Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Shade Structure

My shade structure for Burning Man is nearly done. Because BM is held in the desert, it gets damn hot in the daytime, so trying to sleep in, as might be required after hard-core partying, needs a bit of planning.

North Americans who drive to BM have the option of lugging large amounts of heavy stuff to solve this (e.g. a refrigerated shipping container with rooftop jacuzzi).
I'm limited to three bags of no more than 22kg each, so I've had to try and keep things small and light.

What I've tried to do is build a braced frame out of UPVC pipe and then put an Alishade cloth over it. Like this:

The actual frame is below. The joints between the pipe are reinforced with dowel to give them some rigidity and strength (in tension/compression). The idea is that the base will be firmly nailed to the playa surface with rebar hoops. The yellow rope bits you see are internal guys - I guess I could also string external guy ropes but shouldn't really be needed.

I've just got to fix eyelets to the shadecloth and it'll all be ready to go. Weight about 7kg and fits in a ski bag.

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