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  1. #11
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    Very nice!

    Brian, I have a question regarding something I saw on the website. You mention "nylon pull tabs" as being better than grossgrain and systems that use grommets. Can you explain what these are, and elaborate on why you like them so much. (I am going to feel silly if they turn out to simply be nylon webbing, but I must ask!)

  2. #12
    Brian's Avatar
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    Narwhalin - you're right. Nylon webbing instead of grosgrain ribbon for the tieouts - the singe lasts much, much longer and it doesn't fray out over extended use like GGR does.

    This adds about a gram per tieout, but a weight "sacrifice" that adds long term value to the tarp. Grommits + silnylon + wind = bad, and I think that the tieouts that I include now on all of my tarps look great, too. Nice and finished, and certainly not going to fail before the rest of the tarp.

    I've cut back the weight of my whole tie out system from different generation to generation on all of my tarps for sure, and there may be one more introduction that I make to cut back the weight again a slight bit, while still being strong and good looking.

    Brian
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  3. #13
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    What are your thoughts about installing grommets in the webbing? Would that help solve the problem of grommets ripping out? I have been considering this approach because it seems to be the best of both worlds, but thought I would ask everyone's opinion before trying it.

  4. #14
    Brian's Avatar
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    I have always disliked using grommets - I just see webbing as a much neater, cleaner alternative. While a grommet could work properly if its in a nice reinforcing fabric, I see webbing tieouts as a more practical alternative. Properly sewn, the tarp will fail long before the webbing does. A regular zig zag stitch at 10 stitches per inch or so would provide more than enough holding power, and you don't have to worry about fraying around the grommet, rust, or any of that.

    Just my biased .02

    Brian
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  5. #15
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    I'd have to favor Brian's opinion on the grommets. I've seen to many grommets fail, the fabric ripping at the grommet in high wind.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  6. #16
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    DIY grommets are, imo, almost the worst of both worlds. They can be an absolutely pain to seat properly. If they don't crimp properly you end up with sharp edges that can play hob with thin fabrics. The palstic grommets can pull out of almost anything. I would much rather have tab tie-outs than grommets anyday. Anytime you punch a big hole in a piece of fabric you weaken the fibers around the hole. For cotton duck and canvas they can be useful. For nylon I prefer the webbing or grosgrain approach.
    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. #17
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    Brian, I keep hearing ref to this new MacCat with a 12 foot ridge line, but I didn't see it at the web site last night. Is it actually available?

    Another thing I have wondered: In your "Silnylon tarp" section, the tarp, including the cat cut versions, appear to be heavier than the MacCats. For ex, the MacCat dlx ( which I have ) is appx 11x8.5 and weighs 13.5 oz, while the 8x10 cat cut ( smaller, right?) weighs 16.5 oz. What accounts for this? More or stronger tie outs, maybe?
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  8. #18
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    BillyBob: The MacCat Ultra is available, and all tarps should be shipping out within a a week or so. It has three side tieouts as compared with the two of the other MacCat tarps, and can be set up in a SWT-esque configuration (there's a picture on the bottom of the MacCat page on my site) to block a bit of the wind. But the 12' ridgeline really gives a ton of protection, and some pretty steep (strategically placed) curves keep it really taught and quiet, even in high winds. With that much fabric, it required a different look at which sections needed more curvature.

    As for the weights, since the MacCat tarps are not rectangular, they differ in weight due to the lack of fabric, and also the tieouts themselves each add weight. Also, I am in the process of a complete website overhaul, from the ground up, including a rechecking of all of my weights listed under my tarps. I have been clocking in a fair number of MacCat Deluxe's at around 13.1oz each, and my 8' x 10' C.C.'s have been averaging 15.8oz, both weights including seam sealing and stuff sacks. These weight reductions have come from improved construction techniques and better fabric and material selection.

    I haven't listed these weights officially as of yet, as I will be implementing a few new improvements soon/immediately - you'd be amazed what an 8 hour plane ride can accomplish in terms of imagination. But any new tarps coming from me will incorporate at least some of these weight reduction techniques.

    Brian
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  9. #19
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    Thanks for all the info regarding grommets, guys! I want to clarify that I wasn't advocating grommets in the fabric, rather in the webbing that is attatched to the tarp.

    Rust is bad, but sharp edges are a big problem when it comes to tarps. So, I am convinced that they are not the way to go.

    I am looking forward to these other DIY projects you are talking about, Brian. Care to mention any to get our tatsebuds going?

  10. #20
    Brian's Avatar
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    Warwhalin: As for now - I'm working on getting caught up on my backorder and getting everyone who ordered a tarp while I was away happy, plus my site redesign. After that, we'll see on some basic things and then maybe a bigger project or two.

    I've recently discovered some older products that have been lost in time, but nevertheless are great designs and shouldn't just fade into the darkness. I've got at least one thing that I will hopefully be able to dissect and post a DIY guide to make your own. Stay tuned.

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