Yup, it did its job just fine."

Direct or mandate that I must purchase those same pieces of gear, which have been in unaltered or un-progressed production for over 15 years, at $150+, $90+, and $65+ each, without them using the latest materials or construction methodology, I will raise a bloody awful ruckus.

When you peek behind the curtain, and realize where your money is going, and what you and your money represents to a company, your purchasing decisions take on much more power and importance. Otherwise, you're just feeding the machine, and nothing will ever improve.

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9 hours ago, MadMax said:

How does one clean an old sofa?

couch-660x400.jpg

or how about this?

89988.png

That looks really appealing to sit on down and take a snoozer on, doesn't it?

I've said it time and again, Wilson's nearly 20-year old West Vest is not doing any of us any favors in terms of using modern materials for improved protection, breathability, and lightweight-ness. In addition, while Douglas will (for a price) take back in your Douglas CP so as to recondition it, Wilson won't even take your phone call on the matter. Prior to Team Wendy having to drop the service, a number of us would have recommended that you send your Platinum CP in to Team Wendy and have them build a new padding jacket using – anybody from Wilson reading this? – technical wicking mesh and their advanced, proprietary foam called Zorbium. Not only would it be (dramatically) more breathable, but it would noticeably reduce the bulk (half the thickness / volume) while offering increased energy absorption. That service, unfortunately, is no longer offered, and there are several of us here on U-E who are endeavoring to address that absence.

The problem isn't the West Vest Platinum (or Gold, for that matter) itself, as a piece of protective equipment. The problem is what Wilson does with it, and how Wilson treats us, as umpires, in regards to it.

With that said, here's what can be done to revitalize your existing Platinum CP:

  • Separate the padding jacket and components from the carapace plates. The body of the padded jacket does unfasten from the carapace with velcro tabs. Even the shoulder pauldrons unfasten from their domed plates with velcro tabs.
  • In a wash tub, or a soaking tub, or a large Tupperware / Rubbermaid tub-container, or even using your bathtub (if it doesn't have a slow leak, and you don't need to shower for several hours), you'll want to place all the foam jacket pieces. The real shameful thing that Wilson did with their CP's is they use brushed nylon for the casings (cheap, cheap, cheap) and sofa-cushion foam for the innards. Every manner of microbe, bacteria, and grime is squatting in there, and we need to evict 'em. So, get a Technical Wash. Nikwax makes one, often sold via retailers like Campmor, REI, Cabela's, Gander Mountain, and (dare I say) Bass Pro Shop. Why? Because most outdoors gear is comprised of nylon. A Technical Wash is going to be devoid of perfumes and detergents that will coat the fibers in the name of "stain protection" that only defeat the material's ability to wick and transfer moisture. I'd rather you use a bacteria-killer, like Odoban, to kill the smell-causing bacteria than to mask it with a perfumed detergent from Tide or Gain, despite it using Febreeze. Make a solution of water and technical wash, agitate it (stir it up), and then immerse the padding components into it. Use inexpensive dinner plates to hold the padding down if need be, and let the components soak in there for a few hours.
  • While the padded components are drowning soaking, take stock of your carapace components. Now's a great time to clean the plastic. If you have corroded or broken rivets, these can be replaced with Chicago Screws (ask for details) rather easily. If you are planning to repaint the carapace, use an alcohol-based solution so as to prepare the plastic to receive paint. Use a fine (200+) grit sandpaper to take the lacquer sheen off, and the plastic will be more receptive to binding to the paint. Oh, and go ahead and erase all that Wilson -applied nonsense about patent numbers and MLB logos and stuff – no one really gives a hoot about it.
  • By all means, remove the stupid superfluous upper-chest / neck billow (yes, I spelled it right) cushion. It serves absolutely no purpose or function other than to deaden the "CLACK!" of the dangling throat guard against the CP when struck. You'll find that the CP's carapace isn't notched or isn't lacking under it. Once you remove it, you'll hold it in your hand and go, "Huh! So this is all it is?" and realize that it's just a silly gimmick.
  • Consider drilling holes in the carapace to reduce weight and aid in ventilation. You won't compromise the protective integrity of the ABS plastic – it can take it! It's far denser than it needs to be anyway. Why? Because the plastics industry has come a long way in 20 years!
  • Once prepared, paint the carapace. One coat may suffice if you allow for adequate drying time (at least a day). Two coats, with a 4-6 hour curing time between them, will likely do the trick. By all means, consider purchasing and using a sealant (clear finishing spray), either in matte or gloss finish, so as to seal in the color and reduce the abrasive transfer of paint to your shirt. Again, allow adequate curing and dry time of at least a day when it's all said and done. If you want to affix decals and stickers, do so before spraying the finishing sealant on, and that way, everything looks intentional and uniform. Expand your imagination... why do black when you could do liquid gunmetal? Perhaps a vinyl wrap of carbon-fiber print appeals to you? Or, maybe take a walk on the wild side and do it in digital camo, or do a fade-blend of two different paint colors, or paint it in purple (so they don't see the bruises!), or... Oo! Oo!... paint it in royal blue or cobalt so it looks like a Carlucci! Live a little! Who cares what color it is? No one does! If they did, the Platinum would have been black from the start!
  • After a few hours (2-3) of soaking, take the padded components out of their bath and, using a kitchen or utility brush, scrub out the loosened grime from the nylon. Squeeze and rinse, repetitively, a few times, and then hang the components out to dry for several hours. After a few hours, squeeze them some more to push water out, and rehang them. Painting these pads is exceptionally problematic, because painting is applying a coating to the fibers, something you really don't want to do, because that defeats the material's function of wicking moisture and heat away from your skin. Invariably, the paint will come off and transfer onto your under-clothing and skin. The only other option you have, then, is to dye it, wherein the process infuses the color – dye – into the fibers. Most off-the-shelf dye doesn't work too well with synthetics, like nylon, but Rit has recently developed a dye for synthetics called, oddly, Rit II Dye (or Dye-II or Dye-2). The process relies upon heat, and you have to get the water up to near-boiling, stir in the dye, and then soak the items in the solution for 30-45 minutes. I tried this with polyester umpire pants, and while the color came out a beautiful, near-perfect shade of deep charcoal grey, the pants did, irrevocably and irreversibly, shrink. This might happen with the padded components, but it might not to any great detriment. A benefit of getting the water that hot – near boiling – is that it will kill just about every bacteria and microbe hiding out in the padding.
  • A few days later, reassemble your CP and reattach your RayFlex harness.
  • Go volunteer at the nearest baseball game you can find and test it out!

Feel like copying and pasting this into a word document and putting into my umpire binder. 

God, this isn’t a response , it’s a freakin’ DIY tutorial. I have read full projects in DIY sites that don’t have the detail of this. 

All I can say @MadMax, to quote a good Canadian Mike Myers, “We’re not worthy; We’re not worthy.”

Thank you, this is full of insightful ideas. 

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On 1/20/2018 at 8:44 PM, BCBrad said:

Feel like copying and pasting this into a word document and putting into my umpire binder. 

God, this isn’t a response , it’s a freakin’ DIY tutorial. I have read full projects in DIY sites that don’t have the detail of this. 

All I can say @MadMax, to quote a good Canadian Mike Myers, “We’re not worthy; We’re not worthy.”

Thank you, this is full of insightful ideas. 

Get used to this. You should also look up other posts by Max.

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On 1/22/2018 at 9:30 PM, BT_Blue said:

Get used to this. You should also look up other posts by Max.

I have been enjoying @MadMax insights for almost two years now. He is the reason I bought a Schutt’s XV Cp last year. I modified it myself last year so I could use a Delta Flex on it. It is in the cobbler’s now getting a better stitch job and leather straps rather than my Charlie Brown fix last year. 

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15 hours ago, BCBrad said:

I have been enjoying @MadMax insights for almost two years now. He is the reason I bought a Schutt’s XV Cp last year. I modified it myself last year so I could use a Delta Flex on it. It is in the cobbler’s now getting a better stitch job and leather straps rather than my Charlie Brown fix last year. 

Ditto here. I even sent mine TO Max to get mine done! Really like it. Especially once it stops raining... in June.

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After taking everything apart, deep cleaning the pads, replacing every rivet with 3/16" or 3/8" Chicago screws (can explain which ones where if needed), removing the awful chin/neck billow and adding my new Umplife Rayflex harness I'm very happy with the process overall. However I am having a hard time finding a paint that I'm happy with. I first used plasti-dip and wasn't happy with the "rough" finish and with the "sticky" finish it seemed to scuff and scar. I then tried a Rustoleum Universal Advanced Formula spray paint and its seems that it will also chip very easily. Does anyone have any other ideas?

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@TNump, you need a finishing spray. We used it often in the design industry to "fix" graphic design work, which, prior to digital printmaking, was a mash of paper cutouts, paint, marker, and film. We'd spray finishing spray atop it to give it a uniform, fairly abrasion-resistant (scuff, for certain) surface.

Krylon makes a version in matte, semi-gloss and gloss, as does Rustoleum.

Oh! And it can't hurt to give it a "heat glazing" prior to and after the finishing spray. Take a heat gun or hairdryer and wave over it smoothly and with even motions. Don't linger in one spot too long, but you'll be driving the moisture out of the paint and "baking" or "glazing" it. Then use the finish spray.

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  • 3 years later...
On 1/20/2018 at 2:08 PM, MadMax said:

How does one clean an old sofa?

http://texashillcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/couch-660x400.jpg

or how about this?

http://www.blog.sofasandsectionals.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/89988.png

That looks really appealing to sit on down and take a snoozer on, doesn't it?

I've said it time and again, Wilson's nearly 20-year old West Vest is not doing any of us any favors in terms of using modern materials for improved protection, breathability, and lightweight-ness. In addition, while Douglas will (for a price) take back in your Douglas CP so as to recondition it, Wilson won't even take your phone call on the matter. Prior to Team Wendy having to drop the service, a number of us would have recommended that you send your Platinum CP in to Team Wendy and have them build a new padding jacket using – anybody from Wilson reading this? – technical wicking mesh and their advanced, proprietary foam called Zorbium. Not only would it be (dramatically) more breathable, but it would noticeably reduce the bulk (half the thickness / volume) while offering increased energy absorption. That service, unfortunately, is no longer offered, and there are several of us here on U-E who are endeavoring to address that absence.

The problem isn't the West Vest Platinum (or Gold, for that matter) itself, as a piece of protective equipment. The problem is what Wilson does with it, and how Wilson treats us, as umpires, in regards to it.

With that said, here's what can be done to revitalize your existing Platinum CP:

  • Separate the padding jacket and components from the carapace plates. The body of the padded jacket does unfasten from the carapace with velcro tabs. Even the shoulder pauldrons unfasten from their domed plates with velcro tabs.
  • In a wash tub, or a soaking tub, or a large Tupperware / Rubbermaid tub-container, or even using your bathtub (if it doesn't have a slow leak, and you don't need to shower for several hours), you'll want to place all the foam jacket pieces. The real shameful thing that Wilson did with their CP's is they use brushed nylon for the casings (cheap, cheap, cheap) and sofa-cushion foam for the innards. Every manner of microbe, bacteria, and grime is squatting in there, and we need to evict 'em. So, get a Technical Wash. Nikwax makes one, often sold via retailers like Campmor, REI, Cabela's, Gander Mountain, and (dare I say) Bass Pro Shop. Why? Because most outdoors gear is comprised of nylon. A Technical Wash is going to be devoid of perfumes and detergents that will coat the fibers in the name of "stain protection" that only defeat the material's ability to wick and transfer moisture. I'd rather you use a bacteria-killer, like Odoban, to kill the smell-causing bacteria than to mask it with a perfumed detergent from Tide or Gain, despite it using Febreeze. Make a solution of water and technical wash, agitate it (stir it up), and then immerse the padding components into it. Use inexpensive dinner plates to hold the padding down if need be, and let the components soak in there for a few hours.
  • While the padded components are drowning soaking, take stock of your carapace components. Now's a great time to clean the plastic. If you have corroded or broken rivets, these can be replaced with Chicago Screws (ask for details) rather easily. If you are planning to repaint the carapace, use an alcohol-based solution so as to prepare the plastic to receive paint. Use a fine (200+) grit sandpaper to take the lacquer sheen off, and the plastic will be more receptive to binding to the paint. Oh, and go ahead and erase all that Wilson -applied nonsense about patent numbers and MLB logos and stuff – no one really gives a hoot about it.
  • By all means, remove the stupid superfluous upper-chest / neck billow (yes, I spelled it right) cushion. It serves absolutely no purpose or function other than to deaden the "CLACK!" of the dangling throat guard against the CP when struck. You'll find that the CP's carapace isn't notched or isn't lacking under it. Once you remove it, you'll hold it in your hand and go, "Huh! So this is all it is?" and realize that it's just a silly gimmick.
  • Consider drilling holes in the carapace to reduce weight and aid in ventilation. You won't compromise the protective integrity of the ABS plastic – it can take it! It's far denser than it needs to be anyway. Why? Because the plastics industry has come a long way in 20 years!
  • Once prepared, paint the carapace. One coat may suffice if you allow for adequate drying time (at least a day). Two coats, with a 4-6 hour curing time between them, will likely do the trick. By all means, consider purchasing and using a sealant (clear finishing spray), either in matte or gloss finish, so as to seal in the color and reduce the abrasive transfer of paint to your shirt. Again, allow adequate curing and dry time of at least a day when it's all said and done. If you want to affix decals and stickers, do so before spraying the finishing sealant on, and that way, everything looks intentional and uniform. Expand your imagination... why do black when you could do liquid gunmetal? Perhaps a vinyl wrap of carbon-fiber print appeals to you? Or, maybe take a walk on the wild side and do it in digital camo, or do a fade-blend of two different paint colors, or paint it in purple (so they don't see the bruises!), or... Oo! Oo!... paint it in royal blue or cobalt so it looks like a Carlucci! Live a little! Who cares what color it is? No one does! If they did, the Platinum would have been black from the start!
  • After a few hours (2-3) of soaking, take the padded components out of their bath and, using a kitchen or utility brush, scrub out the loosened grime from the nylon. Squeeze and rinse, repetitively, a few times, and then hang the components out to dry for several hours. After a few hours, squeeze them some more to push water out, and rehang them. Painting these pads is exceptionally problematic, because painting is applying a coating to the fibers, something you really don't want to do, because that defeats the material's function of wicking moisture and heat away from your skin. Invariably, the paint will come off and transfer onto your under-clothing and skin. The only other option you have, then, is to dye it, wherein the process infuses the color – dye – into the fibers. Most off-the-shelf dye doesn't work too well with synthetics, like nylon, but Rit has recently developed a dye for synthetics called, oddly, Rit II Dye (or Dye-II or Dye-2). The process relies upon heat, and you have to get the water up to near-boiling, stir in the dye, and then soak the items in the solution for 30-45 minutes. I tried this with polyester umpire pants, and while the color came out a beautiful, near-perfect shade of deep charcoal grey, the pants did, irrevocably and irreversibly, shrink. This might happen with the padded components, but it might not to any great detriment. A benefit of getting the water that hot – near boiling – is that it will kill just about every bacteria and microbe hiding out in the padding.
  • A few days later, reassemble your CP and reattach your RayFlex harness.
  • Go volunteer at the nearest baseball game you can find and test it out!

i believe CC would have loved you and probably tried to team up with you. that old guy that went to umpires school, showed me an old equipment brochure and i believe the company was SOS back in his day (not that there were not any others), and CC looked to continually make a much better product than they did. too bad there was not someone that could take over for CC. if it is good enough for TB after all these years that says something about the quality right there. and that is without the plastic. it was not made to say you never felt the shot you took at all, just severely limit the power of that shot.

i believe you mentioned being a former catcher. i have never seen a catcher in garb with protective plates all over the front of it. why don't you just retrofit the best catchers chest protector out there that the MLB catchers use (back to your roots) and add or modify where needed, even if plates are just needed to protect collarbone, shoulders, etc and show the finished product. just don't get in the way of those patent protection lawyers. i would assume,,not always a good idea,, that TB still wears the pair of CC shin guards also. seems like CC was on the right track a long time ago with quality performance gear for PU's.

 

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On 11/13/2021 at 2:41 AM, cjhinga said:

@TNump I know it's been a few years since this thread was posted. Could you possibly share more info about where you got the Chicago screws for the CP and which size you used where? Thanks in advance! 

you're better off searching the equipment forum for "chicago screws" .... you'll find it faster that way for sure ...

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