DIY Latex Wrist Seals Stitched And Taped Technique

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Once you have identified the type of joining technique, please follow the sequenced instructions below.  It is worth mentioning that occasionally you will find a “non-standard” wrist seal joining technique – this might be as a result of a special request, or in response to some sort of earlier damage to the sleeve, or perhaps the existing seal has been fitted by a non-DAMX service agent.

Please also read the set of written instructions supplied with each set of seals as this provides additional information and guidance.

Download DIY Wrist Seals pdf

Image A: DAMX breathable dry suit fitted with wrist over-cuff. The technique is exactly the same for non-breathable dry suits.
Image B: Showing the over-cuff pulled back.
Image C: Showing a close-up of the line of black stitching 4mm from the edge of the latex - note: there is no seam tape visible on the outside.
Image D: Showing the inside of the sleeve. There is a lot of seamtape here. Not all of it needs to be removed!
Image E: Showing how to use a hot air gun to melt the hotmelt adhesive under the seamtape. Use a pair of pliers or the tip of a knife to lift the start of the seamtape. Especially with breathable fabrics it is extremely important not to use too much heat - the fabric will burn very easily. It is important however, to use enough heat to allow the seamtape to peal off EASILY and not leave any bits of white seamtape membrane behind.
Image F: Showing the wrist seal joint once all of the seamtape has been removed. DO NOT REMOVE THE RING OF SEAMTAPE FURTHER UP THE SLEEVE!!! If this seamtape does start to lift up - just re-heat it and press it back down.
Image G: Use a pair of scissors to cut off part of the old latex seal. Note: you should leave in place all of the latex seal which is seamtaped AND which has a coating of hotmelt adhesive - this is the "shiny" bit in the photograph.
Image H: Prepare a bundle of newspapers to almost fill the opening in the sleeve. If over-cuffs are fitted - you will need to have a slightly tapered shape so that it fits inside the neoprene wristband part of the over-cuff.
Image I: Insert the wad of newspaper into the sleeve end. IMPORTANT: you must use a plastic freezer bag over the newspapers otherwise the newspaper will stick to the hotmelt adhesive when you heat it up later. ALSO: note that the latex seal has been supplied with the glue-coated side on the outside of the latex. It doesn't actually matter which way out a latex seal is fitted - just make sure that the glue coated surface on the new seal mates up with the glue-coated surface on the sleeve.
Image J: Here the new wrist seal has been located on the sleeve. The glue coated surface is innermost and the edge of the latex is aligned 1mm from the edge of the glue coated ( shiny ) part of the sleeve. It is useful to mark the latex with pen marks every 3cm or so - especially if you are using a hot iron to heat weld the joint.
Image K: You can use a hot air gun or a hot iron to create the welded joint. Here a hot iron is being used to melt the hotmelt adhesive. Set the iron to somewhere around the "wool" temperature or a little lower. Press quite hard to establish a good heat transfer and if the temperature is correct the glue should melt after 15 seconds or so. If the temperature is too hot, the latex will go shiny and start to melt, smoke and break-down - so go gently - try a short, few seconds of contact initially and then proceed, or adjust the temperature accordingly. Use a gloved hand or a roller to press the melted glue layers together and then let that section cool and harden before progressing to the next section. THE MOST COMMON PROBLEM IS NOT USING SUFFICIENT HEAT - THE GLUE DOESN'T MELT FULLY AND YOU GET AN INCOMPLETE BOND.
Image L: You can use a hot air gun instead of a hot iron to heat the hotmelt adhesive. BE VERY CAREFUL not to burn the breathable fabric. Non breathable fabric is much harder to damage. You can heat up all of the latex seal joint at once - work around the seal - rolling the sleeve as you go. Lightly heat up the whole joint first and then use a gloved hand to press the inner glue coated surfaces together to create a lightly "tacked" joint. Then use a lot more heat on one or two marked areas at a time and use a gloved hand or roller to FIRMLY press the hotmelt glue coated surfaces together to create a welded join. You can quite easily see if you are using too much heat as the latex will start to smoke - this is not a disaster as long as you quickly back off the heat by increasing the nozzle distance or decreasing the temperature a bit. THE MOST COMMON PROBLEM IS USING TOO LITTLE HEAT - THE GLUE DOESNT FULLY MELT AND YOU GET AN INCOMPLETE BOND.
Image M: Using a roller to press the melted glue surfaces together to create a welded joint. Once cool, the wad of newspapers can be removed and the suit is immediately ready for use.
Image N: Using a gloved hand to press the melted hotmelt glue coated surfaces together to create the welded joint. Once cool, the wad of newspapers can be removed and the suit is immediately ready for use.