Seeking Cheap White Dome Covering Material

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FIGJAM
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Re: Seeking Cheap White Dome Covering Material

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:39 pm

I didn't think of that. :oops:

Mine were for a tent I made out of billboard vinyl.
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Re: Seeking Cheap White Dome Covering Material

Post by alexcaste » Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:00 pm

some seeing eye wrote:Another fabric to consider is Dacron (polyester). It is used for sailcloth. It is what SS uses for dome covers. Comes in colors and is fairly rain repellent, making for multi season use, some versions are UV resistant for many year use. @greycoyote, I like the zipper idea! What gauge zipper, how long segments, and where is a good source for the ends when cutting a roll to dome length?
Do you know a cheap supplier of bulk dacron?
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Re: Seeking Cheap White Dome Covering Material

Post by GreyCoyote » Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:17 pm

In my experience, "cheap" and "dacron" usually don't go together. This place http://www.sailmakerssupply.com/prod_detail_list/40 has 54" wide all purpose dacron (5-oz) for about $15/yd. :shock: That's about twice the price of canvas that would be twice as heavy (10oz sunforger).

Before you buy a bunch of dacron, get some smaller sizes and see if you can actually sew it. Some machines that lack a walking foot don't like to sew dacron (and the same can be said about canvas too, so always test a couple of yards before you commit to 100 yards of something you may not be able to sew!).

Hopefully SSE will check-in here. There has to be a cheaper supplier that I'm missing, and I'm betting he knows of it. :mrgreen:
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Re: Seeking Cheap White Dome Covering Material

Post by Sunbeam56 » Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:22 pm

The Zipper Lady was super kewl to deal with. Extremely knowledgeable too. She had the #10 zippers left over from a hospital project she had been supplying, and was very happy to sell them. (Shameless plug).

My sewing machine was clearly not up to the task. We bought a "heavy duty" Singer - which will punch through a bunch of layers, even leather. The problem - and why we WILL (you hear?) get another sewing machine before the next dome cover - is the aperture was only about 5 inches square. So at times I was pushing 30 feet of bunched up canvas through that tiny hole.
When you see the cover, if you are critical (please don't be) you will notice that some of the seams look like they were laid out by a drunk on a similarly drunk donkey. That's the passes where we were stuffing bunches of canvas through that tiny aperture.
We will get an extended arm machine for the next go-round. Yes, there always is another go-round.

I've taken the dome cover off and on more times than we have set up the dome. I just HAD to correct some of those seams. The two zippers from top to bottom, plus smoke hole cover/ rain fly over the top, is really easy to set up.

We have a third zipper for the door - which didn't turn out the way we were hoping. Its flat to the surface of the dome - at one point we were going to make it extend out, like the entrance to an igloo.
Yes, there always is another go-round. :)
The third zipper is also a #10. The thinking was that, if we needed a #10 for wind resistance on the upper dome, it would be good for the lower part too.

At Flipside, we left the door open, and rolled up the bottom edge of the dome to the first row of struts for air flow, most of the time. I got chilled one night and just rolled down the side on the windward side, and it was comfy.
It worked very well.
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Re: Seeking Cheap White Dome Covering Material

Post by trilobyte » Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:54 pm

The thing is, a heavy duty Singer is still just a consumer sewing machine - I don't think they've got anything in their arsenal that would even come close to being an industrial sewing machine (or even a good commercial machine). An industrial machine won't generally have a lot of fancy features, they're made to do the basics literally on an industrial scale (heavy duty materials, and 8+ hours a day continual use). With regular maintenance those things will run forever. Depending on the area you live, you may be able to find a decent deal on a used industrial machine (when a designer or shop shuts down, etc).

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Re: Seeking Cheap White Dome Covering Material

Post by some seeing eye » Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:42 pm

I think the OP lives in a city with one of the largest fabric districts, and with dozens of sailmakers and searching the Internet and making phone calls for fabric manufacturers, to distributors to retail is not that hard.
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Re: Seeking Cheap White Dome Covering Material

Post by DoctorIknow » Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:43 am

alexcaste wrote: We have a 25' diameter 3v 5/8 dome that ideally we would cover in white spandex.
I used the "Dome Calculator" to design a dome that could accomodate a big bolt of lycra spandex that could be stretched tight from the base to the second "layer" of struts. The perfect size dome needed for the fabric came out to be a 30' 4 frequency dome.

For the first use of the dome, as a photo studio, I did not want shadows from struts overhead to spoil portraits, so I thought I could just guy rope many struct connections, pulling it tight from the outside, and it worked great. Very sturdy. The rest of the dome totally unnecessary for rigidity!

The pics below were from the next years useage at the playa, and that time I did want the entire dome assembled, but all those burners promising help just vanished at set up time (twice!) and I needed the camp together as we were listed in What/When/Where and the show must go on. Again, the dome did great.

The spandex is awesome material and can billow out in high winds to incredible proportions without breaking...easy to wash when home, too.

Notice that the shade from the spandex is pretty good.

All I used for attachment points were the marble and clove hitch method. Here's a youtube vid....he uses a rock...marbles are fine for spandex:
http://youtu.be/ydXTCS_ZIsk
[media]
pump01.jpg
.
Note that the fabric is on the inside:
.
camppump04.jpg
As has been said so many times on the eplaya, covering a dome is a major project, and many ideas totally fail. I would suggest you ask a question before you make any decisions on a cover, and that question would be:

----Do you want the dome cover to provide shade but almost no protection from dust? Or be wind/rain tight?

A huge difference in approach.

The best thing about spandex for covering an entire dome would be you can just stretch the hell out of it to make a connection.
I would NOT suggest you cut panels to fit sections, but instead, take the bolts and just unroll them while stretching and attaching and see how that goes.
I believe it best (others may disagree) to suspend the fabric and not put it on the top of the dome, and make sure all your strut ends are not going to tear the fabric.

I would roll out a piece (DO NOT CUT IT YET!) have two people stretch it straight across the dome, about half-way up, and then see how tight you can pull it up to meet the connection points of the dome. A few people with pieces of 10' conduit (cheap and strong enough for the job) could push up the fabric, with a marble epoxied on the end of the conduit, and the rigger on the top of the dome could bunch the fabric around the marble and conduit, break the epoxy bond and tighten the clove hitch. Then, tie it off. The two people holding the fabric horizontally might have to adjust their tension also.

An alternative to the "conduit" procedure would be, on the ground or at home before the burn, to just tie on large numbers of marbles with lines, (don't forget the edges) and then just start stretching and attaching somewhere and see how that goes. Of course you will have to criss-cross the fabric at the top, which will make incredible shade. Your lights could be inside some of those double/triple layers.

But, it won't keep out dust....

Good luck!
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Re: Seeking Cheap White Dome Covering Material

Post by GreyCoyote » Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:50 pm

Doc: That's a pretty cool setup. It's a play(a)-pen in the dust!

The only point I think we would differ upon is the lack of top struts. In a hard blow, I think the "playpen" semi-dome would rapidly deconstruct itself if the fabric wasn't ditched quickly. In contrast, a fully-framed dome with that same fabric would likely survive Armageddon. :mrgreen:

But that IS a sweet setup and gives one cause for pause.
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Re: Seeking Cheap White Dome Covering Material

Post by DoctorIknow » Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:14 pm

GreyCoyote wrote: In a hard blow, I think the "playpen" semi-dome would rapidly deconstruct itself if the fabric wasn't ditched quickly. In contrast, a fully-framed dome with that same fabric would likely survive Armageddon.
That was my fear when I thought of the idea of staking it out on the outside with multiple guy lines.
The trick was to loosely set up the guy lines, then make a few circles, tightening one by one until all were really tight.
Also, the base was candy-cane rebar-ed in at least 10 places.
It was amazingly stable and strong for 1/2" conduit, and withstood whatever wind there was Monday thru Sunday in 2007 and 2008.

The only problem was having a 50' footprint for a 30' dome, but theme camp real estate wasn't as precious on the playa back then. :D

I was really scared during one big wind, as the spandex stretched out to be huge parachute like shapes, but it didn't rip the connection of the marble and clove hitch nor did it twist the cheap steel conduit. But, that's not saying big winds couldn't. If I was to do it again, I'd have "emergency wind" candy cane rebar buried in the INSIDE of the dome ready to secure the top dome connection points with more guy lines. Or maybe overhead lines connecting the upper connection points so the stress would be transferred to the opposite side and those exterior guy ropes would absorb the tension....isn't that sort of what's going on with Center Camp "hole" in the top of their fabric structure:
.
cafe_interior_2005.jpg
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Re: Seeking Cheap White Dome Covering Material

Post by asr9754 » Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:28 pm

Question for the Spandex-Doc, did you have to sew hems on the edges or otherwise treat the material to keep it from fraying?
Did the bolt of fabric come with a finished edge that was adequate to keep it from fraying?

This thread has some great and novel info on dome covering, thanks all

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Re: Seeking Cheap White Dome Covering Material

Post by DoctorIknow » Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:52 pm

asr9754 wrote: Did the bolt of fabric come with a finished edge that was adequate to keep it from fraying?
There was no finished edge and the stuff I got doesn't fray at all. (maybe I saved $ by getting a raw cut 100' bolt...)
I don't remember even a single loose thread.

Buy pieces of different stretch stuff at a fabric store and test them out. (tell them you are making bathing suits :D )

Lycra seems to be the key ingredient for the best quality stretch fabric, which can be cotton, nylon, other materials.
It really is a confusing bunch of products available.

Lot's of places online sell bolts...get into a verbal conversation with them and see if they are knowledgeable and helpful, as it will be quite an investment to use stretch material.

The best sellers know exactly the stretch characteristics (7 times for the most stretchy) of the material.
The stretch is directional, also, just to make things more confusing.

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Re: Seeking Cheap White Dome Covering Material

Post by Sunbeam56 » Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:46 pm

How do you stay warm in a structure without a roof?
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Re: Seeking Cheap White Dome Covering Material

Post by DoctorIknow » Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:59 pm

Sunbeam56 wrote:How do you stay warm in a structure without a roof?
Just like lack of sleep at Burning Man: you can stay warm when you get back to the default world...

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Re: Seeking Cheap White Dome Covering Material

Post by alexcaste » Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:57 am

Hi,

One of the routes our group is considering right now is not having a single cover for the dome instead creating triangles which would fit onto the bolts at each hub and overlap each other.

So for our pros and cons are as such:

Pro:
-look cool
-easy to switch out panels if damaged
-easy to create panels in different colors/patterns in the future.
-can assemble covering as we assemble dome (top down building)
-allows some wind through for cooling
-less fabric wasted since we can "fit" triangles into the long rectangle of a fabric bolt.
-can create a "door" anywhere by removing the necessary panels

Cons:
-Not weatherproof (Cost prohibited us from this anyway)
-potential flapping sounds from all of the panels during wind
-allows dust in.
-Hub bolts would need to be extra long to accommodate the fabric securing
-hub bolts below 6' height need to be safety'd so that people don't bump into them and get scratched.

I wanted to put this out there and ask you what you guys think.

Notes on dome:
21.7 foot diameter 3v 5/9 dome kruschke method (d strut = 57.5 inches)
105 triangles.
3 different types of triangles.

Notes on attaching the triangles to dome:

-Each triangle will be slightly oversized so that the edges of every triangle bleed over each other.
-Corners are attached onto hub bolts via grommets and scrunched between rubber washes and nut
-In middle of each triangle side are two additional side-by-side grommets. These grommets will be used to fit over each other and allow the sides to be ziptied to the strut below. (in the future we wonder if we could find a way to velcro all the edges)

Let me know your thoughts.
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Re: Seeking Cheap White Dome Covering Material

Post by asr9754 » Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:09 am

Dear AlexC,

I have seen the domes w/ individual triangle and they are cool looking, seems like a fine idea with the pros and cons as you mentioned. I'd recommend hemming each side of the triangle to they don't fray and so your grommet goes through a double-layer of material. If the fabric is stretchy, maybe undersize each triangle a little bit so they are taut when fastened to the dome.

However, I think the triangle method sounds like a TON of work and sewing and grommeting. That's 105 triangles, 315 hems, 630 grommets. Not sure what your camp's workload is or day-jobs and life commitments, so trust me that I'm not trying to be presumptuous, but there's only 2 months left and this is a major project, so if you'll take one more piece of unsolicited advice--digest all of the suggestions and pros and cons, and make a decision and get to work! Wink wink. There are lots of good ideas in this thread and others but you've got to decide what works for your budget, expectations, and timeframe. Tick tock tick tock :) .

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Re: Seeking Cheap White Dome Covering Material

Post by GreyCoyote » Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:15 am

If you are going to go this route, maybe make a total of 5 or 10 large triangles that would each span a sector from the top to bottom? Basically you'd get a "cover" but without much sewing at all. (It's basically an unstitched cover using the same patterns as a "real" cover would use).

Just thinkin' out loud here because I can't imagine the hassle of putting-up a dome while also trying to match bolts with struts with covering panels. THAT would be PITA IMHO. :mrgreen:
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Re: Seeking Cheap White Dome Covering Material

Post by daft » Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:48 pm

outdoor wilderness supply has tons of fabric for camping type use, but it may be too expensive compared to tyvek. For heavy fabric and sewing you need a walking foot sewing machine.
I believe have seen
parachute and camo surplus used
but maybe its just in my dream

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Re: Seeking Cheap White Dome Covering Material

Post by DoctorIknow » Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:56 pm

alexcaste wrote: ....creating triangles which would fit onto the bolts at each hub and overlap each other.
Yes, and as said, you can make bigger panels instead of having individual triangles.
This pic is of a 4 frequency 26' diameter dome, 1/2" EMT (works, but must be vigilant for dome climbers)

I use eyebolts, with the eye on the outside of the struts, as when assembling, one constantly is removing and adding new struts, and all that is needed is hand work and not a wrench, ie; the "eye" to grab.

For attaching the panels to the inside of the dome, as you noted, one doesn't want anyone injured by the protrusion of exposed bolts.
Also, of significant labor is attaching the panels to the exposed bolts. Stretching the corners of maybe 3 panels and holding a nut in your mouth until it's time to try to thread it on the bolt isn't fun.
I got a bucket of used driving range golfballs, drilled out the appropriate sized hole (smaller than coupling nut,) used a vise to squeeze in coupling nuts, and these work great. Easy to find in your pocket or someone can toss one to you.
This is a coupling nut:
coupling_nut3.jpg
This golf ball is orange:
DSC00828 (1).JPG
.
You won't have shapes like this in a 3 frequency, but you get the idea of making some panels bigger.
HOWEVER, the distances to put your gromets in triangles is easy, as there are 2 dimensions you are working with, but if you are making bigger panels, assemble that section, by itself, and measure.
DSC00825-001.JPG
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Re: Seeking Cheap White Dome Covering Material

Post by asr9754 » Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:23 pm

FWIW,
I ordered a sample of the white football mesh fabric and it arrived today, it's slightly stretchy, more-so in one direction than the other, but overall seems stretchy enough to accommodate a margin of error for playa construction of a dome or shade structure. The holes in the mesh are pretty small. It's too late for this year for us, but I'm seriously considering this material for next year, it seems very promising. Definitely won't be dustproof, but it appears breathable and resistant to wind damage and price is low for a wide roll.

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Re: Seeking Cheap White Dome Covering Material

Post by alexcaste » Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:59 pm

just ordered 120 yards of this:

https://www.nickoftime.net/p-1917-white ... abric.aspx

to cover our dome. So if you are interested in seeing how well it works stop by Modge Podge camp at 9 & F this year.
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Re: Seeking Cheap White Dome Covering Material

Post by asr9754 » Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:55 pm

Cool, that's the company that I got the samples from, good luck, seems like a great idea. I'll come by to see your project for sure!

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Re: Seeking Cheap White Dome Covering Material

Post by alexcaste » Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:52 am

Hi all - I wanted to give an update on the white football mesh so you can avoid the shit that i am still trying to unravel.

Basically this is a warning to anyone to stay awar from NICK OF TIME Textiles because they are kind of incompetent and a bit sleazy.

I purchased 2 yards from Nick of Time Fabrics of the white foot ball mesh to see if it would work for our dome cover. It seemed to work great. I called back company and using the SKU number listed on the invoice i got for the sample (which is the same sku number as listed on the site) I ordered 150 yards of fabric. (I have cited the link below to what i was ordering.)

When the 150yds arrived it was no where even close to what the sample was. Sample was 4 way stretch, 150 yd was 2 way. Sample way opaque, 150 yds was see through. Sample was durable, 150 yds was not durable.

I called the company back and told them they had sent me the wrong fabric. A woman Vilhlia seemed to help me out and get everything settled and promised me that they would tack back the roll of unwanted fabric and ship me out the fabric i wanted. (the problem seemed to be that their sku #'s refer to 3 different fabrics at the same time - which didn't make sense to me). A couple days go by and i hear nothing from them.

I call back and I am given to the owner Marcus who proceeds to tell me that the ordering of the wrong fabric is my fault because I did not cite the previous order of the sample that I ordered. I told him i referenced the SKU number repeatedly throughout the conversation as well as the sample. So he said he wasn't going to do anything unless he saw the fabric I was referring to. I had to overnight (because of time deadline) the samples to him. They didn't call me I had to call them when i saw they had received the package. Turns out they only had 14 yrds of the fabric i wanted.

I immediately asked for a refund because i couldn't use the fabric they sent me. They said they would do it. Two days later nothing. I called them back and once again Marcus gets on the phone with me and tells me how we both have to take responsibility for our mistakes. And, that he is not going to take it back and issue a refund unless I pay for the shipping back to him.

Now we are in some stupid negotiating battle about how much shipping I should pay. AT this point I am probably just going to have to dispute the charge on my card and then say, "if you want the fabric back then pay to have it shipped back to you."

Again I warn all of you against using NICK OF TIME TEXTILES.

After this happened I looked online and found reviews showing that i am not the first or the only person they have done this to.
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