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  1. #1
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    cat cut poly tarp?

    My dad recently gave me a huge (about 30' X 40') poly tarp that he had used as a temporary roof over his house/construction site while building. Parts of it have seen some hard use and show serious wear, but there's a portion of it (a roughly rectangular area about 19' X 13') that's in good shape.

    I was wondering if it would be possible to cut a catenary tarp, Black Cat style, out of the good area. Would it work? Would I have to cut it into a hexagonal shape first, cut that in half, and then rejoin the two halves to make it truly catenary?

    Aside from whether it would work, it this a good idea? On the downside, this thing is heavy as hell, and it's that typical baby-blue tarp color; I'll look not so much like a hammocker as a consturction site. I also imagine this thing is very loud in wind and rain. On the plus side, it's compltely waterproof and I got it for free.

    In the end, I might just donate this thing. Maybe the local little league can cover their very tiny infields or something. But before I do that, I thought I'd ask: Any thoughts from the DIY catenary crowd?

  2. #2
    Senior Member blackbishop351's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nails View Post
    My dad recently gave me a huge (about 30' X 40') poly tarp that he had used as a temporary roof over his house/construction site while building. Parts of it have seen some hard use and show serious wear, but there's a portion of it (a roughly rectangular area about 19' X 13') that's in good shape.

    I was wondering if it would be possible to cut a catenary tarp, Black Cat style, out of the good area. Would it work? Would I have to cut it into a hexagonal shape first, cut that in half, and then rejoin the two halves to make it truly catenary?

    Aside from whether it would work, it this a good idea? On the downside, this thing is heavy as hell, and it's that typical baby-blue tarp color; I'll look not so much like a hammocker as a consturction site. I also imagine this thing is very loud in wind and rain. On the plus side, it's compltely waterproof and I got it for free.

    In the end, I might just donate this thing. Maybe the local little league can cover their very tiny infields or something. But before I do that, I thought I'd ask: Any thoughts from the DIY catenary crowd?
    I don't think you'd be very happy with yourself if you put that much work into a poly blue tarp. Like you said, they're heavy, noisy, and not terribly good in general for hiking.

    Just email Ed Speer and get yourself 8 yards of silnylon. For $32 plus shipping, you're not talking a lot of dough to make yourself a really nice piece of gear. I guess what I'm saying is, don't compromise when the good stuff is cheap

    Just my .02
    "Physics is the only true science. All else is stamp collecting." - J. J. Thompson

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackbishop351 View Post
    I don't think you'd be very happy with yourself if you put that much work into a poly blue tarp. Like you said, they're heavy, noisy, and not terribly good in general for hiking.

    Just email Ed Speer and get yourself 8 yards of silnylon. For $32 plus shipping, you're not talking a lot of dough to make yourself a really nice piece of gear. I guess what I'm saying is, don't compromise when the good stuff is cheap

    Just my .02
    I guess I failed to mention that I don't want to sew anything -- or at least not anything terribly complex. I can use scissors and an X-acto knife OK, but needles and thread aren't my thing.

  4. #4
    Senior Member blackbishop351's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nails View Post
    I guess I failed to mention that I don't want to sew anything -- or at least not anything terribly complex. I can use scissors and an X-acto knife OK, but needles and thread aren't my thing.
    Ahh gotcha. Well, in that case, you won't have terribly good luck with cutting down your poly tarp either. That loose-woven fiber would definitely need to be hemmed, or it would fray like crazy VERY quickly.
    "Physics is the only true science. All else is stamp collecting." - J. J. Thompson

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nails View Post
    I guess I failed to mention that I don't want to sew anything -- or at least not anything terribly complex. I can use scissors and an X-acto knife OK, but needles and thread aren't my thing.
    Only one way to learn! I have (had) zero sewing skills when I started my BlackCat Tarp. I'm down to attaching the tie-outs and seam sealing; both of which I plan to finish this weekend. It really isn't a terribly difficult project and BB gives some good hints with his plans. Go slow! Don't be afraid/ashamed to rip out a section and start over. It has taken me WAAAAAY longer than the plans say it should, but I am a true novice with sewing so I have been using the old construction motto "measure twice, stitch 5 times".

    It may have been BB that said it before, but I don't remember for sure. I read something that said "If you look at your sewing machine like a big piece of Crack, you're on your way". That is really true with these projects; it'a a great feeling to step away (so you can't actually see the stitch lines) and be proud of what you've done. I highly recommend it!

  6. #6
    Senior Member blackbishop351's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannibal View Post
    It may have been BB that said it before, but I don't remember for sure. I read something that said "If you look at your sewing machine like a big piece of Crack, you're on your way".
    I think I might've mentioned that somewhere...
    "Physics is the only true science. All else is stamp collecting." - J. J. Thompson

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    I can't put the pipe down man!

  8. #8
    Senior Member blackbishop351's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannibal View Post
    I can't put the pipe down man!
    Lol...you ain't just whistlin' Dixie, Bob...it's my JOB now
    "Physics is the only true science. All else is stamp collecting." - J. J. Thompson

  9. #9
    Senior Member Redtail's Avatar
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    If you ever leave your gear set up at home you might want to make something really simple just use around the yard to save wear and tear (and UV damage) to your good tarp. You could just get some cheap tarp clips. If unraveling is a problem you could use tape.
    Now if you stumble upon some free Tyvek that is a whole different story...

  10. #10
    Senior Member Hooch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannibal View Post
    It may have been BB that said it before, but I don't remember for sure. I read something that said "If you look at your sewing machine like a big piece of Crack, you're on your way".
    Why are you capitalizing crack? Do I need to sic BD on you guys?
    "If you play a Nicleback song backwards, you'll hear messages from the devil. Even worse, if you play it forward, you'll hear Nickleback." - Dave Grohl

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