Prototyping Riverbed Recovery Hardware.

WAT bought an absurdly powerful magnet, with the intention of recovering metal objects from the riverbed. The problem was: how to suspend it without putting too much distance between the magnet and the junk?

This is my first answer.


It’s a Supplex pouch with double-stitched, melted and reinforced seams and hand-milled aluminum nonmagnetic hardware. The pull-cord is just an extra safety to prevent the magnet from falling out in unusual circumstances.

I’m mostly satisfied with the design, but some of the stitching across the webbing was imperfect. I suspect this was primarily due to the tension induced by using upholstery-grade thread, which is very heavy and causes weird tension problems where it shouldn’t, like the eye of the needle.

I made it with my mom’s Bernina 1130. I learned to sew on this very same machine, twenty years ago. It’s a testament to the quality of the tool that it still sells for almost a grand on eBay. I love Swiss machines and I hope to own this one someday.

The Machine That Learned Me

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2 Responses to Prototyping Riverbed Recovery Hardware.

  1. samh says:


    Nicely done. I too am in awe of that beautiful Bernina. I use a 1968 Singer model my grandmother passed on to me for sewing backpacking gear and the sewing machine’s durability is a testament to a craftsmanship that is no longer apparent in the majority of production goods built and sold today.

    – Sam

  2. danreetz says:

    I recently gave away a baby-blue Singer suitcase machine — a heavy, metal affair, probably a little earlier than yours. As you mentioned, they were built sturdy, and work well with little maintenance, and were definitely not the cheap plastic shit sold today. Mine ran forever with just a little 10w30 in an eyedropper.

    I recently tried to help a friend sew webbing with one of these new $100 machines from a big box store. It was miserable– you could actually smell it getting hot and you could feel the plastic gears yielding under the load.

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