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Any pointers for a first time cuben tarp
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William Zila
(Ultralightwillinn.m) - MLife

Locale: Albuquerque
Any pointers for a first time cuben tarp on 09/04/2011 17:24:55 MDT Print View

I just ordered 3 yards of .48 cuben and a yard of 1.4 for a tarp I'm making the tarp the widths of the material and the length of the 3 yards the heavier cuben is for the tieout reinforcements I ordered double sided tap from quest and tips to make it easier

Megan Webb
(meganwebb) - MLife
Re: Any pointers for a first time cuben tarp on 09/04/2011 18:24:53 MDT Print View

I'm tarp making with 1.43 cuben. Was worried about the life span of the lighter weights.

Waiting on the tape from Quest to arrive. Just picked up some Aquaseal to test with. Wondering about getting some of the loctite 2 pack adhesive.

I'm interesting in any tips also. Been reading all the treads that talk about cuben on these forums. But have yet to find anyone talking about age or UV related breakdown of tape or glue or cuben.

Colin Krusor
(ckrusor) - M

Locale: Northwest US
Cuben tarps on 09/04/2011 19:02:58 MDT Print View

Megan, I'm interested in your decision to use 1.43 oz cuben and seam tape. The cuben you've chosen is often used for groundsheets. It's about twice the weight of cuben materials that are considered bombproof for shelters, and three times the weight of the cuben I used for my most recent tarp (0.48 oz).

Cuben tarps, even very light ones, don't fail in the middle of the panels (when, rarely, they fail). They fail at the seams and tie-outs. I'd feel much safer in a violent storm under a tarp made from 0.51oz cuben with strong bonded seams than in a tarp made from 1.43oz cuben with taped seams.

There has been some discussion in threads on this forum about ageing of cuben, cuben seam tapes, and cuben glues. I think the consensus, since Richard and Roger's hydrostatic head tests, is that cuben will always develop pinholes from creasing after some use, and it takes longer for this to happen with 0.18 mil mylar styles than with 0.08 mil mylar styles. Most people feel that this does not compromise the performance of the material in shelters. Cuben is very resistant to UV damage over time (more so than silnylon), because the surface is polyester (mylar) and the interlaminar adhesive in the cuben is UV-protected with titanium dioxide.

There have been several accounts of cuben tapes popping off at very cold (subzero) temperatures, but there are many kinds of tapes used for cuben and this may not be a problem with all of them. Tapes in general do not achieve the strength of bonding agents like Hysol glue and some contact cements.

If the seams and tie-outs are well-designed, ageing and hard use should not be more of a problem for a cuben shelter than a silnylon shelter.

Edited by ckrusor on 09/04/2011 19:09:26 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Cuben tarps on 09/04/2011 21:09:27 MDT Print View!

Suluk video how to make Cuben tarp

Megan Webb
(meganwebb) - MLife
Re: Cuben tarps on 09/05/2011 03:53:04 MDT Print View

I was worried about strength, UV, puncture resistance, color and transparency, in that order.

Apart from stays with family or friend, I camp most of the year. The vegetation down here can be very spiky. Current tent has patched holes from vegetation. Sometimes I camp in public areas, but mostly I'm in the bush. Current tent weighs 3.2kg, but I have another kilogram of cheap poly tarps because of leaks, punctures, bugs (yeah, some insect chewed holes), wear and tear that I can't seal enough, and sun damage. I also carry duct tape and sometimes silicone glue for repairs.

Current tent is silnylon that the maker rated at 6 months full time life in the sun. I try an avoid time in the sun with it, sometimes taking the tent down for the day, to put it back up on the same spot in the evening. Its a trade off. Sun damage or wear and tear taking down setting up. I was expecting cuben to last well since its used in sails, and they spend all their life in the sun.

Btw, I'm cycling with this setup, and want to lower the weight significantly.

Given the price difference between 0.51 and 1.43, I figured I'd take the risk on the heavier fabric. Most places, I'm a long way from anywhere to get a replacement shelter if it fails. Part of the reason I have the cheap poly tarps (>100gm/sq meter) in use now. They were all I could get at the time I needed them.

Even with using 1.43 I'm expecting to have a two person, tarp, no-see-um mesh sack, and bathtub at under 1.5kg. I'm hoping to get two years life out of it - more is better of course.

I'm using olive drab cuben. Cold is not usually a problem for me. I'm not likely to spend any time in the snow, mostly its heat that's a problem.

I was thinking to butt join the ridgeline, and then overlap a piece of cuben on the top and bottom, with tap and glue. Like this:

--------------- ---------------

-- is cuben
++ is glue
== is tape.

The edges - one thought was to fold over the edge and glue with Aquaseal. Another was to fold and tape. Will see how sample tests work out. Tie-out locations will be reinforced glue or tape. I'll be using cuben strips for the loops.

I read the threat on strength testing using tape, Hysol and Aquaseal. It seemed that they were all pretty similar, with Hysol the best, but that tempered by being harder to use. Guess I'm trying to hedge my bets using glue and tape on the ridge line as I think a failure there will be more of a problem. Tape appeals as its quick. Aquaseal is easy to find as its used for diving suit repair. I'm hesitant about using the Hysol as its hard to get, and the short setup time worries me.

I really liked Zpacks Hexamid tent - but want to make my own gear. Tape and/or glue is important as I don't have access to a sewing machine and stitching by hand isn't going to happen.

I'm also hoping to use the 1.43 for a set of bicycle panniers.

Edited by meganwebb on 09/05/2011 03:56:53 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Cuben tarps on 09/05/2011 08:03:57 MDT Print View

Why don't you:

Edited by retiredjerry on 09/05/2011 08:12:26 MDT.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Re: Cuben tarps on 09/05/2011 09:07:03 MDT Print View

+1 on Jerry's version. Probably overkill, but if you're worried about durability that seam is good one.


Carl Umland
(chumland) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Crest Trail, mostly
Re,"Any pointers for a first time cuben tarp" on 09/05/2011 09:46:39 MDT Print View

I'd like to see the Pannier bags you come up with. I'm considering making some for touring myself.
How about the interlocking lapped seam?
My first post didn't work right.
Carl in San Diego

Edited by chumland on 09/05/2011 10:40:45 MDT.

Henk Smees
(theflyingdutchman) - MLife

Locale: Spanish Mountains
Different seams on 09/06/2011 12:50:47 MDT Print View

> "I was thinking to butt join the ridgeline, and then overlap a piece of cuben on the top and bottom, with tap and glue."
> “Why don't you:”
@ Carl
> “How about the interlocking lapped seam?”

You might want to have a look at this post. Very interesting discussion about various seams and why some are better than others. It seems that making the seams more complex doesn’t do anything to make them better.

Off-topic: I "hate" the search engine on BPL. It took me ages to find the mentionned threat and I only kept searching because I knew I had seen it not too long ago. Isn't there anything that can be done about it? BTW Not a reason to stop looking at BPL; with the exception of the search engine I LOVE this site.

Megan Webb
(meganwebb) - MLife
Re: Different seams on 09/07/2011 17:13:25 MDT Print View

Yes, have read that thread. I did think that just doing simple overlap and increasing the overlap would be simpler.

Off-topic: Think lots of people agree. Seen the wish for a better search engine often reading the forums. I'm having trouble finding threads I know exist.

Pilate de Guerre
(deGuerre) - F

Locale: SE, USA
Re: Re: Different seams on 09/07/2011 17:30:38 MDT Print View

Henk and Megan,

To search BPL put "site: SEARCHTERM" into Google less the quotes and where "SEARCHTERM" is your search term. This works great to find what you need. Google seems to crawl the forums continuously.

The built in search is worthless. Ryan et al. should finally just bite the bullet and shell out the cash to integrate Google search into the website. I don't think the site search is pricey. There is a free or low cost option whereby Google would advertised on the search results page and keep that revenue.

Maybe they can make the change at the same time they put in a new CAPTCHA at user sign-up to keep all the darn Uggly boot spam out. As far as I know both a functional CAPTCHA and the Google site search is a drop in solution requiring little customization.

Edited by deGuerre on 09/07/2011 17:35:38 MDT.

Daniel Sandström
Cuben tarp on 09/08/2011 01:09:23 MDT Print View

I made one this summer.

Largely based on Suluk46 design. Have worked well so far, it's definately a solo shelter, havent used in a rainstorm yet but hoping to.


Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Quest Tape on 09/09/2011 01:50:46 MDT Print View

From my discussions with BPL'ers, Quest tape isn't that good. It's expensive, heavy and only works moderately well. This 3M tape is the one you want (or it's 1/2" equivilent).

I've been using the 1/2" version of this tape with pretty good results in some stuff sacks, cuben pants etc. It is possible to pull apart after you've bonded it, but you gotta pull pretty darn hard. The peel strength seems almost as good as liquid adhesives (although not quite). If you design a seam well (ie. in sheer, not peel) this tape will be good enough and it's much lighter and cheaper than the Quest stuff.