simple shade design: EMT + shadecloth

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simple shade design: EMT + shadecloth

Postby guerrillayogi » Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:05 am

Inspired by this:

Image

Could it be as simple as:
-stake numerous 10' EMT poles to the ground using rebar, several feet apart
-top each pole with a spreader (for now I'm thinking plastic bottles or tennis balls)
-drape shadecloth / camo netting over the network of EMT poles

the idea is to have abundant shade within our camp, rather than a separate shade structure. Am I missing anything?

the above image was sourced from this awesome blog: http://thisisblackrockcity.blogspot.com/
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Re: simple shade design: EMT + shadecloth

Postby trilobyte » Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:05 pm

I agree, Philippe/oxygen's blog (and the book) are an excellent resource.

That's a great structure (though it's skimpy as far as shade goes, IMO) - but it is worth noting that it only works because of the large size. If you're building something smaller, a greater percentage of your vertical poles will need help to keep stable. What size are you looking to build?

I prefer using a conduit frame. Goes together much more easily, fewer guy lines and I use no rebar, and significantly sturdier. The quality of shade and UV protection depends on your choice of shade materials, of course. I use heavy duty silver-on-silver tarps that block UV for the main structures, and a 70% aluminet for our central courtyard space (provides solid UV protection, but lets in light and doesn't block breezes).

Keep us posted on your build plans and progress.
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Re: simple shade design: EMT + shadecloth

Postby guerrillayogi » Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:09 pm

Thanks for the tips. My purpose right now is simply to provide an additional layer of shade over our swamp-cooled Kodiaks to make them slightly cooler, and provide some relief in the area between our kodiak and lounging/kitchen dome. So it's not the primary source of shade. The Kodiaks come with canopies that we can arrange for legit shady lounging.

I do want to use a 70% green shadecloth or aluminet (depending on our camp budget) rather than camo netting. Right now I'm sourcing my price data from greenhouse megastore (http://www.greenhousemegastore.com/prod ... hade-cloth).

Total size I'm thinking 30x50. Do you think a conduit frame would be better for this size? We're also going for simplicity, and I like the idea of no rebar needed. Does the conduit frame use steel EMT? thanks again...
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Re: simple shade design: EMT + shadecloth

Postby trilobyte » Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:33 pm

I don't know that I'd call canopies that came with kodiak tents 'legit style shade' for anything other than backyard or woods camping. Legit shade on the playa, IMO, provides a solid UV block and puts at least 1-2 feet of clearance between the top of the tent and the shade material. The sun will hit that primary shade material and heat it significantly, with a big chunk of that heat energy radiating downward.. the clearance allows airflow to disperse it.

Yes, conduit frame structures use standard EMT conduit and then steel fittings for the corners and footpads. Conduit frame structures are modular, you can design and build them to any size you want.

While a heavy duty silver-silver UV blocking tarp is heavier, I like that a) it blocks rain, b) it blocks/deflects dust, c) is about 10 degrees cooler than aluminet during the day, and d) is slightly cheaper.
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Re: simple shade design: EMT + shadecloth

Postby andyburner » Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:36 pm

thanks Trilobye

great post - im travelling from overseas, can you let me know where would be a good place to buy conduit frame online ?


thanks
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Re: simple shade design: EMT + shadecloth

Postby BoyScoutGirl » Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:41 pm

EMT conduit and matching connectors can be purchased at pretty much any hardware store, including in bulk. Prices are reasonable. Conduit comes in a variety of gauges, depending on your needs. You can buy it in 10-foot lengths and cut to suit your needs very easily and with no mess using a nifty pipe-cutter tool, also available in any hardware store. If you don't cut it down, the hardest part of your design might be fitting a bundle of 10' pipes into your vehicle for transport.
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Re: simple shade design: EMT + shadecloth

Postby FossaFerox » Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:34 pm

EMT Conduit isn't quite as sturdy as the poles used in those pictures. When EMT structures are built they TYPICALLY use canopy fittings to stabilize the uprights and dramatically reduce the lateral loads they experience. Otherwise a strong draft can potentially bend the shit out of them.

With 70% shade cloth it might be okay, but I'd be nervous...

When I say canopy fittings I mean ones like these: http://www.ysbw.com/Canopy-Fittings-1-Inch-s/7.htm Make sure you buy ones sized to fit your EMT. 1" is what we used last year for our tarp structure.
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Re: simple shade design: EMT + shadecloth

Postby Bin Noddin » Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:57 pm

Ugly as hell but it worked - EMT, 2 x 4's, zip ties, rebar, duct tape and 70% aluminet. Kept the van pretty cool.

shade done.jpg

shade frame.jpg
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Re: simple shade design: EMT + shadecloth

Postby Bexx » Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:17 pm

Well.. That's a ball trip to come in here and see a picture of my Camp and my tent! Lolz! That's me straight in the back to the left - with the stuff in the front and the bike with the orange basket!

For those interested - this is the Lahontan Korps which is in Gigsville. It was my first year camping with them (friends) as my usual camp took the year off! (And I'm actually camping with them again this year!)

Anyhoo the camo netting is actually pretty shade worthy! What's holding it up are 7foot poles that have a 3 armed spreader. The entire camo gets staked down and then you crawl under and put up the poles and spreaders. There's no rebar or anything holding the poles up.. Just the weight and tension of the camo. I know if you do a google search for camo netting store - there's a website that comes up!
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Re: simple shade design: EMT + shadecloth

Postby Canoe » Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:24 pm

Bexx wrote:...What's holding it up are 7foot poles that have a 3 armed spreader. ...

Any photos or details on that 3-armed spreader?
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Re: simple shade design: EMT + shadecloth

Postby Bexx » Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:31 am

Canoe wrote:
Bexx wrote:...What's holding it up are 7foot poles that have a 3 armed spreader. ...

Any photos or details on that 3-armed spreader?



None that I have. I know that they all get put together really easy though. They start out as 4 foot interlocking poles ( I was off on the height there.. Oops! ) the poles In the center if I remember, are 3 poles put together

If ya search for camo netting spreader you'll see the pole system pop up!
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Re: simple shade design: EMT + shadecloth

Postby BoyScoutGirl » Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:44 am

Bexx wrote:
If ya search for camo netting spreader you'll see the pole system pop up!

As the second image, no less:

Image
When he lights his streetlamp, it is as if he brought one more star to life, or one flower.
When he puts out his lamp, he sends the flower, or the star, to sleep.
That is a beautiful occupation.

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Re: simple shade design: EMT + shadecloth

Postby andyburner » Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:03 am

Hi trilobyte

my second burn this year, and 1st time in tent, with shade structure to build ! and after reading a lot of posts on here, im gonna go with something similar to what you suggest as a shade (i will be shading 2 kodiak tents, area will be approx 20x40ft).

just a couple of questions,
1) ive seen the 3 ply silver on silver tarp and i am gonna buy that, (cant afford aluminet)
but do you ever have to add vents or slits to the tarp? is there not a danger of it catching in high wind like a sail ?
I was only going to use as a ceiling tarp with cheaper shade cloth/netting on the side walls too.

2) you say the conduit frame you build uses no rebar to stake it down, is it just the weight of the structure on the footpads that keeps it from taking off in high winds? or am i missing something, id be keen to replicate, and would rather not damage the playa with rebar or stakes.

appreciate any help or advice, thanks ! :)
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Re: simple shade design: EMT + shadecloth

Postby trilobyte » Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:46 am

No, I wouldn't cut up a tarp.

Of course the structure is staked down. Just because it doesn't use rebar does not mean it's not staked down. I use nail spikes at each footpad, and strategically placed hurricane stakes at the corner (and sides, depending on the size of the structure).

Do not build any structure on the playa without properly staking it down, especially one with pieces that could really hurt someone.
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Re: simple shade design: EMT + shadecloth

Postby FossaFerox » Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:32 am

Andy, tarps lack structural integrity if you cut them and don't massively reinforce the area around the cut. It isn't worth doing. Just be mindful of the wind when you design your structure and make sure you stake it down well. We used rebar last year for our massive EMT/tarp structure, but this year I'm going to be switching to 14" lag bolts per Figjam's recommendation (If I can get my group to agree to the added capital expenditure in return for easy labor and long term savings).
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