Aluminet edging and grommets - is it really worth it?

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Aluminet edging and grommets - is it really worth it?

Postby ConnieH » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:51 am

I've heard conflicting reports about Aluminet, some say definitely get the pre-fabricated stuff with sewn on edging and grommets, others say it does just fine with those shark clip things on a turned over raw edge. I'd like to hear from you folks - particularly any that have used it on a monkey hut, which is how we will use it. Thanks!
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Postby Bob » Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:21 pm

Tape reinforcement and grommets every 12" is a good rule of thumb, that's what they use on the Cafe and other structures for knit shade cloth similar to aluminet.
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Postby Bob » Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:24 pm

Weird... my edit should have been >100%, what algorithm are you people using?
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Postby some seeing eye » Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:50 pm

I have the grommeted version. The material will stay better looking over the years with the edging and grommets. The fabric itself has some stretch, but the tape dies not. If you are wrapping a geodesic dome, un edged 7 foot wide pieces work better. Now is a good time to get your material before the July-August rush.
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Postby rodiponer » Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:04 pm

We use the shark clips. You can see how it stretches between the clips along the ground, though it doesn't bother me.

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Postby motskyroonmatick » Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:26 pm

In my experience the shark clips have to be installed perfectly and never overloaded. I have had them fail if installed incorrectly and let loose if overloaded. Edging, 2 grommets on each corner and a maximum spacing of 2 feet apart is the best investment I have made in shade hardiness.
The peace of mind grommets bring is well worth the price.
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Postby FIGJAM » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:28 pm

I had a big problem with the shark clips slipping from too much pressure.

Until I cut some 1" long pieces of 1/4" nylon cord.

Fold the clothe over a piece of cord and place it at the back of the jaws, then tighten the jaws as much as possible.

This FINALLY kept them from slipping off of the fabric.
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Postby Dr. Pyro » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:39 pm

OK, while we're on the subject, using aluminet to cover art vehicles. Can the 30% really give you enough visability to not run over your fellow burners? I just worry about safety (it ranks third); if some useless stoned hippie wanders in front of an art vehicle and we do the world a favor by running him (or her) over, are we liable? If they say that visability was "impared" and that we shouldn't have accelerated and swerved into that hippie, would we be found at fault?

The first half of this post was serious.
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Postby Elorrum » Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:01 pm

Dr. Pyro wrote:OK, while we're on the subject, using aluminet to cover art vehicles. Can the 30% really give you enough visability to not run over your fellow burners? I just worry about safety (it ranks third); if some useless stoned hippie wanders in front of an art vehicle and we do the world a favor by running him (or her) over, are we liable? If they say that visability was "impared" and that we shouldn't have accelerated and swerved into that hippie, would we be found at fault?

The first half of this post was serious.

I don't know about the serious part of the question. I suggest you bring a fine rake to obscure your tracks where you swerve, I'm not certain how to do it, but you might be able to also "draw in " some skid marks to show some intent to avoid collision.
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Postby rodiponer » Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:15 pm

Dr. Pyro wrote:OK, while we're on the subject, using aluminet to cover art vehicles. Can the 30% really give you enough visability to not run over your fellow burners? I just worry about safety (it ranks third


Hi Doc,
The 30% is so sparse that it looks a bit like a fishing net, to me. It shouldn't be a problem at all, except that you may want denser stuff for a more silvery look (or shade).

If you want a piece of 70% to look through, PM your address to me and I'll stick a piece in the mail. It's pretty easy to see through during the day, though maybe at night any light from inside your vehicle will reflect back inside and make it hard to see out.
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:44 pm

Dr.
I think you will be fine in the day light where the exterior light will be more than the interior of the vehicle. Like looking from a dark room in to the day light outside. Everything outside is very easy to make out. Now at night it may be the opposite where whatever minimal lighting inside the vehicle bounces off the aluminet making the interior bright and subsequently hard to see out of. My gut reaction is that headlights would not mitigate that situation well. Possibly a flap in the shade cloth could be pulled down for night time operation. Then there is the CCTV route with infrared cameras which I have been lead to believe has been used successfully on multiple mutant vehicles.
I set up a simple CCTV system on my mutant to monitor the loading and unloading area using a cheap security camera and a flip down LCD monitor similar to the ones you see mounted to minivan roofs. All of it was 12 volt and purchased off of ebay. Your situation would be more complex than that but still doable. Not very K.I.S.S though.
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Postby ConnieH » Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:25 am

rodiponer wrote:We use the shark clips. You can see how it stretches between the clips along the ground, though it doesn't bother me.

Image


Rodiponer: Is that 70% aluminet? Looks like it's doing a good job!

Thanks for the replies - I think I'll go with taped edges and grommets for an extra $25 rather than risk shark clip failure - Figjams idea sounds like a good solution, but the less we have to mess with on playa, the happier I'll be. I hope this stuff lives up to its reputation 8)
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Postby Savannah » Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:32 am

It's only $25?? Hell yes, do it.

I am very happy with the sewn edges and grommets on my shade.
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Postby ConnieH » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:30 am

Savannah wrote:It's only $25?? Hell yes, do it.

I am very happy with the sewn edges and grommets on my shade.


For the size I want, 12'x24', it's $.25/foot for edging, grommets are $.15/each at http://www.gothicarchgreenhouses.com/ - this place has the best prices I've found so far on the aluminet.
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Postby rodiponer » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:29 pm

ConnieH wrote:Rodiponer: Is that 70% aluminet? Looks like it's doing a good job!


That's 90% black shade cloth with 70% shade cloth towards the top of the wall and on the ceiling. You can see where it gets darker on the wall where the aluminet starts.

We first bought 90% black shade cloth, but the shade wasn't as deep as we wanted (I don't think they calculate 90% the way I would), so we added aluminet on top.
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Postby ConnieH » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:22 pm

rodiponer wrote:
ConnieH wrote:Rodiponer: Is that 70% aluminet? Looks like it's doing a good job!


That's 90% black shade cloth with 70% shade cloth towards the top of the wall and on the ceiling. You can see where it gets darker on the wall where the aluminet starts.

We first bought 90% black shade cloth, but the shade wasn't as deep as we wanted (I don't think they calculate 90% the way I would), so we added aluminet on top.


Gotcha! I've thought about also getting some shade cloth to layer underneath, having no experience with aluminet I'm unsure how well it will keep the hut cool. I guess I can order the aluminet now and pick up some shade cloth later if I need it.
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Postby Boijoy » Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:58 pm

Hi Connie,

this place has a 12x20 piece with the edges etc. for $99.00.
Im not sure how that compares with what you found.
If your in Reno you can call them & pick it up at the warehouse to save shipping. :)

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Postby some seeing eye » Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:40 pm

I have always found Gothic Arch Greenhouses a great supplier: www.gothicarchgreenhouses.com. They have many Burningman customers.
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Postby EspressoDude » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:37 am

gothic arch are good people, and will send samples.

like everything else, the aluminet gets coated with playa dust and looks like playa in a day or so, unless you blow it off.

Buy early! in summer the greenhouses and outdoor growers are buying like crazy. (and they are repeat customers and often get priority)
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Postby Homiesinheaven » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:39 am

to me Aluminet has always seemed like overkill for the extra price. remember, you dont HAVE TO spend a shit ton of money for BM! last year i bought a 20X24 90% black shade cloth and it worked great ($150 with shipping). i got it with the brass grommets so it could withstand the harshest playa winds. shark clips will add to your set up time (hassle) and in my estimates they dont save you that much more dough than getting it prefab.
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Postby FIGJAM » Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:07 pm

Just wondering if anyone has tried melting the edges of regular shade cloth instead of hemming?
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Postby ConnieH » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:12 am

FIGJAM wrote:Just wondering if anyone has tried melting the edges of regular shade cloth instead of hemming?


That's not a bad idea if there's no stress on that edge - the shade cloth we cover the bar with is stretched pretty tight, if it weren't for the hems a lot of the zipties might rip through. But that's a good idea to try for the ends of the "fence" we hope to build this year at camp.
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Postby FIGJAM » Sun Apr 10, 2011 4:37 pm

This is how I melted the cut edges of my shade cloth so that it could'nt fray.

Sandwitch the cloth between two straight edges. (I used my desk and a piece of angle iron)

Image

There's about an inch of fabric sticking out. Then use any flame to melt the fabric back to the straight edge. (I used a plummers torch)

Image

It left alot of little tails, but it's sealed so that it can't fray.

Next I'm going to stack two pieces and see if I can make a melted seam to double the width of the cloth from 6ft to 12ft.

I'll let you know how it turns out.
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Postby EspressoDude » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:07 pm

Our aluminet was overkill edged: a 2" strip of silver polytarp was laid like the board in the above pix, then the aluminet folded over. then that was covered / wrapped (both sides) with a wider piece of tarp, then zig zag stitched all together. Then grommets. Been on the playa starting in 2004. no signs of rip/tear/pullout
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