Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Cuben Mid 90% complete
Display Avatars Sort By:
Kevin Egelhoff
(kegelhoff) - F

Locale: Southern Cal
Cuben Mid 90% complete on 05/31/2007 10:16:04 MDT Print View

I started my second project thinking I could pretty easily make the cuben mid in a week in maybe 15 to 20 hours of time. BOY was I wrong. I think I have about 30 hours into this so far and I still have about 5 more hours of work! I have definitely learned a lot about sewing, taping, and being patient !!!
I'm leaving for Italy in five days so this project won't be finished for about a month. Can't wait to get it done though and try it out.
Cutting the Cuben on our CNC cutting machine
I was lucky enough to use a CNC ultrasonic cutting machine at work to cut out all the shapes! We normally cut carbon fiber on this machine but it worked great for cutting the cuben.
Installing the zipper
Learned how to make and install the zipper.
Pole support
Pole support with side vents. Note the small loops to be able to attach the attic. I'm going to install a flexable rod (maybe silicone tubing?) that attaches to the vent flap. Then, I can open and close the vent from the inside as needed.
Shelter in raised mode
Here it is raised off the ground for maximum ventilation. When staked to the gound I use the side tie outs to give it more room inside. I don't have a picture but it worked pretty well.
Weight with all the guy lines is JUST 9.88 oz !!! Less then I had planned for. I used a lot of grossgrain for the corner tie outs and think I may have gone a little overboard but I would rather be safe then sorry. Seems like this should fit three people and a little gear pretty well. Two people would have plenty of room! Next step will be creating the nanoseeum and Cuben skirt that will protect the bottom from rain and bugs in the raised position.

Edited by kegelhoff on 05/31/2007 14:59:40 MDT.

Nicholas Jensen
(attack5) - F

Locale: Murderapolis
WOW! on 05/31/2007 10:42:01 MDT Print View

Wicked awesome job and the mid looks great. I really like the vents.

What seams did you tape and what did you sew?

Who's tape did you use?

How many yards of cuben did it end up using?


Kevin Egelhoff
(kegelhoff) - F

Locale: Southern Cal
Re: WOW! on 05/31/2007 11:09:43 MDT Print View

I taped and sewed ALL seams. (thanks Ron!)
I used soooo much tape that I think I re-ordered three times! I got it all from Quest. I'm pretty sure it is the 3M tape. Really good stuff.
In the non-critical seams I used the thinner, lighter, 3/8" wide tape from Kite Studios. I only used this on the bottom rolled hem.
This uses a LOT of Cuben !!! I'm guessing I used almost 10 yards for what you see in the picture and I still plan on using more for the small attic and bottom skirt.
I'm hoping the vents work well enough with cross venting and the chimney effect when the shelter is in the raised position. In the lowered position during bad weather it may not be enough? If not, I can easily add additional vents to the last remaining walls. Hope I don't need to add them

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Wow to the Cuben 'mid on 05/31/2007 12:14:46 MDT Print View

Ahhh, I see, 2 "scoops" but 4 vent openings. Muy bien. Maybe it's just the perspective of the picture but that's the flattest Pyramid tarp I've seen--- but it looks like the configuration is more purely Summer (or 3 season, if you will) friendly than most. I'm assuming that you don't have the intention of using this early/late season with risk of snowfall. If you do get significant condensation on the inside (even w/ all the venting), I wonder how the shallow angle pitch will influence drip.

Will you be using trekking poles or a dedicated pole for this?

Really looks great and I look forward to a field report.

Kevin Egelhoff
(kegelhoff) - F

Locale: Southern Cal
Re: Wow to the Cuben 'mid on 05/31/2007 13:00:02 MDT Print View

Unlike you tough guys who also do winter camping ... I'm lucky to get out three to four times a year in later summer and fall. There were no plans to use this for winter camping and you are correct that it would not shed snow very well. The height is ONLY 48" at the center unless it is raised above the ground. I then lowered the edges to the gound and took this side photo.
In this side shot I didnt have all the guy lines tight yet. THe sun was setting and I wanted to hurry up and take the photo. I'm thinking water condensation should run to the edges BUT I still need to test that out.
I tied it out with my 2.6 oz hiking poles and it took the load EASY !!! The only problem being that the pole is a fixed length pole. I could make a custom pole set that weighed even less or maybe make a adjustable pole?? I will probably make something just to see if there is any difference.
Side shot

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
'Mid mirth. on 05/31/2007 13:28:42 MDT Print View

Tough? Naw, just one of those sufferers of Bi-Seasonal Recreational Disorder---just don't know well enough when to hang it all up. :-)>

The construction quality evidenced in the photos looks good enough to have been done by Ron Bell or the like. And you get to play with CNC ultrasonic cutting machines? Ever thought about getting into the cottage industry game?

Edited by kdesign on 05/31/2007 13:35:09 MDT.

Nicholas Jensen
(attack5) - F

Locale: Murderapolis
Cubenator on 05/31/2007 13:40:36 MDT Print View


Could you explain how you taped and sewed the seams. As soon as I get home I want to start building several things with cuben and want to get off on the right foot. If you have a pic of a seam, that would be great too.

Thanks for any help you can give an aspiring cuben fanatic.

Kevin Egelhoff
(kegelhoff) - F

Locale: Southern Cal
Re: 'Mid mirth. on 05/31/2007 14:54:48 MDT Print View

Ron Bell and Grant Sible at Gossamer Gear were nice enough to give me a few hints, like tape and sew each seam if you want it done right. They are great at making this stuff and I'm VERY thankfull that they took the time and effort to help me with some important questions in making my own gear. I'm definitely NOT interested in making this gear as it really is a lot of work and a true craft. Cutting the patterns on the CNC cutting table is something our company could do for a manufacturer looking for precision cut pieces. The rest was just lots of thinking and trial/error and playing around with the cuben. I built a few small test pieces to make sure they would really work before making the final parts. For example: I built a guy line, sandwiched it between some wood 2x4's and pulled to see if I could break it. Not sure how I came up with the corner tieouts but them seem to be really tough and distribute the load well. I kept thinking this was going to weigh more than I had calculated as I kept using more and more tape and grossgrain but somehow it ended up being lighter than expected. I really took my time on this project to make it turn out nice. Just a lot more work than I thought it would be.

I have a long table that I use as my work space. Lay down the first piece of cuben and use masking tape to keep it tight and hold it in position.
Tape seam
I just layed down the 3M tape with a 1/8 margin on the side. Use a roller to set the tape really well to the Cuben. Then, lay the panel you want to attach on top of the panel with the tape.
Seam detail 2
Use masking tape to position and hold the top piece in place and keep the panel tight, and get the perfect fit up. Then, I start peeling off the tape starting on one end and slowely move along the seem. I hope that makes sense? I should have taken a picture of this.

Do a search on Cuben and you will see a lot of Post from Bill on working with and sewing the cuben. I got all my info from him and Ron Bell. Use long stiches and good thread from Quest. One thing that works well in sewing is using silicone on the needle. The needle will want to gum up going through the tape. I clean the needle with alcohol and then wipe it with silicone every 4 to 5 feet of sewing.

Edited by kegelhoff on 05/31/2007 15:10:28 MDT.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Cubenator-Why not a catenary cut on 05/31/2007 15:09:19 MDT Print View

Did you consider using a BD Mid or other catenary cut design for a pattern? The catenary cut does an awsome job of spilling wind with only the four corners staked out.

Kevin Egelhoff
(kegelhoff) - F

Locale: Southern Cal
Re: Re: Cubenator-Why not a catenary cut on 05/31/2007 15:18:21 MDT Print View

I thought about that but it would seem to make the project a lot harder to make. I figured I would be holding the edges and pulling the seam straight when joining seam to seam so a catenary cut would have been more difficult on the curve when building.
You can't tell in the pictures but it was pretty windy when I started putting up my shelter. When it was pulled tight at just the four corners it didn't come close to flapping in the wind. I think the key might be that the Cuben doesn't stretch so you can pull it real tight and it stays tight. Granted, it was maybe only blowing 5 to 10 mph but I was still very rigid. The low height probably helped as well. I really wanted to try and have as much interier room as possible with the low ceiling height.
I'm sure Ron or Dave at Oware could come up with that design. Since this was my second project I figured I had better try and make it as simple as possible.

Edited by kegelhoff on 05/31/2007 15:18:56 MDT.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: Re: Cubenator-Why not a catenary cut on 05/31/2007 19:39:56 MDT Print View

Hey Kevin,
Love your project.
I don't thing the question about taping and sewing got the answer we were looking for.
When you try to sew on top of tape, the stickiness from the tape just gums everything up and after about 3-6" the thread gets messed up.
Even scotch tape will do this, I could imagine the 3M tape would be much worse.

So how many cubic feet does this have?

Edited by awsorensen on 06/01/2007 00:15:35 MDT.

Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
Cuben Mid Kit? on 05/31/2007 22:43:09 MDT Print View

I'd love to give something like this a try. Thanks Kevin for posting this. This is great.

I'm wondering if any vendor out there would be interested in putting together a kit like this?

Thanks again,

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Wow to the Cuben 'mid on 05/31/2007 23:44:08 MDT Print View

Way cool Kevin- you have a beautifully built and very unique shelter. I can't wait to hear how it does in the field!

Thanks for sharing your masterpiece!


Kevin Egelhoff
(kegelhoff) - F

Locale: Southern Cal
Re: Re: Re: Re: Cubenator-Why not a catenary cut on 06/01/2007 12:49:35 MDT Print View

This used almost 10 yards of Cuben !! I'm guessing I will need at least 3 more yards to make the bottom skirt as planned.
You are correct about the needle wanting to gum up. The key for me was in using Isopropyl alcohol to clean the needle followed by liberal use of silicon release agent on the needle. I had to do this every three to five feet of sewing.
I used long straight stiches on most of the seem where there was Cuben on top of Cuben and used a zig zag stitch on the corners where I had a lot of grossgrain material on Cuben.
I hope this answered most of your questions.

When I designed this on paper it looked good but if I ever made another one I would probably make it 8 to 10" taller in height. It is only 38.0" tall when staked to the ground in "low profile" mode. Thinking there might not be enough pitch and I could get water droplets falling instead uf running down the sides?
In the lowerd state the size seems fine for two people I guess ? I had always planned on making the lower skirt and know this will raise the center height to about 46 to 48" in height and give me a lot more room, maybe large enough for three people. I just need to make sure the skirt will be able to be secured to the ground so it won't flap in high winds and needs to still be able to keep water out. I have a few thoughts in mind as we will see how they work.

Dave Olsen at Oware has made a really nice one of these for Ryan. I'm sure he would make one for you if you really wanted one. Based on the material and work I'm guessing they would be expensive !!

Thanks. Always fun to make these projects and I can't wait to get out and test it !!!

Chris Jackson
(chris_jackson) - F
mid size? on 06/03/2007 22:12:14 MDT Print View

Kevin, Is your mid an 8 ft square, or a different size?

Kevin Egelhoff
(kegelhoff) - F

Locale: Southern Cal
Re: mid size? on 06/04/2007 09:10:22 MDT Print View

I made the width as large as possible based on the width that the Cuben fiber roll comes in. Two panels connected together ended up being 52.0" x 52.0" = 104 inches wide. Minus the seam allowance it is pretty close to 8.5 feet x 8.5 feet.