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Make My Own Tarp? Plans, kits, materials?
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Jack Elliott
(JackElliott) - F

Locale: Bend, Oregon, USA
Make My Own Tarp? Plans, kits, materials? on 04/05/2012 17:08:35 MDT Print View

I'm going onto the old Social Security next month so I have to become more frugal.

In my heyday (read: had some income) I'd just pop for a piece of gear, but now -- not so much. Hey -- it's just like in '70s when I made my own down jacket from a Frostline kit, I'll buy it only if I can't make it.

Anyway, I need to make a Silnylon tarp, something like 10' x 12' with web ties on corners and side panels. This to hang above a Jack's r Better Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock that I'm saving my Betty Crocker coupons for.

I own a sewing machine and I'm not afraid to use it.

Plans, kits, sources of materials?

Anyone help a retiree out?

By the way, I see there is another Jack Elliott on BPL. This ain't him.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Make My Own Tarp? Plans, kits, materials? on 04/05/2012 17:27:48 MDT Print View

Buy 2nds silnylon from or wherever

It's nominally 60 inches wide but actually a little more

Order 8 yards. Cut in half. Sew them together with flat felled seam. Fold over 1/4 inch twice on all four sides and put a row of sticthes (hem it). Voila - 10' x 12'.

I used to reinforce tie-outs, which you can do with a small triangular piece of silnylon, but if you just sew it through the hem it's plenty strong enough. Use grosgrain (also from or wherever).

The only thing tricky is that when you sew the two pieces together with a flat felled seam, the top piece of fabric against the pressure foot tends to stick on the foot a little so that by the time you're at the end of the seam, the two pieces don't line up. If you put a few pins in it (or I just do some hand stitches) it will help you to keep them lined up. You have to tightly hold the two pieces together with your fingers as you sew. Practice this first.

There are a bunch of articles in make your own gear that you could read, like the one I did about making a pyramid tent.

There's an article in myog about adding reinforcing for tie-outs.

The only problem is, there's a risk you'll make more stuff and eventually spend too much : )

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: Make My Own Tarp? Plans, kits, materials? on 04/05/2012 19:22:55 MDT Print View

I've made a couple of tarps using materials from OWF. But the first one was a RayWay kit and I'm glad I started with it. Jardine's materials are top quality and the instructions are great, especially for those with little experience. I've also made many quilts but the first was a RayWay kit as well.

So, if you are adventurous just get some materials and have a go. But to be absolutely sure your first tarp comes out near perfect, get a RayWay (or other) kit.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Make My Own Tarp? Plans, kits, materials? on 04/05/2012 20:06:45 MDT Print View

DIY Gear Supply has a good price on 1.1oz silnylon seconds. I bought 10 yards some time ago and was very happy with it.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
RE: Make My Own Tarp? Plans, kits, materials? on 04/05/2012 20:41:21 MDT Print View

If you're just making a rectangular tarp there's no reason for a kit

If you're making a Ray Way tarp with beaks and things then maybe it makes a little more sense.

If you're making clothing or quilt or sleeping bag, maybe a kit makes sense, but I think half the fun is figuring it out and if you get a kit they've taken half the fun away from you.

Jay Lash
(jjlash) - F

Locale: Eastern Iowa
plans and kits on 04/06/2012 10:05:59 MDT Print View

Speer Hammocks has both plans and a kit for an 8x10 rectangular tarp. The plans are available on the website. Ive made one of these...the toughest part was keeping the silnylon lined up right to pin it before sewing. A large enough work area, some cloths pins and lots of patience are the keys.

Wade Ford
(cwford) - MLife

Locale: NTX
Tarp on 04/06/2012 10:17:44 MDT Print View

There are a great set of plans here

One other source for silnylon is Noah Lamport at $3 / yard . They don't sell on the web -- you have to call them direct (ask to speak to Roger he is very helpful)

You may also want to check out the Hammock Forums DIY forum

Edited by cwford on 04/06/2012 10:20:28 MDT.