armnocuff.jpg (41929 bytes)The main problem with having an arm rest cover without a strap is that the arm rest simply drops away from your arm because of the weight of the control box. This puts all of the stress on your hand, not only to control the detector, but to hold the detector up against your arm.
Many detectors, other than the Minelab SD series, have built in straps that hold your arm into the arm cuff to make it easier to control the detector and shift the weight. Even Minelab’s newer entries, like the Golden Hawk are now coming with the arm strap built in.
I contemplated cutting a hole in the metal arm cuff and running a webbed belt through it. However, knowing my history with power tools I knew that this would involve at least one trip to the emergency room for stitches.
Finally, after trial and error, I came upon a simple, functional, and very comfortable design. One of the major obstacles I encountered was how to secure the arm cover to the metal detector cuff. Previous designs looked pretty good, but when you went to lift your detector your arm would pull the cover right off of the arm rest. But that problem has been solved quite simply.
This final design has been tested in the field by not only me, but two other SD2200d users who confirm it makes all the difference in the world in terms of eliminating hand and arm fatigue. The measurements that I’m giving here are to make an arm rest cover for a Minelab SD series machine, however there is no reason you could not alter the measurements and use the same basic design to fit any detectors arm rest.
First lets look at the pieces of material that you will need:
A. Sheepskin piece 4 1/4 X 9 3/4 inches
B. 12 1/4 inch long piece of 2 inch nylon webbing
C.& H Piece of Velcro Fuzzy, 1 1/2 inches X 2
D. Piece of Velcro Fuzzy 4 inches X 2 inches
E. Two pieces of 2 inch nylon webbing 4 1/4 inches long
F. Piece of Hook Velcro 2 inch X 2 inch
G. 1 piece of 2 inch webbing 3 3/4 inches long
H & C. Piece of Velcro Fuzzy, 1 1/2 inches X 2
I. Two pieces of 2 inch wide hook Velcro X 1 1/2 inches with peel off sticky back!
As far as materials go: If you have a place in your town that makes custom sheepskin seat covers you can probably pick up a remnant piece for next to nothing. Otherwise you can buy a whole skin for $79.95 from Tandy Leather. Use what’s left over to make yourself underwear! I don’t recommend trying to befriend a lamb and then, oh, never mind! The Velcro, and 2 inch Nylon Webbing can usually be purchased at a Home Depot Store or a Home Base or similar type hardware type outlet.
Tools you’ll need, are a good pair of scissors, a lighter or kitchen stove to seal the end of the nylon webbing so that it will not fray, and a good sewing machine with a leather needle.
It’s important you follow these instructions exactly because the sequence of assembly has to be exact or you will end up with a damn mess. TRUST ME!
1. Cut your sheepskin to the size listed above.
2. Stitch Velcro Fuzzy piece C to one end of webbing piece B, and stitch Velcro fuzzy piece D to the other end.
3. Take one of your webbing pieces E, that is 4 1/4 inches long and stitch it to the completed strap you made in step #2 as shown in the picture. Position it so there is about a 1/4 inch gap between it and the small fuzzy Velcro piece. Stitch it on three sides as shown by the red lines.
4. Stitch the Fuzzy Velcro piece H to one end of the webbing piece G, this is the piece that is 3 3/4 inches long by 2 inches wide.
5. Take the finished piece from step 4 and position it on the remaining piece of webbing E as shown in the picture marked Step #5a. DON’T STITCH IT YET! This part is a little tricky, because we also need to position the 2 inch X 2 inch piece of hook Velcro F on the other side so it can all be stitched together.
When I did this, I used a little hot glue to hold the two pieces of webbing together as shown in picture #5a, so I could turn it over and position the Velcro hook piece F.
In the picture Step #5b you can see that I have turned the piece over from Step #5a and have now positioned the Velcro hook piece F on the opposite side. I am now ready to run the “U” shaped stitching as shown in either picture #5a or #5b. This stitch assembles the two pieces of webbing and piece F of hook Velcro all at the same time.
IMPORTANT! Make sure the HOOK Velcro is on the OPPOSITE side of the piece of webbing that has the FUZZY Velcro!
We are almost done!
Starting with our long “T” shaped strap that we made in Step 3 attach it to the sheepskin as demonstrated in the picture marked STEP 6a. Run your stitching only where it is indicated by the red line!
Do not stitch the fourth edge because this forms the pocket that one wing of the arm rest fits into.
On the opposite end of the piece of sheepskin attach the other piece of webbing you constructed in Step 5 illustrated by the picture Step #6b. Again, make sure you only stitch the piece to the sheepskin as marked with the red lines leaving one side open as a pocket for the other wing of the arm rest.
IMPORTANT! Make sure that the HOOK Velcro Piece F is facing you! The FUZZY piece of Velcro should be face down against the bare leather of the sheepskin!
7. Take your two pieces of 1 1/2 X 2 inch HOOK Velcro with the peel off sticky back and place them on the fuzzy tabs that are facing the bare leather of the sheepskin on each end of the sheepskin piece as shown in the picture #7.
8. Pull your new arm rest cover onto the wings of your arm rest. Make sure it is positioned and seated correctly. Once it is fitted properly, carefully remove the peel away back from the sticky side of the HOOK Velcro piece and position the sticky side down securing it to the metal wing of the arm rest. Do the same with the other side. Press on the stick tabs evenly and firmly to make sure that they adhere properly to the arm rest. Wait 5 minutes to allow the glue to get a firm grip.
Now your arm rest cover is securely in place and will not come off unless you simply separate the hook side from the Velcro side. If the cover starts to get a little funky, simply lift the web tabs with the Velcro off of each side, wash in a little Woolite, rinse, and reinstall while it is still damp.
The arm strap is adjustable because of the 4 inch piece of FUZZY Velcro that is stitched to it, which goes over your arm and secures to the 2 X 2 inch piece of HOOK Velcro “Piece F” that we stitched on in Step 5b.
If you don’t have a sewing machine, if you at least cut the pieces to size, and print out this article, you could probably have the seat cover shop stitch one together for you, or perhaps a shoe repair shop.
I do have a limited number of these cuffs available for sale. They are $34.95 which includes Priority Mail shipping. I can’t guarantee when I will have more when I sell the ones I have as this is a quite labor intensive project when you put together 21 of them as I did.
If there is a big demand for these then I may have to take a quick trip to Tijuana to have my buddies Pedro and Armando stitch up a couple of hundred of them.
But for now I’ve given you all the information you need to make your own. Good Luck out there and be careful!