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  1. #1
    Senior Member SGT Rock's Avatar
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    Want to order cuben today, critiques of the plan?

    I got the urge to splurge. I worked some extra overtime the last couple of weeks so I can buy my the cuben and make my own tarp. The more I thought about doing this the more I like the idea of doing it myself - I love making my own gear, anyway....

    Looks like I am going to go with a 7'x9' with 16 tie outs. My prototyping work had this set up working very well with my DIY SUL hammock rig. I've attached a sketch of what I will look like. In casse you are interested.

    I plan to order 7 yards from Zpacks to make it. This should completely cover me for making the tarp with enough extras left over to make some stuff sacks. The plan is to use the 0.6oz found on this page (http://www.zpacks.com/materials.shtml) that I assume is CT1K.08. I plan to use 1/2" wide 3M 9460 tape to bond the tarp parts and use the primer on it, both I plan to get from www.rshughes.com (Thanks for the tip WV).

    For the pull outs, I plan to sew 3/16" flat cord to patches of cuben, then bond that to the tarp like a sandwich. It may not be the mostest strongest way to make the pull outs like WV is working on, but I do believe it will at least be as strong (probably stronger) as what I saw on youtube from a guy making cuben tarps.

    Before I pull the trigger on this I was hoping there would be some advice from those that have messed around with cuben to shoot their $0.02 in.
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    Last edited by SGT Rock; 07-12-2010 at 08:36.
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  2. #2
    WV's Avatar
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    Looks like a good versatile minimalist tarp design. I bet it comes out less than 5 ounces (depends on weight of tieouts). Cuben furls so tightly that bulk is less of a problem too, so I don't bother with snakeskins.

    RS Hughes can supply what you need, but don't expect fast shipping (think "weeks"). I'm waiting on some Loctite U-10FL for my cuben bonding comparison tests. It may turn out that 3M's 9485 tape is as good or better than 9460, but I won't know until I do those tests (hopefully this week). From the 3M literature it would seem that 9460 has better peel strength, but it does require the primer. The tarp seam will be under shear, not peel, stress anyway. Reportedly the people at Cubic Tech recommend 9485, but that may be because it works better without the primer. (This is conjecture - I may know better next week. ) Both tapes make a bond that's stronger than the Cuben by itself, anyway.

    Z-packs weight of .6 oz/yard doesn't exactly match what I calculate for CT1K.08, but it's close. Maybe it's my calculations or maybe it's the addition of all that heavy green pigment. Looks nice, though. Z-packs' price is pretty reasonable if they don't ship it heavily packaged the way Cubic Tech does.

    I look forward to more of your great field reports. What are you going to use for tie-out lines?

  3. #3
    Senior Member SGT Rock's Avatar
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    I calculated it to be 133 grams or about 4.7 ounces.

    I imagine that the 0.6 ounce estimate is the "finished" weight after you sew hems and such, plus a little extra so if you're a gram weenie you feel good when the actual weight after construction is at, or lower than quoted. One thing I was bothered by MLD stuff I have bought in the past is it was always heavier than advertised, and by more than just a couple of grams.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member SGT Rock's Avatar
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  5. #5
    Senior Member KerMegan's Avatar
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    just from a fabric conserving point of view; is there any reason not to turn the seam 90*? then you could use 2 of the 7'strips of 56"width, so the 112" becomes the length, and you only need 14 ft rather than 7 yards. also the amount of seam to seal/tape is shorter- 7 ft instead of 9 ft....KM

  6. #6
    Senior Member SGT Rock's Avatar
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    except that the width is 54" not 56" so that with say 1" overlap you are an inch short of 108" (9').
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  7. #7
    Frawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SGT Rock View Post
    ...For the pull outs, I plan to sew 3/16" flat cord to patches of cuben, then bond that to the tarp like a sandwich. It may not be the mostest strongest way to make the pull outs like WV is working on, but I do believe it will at least be as strong (probably stronger) as what I saw on youtube from a guy making cuben tarps.
    Great project, and thanks for the video link. I also like cord pull outs better than ribbon. FWIW here's what I'm doing for paracord tie-outs with grosgrain. I sandwich it around and box stitch it to the tie point reinforcement patch. On these, I've removed the inner cords.

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  8. #8
    Senior Member SGT Rock's Avatar
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    Interesting picture. I was thinking about something along those lines for the tie outs, except cuben instead of the Grosgrain, then taping the cuben to the tarp.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member KerMegan's Avatar
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    you are right- I was reading the 54 as 4.5 ft which is 9/2, but no seam allowance...my bad...KM

  10. #10
    Senior Member SGT Rock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KerMegan View Post
    you are right- I was reading the 54 as 4.5 ft which is 9/2, but no seam allowance...my bad...KM
    I had to check it when you wrote that though. It made great sense. If the width had been 56" it would have been perfect because then I could do a 1" wide ridge and have 1/2" on the ends to fold for a hem.
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