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  1. #1
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    Cutting Large Material ?s

    What is the best way to mark and cut large material? I have seen some who have cut old sails, poly tarps, and other large material into hammock tarps and the like. I am seeking any sagely advise.
    I am looking to cut down my GG 11'X11' tarp into a something smaller. Right now the idea is to use the diagonal sewn ridge line for strength. Cut that down from 16' to 11' and cut the other diagonal down to 9' and trim it to make a hex tarp. Which I think would provide great coverage and a taught pitch. Or just cut 2' off the side and use it as a 11'x9' rectangle.
    I know the tarp kind of sucks quality wise I already own it, but my wife works weekend nights and I get bored when the sun goes down so, I might as well be productive. You know what they say about idle hands.

    You guys always have the best ideas.
    Hammocking, car camping, backpacking, kayaking, and mountain biking. Getting in touch with nature is getting expensive. Good thing I can DIY!

  2. #2
    PuckerFactor's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
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    Best solution would be to find a large flat space and lay the thing out, but I understand if that's not an option, although driveways, parking lots, garage floors, all have potential.
    Probably the next best would be to do things in half. Fold the tarp perpendicular to whatever cut you're going to make, then mark and cut through 2 layers. The possibility for error goes up a bit this way, but it's sometimes the best way.
    Probably the worst way would be to use a small kitchen table and just dead-reckon your way across the field of fabric with a straightedge.
    If you're cutting parallel to an edge, there's no need for a big table though. Just measure in however far, make a mark, go a few feet down, do the same. Then just connect the dots with a straightedge and cut away. A kitchen table would work very well for this.

    From your description, it sounds roughly like you're chopping the corners off the GG tarp. A driveway is probably going to be the most accurate for marking at least. Once you have a line to follow, anywhere works for cutting.

    Hope that helps,
    PF
    It's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

    Formerly known as Acercanto, my trail name is MacGuyver to some, and Pucker Factor to others.

    It's not procrastinating, its proactively delaying the implementation of the energy-intensive phase of the project until the enthusiasm factor is at its maximum effectiveness. - Randy Glasbergen

  3. #3
    Chammocks's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
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    A great way to keep off the floor is to use a 12' 2x4 propped on something waist high on either end, built in straight edge and cutting surface if you use a roller cutter or utility knife and keeps you off your knees, doesn't take to much room like a table does.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
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    Thanks for the reply. I kind of figured slow and steady was going to be the key.
    Hammocking, car camping, backpacking, kayaking, and mountain biking. Getting in touch with nature is getting expensive. Good thing I can DIY!

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