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  1. #1
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    DIY Cuben Tarp + taping tips

    Hi all,

    Here's my take on a cuben tarp and some tips on how to apply tape on it.

    I wanted a simple large rectangle tarp (about 3m x 2.7m) for it can be setup in various ways also for ground dwelling. I also wanted to try making it entirely of cuben.

    So, first I grabbed my three meter pieces of 27g/m2 cuben and trimmed and straightened all the edges.

    Next I aligned the sheets on top of each other and tried applying the 3M adhesive tape to the ridgeline in short pieces. That was awful. I had the tape pieces stuck everywhere except the ridgeline. So I had to invent the cuben tape applicator:



    As you can see it consists of hitech components such as a 50 year old stool and a pipe from a vacuum cleaner.

    Anyway, with the applicator things started progressing really well and the ridgeline was taped in no time.

    I used two strips of tape 1cm each for the ridgeline. After applying the tapes on one of the sheets, it was easy to turn over the taped part against the other sheet and glue them together:



    I repeated a similar taping process for all the edges but only used one strip of the tape for those.

    Next it was time to add the guyline loops. This needed some thinking over as I wanted to make them from cuben, too. I ended up with a design where I sandwiched the cuben sheet between two strips of heavier duty 49g/m2 cuben strips.

    I started mass producing one-sided (cuben on the other side, adhesive tape on the other) cuben tape strips:



    Six 2cm wide strips of one-sided heavy-duty tape ready for cutting:



    Completed strips each 30cm long:



    Two strips are needed for one connection point, a "V" and a straight one:



    Here's how the "V" strip goes, note that the top side of the strip goes _under_ the sheet and vice versa:



    First attach one side of the V-strip:



    Then flip over the sheet and work the other end:



    ...until you reach this stage (the brown protective paper has been trimmed a bit):



    Here's where the second strip goes:





    Peeling of the brown paper before the strips meet:



    Sheet again flipped over:



    Almost finished:



    Finished:



    Taping one loop from both sides like this takes about five minutes once you get the hang of it.

    Test run:




    I did some stress testing on a smaller piece of cuben before making the tarp and the V-sandwich design seemed to be pretty strong. I was also concerned how the 2cm wide strip of cuben would handle a thin guyline, but it seemed to do just fine. It could withstand a lot of pulling or heavy tugging from all directions without any visible permanent damage. The cuben loop does get a bit deformed temporarily where it meets the guyline:





    This was my first project with cuben and I'm pretty satisfied with the results so far.

    Today we had some pretty strong winds so I was under the tarp checking out how it handles the situation. The tarp handled the wind just fine, but I was interrupted by a beast who walked under the tarp and looked a bit peckish so I served her some bread and water to dip the bread in:



    The first version of my hammock kit is now complete. In addition to the new tarp I have a simple gathered end hammock, a bugsock, dynaglide whoopie slings and a pair of simple treehuggers. All of these are DIY and I it was fun making them! The weight of this lot incl. the tarp is probably somewhere around 600 grams. DIY quilts are way out of my league still, so I got a nice set from Hammock Gear instead...

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    beep's Avatar
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    Wow! Great looking project! I admire what you've done!
    "The more I carry the happier I am in camp; the less I carry the happier I am getting there" - Sgt. Rock

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bomber's Avatar
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    Very nicely documented, and WOW you got some light gear now!

    How is the lay in the cuben hammock?

    Thanks for sharing


    Edit: Welcome aboard from Denmark!, that's one heck of a first post!
    Last edited by Bomber; 06-23-2011 at 12:03. Reason: addede text
    /Bomber.LTD
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  4. #4
    Senior Member tiredhiker's Avatar
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    So if I understand the pictures all you use to join the pieces is double sided tape? And if so what kind
    Oh im sorry how rude of me, I should of started off by telling you that you did a nice job
    because that looked pretty hard to construct.
    Hope it works for you keep us informed in the future how its holding up..happy sleeping

  5. #5
    Senior Member WV's Avatar
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    Well done, indeed! It looks like you used a double-sided tape. Which one is it? Your assembly methods would transfer well to adhesive transfer tape also. The only thing I do differently when taping a seam is to position the two tarp edges together with the tape in between them. Then I pull the backing out from between them at an angle so they stick immediately as it is removed.

  6. #6
    Senior Member tiredhiker's Avatar
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    I was wondering where you got the material ?I would love to try this

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the feedback!

    Bomber: the hammock is plain old ripstop nylon, albeit a light one. Just the tarp is cuben.

    tiredhiker, WV: I used an adhesive transfer tape for everything, namely 10mm 3M 9485PC. The other two materials used were CT2K.08 and CN5K.18 cuben.

    Construction wasn't actually too hard. Although, taping cuben does seem to require a bit of patience... You definitely do not need any fancy tools: all I used was: a steel ruler, a pair of scissors, a carpet knife, a 50 yo wooden stool, a pipe from a vacuum cleaner and a tape measure.

  8. #8
    Senior Member WV's Avatar
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    Mole,
    Thanks for the additional info. Did you use the CN5K.18 for the straps? I was worried about their strength if they were the same material as the tarp canopy. How does "CN..." differ from "CT..."? I understand the "5K.18" part (very tough - are you going to make a pack?) Were you able to buy it in small quanties? If you had to buy 9 m., would you like to sell me some?

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the excellent tutorial.

    How does one acquire the 3M transfer tape? I can only find it by the case...96 rolls!
    Knotty
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  10. #10
    Senior Member G.L.P.'s Avatar
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    thats a nice looking tarp there
    i really want a Cuben tarp... the cost is what holds me back right now

    .... maybe i'll sell all my other tarps off and get one
    It puts the Underquilt on it's hammock ... It does this whenever it gets cold

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