Upgrading My Shade Structure. Engineering Advice Please?

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Upgrading My Shade Structure. Engineering Advice Please?

Postby Grab_Bag » Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:53 pm

This year my girlfriend and I decided it was time to upgrade our shade structure and started the hunt for suitable designs. I am not, however, an engineer though I have a working knowlege of physics and the unforgiving nature of the playa. There are two ready made designs that appealed to the aesthetic eye of my lady which I would like some general input on in regard to their preceived ability to withstand BRC.

The first is the less aesthetically desirable but potentially more sturdy model with the following specs:
Dimensions: 20'( 6 m) x 20'( 6 m)
Frame Finish Heavy duty White Powder coated steel w metal joint fittings
Top Cover Material: 160 gram Polyethylene
Side Wall Material : 160 gram Polyethylene
Canopy Color : White
Tube Diameter : 1.50", 1.65"
Thickness of the Tube: 1 mm, 1.2 mm
Weight 230 pounds (heavy duty)
Pictured here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images ... rden&img=1

The second model is really just the bee's knees as far as the S.O. is concerned, and I must admit it does have some real panache. I am concerned about how well it's design would hold up in the desert even though it has better covering material. Here are the specs:
Dimensions: 29' x 21' x 11'H (at peak), 6.5' H (at side)
Frame Finish: Heavy Duty Powder Coated Steel w Metal Joint Fittings
Top Cover Material: 270g Polyester with PVC coated waterproof
Side Wall Material :210D Oxford
Sidewall size : 7.8'x6.2'
Canopy Color: Maroon
Canopy Weight 215 pounds
Diameter of the pole and connectors: 1 1/4", 1 3/8"
Pictured here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images ... rden&img=1

I understand that guy wires and rebar stakes will be fully required to make either of these structures playa worthy, along with minor to semi-major covering modifications. Even armed with that knowledge I'd still like the evaluation of more experienced burners in this matter.

-Thank You All
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Postby gyre » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:43 pm

The best you can say about white translucent material, is that it's better than nothing.
And it makes a dandy greenhouse for warming up the tent before evening.

The rectangular one does look sturdier, but I think you could do better.

The second one seems to have stronger material.
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Postby Grab_Bag » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:56 pm

Yeah thats what i thought about that white material. the maroon stuff on the second structure is far more opaque and is higher quality which should help. we were thinking that if we cut out the plastic windows and sewed in some camo netting instead it'd let the breeze through and cool things down without letting too much UV/IR radiation in.
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Postby gyre » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:05 pm

I find that if I block light and heat, that ventilation isn't even a factor until late afternoon.
But there is a huge difference between almost all and all the heat coming through.
Double walling is a plus too.
Ventilate between the tent roofs, if anywhere.
Check out some true middle eastern tents.
The have from three to seven layers.
That helps in the cold too.

A modified arched or quonset style seems to be the most efficient style, but presents it own issues in packing or construction.
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Postby Lord Of Ruin » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:12 am

I finally gave away my Costco carport and bought the stuff from here:

http://shelsys.com/catalog/accessories.html

These guys are pros. They sell all the parts and even have a little configurator. They sell allt he stuff for tie downs, as well as different coverings (hint: dark shade cloth holds up to wind better and actually gives you just about the same amount of coolness).

One of the best purchases I ever made. Shade is up in about 30 min by myself, in about 15 with a helper even in wind.

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Postby phil » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:19 am

Having an enclosed shade will probably lead to extra heat. Having fabric which is not totally opaque (blocking not only UV but IR) will lead to heat in the shade.

We have a garage style shade (peaked roof) with the top being the opaque silver tarp, and we put two shade walls on it, leaving two open areas, and we never get hotter than ambient air temperature under the shade. We drive rebar into the ground by each of the four legs and duct tape the legs to the rebar above ground; we also tape the eaves onto the legs, as the wind has sometimes lifted the roof on one corner.

There's no one way to do things, and I'm always open to new ideas, so if your ideas work well, please post with photos.
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Postby gyre » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:34 am

Don't your joints lock?
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Postby Trishntek » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:49 am

We have purchased fittings and 14mil HD silver tarp from these guys:

http://www.canopiesandtarps.com/

I cut our own poles for custom designs and have done multiple structures simultaneously at two separate locations, OR put it all together for our theme camp's 50'X60' rigid shade structure. The beauty of it is, I can set up something as small as 10'X10' with an 8' ceiling. Whether large, small or inbetween, they are all playa worthy.
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Postby phil » Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:56 pm

gyre wrote:Don't your joints lock?


Mine don't. We bought chainlink fence rail, and the corner units slide over the rails, supposedly held by the tension of the tarp and bungee cords. The wind has vibrated the joints off the rails on occasional occasions.
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Postby jkisha » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:40 pm

We got our shade structure from these guys. http://www.westcoastsupply.com/ they can help you customize your design too. We have a 20' x 40' structure and two 10' x 10' structures. All peak tops. We have side walls, but only used them the first year. I think this year will be the fifth year we'll be bringing it out to the playa.
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Postby TomServo » Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:13 pm

I've had problems in the past, with the spring action locking pins. One good dust storm, and that ping gets jammed. Easy to separate the poles using a hammer or pliers, but the pins always fucked up afterwards. I wrap duct tape, at least 1 1/2 turns around the pipe joints, and double about 1/2 inch of tape at the end, for easy removal. EZ~Ups, are in fact easy to set up, but in a storm, the millions of thin cross tubes in the roof fail. Making tear down anything but easy!

I agree, splinting the canopy legs to rebar, t~posts (NOT U POSTS!!!!), etc...is an excellent way of securing the canopy. I use T posts, and absolutely No guylines!
anything worth doing..is worth overdoing

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Postby Bob » Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:37 pm

Simpler rectangular shape like the first link will allow for easier modifications later, eg throwing a mesh tarp or whatnot over it.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Postby Bob » Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:42 pm

Or whatever. Better if you could check out what you think you want in someone else's camp on the playa before you invest.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Postby gyre » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:50 pm

Repairability is the advantage of the modified quonset style arch, as it uses rectangular cover.

Same for shelsys stuff.
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Postby gyre » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:03 pm

TomServo wrote:I've had problems in the past, with the spring action locking pins. One good dust storm, and that ping gets jammed. Easy to separate the poles using a hammer or pliers, but the pins always fucked up afterwards. I wrap duct tape, at least 1 1/2 turns around the pipe joints, and double about 1/2 inch of tape at the end, for easy removal. EZ~Ups, are in fact easy to set up, but in a storm, the millions of thin cross tubes in the roof fail. Making tear down anything but easy!

I agree, splinting the canopy legs to rebar, t~posts (NOT U POSTS!!!!), etc...is an excellent way of securing the canopy. I use T posts, and absolutely No guylines!

What do you think of the threaded thumbscrew type?
Or some you have to use a wrench on.
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Postby Trishntek » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:32 pm

gyre wrote:
TomServo wrote:I've had problems in the past, with the spring action locking pins. One good dust storm, and that ping gets jammed. Easy to separate the poles using a hammer or pliers, but the pins always fucked up afterwards. I wrap duct tape, at least 1 1/2 turns around the pipe joints, and double about 1/2 inch of tape at the end, for easy removal. EZ~Ups, are in fact easy to set up, but in a storm, the millions of thin cross tubes in the roof fail. Making tear down anything but easy!

I agree, splinting the canopy legs to rebar, t~posts (NOT U POSTS!!!!), etc...is an excellent way of securing the canopy. I use T posts, and absolutely No guylines!

What do you think of the threaded thumbscrew type?
Or some you have to use a wrench on.


I'm very impressed with the rigidity of our framework. We do have the eyebolt set screw which holds the 1 3/8" top rail tight. With the 45 degree bracing on every-other joint and nailing it to the playa, guylines are more a formality than necessity. I think the stainless steel is preferable over the powder coated materials,,,, especially on the playa.

I've used the framework in a warehouse to create an entire party space by hanging curtains and using rope light. The several different-sized tarps give me optimal flexibility to create different shapes and sizes according to need. It's ultimately for the playa, but it is really handy throughout the year for a VARIETY of setups using all or part of the entire inventory.
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Postby TomServo » Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:03 am

gyre wrote:
TomServo wrote:I've had problems in the past, with the spring action locking pins. One good dust storm, and that ping gets jammed. Easy to separate the poles using a hammer or pliers, but the pins always fucked up afterwards. I wrap duct tape, at least 1 1/2 turns around the pipe joints, and double about 1/2 inch of tape at the end, for easy removal. EZ~Ups, are in fact easy to set up, but in a storm, the millions of thin cross tubes in the roof fail. Making tear down anything but easy!

I agree, splinting the canopy legs to rebar, t~posts (NOT U POSTS!!!!), etc...is an excellent way of securing the canopy. I use T posts, and absolutely No guylines!

What do you think of the threaded thumbscrew type?
Or some you have to use a wrench on.


My old 10x10...the one you want, uses Loop Bolts to secure the joints. Pretty cool, since you can also use them to string lights, hang stuff from, etc..

Image
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Postby gyre » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:10 pm

Do threads seem to survive the dust?
I've seen the push catches stick.
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Postby Trishntek » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:36 pm

The stainless threads do okay and back out with a little help from a screwdriver through the eyebolt. Regular iron threads rust sumpin' terrible after being on the playa.
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Postby some seeing eye » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:02 pm

I have always been a fan of the flat roof shade house:
Image

But I build mine on the cheap with 2x4 verticals in the corners, rope instead of the cross pieces and covered with grommeted shade cloth.

But to Mr Grab_bag, sounds like your GF has important aesthetic concerns.

We have used those party tents, but they were rented and had heavier metal parts. You need to keep them closed up on 4 sides as much as possible to keep from lifting. It helps to have other structures by the doors or a dense villiage to block the wind.

The white plastic lets a lot of heat in. Silver would be ideal.
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Postby jkisha » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:20 pm

TomServo wrote:
gyre wrote:
TomServo wrote:I've had problems in the past, with the spring action locking pins. One good dust storm, and that ping gets jammed. Easy to separate the poles using a hammer or pliers, but the pins always fucked up afterwards. I wrap duct tape, at least 1 1/2 turns around the pipe joints, and double about 1/2 inch of tape at the end, for easy removal. EZ~Ups, are in fact easy to set up, but in a storm, the millions of thin cross tubes in the roof fail. Making tear down anything but easy!

I agree, splinting the canopy legs to rebar, t~posts (NOT U POSTS!!!!), etc...is an excellent way of securing the canopy. I use T posts, and absolutely No guylines!

What do you think of the threaded thumbscrew type?
Or some you have to use a wrench on.


My old 10x10...the one you want, uses Loop Bolts to secure the joints. Pretty cool, since you can also use them to string lights, hang stuff from, etc..

Image


Those are the connectors our structures use.
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Postby J/J » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:41 am

I’m a birgin so my advice is suspect. I do have 20 years of experience in using various vendor style tents in the fields of New England. So as a newbie with tickets I decided to go with the frame I am happy with and purchase a new opaque white vinyl skin for the set-up and added some custom shade cloth – windows and awning. This is a very expensive solution for a shade structure but if it survives it shall find other uses. Note the poles all fit easily crosswise in a mini van. This tent shall be playaized with monster stakes and ratchet guys. I shall also add a second ridge pole so I can have a hung ceiling under the top and the top has vents at the gable ends. The shade cloth window walls have zip down storm flaps. All sides zip to one another and all zip to the top. This zippered skin makes this tent super strong. This frame has stabilizer bars near the floor on 3 sides. See my custom tent at this link- http://adirondack-camp.org/home.html see the standard tent at this link http://www.flourish.com/trimline_intro.html . Just thought I would share my solution. It’s a done deal - but perhaps peeps might learn form my mistakes – perhaps benefit form this design?
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Postby TomServo » Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:48 pm

$800 for a 10x10?! The best tarps on the playa are silver or blue. If you already have a white canopy, I'd suggest covering the roof with camo netting.
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Postby J/J » Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:59 pm

I am hoping that totally opaque white vinyl tent skin and ceiling with vented air space and then the top might work?
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Postby gyre » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:50 am

Make sure it really is opaque.

I have thick white billboard material and the slight light coming through was noticeable heat where I couldn't double layer with something under it.

It's the difference between comfortable and cushy cool.
I did have a slight air gap between the tent and the cover, but not large.
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Postby gyre » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:52 am

Silvicool or 100% aluminet solid material is worth looking at.

The solid aluminet is no longer imported.
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