Monkey Hut out of Fence rail/EMT tubing

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CptSparkles
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Monkey Hut out of Fence rail/EMT tubing

Postby CptSparkles » Fri May 16, 2014 8:54 am

Query: Anyone seen, heard of, or done a monkey hut / quonset hut out of EMT tubing or chain link fence rail tops? I haven't found anyone doing this yet in my searches.

I like the idea of making monkeyhut spines out of steel tubing rather than PVC, and the 10' 6" chain link fence pieces have those necked ends that make fitting quick and easy.

The problems I'm imagining:

1) Lack of flexibility. While I might consider this a *good* thing, I can see it being potentially bad when it comes to wind wanting to make the whole thing a sail.

2) Bending the bastards in a 6' radius cleanly and smoothly, I'm not quite sure how I'd do that. Any commercial bender I can find is going to be designed for 6" radius bends,
not 6'. And this guy is just gonna get drunk and party:

Image

I'm guessing there's a few options: Make a guide/mould out of plywood; Fill the pipe with sand to prevent collapse...

Ideas? Suggestions? Thoughts? Or just go with PVC? (Easier, cheaper... I just like the idea of durability of the steel sections)
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Re: Monkey Hut out of Fence rail/EMT tubing

Postby Captain Goddammit » Fri May 16, 2014 9:11 am

I haven't got hard data to back this up, but I thing kinking might be an issue.
To bend it I'd go with a rolling pipe bender.
I'm a fan of metal construction in general, but in the case of a monkey hut I don't see why you'd want it. All I see are disadvantages. Since the pipes won't flex back straight, they won't be so easy to transport, they will probably be heavier, and they can rust or kink.
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Re: Monkey Hut out of Fence rail/EMT tubing

Postby Token » Fri May 16, 2014 10:22 am

Agriculture. Called a hoop-house. It is a greenhouse made with steel pipe and covered with plastic for that application.

Identical to what is called here a Monkey Hut.

They are rather inexpensive for the sizes they provide. That whole volume thing I suppose.

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Re: Monkey Hut out of Fence rail/EMT tubing

Postby CptSparkles » Fri May 16, 2014 10:25 am

Transport isn't a big issue, we've got a big trailer and I can fit them over a bunch of stuff.

I was also thinking of cutting them into 4', 4' and 2' lengths at 22 1/2 degree angles to make a quintahut, so to speak, welding them back together as 4' straight up, 4' at 45 degree bend, and then 2' horizontal to the spine, so that it'd be 4' on 5 sides, approximating a curve.

I also found on acehardware.com a 20' x 20' 80% shade cloth for $55 or so. It's white and blue ugly, but really wind loading and structure stability wise, I think, isn't going to be as big an issue as I was thinking it might be (e.g. with a silver tarp)
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Re: Monkey Hut out of Fence rail/EMT tubing

Postby Ratty » Fri May 16, 2014 10:51 am

polytunnel, polyhouse, hoop greenhouse or hoophouse, or high tunnel. Wikipedia has lots to offer
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Re: Monkey Hut out of Fence rail/EMT tubing

Postby krly » Fri May 16, 2014 3:40 pm

CptSparkles;
Kind of like this :http://www.shelters-to-go.com/dome.shtml ? I was looking at these with the same idea.
Also, you'll find most muffler shops have tube bending equipment and will probably be fairly reasonable on prices (?)

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Re: Monkey Hut out of Fence rail/EMT tubing

Postby Sic Pup » Fri May 16, 2014 4:51 pm

To bend the rails there is no need for any special equipment apart from a saw, a screwdriver, a sheet of plywood, a 2x4 some glue and some deck screws to build the jig, The point of the exercise was to use affordable, easily obtainable material for obvious reasons. It's easier to do with two peoples but it is possible to do solo. It does take a little patience and steady pressure to avoid crimping but definitely doable. If I'm able to do it, anyone can.

If you want to go forward with this I may just have the plans and or a diagram somewhere (finding it may be a bit more challenging).
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Re: Monkey Hut out of Fence rail/EMT tubing

Postby unjonharley » Sat May 17, 2014 6:59 am

The title of the thread, suggest killing a fly with a steam roller..

Using the fence rail may be a good idea in the yard for a temporary building..
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Re: Monkey Hut out of Fence rail/EMT tubing

Postby FossaFerox » Sun May 18, 2014 11:51 pm

Bad. Idea.

VERY bad.

DO NOT DO THIS.

The entire design principle behind monkey huts is that they're flexible. This allows them to have significant vertical and near-vertical surface area with no external guylines. When those surfaces are loaded by a gust of wind they deform, absorb the energy, let the wind spill around the structure, then spring back into shape. Metal will not do this.

Additionally, please remember that the thing that holds the monkey hut to the rebar stakes in the first place is the pressure from the tension created by the ribs trying to straighten back out. Shaped metal will not do this to the same extent. So now you have higher loads (since the structure isn't deforming) and less force holding it to the ground. And the way monkey huts are designed you can't really stake the interior ribs down any better, you can only stake down the two ends. Anything you throw across the top will just slide into the tarp space between ribs rather than anchoring the ribs themselves and will likely snap the spine in the process.

If it doesn't buckle and fail catastrophically then a good gust will tear the whole thing loose and turn into a windmill of death for your downwind neighbors.

Yes, there are tons of structures off-playa that utilize this design with metal ribbing, but they will not be able to deal with high winds.

Please don't put your neighbors in danger. D:
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Re: Monkey Hut out of Fence rail/EMT tubing

Postby melodiousdirge » Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:14 pm

FossaFerox wrote:Bad. Idea.

VERY bad.

DO NOT DO THIS.



Alright, I'm gonna sound like a dick here but it needs to be said: You seem like a smart fellow, with some well reasoned and interesting opinions, but it might do you well to recognize there are people here who might be even smarter or more knowledgeable than you (amazing, right?). To be really blunt, you seem to make a lot of proclamations without a fucking clue what you're talking about. Try phrasing your opinions as "I'd be concerned about..." instead of "ERMAGERHD, IF YOU DO THAT WE WILL ALL DIE".

Quonset huts were used in WWI, so... they've been around a while. There are literally (yes literally) hundreds of thousands of steel hoop houses on farms all over the world, even in windier places than BRC. Flexibility helps you get away with using a crappy material like PVC to hold up a large temporary structure and not have it shred instantly; only because it bends instead of snapping - though it will likely break eventually. Flexibility is NOT the only reason this type of building works, and the deformation you describe can do just as much to increase the wind load and lift on a structure as it can to deflect it, depending on many variables. Further the force holding a monkey hut down comes from the stakes you drive in between the ribs and run your ropes over the top of the structure, not the spring force of the PVC.

Great, now my original comment needs its own post...
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Re: Monkey Hut out of Fence rail/EMT tubing

Postby melodiousdirge » Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:14 pm

To the OP, I found this thread because I was considering something similar for 2015. I don't like the flimsy, disposable nature of PVC. I have a 24 foot steel dome that I use right now (amazingly it hasn't become a windmill of death yet, despite being a large rigid structure :roll:). What did you end up doing? How did it work out? I was thinking of putting a 55 degree bend near the end of each "side" fence rail to form more of a quadrangle than a half cylinder. It seems to me with verticals leaning at 35 degrees and a horizontal 10 foot span across the middle, ribs spaced at around 5 feet, I could build a similar sized shelter to my dome with about 1/2 the weight in steel and a LOT less labor to set it up. Using 1 & 5/8 fence rail would be strong enough to jump up and hang from the 10 foot horizontal spans, which seems to me quite adequate. With a couple center poles, a guy could even have a rooftop patio.
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Re: Monkey Hut out of Fence rail/EMT tubing

Postby maladroit » Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:34 pm

If you're making a shade structure with metal poles, the flat top shade structure seems simplest and is playa tested.

I mean, it sounds like you guys are reinventing the Costco carport.

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Re: Monkey Hut out of Fence rail/EMT tubing

Postby melodiousdirge » Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:47 am

maladroit wrote:If you're making a shade structure with metal poles, the flat top shade structure seems simplest and is playa tested.

I mean, it sounds like you guys are reinventing the Costco carport.


I'd considered that, and you're not wrong; but I kind of see Burning Man as an opportunity to challenge your own personal capabilities and limits. I like FigJam's signature "Don't Buy UR burn, Build UR burn!", and I try to approach it that way. I'm sure it's wound up costing me a lot more time and money because of it, but hey, I also learned a lot of skills along the way, and had a lot of fun making things I could have just written a check for.

To really go on a tangent I feel like that's one of the things burning man is losing with the increased popularity and plug & play attitude. So much store bought crap I see out there, and everyone this year asking "Hey where did you buy that!?" Instead of "Hey how did you make that?". Far be it for me to tell anyone how to burn, but I think it kind of sucks how many people just hit up target or costco and buy themselves a "burner startup kit"... it feels like missing part of the point if you didn't make it yourself, or at least make it your own somehow. Half the reason I ever attended in the first place was the excuse/challenge to build a comfortable desert habitat, transportation, weirdrobe, etc. Everyone has their own set of circumstances and priorities though.
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Re: Monkey Hut out of Fence rail/EMT tubing

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Sep 12, 2014 12:09 pm

This was the first year that 3 people actually asked me "How much for the cooler?" :roll:
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Re: Monkey Hut out of Fence rail/EMT tubing

Postby melodiousdirge » Fri Sep 12, 2014 12:57 pm

FIGJAM wrote:This was the first year that 3 people actually asked me "How much for the cooler?" :roll:


It's just my opinion based on my experiences but decommodification started dying, along with radical inclusion the instant the event sold out in 2011. There are more and more people there who just bought their way in with a scalped ticket, and bought what they thought they needed to fit in. Not even the plug and players, just the upper-middle class bucket listers. I don't want to be a "it used to be better" guy or anything, I just really enjoy the technopunk atmosphere of "It doesn't need to be perfect, or even nice, just make what you want and bring it. Do it yourself and see what happens."

Yeah anyway that's why I'd build something over bringing a carport any day, but I'm sure not everyone thinks that way.
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Re: Monkey Hut out of Fence rail/EMT tubing

Postby melodiousdirge » Fri Sep 12, 2014 1:00 pm

FIGJAM wrote:This was the first year that 3 people actually asked me "How much for the cooler?" :roll:


Oh another thing, I saw quite a number of art cars and large camp installations with "FOR SALE" signs this year. Dawn Patrol was one of them. I never stopped to ask if it was a joke or not, so it might have been an attempt at irony. I also saw a grey water truck driving around with a home made sign saying he'd pump anyone's RV, just flag him down; I'm assuming this wasn't an attempt at gifting, but someone ignoring the rules about commerce and trying to make a few bucks on top of his prepaid contracts.
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Re: Monkey Hut out of Fence rail/EMT tubing

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Sep 12, 2014 1:02 pm

Portopotty pump-outs are a permitted form of commerce. Others include ice, coffee, and keys for your car that you lost during the week.
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Re: Monkey Hut out of Fence rail/EMT tubing

Postby melodiousdirge » Fri Sep 12, 2014 1:06 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:Portopotty pump-outs are a permitted form of commerce.


I did not know that. I thought only prepaid theme camp arrangements were OK. I guess I should re-read the guide.
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Re: Monkey Hut out of Fence rail/EMT tubing

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Sep 12, 2014 1:36 pm

Not sure if it's posted there. A couple of years back--was it Bob?--someone challenged us on the 7 or 9 or 11 permitted forms of commerce. That was one of them.
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Re: Monkey Hut out of Fence rail/EMT tubing

Postby Ano » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:14 pm

FIGJAM wrote:This was the first year that 3 people actually asked me "How much for the cooler?" :roll:


My first year, 2011, I had some Aussies walking around our campsite. I was very proud of my ghetto set-up - a tiny tent, a monkey hut facing directly into the sun (thus entirely useless), some bins, some water jugs... I built it. It was great. They asked me how much I paid for my "spot," and I figured they meant camp I built, so I added up some numbers and figured, "After gas to get here, probably, what, $300ish?"

They laughed, because they had to only spend $250 for an A/C Yurt on the Esplanade. And here I was, slumming it, all the way back on I street.

I learned a lot about Burning Man in that one little interaction...

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Re: Monkey Hut out of Fence rail/EMT tubing

Postby AntiM » Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:20 am

melodiousdirge wrote:
theCryptofishist wrote:Portopotty pump-outs are a permitted form of commerce.


I did not know that. I thought only prepaid theme camp arrangements were OK. I guess I should re-read the guide.



Not in the guide as a list. You have to figure it out. Buying return flights to Reno is one, there was a doctor arranging a flight back so he could perform surgery on a patient when we were out at the airport.

Ice, center cafe drinks, pump outs, lock outs, towing, vendor arrangements, shuttle bus into Gerlach/Empire .... there's more, but ooh shiny....

Most are to do with health, sanitation, safety, and getting the fuck off the playa.
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Re: Monkey Hut out of Fence rail/EMT tubing

Postby Ratty » Sat Sep 13, 2014 9:23 am

This is an all steel Costco carport. Yes. It's VERY old. They went to a square peaked roof many, many years ago. It's indestructible. I love the way she has altered it. The straight poles holding the canopy out are PVC. The covering is 48 yards of spandex. It is silent in the wind and makes a beautiful restful shade. However, I felt sorry for her on Monday in the downpour.

If you are thinking of making a round monkeyhut from steel, why not just get a carport?
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Re: Monkey Hut out of Fence rail/EMT tubing

Postby melodiousdirge » Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:43 am

Ratty wrote:This is an all steel Costco carport. Yes. It's VERY old. They went to a square peaked roof many, many years ago. It's indestructible. I love the way she has altered it. The straight poles holding the canopy out are PVC. The covering is 48 yards of spandex. It is silent in the wind and makes a beautiful restful shade. However, I felt sorry for her on Monday in the downpour.

If you are thinking of making a round monkeyhut from steel, why not just get a carport?


That's a cool shade structure, and I love that she just used the basis and made the rest distinctly her own. Maybe for the OP a steel carport will be a sound solution (though I guess this is past tense for the original question at this point). I was considering building a similar-but-not-quite thing to a costco carport too, but I think I explained above... Burning man (for me) is about making it yourself. I have a comfy trailer that I sleep in, but it's not an RV, it's a bedroom on wheels that I built. I have a 24 foot dome for all my stuff, again that I built. I rescued my playa trike from a dumpster, I made my solar power setup, made my forced draft pellet stove, and made the more outlandish playawear I have. To each their own but I like the 'desert punk' aspect of imagining it and building it yourself from scratch.

On the flip side I made a kickass solar powered stereo for this year and it only worked for about 20 minutes.... so, sometimes store bought has it's advantages.
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Re: Monkey Hut out of Fence rail/EMT tubing

Postby Ratty » Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:33 am

Now that I'm looking closely at my photos it appears she put a tarp over the top. When I was admiring it I was in and under it. I'm stealing this layout for my shade next year.
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