HexaYurts

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
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ConnieH
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Post by ConnieH » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:22 am

Popobumm wrote:
ConnieH wrote: I did a normal style door hinge, with the tape as the hinge running the full length of the hinged side, and the door opening into the yurt. I believe the dimensions were something like 24"x 42". I had to trim down the door just a hair so it would shut easily but snugly. Then I fashioned a two sided velcro closure that you can open and "lock" from either side...it worked pretty well. My boyfriend also reinforced the top and bottom of the door jamb by sandwiching the panel with 36" pieces of 2" wood trim, which kept the top and bottom of the opening from flexing. He drilled a couple holes on either side of the door and ran bolts through the wood and panels. And as many times as we knocked our heads on the top of the jamb, we probably would have broken or cracked the foam if the wood hadn't been there.
Great tips! I'll have to go pick up some wood trim for the jambs. When you say 36" pieces of 2" wood trim...do you mean 36x2, or is the 2" the thickness of the trim? Sorry I'm not too familiar with woodworking yet.

Our yurt is planned to be modeled after Jkisha's yurt, with an 8' yurt attached to a 10' yurt, so the planned door should be about 66" x 24". I'm sure the wood panels for the jambs will definitely be needed.
We used scrap pieces of baseboard trim - it's 2" wide, about 3/8" thick (give or take), and cut it so it ran past the door jamb about 6" on either side. When my boyfriend suggested it, I didn't really think it was necessary, and I'm sure many people do just fine without it, but we tend to overengineer things ;-) The wood jambs did help protect the panels, though, helped the door shut easier and added a little artistic interest to the door.

This year we are going to paint our outside wall panels red with white stripes, to look like a barn. Will keep the roof panels silver for sun deflection. It will be interesting to see if the paint has any effect on inside temperature, particularly since it will be a darker color.

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Post by Elderberry » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:42 pm

I've had the opportunity to see almost all of the variations on the original design. No one has yet to improve upon it, yet everyone feels compelled to keep trying.

Braces for the doors are unnecessary. Taping your yurt to the tarp is.

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More on hexayurt ventilation - attic turbine?

Post by Doctor Pancakes » Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:28 am

For the first two years I've had my hexayurt, I've used a solar panel/computer fan ventilation system in it (wish I could acknowledge the designer!) But I'm just not convinced that the amount of air it vents makes much difference.

Anyone ever used one of these?

Image

This seems more logical to me - I would expect it to move a lot more air, simpler, and certainly no shortage of wind to drive it! My main concern is it might admit too much dust. I suppose a bit of furnace filter could be applied to the interior to catch any dust, but I wonder if that would restrict air flow too much.

(Bonus: If I went turbine for ventilation, I could redirect the solar panel to power a small fan pointed at my bed, which I feel would be more useful.)

Opinions? Alternative ideas for wind-powered ventilation?

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Post by ConnieH » Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:42 am

Taping your yurt to the tarp is.
We aren't going to tape it to the tarp this year - we are going to put pipe insulation around the bottom edge and stake it down tight. We did this on the door edge last year and it worked great - less tape and easy set up.

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miniyurt

Post by burner von braun » Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:25 pm

Hi,

Does anyone have experience with the smaller sized hexayurt? (the one with the 4 x 4' panels) I'm thinking about using that as sleeping quarters (going solo) with orher shade devices and screening for my other needs. It would be half the price and easier to transport over long distance.

Also, can you elaborate a bit on using pipe insulation as an anchoring point for hexayurt, I am missing something here. I assume you slip it onto the base perimeter, what keeps it gripping your yurt, just it's squeezing power? What do you nail it to the playa with? First time I've heard of this idea.

Thanks
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burner von braun
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Post by burner von braun » Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:42 pm

Oops, I see what you mean Connie. The insulation acts like a seal, but has nothing to do with anchoring. That is accomplished in the conventional manner. Sorry

By the way, that sounds like a splendid idea, I may borrow that, thanks for sharing!

BvB

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thk127
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Post by thk127 » Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:32 pm

I'm building a Hexayert for the first time too. Which was should i position the door? Or better yet, which way does the wind blow on the playa?
-=First Burning Man 2010=-

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Post by burner von braun » Fri Jun 25, 2010 2:06 pm

The way I understand it, the prevailing winds come from the SW. If you take a look at the playa from yahoo maps (which I highly recommend, there is a little gift there once you zoom in close enough) you see that the mountains form a wind tunnel of sorts. That being said, apparently at any given time the wind can come from any direction, as well as local dust devils.

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thk127
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Post by thk127 » Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:01 pm

burner von braun wrote:That being said, apparently at any given time the wind can come from any direction, as well as local dust devils.
That's what I thought... Hmm.. I'll just copy everyone else i guess and follow the experienced ones. And those Dust Devils look fun! My friend tells me you cant out run them...
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Post by fknsellers » Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:27 pm

Hey everybody,

This is my first time posting on eplaya, and I just have to say that the info on this entire forum is phenomenal!! Evolution (2009) was my first year to the playa and I must say that the hexayurt was the way to go. I went ahead and built the 4' walled Yurt but decided to make it collapsible. Best choice ever. From taking the 1'x4'x8' block of foam down from the van to tying down my 6th anchor was only about 40 min!!! Turns out that many of my campmates were almost as impressed as I was, so I am helping them build 4 or 5 more this year, but raising them all (including mine) to 6'. Which is the reason for my checking the forum today, and I must thank Mojojita, ConnieH and jkisha for their ideas and experience with making a 6' tall yurt by adding 2' to the bottom. We were unsure of the stability with the seam at the same point all the way around the yurt. So thank you and I will share our results when we have them finished.

On another note:

[quote="Popobumm"]Is fire safety a concern out there on the playa? The Hexayurt website warms against the Tuff-R and Rmax polyisocyanurate saying its really flammable. Does this worry anyone else? You all have been doing it for years and it seems fine enough, but I plan to build a pretty extensive hexayurt structure and would rather not come to an untimely death by fire in a collapsed hexayurt :([/quote]

If I remember from my research last year, the issue is that when the flame reaches the foam it stays lit for longer that the fire marshal allows in order for it to be considered IFR (inherently flame retardant) That being said, it may be considered flammable but I don't believe it is considered combustable. One of the ways to aid in this not becoming an issue was to use aluminum tape, instead of packing tape or the 6" bi-filament, for taping your edges. That way IF the bi-filament were to ignite, it would have to go through aluminum before it was exposed to the foam. Ultimately giving you a better chance of extinguishing such a thing if it were to happen. Frankly, I would just recommend not making it a common thing to have open flames in your Yurt, for the same reasons you wouldn't have them in a tent.

Hope this was helpful and thank you all for your insight and experiences,

Sellers

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Elderberry
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Post by Elderberry » Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:39 pm

We actually used aluminum tape for all the edges and we use it for repairs where the foil might become damaged on the boards.

Regarding the flammability factor--they are designed for use in residential construction, so I don't see how they could be approved for that purpose of the are that flammable.

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Post by Popobumm » Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:00 pm

So now that it seems most of the structural questions have been asked and answered, how about the less vital, more fun extras?

What are some neat ways to decorate / paint / differentiate your hexayurt?

I imagine painting it would not be too advisable since it would cover up the reflective material, but I would like our hexayurt to look somewhat unique if possible. I was thinking of getting a really long pole to stick through the center of the yurt and attach a flag to it. Or having smaller flags at each of the corners a la medieval times.

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Post by ursditsky » Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:40 pm

Hi all. I've read through this entire discussion and am very grateful for all the insights and perspective.
I plan to build an 8 ft hexayurt this year so that I can stretch out my sleep closer to noon (in previous years the sun has kicked me out of my tent by 9am after about 3 hours sleep).
The question I have is about ventilation. I've heard the opinion that the air inside the hexayurt will be cooler than outside because of cooling from the ground, in which case sucking air in and pushing air out of the hexayurt could actually make the temp rise. But it seems to me that some sort of ventilation is essential. I don't have a solar panel or generator, so I was thinking of getting a self-charging solar-powered roof-mounted fan to blow air out from the top (this exists right?), and adding a vent or two with furnace filters on the walls for intake. I've really never constructed anything like this before and don't have experience setting up cooling or ventilating systems. So, does anybody out there have an opinion about whether a ventilation system would keep my hexayurt cooler during the day, and if so, what system would you recommend to somebody that couldn't count on a solar panel or generator for power?
Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

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Post by kman » Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:43 pm

ursditsky wrote:Hi all. I've read through this entire discussion and am very grateful for all the insights and perspective.
I plan to build an 8 ft hexayurt this year so that I can stretch out my sleep closer to noon (in previous years the sun has kicked me out of my tent by 9am after about 3 hours sleep).
The question I have is about ventilation. I've heard the opinion that the air inside the hexayurt will be cooler than outside because of cooling from the ground, in which case sucking air in and pushing air out of the hexayurt could actually make the temp rise. But it seems to me that some sort of ventilation is essential. I don't have a solar panel or generator, so I was thinking of getting a self-charging solar-powered roof-mounted fan to blow air out from the top (this exists right?), and adding a vent or two with furnace filters on the walls for intake. I've really never constructed anything like this before and don't have experience setting up cooling or ventilating systems. So, does anybody out there have an opinion about whether a ventilation system would keep my hexayurt cooler during the day, and if so, what system would you recommend to somebody that couldn't count on a solar panel or generator for power?
Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
Bare minimum you'll want to cut a couple holes to mount air filters (like the kind used for central AC systems, perhaps $5 each at home depot), one into the wind, one on the other side, and seal well around the edges. That will let air move, at least.

Any other option is going to need at least some sort of power, be it solar, a generator, or even a car battery (or preferably a deep cycle marine battery).

Some good ideas have been posted in these two threads:

Solar Cooling:
http://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic.php?t=34408

cooling your tent or van:
http://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic.php?t=33842

The solar attic fans you are referring to would probably work anywhere from tolerably well to very well, but the cheapest I've found (probably barely tolerable) seem to start at $250-300 and climb rapidly from there.

Based on what you've said so far, I'd say the simplest and cheapest method is probably a battery (deep cycle marine, $78 at Costco) and a good 12v fan ($65 at Amazon), and recharge the battery a couple of times during the week off your car, or a generator if you can beg access.

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Post by mikep_95133 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:52 am

[quote="zachass"][quote="mikep_95133"]We just put up our version of a HexaYurt for the first time yesterday! It took about 10 minutes. It took far more time to build at home than normal, but far less time to assemble at the playa. Please take a look. See you in a week!

http://rotordesign.com/bm/

Mike[/quote]

Mike your idea with the zippers was great! I'm curious what you think about constructing a folding-model hexayurt with something similar to your K-joints but instead of zippers, I'd use the canvas fabric to fasten the roof sections together.....much like tape is used in Vinay's construction videos. Do you think that would work?

Great imagination on your design.[/quote]

I'm so sorry for not following this thread after BM2009.

If you could use canvas to connect the roof sections that would be a great design. No seal issues. Less fabrication, meaning no zippers. I hope you had success with this idea.

Mike


Thanks for

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Post by mikep_95133 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 6:13 am

[quote="jkisha"][quote="jkisha"][quote="mikep_95133"]We just put up our version of a HexaYurt for the first time yesterday! It took about 10 minutes. It took far more time to build at home than normal, but far less time to assemble at the playa. Please take a look. See you in a week!

http://rotordesign.com/bm/

Mike[/quote]

Mike, I think the way you hinged the door is great! How many total panels did you actually use for the yurt?

JK[/quote]

I actually saw this yurt on the Playa, and I would not recommend this method at all. Both the hinged action of the door, and the lack of a complete tension ring around the entire structure (tape ring in the case of hexayurts) caused the structure to be way less sturdy than the original, simple design.

This design actually had to be braced up by poles, whcih kind of defeats the beauty of the engineering of the whole structure.

JK[/quote]

The yurt stands up without poles just fine. I made sure of that during the design. The reason we wanted a pole was that the gaps in the door were a bit wide, letting dust in. Raising the roof closed the gap on each side of the door.

As it turns out the pole has become very useful for hanging things up like Camelbaks and clothes. In fact I hope to have LED light strings going from the top of the pole to each of the 6 corners of the yurt for lighting and general ambiance. Our BlackRock Roller Disco camp is now at 2:30 and Esplanade this year. We may not be on the grid. So powering these LED light strings might be challenging if there is not any electricity.

The pole this year is an antique wooden octagonal military mess tent pole, that I made adjustable vertically to account for terrain irregularities. This whole pole thing went from a need to a great fixture in my yurt. The top of the pole has a pin that sticks up between the tips of the roof panels. I plan to add a couple of tiny LED strobes to it to help my camp mate find his way back. He had a stroke a couple of years ago and looses his way sometimes.

The other addition, if there is time and resources, is to add semi transparent cloth covers from the pole fanning out to each of the 6 walls. This will diffuse the light from the led light strings and help soften the industrial look of the yurt's interior. I want these cloths to help hide the giant RMax logos on the interior panels.

As for the door gaps, right now I'm making a canvas entry way into the yurt that will seal the door gaps no matter how wide they get. The door will not be folded onto the roof, it will be sticking straight out and used as the roof of the entry way. It will also discourage as much dust getting into the yurt since the door opens up a section of the roof, exposing it to a greater influx of dust.

Last year we trailered the yurt in.This year I am fabricating a roof mount for my Honda wagon, that mounts where the factory luggage rack would go if it had one.

Funds and time will determine how many yurt improvements get done this year. We may be arriving early to help assemble camp this year. So I will have even less prep time.

I welcome all to come by and see it.

Mike

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Re: More on hexayurt ventilation - attic turbine?

Post by mikep_95133 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 6:18 am

[quote="Doctor Pancakes"]For the first two years I've had my hexayurt, I've used a solar panel/computer fan ventilation system in it (wish I could acknowledge the designer!) But I'm just not convinced that the amount of air it vents makes much difference.

Anyone ever used one of these?

[img]http://i50.tinypic.com/2u8ues2.jpg[/img]

This seems more logical to me - I would expect it to move a lot more air, simpler, and certainly no shortage of wind to drive it! My main concern is it might admit too much dust. I suppose a bit of furnace filter could be applied to the interior to catch any dust, but I wonder if that would restrict air flow too much.

(Bonus: If I went turbine for ventilation, I could redirect the solar panel to power a small fan pointed at my bed, which I feel would be more useful.)

Opinions? Alternative ideas for wind-powered ventilation?[/quote]

Since there is almost always a breeze or a wind at BM, we just unzip a roof panel and the breeze pushes the hot air out. Maybe cut and hinge a roof top hatch into your roof?

Mike

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Elderberry
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Post by Elderberry » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:09 am

Here's a ventilator we've been thinking about using...though we're still not sure what effect installing this would have on dust infiltration.

http://www.earthtechproducts.com/p2534.html

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Post by kman » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:57 am

We're very near completion of the build of our group's 5 folding hexayurts, standard folding design, but raised to 6' tall walls using extra 2' panels. We hope to get photos posted of our build process soon, although it's probably too late to help anyone wanting to try for this year.

The one thing we're still debating about is optimal door design. Have people come up with any particularly great ideas? Cost, complexity and security are all important considerations for our group.

Last year one of our group (HexaYurt Prime, if you will LOL) fabricated an overly-complex welded metal frame of U-channel steel that literally fit like a glove into a cutout in the wall, and installed a small (but real) wooden door, complete with normal hinges, doorknob, the works. Fantastic, but small... won't work this year in the 6' tall versions without a major re-build, and far too complex for most to undertake anyway, without access to a machine shop, welding skills, etc.

So we're looking at standard flap doors with normal hinges, we're looking at sandwiching wood strips inside and out along a tape seam to reinforce with real door hinges, we're looking at locking gate latches with padlocks, etc.

What creative solutions have others come up with? We're cutting doors on Sunday, if all goes well, so some more ideas would be a great help!

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Post by ConnieH » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:48 am

jkisha wrote:Here's a ventilator we've been thinking about using...though we're still not sure what effect installing this would have on dust infiltration.

http://www.earthtechproducts.com/p2534.html

JK
that looks pretty slick - I wonder if you could use some kind of filter fabric or a furnace filter to keep dust out? It might affect the ventilation a bit, but may be worth a try. I'm tempted to buy one, there are several on Amazon for under $50, although I was planning on using a computer fan attached to the battery that will power my swamp cooler...would be nice to reduce the battery usage, however.

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Post by burner von braun » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:54 am

I am hoping to get to my door fabrication this weekend also. Have some sketches from awhile back that I need to find...

I had a light wooden door in mind backed with yurt board ( going with SuperTuff R cause thats what I could get my hands on) all of which hinges to light wood frame attached within the side panel. May put a simple hasp on it to keep it closed. Thought about using that as a vent area also with furnace filter, but am thinking that opening and closing door would just jostle loose dust collected in filter?

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Post by burner von braun » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:06 am

Are you yurters using aluminum tape to wrap your edges first, and then bifilament tape to assemble the yurt? I was initially thinking the other way around... Edges, and then assembly using bifilament tape, then cover all exposed bifilament tape with aluminum tape of some kind. Your thoughts?

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Post by kman » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:16 am

burner von braun wrote:Are you yurters using aluminum tape to wrap your edges first, and then bifilament tape to assemble the yurt? I was initially thinking the other way around... Edges, and then assembly using bifilament tape, then cover all exposed bifilament tape with aluminum tape of some kind. Your thoughts?
Yes, aluminum tape to protect the raw foam edges, then seams are taped with the 6" bifilament.

A campmate taped over the bifilament with aluminum tape last year, mostly for fire retardant purposes, but it had the side benefit of looking really nice... makes the exterior all shiny, barely any ugly bifilament showing.

I think it's mostly an aesthetic thing. Not a major big deal either way... if I have time and some extra money to pick up the al. tape, I might tape up mine, else I won't bother.

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Post by Elderberry » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:17 am

burner von braun wrote:Are you yurters using aluminum tape to wrap your edges first, and then bifilament tape to assemble the yurt? I was initially thinking the other way around... Edges, and then assembly using bifilament tape, then cover all exposed bifilament tape with aluminum tape of some kind. Your thoughts?
Over Kill IMHO. The first year, we were the only one with a Yurt in our camp. Last year we had 8 or 9. This year I think we will have double that amount. I can't imagine them being any more flammable than a tent. We have never had any problems with fire, ever--pre or post yurts.

We wrap the edges with foil, assemble with 6" tape; the end.

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Post by Elderberry » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:22 am

There is only one other thing I want to add about people modifying the basic design of the HexaYurt, especially door designs that cut into the roof, then I'll leave it alone:

The main thing that makes a Yurt a Yurt is the complete and uninterrupted tension band that goes around the entire structure. That is what gives it all of it's stability and keeps everything in alignment. In the hexayurt, this it the 6" tape band that goes entirely around the top of the walls connecting the roof to the base.

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Post by lucky420 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:48 am

I am just building the basic plain yurt. The only difference i think i have is that i cut my door to swing like a regular door instead of up and out like a trap door. Oh and I also wrapped all exposed edges with the 6" bi tape, maybe i shouldv'e used the alum tape. I have 2 full rolls of the 6" tape left for assembling on the playa. That should be enough right?

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Post by slvrnmph » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:27 pm

I built my hexayurt to have the door swing like a normal door. We ended up adding a pull tab to the bottom of the door on the playa to make it easier to get the door to shut completely.

The 2 full rolls of 6" tape will probably be enough for on playa assembly. Did you do any pre-assembly?

Last year I had 3 rolls of the 6" tape. I pre-assembled the walls into two sections and the roof pieces into 6 sections. On the playa I finished up the rest of the roll that had been used for pre-assembly, used up an entire roll and used just a tiny amount of the third roll of tape. When I compared the 3rd roll of tape to the new rolls of tape I purchased this year it was barely smaller in size.
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Post by lucky420 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:32 pm

i will preassemble the roof sections into 6 sections, not sure about the walls yet. Do you tape all the seams inside and out? or just the floor and the band where walls meet roof?

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Post by slvrnmph » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:41 pm

The walls only had one side of the seam between two sections taped, because of the need to have the walls fold at the seams, sometimes this tape was on the inside and sometimes it was on the outside once the yurt was put together. The roof sections got taped on both sides of the center seam - the seam of the two pieces that make 1 of the 6 roof panels. The tension ring was only taped on the outside (aka the band holding the roof and walls together) and I only taped the yurt to the floor tarp on the inside. It was obvious during the week that any dust that got in the yurt came through the windows as the furnace filters crapped out towards the end of the week and through the door when it was open.
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Post by lucky420 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:45 pm

thanks for your help. i went ahead and ordered another roll of tape (shipping charges are a killer) better safe than sorry.

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