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  1. #1
    Klaussinator's Avatar
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    Taslite tarp and homemade Sil coating

    After reading some other posts here about the camoed Taslite nylon that WallyWorld has been selling, I bought 12yds for less than $16 and decided to make a tarp. I researched all the sizes & dimensions used by the vendors here, and kind of settled on my own plan, more or less an average of what's out there. All edges and the ridge are cat-cut, but not as deeply as some. I want maximum coverage but with the advantages of the cat edges.

    I ended up with a ridge length just over 11' and side lengths of 56" at the tie-outs, sligthy less in the middle. Used some black nylon material I had to reinforce the tie-outs & both ends of the ridge line. Where I joined the two pieces of material at the ridge line, I came up with what I thought was a flat-felled hem, but later research online proved me wrong. It's all good though, since my version means that all stitching goes through four layers of material instead of just three. My sweet old Slant-o-Matic 404 did an absolutely beautiful job stitching it's way around this mass of fabric. Never missed a beat until I got a little hasty while attaching the straps and bent a needle.

    Since this fabric isn't waterproof, I decided to whip up some DIY potion using what appears to be a popular recipe of silicone and mineral spirits. While I understand the hesitation of some folks here toward messing with this stuff, I'm the kind of guy who'd rather build than buy, so I just had to try it . . .

    I pumped one full tube of GE clear silicone into a 5-gal bucket, and then used the now-empty tube to measure the precise amount of thinner. This exact ratio seems to be a mystery and even at times, the cause of heated discussion over too thin vs too thick. Well, the mystery is solved. The answer is 1-part silicone to exactly 3.75 parts thinner. How do I know?!? Because that's when I ran out of mineral spirits! The consistancy looked good to me, and it was just enough to soak the tarp and even wring out a little bit of leftover.

    Seriously though, it seemed to penetrate the fabric well, and once the tarp was wrung & hung, I saw no globs whatsoever. I still took a sponge and wiped down the surface just to ensure eveness, but really didn't get much off. Although this job's a mess, I think immersion seems to be a better, more thorough way to saturate the fabric, as opposed to "painting" it on.

    So here's the final product, freshly Sil'ed and hung to dry. Temps dropped from the mid to low 50's while this was out, but still only took about 2 hrs before I could handle it enough to rehang it inside the shop for an overnight cure.



    Did a quick water test about 4 hrs later and had no soakthrough and good water beading on the surface. I'm anxious to get it out and see how it looks once properly hung the next nice day . . . more pics and water testing results to come!



    -Klauss
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  2. #2
    """TheKraken!""" Jedediah300's Avatar
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    Sweet!
    Quick question, how does the Taslite nylon compare to typical rip stop nylon? And is 100% nylon?

  3. #3
    Klaussinator's Avatar
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    Taslite is a little heavier than your average R.S. Yes, it's 100% nylon.

    I've been looking for a camo tarp and this seems like it has potential, especially at < $2/yd.

    -Klauss
    My Blog: http://www.klaussinator.com * Check out the new site! *
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    "Forced ingenuity is the drive of a life well lived."

    "But hey, 2 trees anywhere is a bedroom waiting to happen, right?" ~Wolf

  4. #4
    Needs more Hang time Catavarie's Avatar
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    Now, that is a lot of tarp for less than $20.
    *Heaven best have trees, because I plan to lounge for eternity.

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  5. #5
    Fish<><'s Avatar
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    That tarp is beautiful Klauss! If you ever get a hankering to make another, let me know.

    How much does it weigh?
    "We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it."- G. W. Sears

    My forum name is Fish<><; I'm in the navy; and I hate sleeping on the ground. If I didn't need ground to walk on or measure resistance to, I think I could happily give it up.

  6. #6
    Klaussinator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fish<>< View Post
    That tarp is beautiful Klauss! If you ever get a hankering to make another, let me know.

    How much does it weigh?
    Lemme get it out for some real-world testing before I offer to start production . . .

    Since I typically bikepack with a trailer, I don't count ounces (or grams) like most folks here, so I don't yet own a scale to weigh my creations. But I can see I need to get one. I know this material is a little heavier than typical lightweight R.S., and once the SIL has cured, I'm wondering how much weight that will have added. Based on posts from others who have SIL'd their own stuff, I think it will be well within acceptable limits for my purposes. I'll follow up . . .

    -Klauss
    My Blog: http://www.klaussinator.com * Check out the new site! *
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    "Forced ingenuity is the drive of a life well lived."

    "But hey, 2 trees anywhere is a bedroom waiting to happen, right?" ~Wolf

  7. #7
    Fish<><'s Avatar
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    Looking forward to the update. As long as its lighter than the tarp I have now I'd be happy to get my hands on some taslite...
    "We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it."- G. W. Sears

    My forum name is Fish<><; I'm in the navy; and I hate sleeping on the ground. If I didn't need ground to walk on or measure resistance to, I think I could happily give it up.

  8. #8
    Klaussinator's Avatar
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    *** FIELD-TEST TONIGHT ***

    Noob note: Following the sage advice of the hanging elders, I'm testing my workmanship at home first rather than way out in the woods.

    Been raining here all day, and is predicted to be steady all night and into tomorow, with a low around 40… how perfect is that?!?

    I hung the tarp in the rain about three hours ago just before dark, and besides some splash-up along the lower edges, the underside is totally dry. I was most concerned about the ridge line since I didn't coat it seperately, just immersed the whole tarp. So far, excellent!

    Gonna take my downy TQ out soon and settle in (hopefully for the night.) Will follow up with a report here after I get to work tomorrow...

    -Klauss
    Last edited by Klaussinator; 01-14-2013 at 19:56. Reason: Title
    My Blog: http://www.klaussinator.com * Check out the new site! *
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    "Forced ingenuity is the drive of a life well lived."

    "But hey, 2 trees anywhere is a bedroom waiting to happen, right?" ~Wolf

  9. #9
    dangerous's Avatar
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    Can't wait to see the results of this
    -Jon-
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  10. #10
    gunner76's Avatar
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    Nice tarp.

    I have a DIY hammock made of the same stuff. Wish I had gotten two bolts of the fabric so I could have made a matching tarp.
    Merchants Mill Pond SP Swamp Hang

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