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  1. #1
    New Member forgueam's Avatar
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    Working with Down: Dampen with Water?

    I'm currently constructing a top quilt and have arrived at the step of filling it with down. I've tried the vacuum extension tube method (putting noseeum over the hose) and have not had much success with it.

    I was contemplating another method and wanted to get some feedback: What if I were to measure out the appropriate amount of dry down feather into a bowl and then lightly dampen the down with water from a spray bottle. I think this might make it easier to grab hold of and also prevent the down from floating around while I'm trying to move it from the bowl into the quilt. Obviously there would need to be some dry time, but I can deal with that.

    Any thoughts? Would this damage the down feather in any way? Has anyone tried anything similar?
    "Even cowards can endure hardship; only the brave can endure suspense." -Mignon McLaughlin

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    Fronkey's Avatar
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    You don't really want to get it wet. What I did was fill it up in my bathtub. I closed the curtain and started filling it up. I got down everywhere of course, however, it just fell into the bathtub and I was easily able to scoop it up and put it in my quilt. Good luck and looking forward to seeing pics when you're done.

    Fronkey

  3. #3
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    What was the problem you had with the vacuum/noseeum method? I've never had difficulty with it....

    I use a shop-vac, and it's fairly powerful. What are you using?


    "Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
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    I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    I wouldn't want to deal with damp down either. Stuff will not only go everywhere, but then it will 'stick' to stuff!

    I'm kind of old-school here; I just grab a handful and squeeze it nice and tight while still in the bulk bag, slowly transfer to my scale container, then let go. If you get it good and compressed in your fist, it will hold together OK. That old tent you have laying around is a great thing to use for down. Just take all your stuff into the tent and zip it up. Be sure you brought a vacuum with you into the tent, then when you're done just suck up all the loose down with the vacuum. Very easy way to contain all that downy goodness.
    Trust nobody!

  5. #5
    New Member forgueam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCPatrick View Post
    What was the problem you had with the vacuum/noseeum method? I've never had difficulty with it....

    I use a shop-vac, and it's fairly powerful. What are you using?
    I'm just using our normal push vacuum. the problem I'm having is that as the down fills up the tube it cuts off suction, heats up the motor and trips the vacuum's overheat fail safe. Once it trips I have to wait 10-15 minutes before it will turn back on.
    "Even cowards can endure hardship; only the brave can endure suspense." -Mignon McLaughlin

  6. #6
    New Member forgueam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannibal View Post
    That old tent you have laying around is a great thing to use for down. Just take all your stuff into the tent and zip it up.
    That's not a terrible idea... My poor tent feels like a forgotten step child at this point.
    "Even cowards can endure hardship; only the brave can endure suspense." -Mignon McLaughlin

  7. #7
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forgueam View Post
    I'm just using our normal push vacuum. the problem I'm having is that as the down fills up the tube it cuts off suction, heats up the motor and trips the vacuum's overheat fail safe. Once it trips I have to wait 10-15 minutes before it will turn back on.
    Ah, yes that would be a problem. My shop vac gets used for everything. Might be a good investment for you at some point.


    "Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
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    I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
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  8. #8
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    I use a regular vacuum but I only let it run a few seconds because I know the tube is full. No overheating and I do it right in the family room and only loose 3 or 4 little tuffs of down - no mess at all.
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  9. #9
    Senior Member ArcsandSparks's Avatar
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    I just measured out even amounts of down and put them into empty bread bags. Just as I was going to fill the baffle I carefully made an X shaped cut on the end (opposite of bag opening). Then shove the whole bag into the baffle and shove the down out with my hand. It worked quite well with very little mess. If you are making small baffles then it may be harder to get your hand into the baffle but, a broom handle, or stick of some sort should work as well. Hope this helps you.
    Just when I thought you couldn't possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this... and totally redeem yourself!

  10. #10
    MAD777's Avatar
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    +1 on the plunger idea. I tape a wad of paper on the end of stick to match the inside diameter of the vacuum tube.

    Some people just blow the down from the tube - but I'm afraid I'll inhale when I'm supposed to exhale
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

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