Replacing frame sheet in Dana Design Terraplane
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Charles Jennings
(vigilguy) - F

Locale: Northern Utah
Replacing frame sheet in Dana Design Terraplane on 11/15/2012 21:37:23 MST Print View

Yeah I know this is not a UL pack, but...

The frame sheets from two of my son's Old Dana Design Terraplanes are cracked (1992 vintage).

I would like to replace them with HDPE plastic sheeting.

What thickness should I purchase?

Michael Duke
(mpd1690) - F
Re: Replacing frame sheet in Dana Design Terraplane on 11/15/2012 21:41:10 MST Print View

Is it possible to measure the size of the current sheet?

Charles Jennings
(vigilguy) - F

Locale: Northern Utah
Frame sheet on 11/15/2012 21:56:01 MST Print View

Yes, but where it is an entirely different plastic, and therefore different structural properties, I thought the thickness might be different that would produce similar bending characteristics.

Michael Duke
(mpd1690) - F
Re: Frame sheet on 11/15/2012 22:13:15 MST Print View

Ah I understand. I have never seen a terraplane in person, so I am not sure how they are set up.

Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Frame sheets on 11/16/2012 16:47:35 MST Print View

I have 3 DD Terraplanes. If you don't have the means to sew the stay sleeve onto the new frame-sheet, I would be willing to do it for the cost of shipping for you. My machine can sew through the plastic. I've already experimented with sewing through .062 (1/16") UHMW nylon, with good results. I was thinking that the plastic from a roll-up Deer Drag sled might be thick enough for the frame-sheet on a Terraplane. Seems like they are fairly thin, less than a 1/6" of an inch. One large drag sled would probably be enough to make 2 frame-sheets. (available at Cabelas)

Charles Jennings
(vigilguy) - F

Locale: Northern Utah
Frame sheets. on 11/16/2012 23:49:27 MST Print View

Many thanks for the offer!

I have a seamstress that has several industrial sewing machines, so I think I'm good. Will get some 1/16" HDPE and give it a shot.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Frame sheets. on 11/17/2012 00:43:51 MST Print View

Would kydex work? It can be molded after warming with a heat gun. If the old piece is shaped, you could use it for a mold.

Charles Jennings
(vigilguy) - F

Locale: Northern Utah
Frame sheet on 11/17/2012 07:11:35 MST Print View

I am thinking that kydex would be too stiff as a replacement for a Terraplane frame sheet. The original frame sheet is somewhat pliable and is shaped by the aluminum stay. There are two composite rods that are sewn into the fabric on each side of the frame sheet that provides stiffness. Seems to me that HDPE would probably be the best replacement.

Jeff Hollis
(hyperslug) - MLife
Contact Mystery Ranch on 11/17/2012 07:52:24 MST Print View

Have you thought of contacting Dana Gleason at Mystery Racnch, founder of Dana Design? He is still making similar packs and selling direct to the public. He could probably get you the right stuff. Make sure whatever material you use can hold up under cold temperatures.

Charles Jennings
(vigilguy) - F

Locale: Northern Utah
Frame sheet on 11/17/2012 08:45:42 MST Print View

Yes, I contacted Mystery Ranch and they were not able to help me. I also contacted Marmot, and they do not have any frame sheets left.

Actually I am excited about rebuilding the frame sheet myself. It will be a fun project.

I bought another 20 year old Terraplane on EBay in almost new condition, only used once, for $152.50. Darned if it also didn't have a small crack in the frame sheet as well. I had heard that Dana had switched to a different material in later models.

I found a source for HDPE, and my hired seamstress thinks she can sew through it in order to install the stay sleeve.

Michael Duke
(mpd1690) - F
Re: Frame sheet on 11/17/2012 11:49:24 MST Print View

Can you post a picture of the frame system? I'm interested to see how it is set up. I think there may be a few different ways to rebuild it.

Edited by mpd1690 on 11/17/2012 11:52:04 MST.

Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Radius any inside corners. on 11/19/2012 21:34:54 MST Print View

Not sure if you know the importance of this, but on any of the inside frame sheet cuts, make sure you drill out the corners so they are a radius and not a sharp inside corner cut. Otherwise this is a break point for further cracks. Radius cut corners will be stronger too.

Charles Jennings
(vigilguy) - F

Locale: Northern Utah
Rounding the corners. on 11/19/2012 21:41:28 MST Print View

Excellent suggestion. I knew it, but definitely needed and appreciate the reminder. I am picking the HDPE up tomorrow in Ogden and will cut it to size on a bandsaw. Looking at the original frame sheet, it possibly would have stayed intact if DD had rounded the inside corners a little more.