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Thread: DIY Hex Tarp

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Default DIY Hex Tarp

    Hi Folks
    I've been happily using tarps for shelter, the various ways you can hang them makes them very versatile. But if there are no trees about it can make things a little interesting. I bought a Polish Lavvu last year and really like the way it goes up - a single pole and a few pegs and it is very stable and simple to erect. But weighing 3 1/2 kg is no fun if you are carrying it on your back for any distance. So, after my last overnighter which was next to the beach I started thinking about making a shaped tarp that could be put up if there were no trees around to sling up a ridge line.
    I love using Sketchup to model things - its free and pretty simple to use and it pretty darn accurate. You can measure off complicated angles and sizes very easily, which really helped with this project.



    I bought five meters of PU Nylon that was on special at Point North - 21 was pretty good, especially as its 1.85m wide It's the Danish camo pattern.



    I made a paper scale model to make sure my measurements were correct and then made a full size one in polythene.



    It's great to see it full size - it's the only way to know for certain you've dimensioned the thing properly.
    I got stuck in with the wifes sewing machine and two evenings later it was done.






    The main thing I wanted was to offset the pole - in the Polish Lavvu the pole is central and a pain as it infringes on the floor area forcing you against the edges. So my design is an offset pyramid, giving me maximum floor space for sleeping while maintaining the natural strength and rigidity of a pyramid. I use a walking pole as the central pole or I could cut a suitable stick on site (two sides of the tarp are 1.3m on their bottom edges - this is the height of the pole so I don't need to carry a tape measure!) Weight including carry sack is 950g.



    So I'm pleased with the project - I can lay out full length with no fear of damp toes or face, I still get to see out like under a tarp and it means I can set up on a beach it needed! I have made up a small "storm flap" which can clip on to give a larger covered porch area in case of extreme downpours. The tarp is also big enough for two to sleep under in a pinch.
    Making your own gear is a lot of fun - building models in cheap materials is vital to getting a good result and saves wasting expensive materials.
    Hope you like
    Cheers
    Phil

  2. #2
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    Very nice job!
    Great things are done when men and mountains meet.
    William Blake

  3. #3
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    I think that's great mate , an inspiration to all and you've got exactly what you wanted...
    Tone
    Explore : Discover : Achieve
    The most important thing is not 'who's right' but rather 'what's right'

    2017 BushMoot 31st July - 12th August 2017

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  4. #4
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    So is the final tarp sewn from just 2 pieces?
    Great things are done when men and mountains meet.
    William Blake

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Default

    Yes, I spent time moving templates around to see how many pieces I could get out in one. I managed to get two complete halves so only needed to sew one major seam to have a complete shelter, a very lucky break!
    One other detail - I found the panels all had a little sag in the middle of them when I made the polythene mockup. I added catenary curves to the bottom edges which gets everything drum tight, a brilliant result.
    Cheers
    Phil

  6. #6

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    I feel that maybe a market for this you could also do a double one. Great work

  7. #7
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    Default

    That's a very well thought out piece of work, simple and elegant in design. All three main features are huge pluses when out and about, i.e. one seam only, offset pole placement and catenary curves to the bottom edges.

    Excellent, one of the best MYOG projects for a long time; nicely done
    How do you make the Gods laugh?........................ ..Tell 'em your plans!

  8. #8

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    Wow, nicely done. Great job. And a construction with one single seam is just brilliant.
    Put a brand on it and I am pretty sure you're in business
    A true master has failed more then any beginner has ever tried.

  9. #9
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    I'd use the plastic sheet one as well
    Whittler Kev.
    Alii voluptatem ligna metallo fusionem - Happy as a.
    http://bushcraftinfo.blogspot.com/ & http://bushcraftblacksmith.wordpress. com/

  10. #10
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Macaroon View Post
    That's a very well thought out piece of work, simple and elegant in design. All three main features are huge pluses when out and about, i.e. one seam only, offset pole placement and catenary curves to the bottom edges.

    Excellent, one of the best MYOG projects for a long time; nicely done
    What he said.
    Excellent job.
    Ian

  11. #11
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    May 2014
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    Default

    That looks absolutely amazing mate

  12. #12
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    Many thanks, Gents, glad it gets the thumbs up Can't see me making more, if anyone wants dimensions I can sort them out for you?
    Cheers
    Phil

  13. #13
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    - you should consider making these for sale! wish i would be that good but my sewing skills have not progressed beyond small bags and knifesheaths...
    "disappointed by the monkeys, god created man. then he renounced to further experiments." mark twain

  14. #14
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    Dec 2013
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    Default

    Lovely piece of work


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  15. #15

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    Very nice work,

  16. #16

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    Would you be able to PM me the dimensions? Or post them here? My skills are not enough to make but I am blessed with a retired mother who is a dab hand at this sort of thing!

  17. #17

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    Yeah, this is great!

  18. #18
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    Jun 2014
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    Yes, I'll post the dimensions here so you can make your own - give me a bit to get organised

  19. #19
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    That really is a top bit of work. Have you had chance to spend the night in it yet?
    "Go light; the lighter the better, so that you have the simplest material for health, comfort and enjoyment" - Nessmuk

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Philster View Post
    Yes, I'll post the dimensions here so you can make your own - give me a bit to get organised
    +1 happy member.
    A true master has failed more then any beginner has ever tried.

  21. #21
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    Jun 2014
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    Poole, Dorset
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    Quote Originally Posted by copper_head View Post
    That really is a top bit of work. Have you had chance to spend the night in it yet?
    Not yet, just taken it out on bimbles to set up at brew time. I will do ASAP

  22. #22
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    Jan 2015
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    Scunthorpe
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    Default

    Very impressive. Look forward to seeing your dims

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Philster View Post
    Yes, I'll post the dimensions here so you can make your own - give me a bit to get organised
    Legendary, thanks!

  24. #24
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    Default

    Great job! Looking forward to seeing the dimensions posted - I can see a DIY job on the horizon...
    Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.

  25. #25

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    Excellent work. Nice camo choice for uk woodland also.

  26. #26

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    Really very nice, Philster, you have to be very pleased with that project.

    Well done.

    Would love to see a close up picture of the clip on storm flap too.

  27. #27
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    Jun 2014
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    Alright, here we go. This picture shows one half of the shelter - using 1.85m wide material you can get a complete half from the width, meaning you only have to sew one seam. On narrower stock you will have to sew more seams. And please note these are the actual final dimensions of each panel - you must add on an allowance for the seams (12mm in my case)




    Useful tips........to layout you need a large flat area. I used a 2.1m long piece of wood as a trammel to lay out the panels - drill a hole at one end for a pencil or marker. Then measure from the centre of that hole and drill 1.5mm holes at all the necessary dimensions (i.e.1550mm, 1840mm). I marked on the base line of one panel then placed a small nail through the predrilled hole in the piece of wood through the material at a corner and then marked an arc using the pen. I move to the next corner, alter the position of the nail and make a send arc - where the two overlap is the third corner of the triangle. On such large panels this method of marking out is very useful.
    Sew the main seam first, then do the bottom edges last. Sew on a reinforcement patch at the peak of the tarp BEFORE sewing the main seam. Otherwise you will need to glue this patch in using seam seam or a suitable adhesive.
    To sew the main seam pin it out along the length and then roll up the surplus material and peg it into a manageable bundle so you can concentrate on sewing the seams without worrying about multiple square meters of material flapping about/getting stuck/pulling you off line.
    Reinforce the area around the peg outs with either a second layer of material or a second layer of something tougher. Do this before sewing the seams around the bottom edges of the tarp.
    The catenary curves along the bottom edge are not totally necessary - you can just sew a straight edge. I made an arc 90mm high at the centres and this made for a happy result. Do a quick google on catenary curves to see if its worth the hassle to you.
    You can sew a loop on the front "beak" of the tarp for a guy line or you can just tie the guy line to the pole you are using.

    I hope this helps - any questions ask away. I offer this plan to forum members to make their own, not to be copied commercially.
    Cheers
    Phil

  28. #28

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    Wow, excellent.
    Massive thanks for sharing.
    A true master has failed more then any beginner has ever tried.

  29. #29

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    Brilliant Phil. Many many thanks.

    Roger

  30. #30

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    Thanks mate. Been thinking of making something along these lines for a long time. You executed it very well. Well done for making available your plans as well.

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