Homemade tents
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Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Aluminized mylar tent body on 06/07/2010 09:50:49 MDT Print View

Al,
I'm impressed you could cut the roll in half. I didn't want to dig out my exacto, so just used a new utility knife blade and could only get through maybe 1/3 of the layers. So I used those up and cut some more, repeat....

I didn't seem to have a static cling issue. Maybe the fiberglass sheet (to be used above bath surround) I taped it down to (using everyday "magic" tape) helped in that regard.

My Heetsheets are 4x6 so I made an 8x6 tarp that I'll pitch in a half pyramid. Thus, I'll be adding 2 diagonal strips of the extreme application tape from the corners to where the trekking pole will attach.

Did you try the Jay Ham "5 yards to SUL" tarp?

Can you PM me so I can provide my email for quicker communication?

George Geist
(geist) - M

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: Aluminized mylar tent body on 06/07/2010 18:25:03 MDT Print View

> Did you try the Jay Ham "5 yards to SUL" tarp?

No, I've gotten sidetracked. Instead of making Jay's tarp I've been busy testing ideas to build an under 2 lb version of my Nemo Morpho 2P. Actually not copying Nemo's design directly, but building a 2 person tunnel tent using inflatable chambers instead of poles. I'm still in the "colleting materials, testing construction techniques" mode right now. Presnetly, I'm leaning towards using aluminized nylon for the tent body rather than mylar or polyethelyne. Jury is still out on its suitability. But somebody has to try and let other MYOGers know.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Aluminized LDPE tent body on 06/08/2010 07:34:45 MDT Print View

Here is Prototype 1 (and likely the only one for now) of my 8x6 tarp in a quick to-the-ground pitch.
Prototype of aluminized LDPE tarp
Max opening height is 41" with a 4' width in this pitch. Total body weight so far is 6.5 oz. 6 wire stakes are 1.0 oz. Are you sure your listed stake weight is correct, Al? You list 22 at 1 oz and mine are also ~1/16" dia and 7.5" long.

Still have the netting to add around the perimeter and opening and as well as a removable "storm door".

George Geist
(geist) - M

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: Aluminized LDPE tent body on 06/08/2010 11:18:15 MDT Print View

> 6 wire stakes are 1.0 oz. Are you sure your listed stake weight is correct, Al?

Your Tent looks nice Michael!

Your stakes seem quite heavy. I just pulled out 6 wire stakes out of my tent bag and set them on my scale 0.4 oz I was up to 15 stakes when the scale reached an ounce.
They are a bit heavier than when I first started my MYOG tent work because I painted them to make them harder to loose.

I'm looking forward to seeing your completed tent with netting and door. Nice work.

Al

Edited by geist on 06/08/2010 11:19:30 MDT.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: wire stakes on 06/08/2010 12:48:22 MDT Print View

Al,
They're 1/16 as close as I can measure on a standard tape, certainly no more than .070, but they are clearly stiffer & larger than my mower throttle cable, which is clearly less than 1/16. They are actually 8.5-8.75" in length before bending the hook on. They're still 1/3 the weight of my Y stakes. I'll be throwing a little colored electrical tape around the hook rather than painting.

I suspect mine will hold better but you use more. I just put a tieout in the middle of the 6' sides and every 2' on the 8' side, which will hopefully be facing the wind. I made the 4 corner loops large enough to take my Y stakes if desired. I made them all 1/2" wide with the 8959 since I could rip the 2120 even 7/8" wide.

Once I see how high up I can pitch it (my preferred pole attachment point is limited to 49"), I'll know how long the netting skirt needs to be. The door will simply be 3 bungee attachments I think inside the netting so I have a slight overhang.

I suspect setting these up in the wind is a challenge!

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Sewing thru duct tape on 07/11/2010 17:05:15 MDT Print View

Al,
How did you manage to sew through the clear duct tape without gumming the needle? What size needle did you use?

I had hoped the duct tape would be enough to hold the slightly overlapped mesh seams together but no such luck. So far it is enough to hold the mesh to the body - we'll see once it rains tomorrow. Anyway, I had to sew the seams in the mesh and just left the tape there as extra support and that was quite a bad idea. Barely got a few stitches before the needle was sticky.

Anyway, I'm afraid I'll need to sew the rest of the mesh to the body but don't see how I can do it thru the duct tape.

George Geist
(geist) - M

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: Sewing thru duct tape on 07/12/2010 11:44:03 MDT Print View

> How did you manage to sew through the clear duct tape without gumming the needle?

Hi Michael,

When sewing the no-see-um to the taped edge of the tent body, I had to pause about every 12 inches and clean the needle.
I left the presser foot down and the material in place during this "pause". Just lifted the needle up out of the fabric, wiped down the needle pinched between my thumb and first finger to remove the majority (but not all) the sticky. This kept me moving without undue delays and without gumming up the whole works. OK truth be known I gummed up the works a couple times before stumbled upon the above technique.

I cleaned the needle thoroughly once I was finished, i.e. whenever I removed all the material from the sewing machine to start sewing something else. Or another no-see-um door on the other side of the tent.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Sewing thru duct tape on 07/12/2010 18:40:32 MDT Print View

> How did you manage to sew through the clear duct tape without gumming the needle?

It is possible to do this if you get a bit of felt and soak it in oil, and then wipe the needle down every inch or so. But sewing through any soft adhesive is not a recommended idea!

Cheers

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Aluminized LDPE tent body on 08/16/2010 10:31:12 MDT Print View

Added a video of my MYOG tarptent.

JASON CUZZETTO
(cuzzettj) - MLife

Locale: NorCal - South Bay
RE: "Homemade tents" - LDPE on 08/16/2010 17:57:51 MDT Print View

I really apreciated the video of your tarp tent out of the LDPE material. This looks like a lot of fun trying to get this built. I will try a full Pyramid for myself and my kids. Thank you for the motivation.

Jason

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: RE: "Homemade tents" - LDPE on 08/16/2010 20:03:01 MDT Print View

It was rather fun to build. Please post on how your project goes and feel free to ask me or Al any questions. He doesn't have PMs set up but I do. I think my next design will be a cross between the Wild Oasis and thinner Lunar Duo to gain more head & legroom.

JASON CUZZETTO
(cuzzettj) - MLife

Locale: NorCal - South Bay
re: "Homemade tents" on 08/17/2010 00:48:27 MDT Print View

It should be fun. I work in aerospace and have some insight on the adhesive tapes that could work. We use a lot of tape.

I used a pyramid at the Scouting BPL course in May for the first time. It was an amazing tent. It should be fun to see if I can re-create it using the heatsheets material.

Now to gather the materials and warn my wife, kids and the dogs.

Take care.

Jason

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: re: "Homemade tents" on 08/17/2010 08:44:31 MDT Print View

I'd be interested if you find some tapes that work as good or better, though I'd guess they aren't normally available to consumers. Pretty much anything with weather & UV resistance and excellent tensile strength should work. I had to order the 8959 on Amazon. I originally did that with the 2120 also, but one of our local big boxes has it.

I didn't make it clear in my video, but I used the 8959 on the underside of the seam, which extended for the pole loop until I had to replace it, and the 2 diagonals. Those were the places of highest tension on the material. The only reason I added 2120 on the top of the seam was to cover the inevitable gaps in material to prevent the uncovered tape from sticking when I folded the tarp. I should have covered the tieout loops with 2120.

I bet 2120 could work everywhere, but the 8959 is clearly stronger (I forget the specs now but they're on the 3M site somewhere). I can pull apart a 7/8" strip of the 2120, but not the 8959 as I recall.

Definitely want to keep the dogs away. :) I moved her tieout so she couldn't reach it after the "incident".

Edited by topshot on 08/19/2010 12:17:09 MDT.

JASON CUZZETTO
(cuzzettj) - MLife

Locale: NorCal - South Bay
RE: "Homemade tents" on 08/17/2010 14:36:37 MDT Print View

The one thing I wasn't sure of is sealing the outside seems? Or that wasn't needed?

I read the data sheets from 3M and am wondering if these tents last less than a year? I love that you can repair them so easily though. The videos are great bu the way. It sure helped me understand what is going on. Now to get stuff on order. Take care and I will get back to you as soon as I can. I have a busy upcoming 3 weeks at work. But maybe I will find some time.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: RE: "Homemade tents" on 08/17/2010 15:25:53 MDT Print View

I only had one seam, which was down the middle (from peak to center of back). As I said, I put tape on the outside of that seam to prevent sticking if I had any gaps where underside tape was exposed. I could have perhaps "coated" it with flour, dirt, etc. to remove any stickiness. I doubt it would have leaked otherwise. I did not seal along the edges where I sewed the mesh. Figured it was at the edge anyway so big deal if it leaked. Of course, there's no harm in adding more tape on the outside of a seam except weight.

The 2 places I had small leaks were the 2 patches I had to do on top. I did not take my time on those. I am pretty certain my error there was not flattening out the material where I taped the patch down, which you can see in the video, and thus water could seep in via the folds under the tape.

> am wondering if these tents last less than a year?

What would suggest that? Al has used his for over a year of Scout outings now. If you leave it up a lot during the day maybe so. Seeing how long everyday duct tape can hold on a car, I'd think the 2120 would last quite a while before losing strength. When I did my test, it was still stuck to the LDPE after 2 months of being stuck on the roof of my son's "fort". The 8959 however had given up the ghost. I tried to keep as much tape on the underside as possible just in case. It's just the tieouts and pole loop on mine that are really exposed and they should either use 2120 or cover the 8959 with it. Maybe I should try another test like that? I couldn't tell any degradation in the LDPE by eye or pulling on it after 2 months.

Edited by topshot on 08/19/2010 12:18:10 MDT.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Another tape PN? on 08/19/2010 07:47:21 MDT Print View

FYI, I had happened to buy another roll of clear 3M duct tape at a different big box here in town. It looks, acts and feels like 2120 but the PN was L520 (UPC 051111026496). Had copyright 3M 2009 on it but L520 doesn't show up on their site at all. I know I've also seen them market it in auto stores in 15 yd rolls as another PN and there are 5 yd rolls as well.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Another tape PN? on 08/19/2010 12:12:56 MDT Print View

Clarification: I noted above (& maybe in my video) the Extreme Application tape as 8595, but I meant 8959. I've now fixed those posts. Sorry for any confusion.

Edited by topshot on 08/19/2010 12:18:56 MDT.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: tape exposure test on 09/20/2010 11:40:27 MDT Print View

> Thanks for the UV tests on the material and two types of tape. It is good to see the LDPE Space Blanket material holds up. I suspect mylar Space Blanket would also hold up well, since NASA wraps it around satellites. UV is much worse in space.

> I have a question about the tape tests. Did you have any 8959 on the underside of the Heatsheet? If so did you see loss of holding properties for 8959 not directly exposed to the sun?

I just finished a new tape test - this time it was only one month on the roof of the fort, but the sun and heat were obviously more intense this time around. Since you had asked, Al, 8959 works fine on the underside of the LDPE. I didn't notice any degradation.

8959 does not work well anywhere it's exposed UNLESS it's covered with 2120. By itself, it not only delaminates, but also the filaments weaken significantly. However, I saw minimal degradation in the 2120.

Keep in mind this is for long-term UV exposure. It's pretty uncommon for someone here to leave their tarp up during midday sun for any length of time, so I'd still expect 8959 to work fine for tieouts for quite some time under "normal" use.

However, I'm wondering if 8959 is even needed though. I couldn't rip through the 2120 tieout with Triptease. It was ~1/2" wide (1/4 width of the roll) and 2 layers on the actual loop portion. If you're using thinner guylines, you may need more strength. If that is so, I bet normal strapping tape (covered in 2120) would be just as good (and cheaper) than 8959. I don't see any need for the bi-directional strength.

George Geist
(geist) - M

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: Strapping tape on 09/23/2010 07:15:35 MDT Print View

> I bet normal strapping tape (covered in 2120) would be just as good (and cheaper) than 8959. I don't see any need for the bi-directional strength.

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the exposure test results.

I agree with your assessment on strength. I used strapping tape for the tie-outs on my early prototypes. They worked fine except for UV exposure. I would check them before every outing and every couple months find one or two that needed to be replaced due to exposure. Being tape the "fix" only took a couple minutes to tape a new loop on. Most of that time was trying to find where I put my roll of strapping tape.

Covering with clear duct tape (2120) should significantly reduce the issue I had with strapping tape.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Strapping tape on 09/23/2010 08:09:36 MDT Print View

> Covering with clear duct tape (2120) should significantly reduce the issue I had with strapping tape.

I would think so. You didn't have as much issue with tieouts made with just 8959 or did you not try that?