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  1. #1
    Member jaydweight's Avatar
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    I want to make a tarp...Any ideas?

    I've seen so many great tarps, but I don't want to fork up the money to buy one. I just finished my own hammock and stuff sack. I think I have it in me, but what do I need to know before I take the dive into the tarping biz? Have you made one? What were the difficult/easy parts? Let me know, thanks.

    I want to make one like the Winter Dream, one with closeable doors and side tieouts (even thought I guess it doesn't have to have it, but might as well learn right?)

    Any help would be really appreciative, thanks.

    I've never sealed any seems either so that will be new to me too.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nacra533's Avatar
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    For a first one, a 10'x11' square tarp as shown on Speers site is very easy. Seam sealing is not a problem. You can add the "intermediate" tie out loops to allow the doors to close some. I like the seam running across the fabric instead of along the ridgeline because if it leaks, it might not soak you. A ridgeline seam would guarentee any leaks drip into the center of the hammock. Although, the non-ridgeline seam does not look quite as "neat" when pitched.

    I choose to bind my tarp edges instead of hemming them because I have a binder and I buy gross-grain by the pound instead of by the foot. It might add a little weight, but it's much faster.

  3. #3
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Tarps, like most other hammocking items, are based upon a universal principle. I would suggest you investigate the Black Cat tarp project. It is for a cat cut tarp which you may or may not want if you are attaching doors. But the essential instructions are identical no matter what tarp you are making. The only thing that varies are the personal preference items like loops vs rings, reinforcement patches, contrast colors, edge treatment.

    If you have gotten so far as to make a stuff sack and hammock then the tarp is simply taking those same skills and using them slightly differently. The tarp ridgeline is usually sewn with a flat felled seam (not to worry the directions are demonstrated in my We Don't Sew vids.) Some folks prefer what amounts to a stitched down French seam. (Again watch my vids for French seam directions.)

    The major difference is the sheer size of the amount of fabric. However, making a hammock will give you a feel for how to manage that much bulk. There are lots of folks who have made their own tarps. I would be willing to bet a high number of the active members on the forums have at least one DIY tarp in the closet. I do.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
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  4. #4
    Member jaydweight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nacra533 View Post
    For a first one, a 10'x11' square tarp as shown on Speers site is very easy. Seam sealing is not a problem. You can add the "intermediate" tie out loops to allow the doors to close some. I like the seam running across the fabric instead of along the ridgeline because if it leaks, it might not soak you. A ridgeline seam would guarentee any leaks drip into the center of the hammock. Although, the non-ridgeline seam does not look quite as "neat" when pitched.

    I choose to bind my tarp edges instead of hemming them because I have a binder and I buy gross-grain by the pound instead of by the foot. It might add a little weight, but it's much faster.
    Thanks for the tip. What material is used in the corner triangular tie outs? It looks like a heavier nylon. Also should I us webbing for the tie down straps that connect with the loop or stick with grossgrain?

    Anyone have any tips on sealing seams?

  5. #5
    Member jaydweight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    Tarps, like most other hammocking items, are based upon a universal principle. I would suggest you investigate the Black Cat tarp project. It is for a cat cut tarp which you may or may not want if you are attaching doors. But the essential instructions are identical no matter what tarp you are making. The only thing that varies are the personal preference items like loops vs rings, reinforcement patches, contrast colors, edge treatment.

    If you have gotten so far as to make a stuff sack and hammock then the tarp is simply taking those same skills and using them slightly differently. The tarp ridgeline is usually sewn with a flat felled seam (not to worry the directions are demonstrated in my We Don't Sew vids.) Some folks prefer what amounts to a stitched down French seam. (Again watch my vids for French seam directions.)

    The major difference is the sheer size of the amount of fabric. However, making a hammock will give you a feel for how to manage that much bulk. There are lots of folks who have made their own tarps. I would be willing to bet a high number of the active members on the forums have at least one DIY tarp in the closet. I do.
    Cool, looks like I need to start watching your videos to get a better idea. Thanks a ton!

  6. #6
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Not to disagree with anyone... I would suggest a straight hex tarp for a first one if you want detachable doors. The layout is only slightly more difficult that a rectangular tarp and they tend to pitch tighter (IMO) which I find much more satisfying. Beyond that almost anything goes. There are dozens of threads dealing with all the variables. Browse through the DIY forums for tarps. You'll find more than you ever needed to know.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
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  7. #7
    Member jaydweight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    Tarps, like most other hammocking items, are based upon a universal principle. I would suggest you investigate the Black Cat tarp project. It is for a cat cut tarp which you may or may not want if you are attaching doors. But the essential instructions are identical no matter what tarp you are making. The only thing that varies are the personal preference items like loops vs rings, reinforcement patches, contrast colors, edge treatment.

    If you have gotten so far as to make a stuff sack and hammock then the tarp is simply taking those same skills and using them slightly differently. The tarp ridgeline is usually sewn with a flat felled seam (not to worry the directions are demonstrated in my We Don't Sew vids.) Some folks prefer what amounts to a stitched down French seam. (Again watch my vids for French seam directions.)

    The major difference is the sheer size of the amount of fabric. However, making a hammock will give you a feel for how to manage that much bulk. There are lots of folks who have made their own tarps. I would be willing to bet a high number of the active members on the forums have at least one DIY tarp in the closet. I do.
    I have briefly glanced over the instructions on a 50 plus page manual to make a black cat tarp, but when it came to the excel calculation file link I didn't see it. Anyone know or where I can get that calculation file? I know it will be helpful.

  8. #8
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    The calculation link is helpful if you are doing a cat cut. Otherwise you don't need to fret over it.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

  9. #9
    Member shevy77's Avatar
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    Several popular sizes have printable templates. See the attached.

    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...3&postcount=55

    Shevy77

  10. #10
    Member jaydweight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    The calculation link is helpful if you are doing a cat cut. Otherwise you don't need to fret over it.
    I found it. I do want to make a cat cut. Thanks.

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