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  • BSA Web Belt

    I have a BSA web belt with a brass buckle that holds the belt by friction. After years of use, the brass friction fitting does a poor job of holding the belt at its set length.

    This is the friction fitting you'd use every day, not the one holding the other end of the belt that would typically be fixed in length most of the time.

    Does anyone have a good fix for this?

  • #2
    I have used some small needle nose pliers to "adjust" the angle of the fiction area... use small tweaks to work the backside of the buckle. Sometimes you can squeeze the edges in a bit.


    • #3
      Is it the buckle or the web part of the belt that has become compressed/smoothed by years of being fastened at the same place?


      • #4
        It doesn't matter how far I insert the webbed portion of the belt into the fitting, it still slips easily. The bras buckle wont cinch up firmly enough to hold the webbing in place.

        The part in quest is riveted on each end, and is knurled through the rest of the length to hold the webbing by friction. This part moves freely back and forth to allow the belt to be pulled through to a desired length, and then is pulled back and the knurled portion ought to hold the belt in place, but it doesn't.

        I could disassemble and remove the knurled portion by bending back four brass tabs that hold the two parts of the buckle together. That might enable me to use a file or grinder to rough the knurled portion so it would hold better.

        I'm just wondering if others have have this problem and any other bright ideas for fixing it.


        • #5
          Also, anyone have any opinions on whether I should call this a guarantee problem I should take to the Scout Shop?


          • #6
            Absolutely take it to the Scout Shop - worth a shot. Just don't expect them to replace it with the same type of buckle, if you've had yours for years ... I don't believe they produce that kind any longer.

            Failing that, your plan to use a file to rough it up sounds like the best option. Has the bar been worn completely smooth?

            I never had that problem. What I kept running into with the old belts was accidentally stepping on the buckles and compressing them ... had to pop them out by slipping a screwdriver in there.

            P.S. Thanks for the vocabulary lesson! "Knurled" is a new one by me.(This message has been edited by shortridge)


            • #7
              My father used those type of buckles while in USCG.

              The grip bar ( or whatever it's really called ) would get worn down over time and even though you can still see the waffle pattern on it, it's too slick to grab the webbing.

              He used to take a pencil eraser and put about a half drop of muratic acid and touch it to grip bar. That amount was enough to run around the bar and was just enough to cause it to rough up enough to stop sliding against the tight weave of the web belt, but not enough to ruin it or eat it up.

              I doubt the scout shop will do anything anymore than a shoe store will give you a new pair of shoes when they wear out.

              What you are describing is normal wear and tear.


              • #8
                Just as Scoutfish describes, the knurled pattern is still visible and appear to be even with no APPARENT signs of wear. But despite that wear is the likely explanation for the problem.

                Hmmm. I don't know that I want to buy and experiment with muriatic acid. If I take the brass buckle apart, I might have difficulty reassembling it.

                So additional ideas would be welcome.


                • #9

                  As I understand it, BSA provides a lifetime guarantee on the stuff it sells. I'm still alive.

                  Anyone care to argue the merits of a lifetime guarantee versus this kind of wear and tear issue?

                  Using Scoutfish's example with the Coast Guard uniform belt, one might say this would be a known point of failure, and perhaps BSA should be responsible for that under a lifetime guarantee.

                  While trivial, it's an interesting issue. I might take it in to our Scout shop and see what they say. I wouldn't anticipate twisting any arms.


                  • #10
                    Physics. Inclined plane. Friction.

                    Take the buckle and look thru the buckle, at the front and the back plates. If it looks like the distance between them (the inside ) hasn't been stretched or widened, next look at the slots the knurled rod rides in. If they look to be undamaged/worn/stretched (try that needlenose pliers thing mentioned earlier) , then try this:
                    Measure the distance between the side walls (where the rod slots are). Take that measurement to your local family run (not Homedepot) hardware store, (better yet, take the buckle)and ask them to find you a small piece of metal, thicker than flashing, but not too thick. If necessary, you can use flashing, but not aluminum, as it is too smooth. Galvanized steel might work. You want to shim up the buckle inside to make it a thinner slot, thereby giving the belt less room to slip, and the gripper rod, more chance to grip. When you have a piece after some experimentation, GOOP glue may be the thing to hold it in place. Let it dry overnight, trim it neat. Saved belt buckle.
                    I have noticed that the more modern buckles are more prone to this problem than the antique ones. I've done this a couple of times .
                    You're welcome.


                    • #11
                      make sure it's a NATIONALLY OWNED (caps for emphasis) shop, and not a council distributorship. I tried to return some ripped up pants to where I bought them, and they woudl not accept them b/c. national charges them a restocking for the return.

                      Yep national should replace it for normal wear and tear. I had to replace a 30+ year old pack one time. and all it was was normal wear and tear.


                      • #12
                        I actually wear my web belt like the military belt. I keep the brass part locked into the friction bar and adjust the length by way of the clamp that holds the brass onto the belt


                        • #13
                          Seems to me as all together too much trouble.
                          I'd just pick up a new one for "daily wear".....
                          If you like the vintage thing, then do some of these suggested tweaks so you can wear it for "special occasions"


                          • #14
                            You might also consider going with some sort of glued in wedge inside the buckle that would put more pressure on the belt against the roller if the roller still has enough grip. It might be that the gap between the narrowest part has become too opened. I have a belt I've used for 30+ years and still works fine. Brass is a soft metal and parts become worn and bent, check to make sure the gap isn't too big due to usage and put something in there that will force the belt against the roller.

                            Also, if the roller is wearing a smooth spot on the webbing, adjust the buckle so the roller hits a fresh part of the belt.