Friday, June 17, 2011

Photos...well a couple anyway...

I'd hoped to have more photos by now, but the camera crisis continues, and I haven't had time to borrow a digital with an actual working flash, so for now it's tent pics.

On the Sunday before our intended Wednesday departure for Highlands War, I finally came to understand what my son intended when he told me he wanted to build his own tent - maybe something like a tee-pee.  He had figured out, like I had, that modern dome tents are just not that comfortable.  This has to be especially true when it is his 6' plus self getting in and out of a very low-to-the-ground, one-man tent.  He wanted something more comfortable!

I spent the rest of Sunday (or so it seemed) researching medieval tent options.  I showed him pictures of Saxon getelds, a type of wedge tent.  They're pretty simple to build and easy to put up, at least for the two of us.

Monday morning, I visited my only local option for canvas-in-a-hurry, Phoenix Tent & Awning.  The untreated cotton canvas was much more affordable than Sunforger, the ideal option.  I went with the untreated canvas, since this was all an experiment.  Next time, if there is such, I'll go with the good stuff, and I'll order it on-line, ahead of time.  I calculated 11 yards, rounded up to 12, took the extra yard that was left for 13 yards. 

I layed out this monstrous chunk of fabric on the living room floor and started measuring and marking.  Gee, I was short about 2 yards.  Oops.  Miscalculated.  Back to Phx Tent & Awning, then back home to finish cutting.  I started sewing late Monday afternoon, and only had to sew the hem and attach the tent stake loops on Tuesday morning.  The fabric part was finished.

We arrived at Highlands War with the canvas, a 6' 2x4, and 2-8' long poles plus some hardware to join the sections.  I figured that the poles needed to be shortened one foot, and figured on doing that at the campsite, but of course forgot the saw.  As it turned out, the poles needed to be shortened 2 feet, and the tent is not as tall as I had intended it to be.

The instructions that I had followed were from this site:  While the instructions were reasonably simple and clear, the information on yardage required was rather vague, as they themselves pointed out. 

Now I know a little better how to measure, so I could definitely see making another one someday, enough taller that the poles could be 7 or 8 feet and there'd still be plenty of spread to make for nice interior space for the camper and all his stuff.  I can even see fixing the first one, just by removing the stake loops, adding a 1-2 foot extension all around, in sections to match the original, and reattaching the loops.  A bit of work yes, but it would enhance the usability of the tent in both head-room and floor space, so probably worth it!

Barely visible in the background is the tent that I build back in Jan.-Feb., a carport cover that gave me fits and almost killed a sewing machine.  Yes, it really made it to an event and I really did use it!  However, it has some problems.  In addition to the roof being totally NOT waterproof, the walls are too long around the frame, and tall enough that I need to get taller poles.  If I can raise the walls up a little higher, I'll be able to stake them more tightly and still get nice slope for better wind and water resistance and floor space.  I also need to pleat out some of the excess around the frame, either top to bottom or just as pleats at the top.  If I leave them at the top, but make them near the corners, they'll help with the corner shaping.

I also need to replace the ties, at the top of the walls, with something easier to fasten and unfasten.  I saw people using ball bungees on shade pavilions and could try those, but would have to install a lot of grommets, the large ones that my setter won't do.  Lots of time with the hammer that way.  Urgh.  I'm still thinking about this one.  Another suggestion was toggles and loops, so I have options to consider.

I've built some additional garb, but am still not able to take indoor pictures, so maybe one of these days...

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