So I thought I'd give it a shot a DIYing a tarp. I thought about Tyvek, but after much thought and helpful input from others on this site, I decided to try and make my own tarp. My goals in this tarp were simple: waterproof (kinda a given), light weight, and done as much in "diy" as I could.
I would like to give credit where credit is due: Gunn Parker for the link to Black Bishops site for the directions for the cat cuts and everyone that added to the "make your own sil" thread (http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...hlight=mineral). Without these two threads, I could never have made this thing.
So anyways. I went to Walmart and lucked up on 1.1 ripstop nylon in the $1 bin. I got the entire bolt, 15 yards. I then went and got a bottle of mineral spirits and a tube of clear silicon caulking.
I mixed the silicon (about the size of half a baseball) and mineral spirits together and made a mixture that was runny, but still thick (about the consistency of syrup that had been in the fidge). I slowly added the mineral spirits while using a whisk to mix things up (if someone follows these directions, I would greatly caution this being done in a well ventilated area!). I coated the nylon in two twelve foot sections. I let them air dry in the garage hanging from a rope and being held inplace by the hangers you would use to hang pants. (Talk about the neighbors looking at you funny, try explaining why you are hanging fabric in your garage...)
Next I took the dried fabric into the house and used cardboard cut outs of the cat cuts as templates for the tarp. (I REALLY recomend this. I have since gotten a single piece of cardboard from a furniture store and I am going to make a whole template for the entire tarp instead of just pieces like I did this time.) I used the instructions and excel file from gunn's webpage of the Black Bishop tarp from this point on (Again, thanks for hosting this valuable piece of info!).
This first pic is of the ripstop, before and after the diy sil job. The lighter stuff has no sil, and the darker has the sil.
Here is the finished product. I don't know what, if anything that I have added to the collective good of making a tarp, but I just wanted to share.