"Make Your Own Trailstar?" or "Where can I buy wide silnylon?"
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Kyle Meyer
(kylemeyer) - M

Locale: Portland, OR
"Make Your Own Trailstar?" or "Where can I buy wide silnylon?" on 12/08/2010 17:35:47 MST Print View

I've been interested in trying my hand at building my own shelter for a while now, and at the same time interested in buying a Trailstar. Now I'm thinking about combining these, but I haven't seen anyone take a swing at it yet.

Extrapolating on the information from the Trailstar page, they say it's 3' tall pitched to the ground, with 7' sides to the pentagon. That makes approximately 80" long sloped walls, as you can see in the drawing I put together in Sketchup (complete with 2.75" deflection for the walls and 4.5" for the bottoms, hopefully somewhat in line with the aggressiveness of the shape of MLD's):



A few questions:


  1. Can someone with a Trailstar confirm these are the rough measurements? Did I get something drastically wrong?

  2. If this is the rough shape, does anyone know where ~80" wide rolls of silnylon are available or will I need to add either a horizontal or vertical seam?

  3. Anything else I should consider before I go buy silnylon and have my wife show me how to sew?

Edited by kylemeyer on 12/08/2010 17:37:55 MST.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: "Make Your Own Trailstar?" or "Where can I buy wide silnylon?" on 12/08/2010 17:52:39 MST Print View

Kyle,
I've got a Trailstar, and if I remember, I'll try to measure it a bit later.

Couple of quick points:
1. The MLD Trailstar has Dyneema peak reinforcements. Think about how you want to reinforce that peak.
2. I don't really sew too much, but I do know that if you're new to it, silnylon is a beeotch to work with. Very slippery. Use lots of pins, but be careful not to pin outside of the seam, otherwise you'll get holes in your canopy!
3. The edges of the Trailstar have a slight cat-cut to them. This helps with getting a nice taut pitch. Consider how you want to replicate the edges.

There are many people on here that know A LOT more about sewing that I do. I'm sure they'll come along shortly.


Edit: I just saw in your original post you've considered the cat-cut (deflection?)

Edited by T.L. on 12/08/2010 18:18:06 MST.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
re: Make Your Own Trailstar?" or "Where can I buy wide silnylon?"" on 12/08/2010 17:56:13 MST Print View

Kyle, I think you are close, but you are placing the width in the wrong place on the panel. Silnylon is typically 60" wide. Given the bottom of the panel is 84" and the width is 60" here is what I calculate the hypontenuse to by.... 42^2+60^2 = H^2. H = 73". I'm fairly certain silnylon can't be found much wider so this must be close to the panel size Ron is using 7' at base. All this ignores seam allowances. If I did my math right you would need 7 yards to make a shelter. You will one panel extra, but it would be in 2 equal sizes right triangles left over.

You can get silnylon at OWFinc.com or at thruhiker.com. I think thruhiker.com does more testing to make sure it fits our needs, but it is a bit more costly.

See if this makes sense,
Jamie

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
re: ""Make Your Own Trailstar?" or "Where can I buy wide silnylon?"" on 12/08/2010 18:08:03 MST Print View

Kyle, DId this quick so it might have a mistake, but I'm thinking the panels work something like this...

Panels

If this is correct then the shelter uses 9.72 yds of fabric at a weight of 1.35 oz yd puts the fabric at 13 oz plus 3 oz for webbing, thread, and dyneema top = 16 oz which is what the site shows.

Jamie

Edited by jshortt on 12/08/2010 18:17:07 MST.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: re: Make Your Own Trailstar?" or "Where can I buy wide silnylon?"" on 12/08/2010 18:14:44 MST Print View

In addition to Jamie's suggestions on purchasing silnylon, try Quest Outfitters. I've dealt with them several times and their customer service is outstanding.

My measurement from a corner of the silnylon to the peak is 78 inches. Add another inch for the Lineloc. Don't forget seam allowances!

Edited by T.L. on 12/08/2010 18:16:00 MST.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
re: ""Make Your Own Trailstar?" or "Where can I buy wide silnylon?"" on 12/08/2010 18:23:47 MST Print View

Looks like Ron is getting extra width from the dyneema at top...i.e. the triangle don't go all the way to the peak. I'd guess 3 inches...so I am a bit stumped how he is able to get a full 78" on the hypontenuse, especially with seam allowances. That's why he is the king...again he has created a masterful design. If you buy 1st silnylon then this thing will still run about $80+ in materials & shipping (you can get it much cheaper if you use 2nds). Ron's price of 160 is actually a steal. I would not want to try all the cat cut along the sides and you know it is a well made tarp.

Jamie

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: re: ""Make Your Own Trailstar?" or "Where can I buy wide silnylon?"" on 12/08/2010 18:25:03 MST Print View

Jamie, actually the silnylon DOES go through to the top. Each panel is a single piece. Ron's got a source somewhere....

Edited by T.L. on 12/08/2010 18:28:41 MST.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
re: ""Make Your Own Trailstar?" or "Where can I buy wide silnylon?"" on 12/08/2010 18:37:14 MST Print View

Travis, I'm stumped then. How about a trail star that pitches 2.5" above the ground:)

Jamie

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: "Make Your Own Trailstar?" or "Where can I buy wide silnylon?" on 12/08/2010 19:36:29 MST Print View

Jamie has the right idea of the plan for cutting the fabric.

Working with Travis's measurement of 78 inches from the peak down to the corner and the published spec of 7 feet (84 inches) along the edge, Pythagoras says that you'd need fabric width of SQRT(78^2-42^2) = 65.72 inches (add seam allowances to that).

Someone (David Olsen, maybe) had some 72" wide silnylon to sell a few years ago ... that's the only time I've seen that width. I've never seen wider.

Shop around long enough and you might find 67" wide silnylon.

Nate Powell
(powell1nj) - F

Locale: North Carolina
Wider Sil on 12/09/2010 07:49:13 MST Print View

Rockywoods sells what they call 'Ultra-Sil' in a width of 67-68". It's supposedly lighter (1.15 oz/sq.yd.), stronger and more waterproof than regular silnylon. Sounds too good to be true to me. I've never used it - maybe someone else has and can chime in. Just thought I'd give the heads up. Here's the site:

http://www.rockywoods.com/Fabrics-Kits/All-Ripstop-Nylon-Fabrics/Ultra-Sil-Silicone-Ripstop-Nylon-Fabric

Kyle Meyer
(kylemeyer) - M

Locale: Portland, OR
Holy smokes, thanks. on 12/09/2010 09:09:15 MST Print View

Jiminy, I didn't expect such thorough and thoughtful responses, thanks!

I've all but decided that this is too expensive a proposition, especially if I have to consider more expensive, wider silnylon to accomplish the same thing as MLD, ultimately costing more than half the total cost of the Trailstar to begin with. What a value.

Perhaps I should start with a simple cat tarp and work my way up.

Thanks again for all the help!

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
"Ultra-Sil" on 12/09/2010 20:50:56 MST Print View

Nathan,
The term is used by several suppliers for different silnylon products.
I ordered some of the Rockywoods earlier in the year and found it to be leakier than most. More flexible as they maintain, but leakier. Glad I only ordered a yard, as I would not use it for anything.
Quest has used the term for a silnylon that is better, but still not much above average on a Suter tester.
Westmark also uses the term for a silnylon that is visibly different from the above two. Their quality is OK, but nothing I would write home about. Cheap, though, if you can use enough for the minimum order.
Sam