DCF Tarp MLD Monk Inspired.

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DCF Tarp MLD Monk Inspired.

Postby AlistairB » Sun 28 Oct, 2018 8:05 pm

Hi folks.

I wanted a compact tarp for shorter trips were good weather is generally expected. Something to keep showers off and provide some shelter from the wind. I had my eye on the MLD Monk Tarp https://mountainlaureldesigns.com/product/monk-flat-tarp/ but with an 8 week lead time, and another $40 USD to ship to Australia (in addition to the $160USD RRP) I decided to try and make it myself. I also wanted it in white rather than green.

For anyone who wants to dip their toe into the MYOG cuben space this is a really good project to start with. Its just a 3 yard length of fabric, hemmed with tie outs. Super easy.

The tarp is .5 White DCF with the tie out reinforcement circles in White 2.92 DCF. The tie outs are nylon grosgrain ribbon with lineloc 3's on all tie outs except for a Beastee Dee for the trekking pole. I wanted the 2.92 as it would provide a really strong tie out point and wouldn't / shouldn't rip.

Tarp weight with 6 Lineloc's and 1 Beastee Dee is 95grams. With my guy ropes (which are 5 X 4ft lengths and 1 X 8 ft length) is 131grams. I'm using a Locus CP3 carbon trekking pole and 6 X MSR mini groundhogs for pitching. I only have 6 tie out points at the moment but will probably add a couple more. Even with the 6 you get a really nice tight pitch and its surprisingly roomy. Plenty of space to sit up in the middle.

You can see photos here: https://imgur.com/a/war4GEA

Tools required are a roller cutter, ruler and sewing machine (or needle and thread) - there is minimal sewing. You could easily hand-sew the tie outs.

Costs: The main cost is the .5DCF. This was $32 per yard from Ripstopbytheroll. They have coupons that give you 10% off so it was actually only $28.8USD per yard. I used a tiny amount of my half yard of 2.92. Maybe 10cms. The remainder is going into ditty bags and packing cubes as another MYOG project. Apart from those, it's about 6 yards of double-sided tape, linelocs, a beastee dee and some thread. Including shipping, but not including the remainder of the 2.92 I'm using for other projects, i think this cost just under $140 AUD. Not a massive saving but I got the colour i wanted, some added features and it was actually a lot of fun. I'm really happy with the result. Oh and it took a couple of hours at nights but I think I could get it down to about an hour if I made another.

Steps:
1. Trim the selvedge and square up the ends of the main .5DCF sheet. The DCF has a few centimetres on each side running the length that isn't useable. Its just a plastic filmy strip. Chop it off. I used a roller-cutter ($8 from Lincraft) and a ruler.

2. Hem the edges. Starting with the two long sides I attached 1/2 inch double sided bonding tape to the edge of the fabric. I then folded the DCF over and inwards the width of the tape to create the hem. No sewing required. Some care is needed though as the tape is very sticky and it can kind of bunch and crease in places. Slow and steady is the key. After the two long sides are done, do it for the width hems. All four sides should now have a 1/2 inch double layer of .5DCF on the edge.

3. Find a good sized cup in the kitchen and trace circles onto your 2.92 DCF. Cut these out with your rollercutter. For the corners you need a bigger cup as you'll only use half the circle (cut two circles total). Use a smaller full circle for the side tie outs. I only have 2 of those so far but I might add some more.

4. On the shiny side of the 2.92 DCF. Stick on the double sides tape, trimming to keep it a neat. Stick half of your 2.92 cutout to one side of the tarp and then fold the other side around to sandwich the .5 dcf between the 2.92. This results in a reinforcement of 2 X 2.92 DCF and if its over the seam, 2 X layers of .5 DCF. Nice and tough.

5. Cut your lengths of grosgrain. Thread on your linelok / beastee dee. To make it neat I folded the ends of the grosgrain back in on themselves so the grosgrain ends where sandwiched inside the grosgrain. Carefully stitch this onto your tie out areas. I put two bar stitches, one at the top and one over .5dcf hem towards the bottom.

6. The Beastee Dee was a fraction small for my trekking pole tip so I got some sandpaper, rolled it up into a pencil and slowly enlarged the size of the hole to snugly fit my trekking pole. It locks in nicely now.

7. Thats it! You're done!. Cut you guys ropes and pitch away.
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Re: DCF Tarp MLD Monk Inspired.

Postby Rosscodj » Mon 29 Oct, 2018 8:36 am

I'm impressed. This is something I've been thinking about. I actually have a sil Monk from a couple of years back. Might just be a project for the Uni break. Thanks for sharing!
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Re: DCF Tarp MLD Monk Inspired.

Postby AlistairB » Mon 29 Oct, 2018 9:56 am

Rosscodj wrote:I'm impressed. This is something I've been thinking about. I actually have a sil Monk from a couple of years back. Might just be a project for the Uni break. Thanks for sharing!


Thanks :-) The November Black Friday sales are a good time to pick up materials. Most DIY gear sellers do a 15% off coupon.
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Re: DCF Tarp MLD Monk Inspired.

Postby Rosscodj » Mon 29 Oct, 2018 2:53 pm

That's actually a really good point. I'll keep an eye out. Cheers!
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Re: DCF Tarp MLD Monk Inspired.

Postby Lamont » Sun 09 Dec, 2018 7:24 am

I've got to say, I would love to be sitting next to you when you make your next one! In order to get a grip on the procedure.
The quality of your work is excellent.
I have been playing around with a DD UL tarp in exactly this size 2.9m X 1.5m ( 240gms with 4 X 1.8m tie outs) which I bought for about $40.
Have you thought about some tie outs (2 maybe) on what would be a ridgeline (centre line through the length)?
On the DD tarp I have you can attach some short tie outs to them and pull a nice little shape outwards to make even more room (concave) under the tarp-the back wall takes on a less flat shape allowing you to move closer to it. I have a Duplex in DCF with such tie outs and I think it would work if you saw fit to change your design?
I really would love to have a go at this! That weight and that stuffed size -giddee up!
Last time I sewed anything was a door snake/draught excluder in Tech school (remember tech schools Victorians ?) sommmmmmme time back!
I reckon if I got a handle on this there would be no going back-a new rucksack in DCF would be next :P .
Have you made a rucksack yet? I reckon you need to now!
Cheers and thanks for posting.

EDIT just realised (as I was trying to copy your lay out ha ha ) there is a centre tie out along the back, hard to tell from the picture but I presume it makes that more concavey interior I was referring to?
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Re: DCF Tarp MLD Monk Inspired.

Postby AlistairB » Sun 09 Dec, 2018 7:51 pm

Thank you :-)

I have thought about some side pullouts but I think I'll use it a little more before making changes. It is suprisingly roomy as is. I'm 6ft and with my MYOG bivy (this is it - https://imgur.com/a/c3AFDiT though I have changed it to a side zip now) would be more than comfortable using it in all but the wildest weather (in which case I would pitch a super low a frame and wriggle underneath). I can sit upright in the middle and make a cuppa and there is room for my pack while lying down.

I'm really happy with my Wilderness Threadworks pack at the moment but I will definitely have a crack at a pack in 2019. I've got a basic pattern to work off here - https://www.bagbuff.com/product/diy-ult ... k-pattern/ The good thing with doing it in DCF is you can just tape everything. No sewing means less chances of mistakes and no needle holes to seal.

My current project is a ultralight anorak / raincoat. I've nearly got the pattern finished and am making calico samples to get the size right. Thinking of using a .3 or .5 DCF for it. Its not a bushbasher, rather a light pullover for use during heavy downpours. It will only weigh a few grams.
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Re: DCF Tarp MLD Monk Inspired.

Postby Lamont » Mon 10 Dec, 2018 3:54 pm

Excellent work!
Must give you a real sense of accomplishment.
The Sonder is nice isn't it!
I'd love to see the Anorak when you are done. That is a champion idea.
I sometimes carry and use a dopey bright yellow frogg Toggs jacket when I am not bushbashing (and only showers are forecast) to keep my good jacket safe from harm. Is this the way you would use it?
I wonder if you have to wear it (maybe?) under your rucksack to really get the fit or are you copying a pattern from a tried and true other garment?
Thanks for the pics.
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Re: DCF Tarp MLD Monk Inspired.

Postby Watertank » Tue 11 Dec, 2018 3:24 pm

Is .5 DCF the best weight for a DCF tarp? By that I mean do you think it is strong enough or would a slightly heavier weight DCF be better or would it be overkill?
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Re: DCF Tarp MLD Monk Inspired.

Postby Mark F » Tue 11 Dec, 2018 3:51 pm

Given the size of the tarp .51oz dcf would be fine although a some of manufacturers (Mountain Laurel Designs is one) prefer the .74 weight as it is more durable but still offer the .51 option. ZPacks makes everything in 0.51 but offer .74 as an option. The bit that always gets me is that mdl use .74 in their floors while ZPacks use 1 oz which doubles the thickness of the waterproof laminate compared to both the .51 an .74 fabrics. My own 3 season use of dcf shelters over the last 8-9 years suggests ZPacks is more "on the money" in fabric weight choices. My only caveat would be that if I was making a big tarp, say 12ft x 12 ft, or planning to use it in really extreme conditions I would opt for the 0.74. The other benefit of .74 over .51 is the amount of light it allows through but if this was an issue I would pay the extra for the camo version which is far more opaque.

Alistair - Nice work on the tarp. My only comments would be that sewing the hems will cut the weight a little and have no effect on the performance and I believe you could just use a single layer in each of the reinforcement patches - maybe leave the pole connection point doubled. It is good to see that you oriented the patches at 45 degrees to the fabric - the best way to do it.
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Re: DCF Tarp MLD Monk Inspired.

Postby Watertank » Tue 11 Dec, 2018 7:20 pm

Mark, Thanks for the response - that’s helpful.
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Re: DCF Tarp MLD Monk Inspired.

Postby andrewa » Wed 12 Dec, 2018 6:41 am

With respect to a DCF rucksack, I did make one one tpyears ago, and posted on the forum (?MYO Cuban rucksack). A lot of it was taped, but the tape is not strong enough, and I need to redo some of the seams. I think rucksacks really need to be sewn as well. I’ve even had tape failures of dry bags, so my personal preference is to sew everything, and then seal the seams with 2cm double sided tape, using a strip of Cuban on one side of the tape.

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Re: DCF Tarp MLD Monk Inspired.

Postby Nuts » Wed 12 Dec, 2018 7:22 am

Nice job Alistair


Watertank wrote:Is .5 DCF the best weight for a DCF tarp? By that I mean do you think it is strong enough or would a slightly heavier weight DCF be better or would it be overkill?


I'm sure Mark is correct on the weights, especially tie-outs and regarding ratio fly: floor but keep in mind that the next heavier available DCF would only add around 18 grams to this project..

Given the cost of material, there's no real advantage other than this (very) minor weight benefit.
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Re: DCF Tarp MLD Monk Inspired.

Postby Lamont » Wed 12 Dec, 2018 3:15 pm

"The good thing with doing it in DCF is you can just tape everything. No sewing means less chances of mistakes and no needle holes to seal."
I thought this was strange and you would have to sew as you subsequently said.

"....so my personal preference is to sew everything," yes, I would like to see that number when you make it!
I looked at the sack you referred to looks nice but don't know about the stretchy bottle pockets? Are they easier to add?
And the DCF you might choose ..150D?
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Re: DCF Tarp MLD Monk Inspired.

Postby AlistairB » Wed 12 Dec, 2018 6:32 pm

Watertank wrote:Is .5 DCF the best weight for a DCF tarp? By that I mean do you think it is strong enough or would a slightly heavier weight DCF be better or would it be overkill?


.5 is plenty strong. Its is really hard to puncture, it won't tear and the only way I can see it wearing is via abrasion. I keep it in its own lil stuff sack to stop that. I was sceptical to start with but it is really is a robust fabric.
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Re: DCF Tarp MLD Monk Inspired.

Postby AlistairB » Wed 12 Dec, 2018 6:35 pm

Mark F wrote:Alistair - Nice work on the tarp. My only comments would be that sewing the hems will cut the weight a little and have no effect on the performance and I believe you could just use a single layer in each of the reinforcement patches - maybe leave the pole connection point doubled. It is good to see that you oriented the patches at 45 degrees to the fabric - the best way to do it.


Cheers thanks Mark. Agreed on all points. This was my first DCF project so I did go a little overkill. I got spooked by the DCF naysayers on the interwebz.
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Re: DCF Tarp MLD Monk Inspired.

Postby AlistairB » Wed 12 Dec, 2018 6:40 pm

andrewa wrote:With respect to a DCF rucksack, I did make one one tpyears ago, and posted on the forum (?MYO Cuban rucksack). A lot of it was taped, but the tape is not strong enough, and I need to redo some of the seams. I think rucksacks really need to be sewn as well. I’ve even had tape failures of dry bags, so my personal preference is to sew everything, and then seal the seams with 2cm double sided tape, using a strip of Cuban on one side of the tape.

Andrew


Thanks for the heads up Andrew. I'm trying a bunch of different 3M tapes at the moment and hope to find something durable. I've done some test and left the pieces under tension for days at a time and they seem to be OK. I've heard dramatic temperature changes (highs and lows) can cause it to loose some of its bonding strength.
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Re: DCF Tarp MLD Monk Inspired.

Postby andrewa » Wed 12 Dec, 2018 7:39 pm

I used the tape that SimonM used to sell at Tier Gear - presumably he did some research about the best tapes, and it might be worth contacting him. I think it was venture tape - it certainly worked well as “tit tape” for my daughters dresses!

I’d still sew though.

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Re: DCF Tarp MLD Monk Inspired.

Postby andrewa » Wed 12 Dec, 2018 7:42 pm

This was the link to my DCF rucksack, if interested.

viewtopic.php?f=53&t=19792&p=330056&hilit=myo+cuben+rucksack#p330056

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