Apr 17, 2011

Spring break dome progress

Well my folks and I got some more practice setting up the dome frame, this time it was so I could begin creating the massive canvass cover that sits on top of it.

To be honest, the dome is far larger than I expected. Should definitely be enough room for my two friends and I.

The pink rope strung around the roof members (pictured above) are tensioned and prevent the canvass from sagging.

The roof cover will be hemmed at the blue line (pictured below) so there's an approx 12" valance to provide a little extra shade. But for the most part the sides will be open. The finished dome is going to be more of a cabana that only provides shade, for the most part the sides will be open.

Metal washers (serving as grommets) were glued to the canvass at points with double layered fabric for strength and will be bungee anchored to the dome frame. The above photo shows some of the grommets and fabric doubled up for reinforcing. Here's a close up of a grommet:

The roof canvass is old left-over drop cloths from when I painted my condo. Rather than sewing I'm using a flexible, waterproof marine adhesive sold at Home Depot.

I'm not a big knot-tying guy. I was in Webelos for a year and a half. I was never really sure how I was going to laterally tie down this beast of a dome but stumbled upon a ratcheting tie-town system designed for securing loads in the back of pickup trucks. Each tie down has a rated working load of 440lbs with a breaking strength of nearly a ton. There will be one of these at each of the dome's 5 corners, perhaps with an additional tie down on the prevailing wind side. Considering the roof is going to be tied on with bungee cords I think an extreme wind loading event the roof would be torn to shreds before the dome frame moves an inch.

The idea of this thing breaking free and taking off like a tumbleweed in a wind storm scares the shit out of me so that's why I'm over-engineering it.

Tie downs are anchored to some awesome 18" steel stakes I found online for cheap.

In the coming weeks I'll be starting some work on clothing. All I'll say now is that I appear to be a women's skirt size 6.


  1. Dam you, I am all of an 11 (ask me how i know).

    I feel like a stalker, being the only one that comments on your posts. But then i feel like I am letting you down if I don't.

    Looks like a nice structure, but way overkill for 3-4 ppl. Hope you expect company.

    Checked out Burning Man Down Low yet?

  2. There are more queer sexuality camps than I can keep track of! Lol. I just found out an activist friend of mine is part of Camp Yes Please.

    And ya I'm realizing now the dome is kinda huge for three people... But given my paleness and moles/freckles I'm ok with having too much shade. Plus I'm planning on having our kitchen table setup under the dome.