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  1. #1
    Senior Member SGT Rock's Avatar
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    DIY Cuben Tarp - minimal sewing, using VHB Tape

    A friend of mine asked me to make him a Cuben Tarp. As some may know, I did mine using VHB tape for most of the work, keeping sewing to a minimum. I think it makes for a stronger tarp overall.

    So this time I made a video about it so you DIY guys can see how it is done. Maybe it will help some of you to think through a Cuben Tarp DIY project, maybe it will scare some of you off.



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiFy90s_Zng
    NO SNIVELING!
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Dave10's Avatar
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    Where did you get your Cuban and what's the weight?
    War **** Eagle! Glory Glory Man United

  3. #3
    Senior Member SGT Rock's Avatar
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    www.zpacks.com

    7.84 ounces (222 grams) for a 8'10"x11' tarp with all the cords for set up.
    NO SNIVELING!
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  4. #4
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Fantastic! Thanks for posting this Sgt Rock.

    I'm one of those DIY folks that's been sitting on the fence, trying to decide whether to jump into cuben or not. I definitely want the cuben gear, but I didn't want to mess up a bunch of expensive fabric either. This visual is what I needed. Thanks again!
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  5. #5

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    Nice video, thanks!

  6. #6
    WV's Avatar
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    Great job. There is more good information on working with cuben in this video than any other source I can think of, by far. I like the way you did your tie outs. I'm still experimenting with mine, and I may well adopt your technique. Thanks!

    You're fortunate to have an assistant. I don't have that luxury, so I've had to find another way to do the long seams. What has worked best is to lay a 4' x 8' piece of masonite on the floor and put a 4' x 4' piece next to it, so I have a work surface 12' long. Then I put one half of the tarp down and pull it taut, fastening it at each end with weights and pieces of painters' tape. I use a long strip of blue painters' tape to mask the edge of the 1" edge that will be bonded, so I can apply the Primer 94 with a small paint brush. The throw-away foam brushes work fine. Then I apply the 9460 VHB tape to the primed area. Because the cuben is held flat, one person can do this quite easily. Then I remove the blue masking tape. Next, I prime a 1" strip on the other half of the tarp in a similar fashion. Then I put the primed edge of the second tarp half over the taped edge of the first half and fasten it in place with weights and tape at each end. The backing paper is still on the VHB tape, but everything is lined up for bonding. Then I carefully start peeling the backing paper off at one end, but instead of pulling it straight back in line with the edge, I pull it at an angle to one side, so I'm pulling it out from between the two sheets of cuben, which are already in contact. To get it started you need to move the weights and lift one corner of the top piece. Once a 3" end of the backing paper is free, you can roll the bond and put the weight back. Then roll the entire seam as you pull the backing out, with the roller following an inch behind the backing as it comes off. If I did have an assistant, I think I would still use this method, with the assistant pulling the backing paper, so I'd have two hands to hold the cuben down ahead of the bonding area and roll it tight immediately after. I use 1" wide tape. A single backing strip is easier to pull than two, but it can be done. It's possible to prepare the cuben by trimming the edge with a soldering iron along a metal straightedge just before applying the primer, but using a cutting mat and rolling cutter is just as easy. I have thought about a cutting mat that's 6" wide and 12' long, but I don't do enough of this stuff to justify the expense. (Besides, they don't exist.)
    Last edited by WV; 08-03-2011 at 08:08.

  7. #7
    dragon360's Avatar
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    Great video - was hoping a few DIY cuben vids would surface sooner than later!
    The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering. - St. Augustine

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    - Bob Marley

  8. #8
    Senior Member Perkolady's Avatar
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    Thanks for doing this video, SGT Rock! I was wondering about this project and that tape, but hadn't seen anything about it yet. WOW! What a project!

  9. #9
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    Thank you, Sgt. Rock. I've been on the fence about making my own cuben drybags, and this definitely helped clear things up for me in several areas.

    A question, though: does the tape work with materials other than cuben (I know you taped the tie-outs with patches, but I'm unsure whether the tape was adhering to the 550 cord or to the cuben patches or both)? For example, Neoprene and nylon? Or do I need to find another type of adhesive and/or sew and then glue patches over the sewn parts?

    Also, thank you for your website; it was what originally got me to try hammock camping!

  10. #10
    Senior Member vinnya42's Avatar
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    This should be sticky'ed to this page...Great job with the instructions Sgt Rock!

    Cuben is just amazing!

    VInce
    Hang it high and God Bless!!

    Vince

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