DIY Canvas Baker Tent

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My latest DIY project was to make a canvas baker tent.

I have only just recently got into fabric DIY gear on the back of a impulse buy on a old Singer sewing machine.

My enthusiasm saw a good mate of mine donate an old military truck tarp to me for the project

The tent worked out well and I cant wait to get out for an upcoming trip in the canoe to use it. the photo below were from a car camping trial run.
 

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Wow. Outstanding work for a DIY project. Sure looks cozy in there. Looking forward to seeing your pics from the upcoming canoe trip
 
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Cheers Guys, it has a real "cave" feel to it when you in there as it is so dark. I also have canvas piece that hooks straight across the front, I may yet put a stove jack into it too. Not that it's really necessary down here but I have always wanted a hot tent to use the little ammo can stove / heater I made.

Shanks, the total weigh including poles and rope was just on 6kgs (or just over 13 pounds) which was lighter than I thought it would end up being. and not too bad a weight for the canoe.

Really looking forward to the next trip, its not for a few weeks yet but I have been busy researching maps of the area and campsites. One great aspect of this next trip is that we can work a portage into it between a couple of the lakes. I have always watched vids with portages in them and have never been anywhere that tends itself to making it possible. Its only a short one (256) so even if I have to do the double to take the baker tent, I think I will.
 
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I downsized a wall tent and made a interior frame for it. I see you have something black coupling the two ridge poles together, here's my frame with the ridge poles made out of "closet dowels", I would like to cut them in half and use something like you have to make transport a little easier, I haven't been able to find an aluminium tube to slide over the dowels (1 & 1/4" ) (31.75 mm), any ideas?

 
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Nice work :) thats a standard size for copper pipe i think? Maybe an option? Or go the other way and drill holes it the ends and use a steel rod as a dowel to joint them... The pipe along the outside would be better id think. The square tube i used was a rail sold as part of a gate. I was lucky as i could just shave the poles to size.
 
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Thanks, I'll check out the copper pipe. Is your tent water proof? Glad to see the screen, your earlier post about snakes and spiders got me thinking about night time visitors. Nice video.
I use an old tarp to keep the tent dry, but I'm thinking of finally water proofing the canvas.



Here's the dowel interior frame
 
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Nice job by lepmeister. I like the side panels and the extra one for the front. I have used tipi liners for the panels. It is hard to seal it up tight in cold weather, but way ahead of most tents.

I have a canvas wall tent that I bought new in 1981. It has never leaked and never been treated with anything.

Recently I bought some steel frame connectors and made a frame from 1 in EMT.(electrical metallic tubing) It makes a big difference in the wind. Some experiementation should take care of the sleeve problem. There are lots of different types of pipe with different inside diameters.
 
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I have a canvas wall tent that I bought new in 1981. It has never leaked and never been treated with anything.

Some experiementation should take care of the sleeve problem. There are lots of different types of pipe with different inside diameters.

I would like to hear more about your untreated tent being waterproof, I'm not that familiar with different canvas material and wonder why mine leaks untreated and yours doesn't. Any pictures would be nice.

As far as the sleeves I have gone to the big box stores, plumbing and electrical stores with no luck, pipe that slides over 1" 1/4 dowel is not all that easy to find as you suggest.
 
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Robin,
There are many different grades of canvas, starting with the weight, warp and fill and then treatment. Sunforger treated Army duck is one of the best because it resists UV light. I like it in about 12 ounce. If you have leaking canvas, it may be a cheaper version. There are plenty of canvas treatment products for you to try. I would go with one sold by people that make tents for a living. There are many tent makers in the West, especially in the Rocky Mtn states where there are elk hunters. The old remedies were messy with benzene, paraffin, and other materials heated in a pot.

You can stay with the closet rods and hand fit them to a smaller diameter connector, or start over with a new set of poles. Since you are very traditional in your outlook, I would suggest the former. You could use bolts for a sloppy fit or for the ridge pole if necessary. Let us know how it turns out.

edit- None of the poles in your photo look that long. They will be stronger without a coupling. Fortunately canoes can handle long straight poles easily. The simple thing to do is use it the way it is.
 
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The best canvas waterproofing I have found is Canvac. Don't use Thomsons water seal-the canvas will mildew.
Turtle
 
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Sunforger is good stuff, not only for its DWR treatment but also because it is pre-shrunk. Cotton duck needs to be shrunk to tighten up. Some shrinkage occurs naturally any time it gets wet, but a proper HOT wash and dry is needed to really do the job right. Assuming you can find a commercial washing machine large enough you still probably don't want to do this AFTER you make your tent.

If you can't find the right pipe to slide over dowel, change the dowel. 1 1/4" Schedule 40 PVC pipe has a actual internal diameter of 1.38". Rather than shrink the pipe you can enlarge your dowel ends. Wrap the ends with a layer or two of bicycle inner tube or alumin(i)um flashing. Or maybe some 4 oz. fiberglass and epoxy sanded down for the perfect fit? PVC is ugly, but easily covered/hidden with a scrap of cloth or leather.
 
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Thanks for the advice, very good info, I will report back with results. Sorry to hi jack this fine thread about Lepmisters nice tent...my apologies.
 
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Not at all Robin :)

In looking around for information as i made the tent, i found that a lot of canvas tent retailers here in Aust. Suggest wetting the canvas completely and them leaving it out to dry completely.. This "closes" the weave and the holes in the seams the tent becomes water proof.

Using the old truck tarp i gave it a quick clean with a pressure washer and no water got through to the other side which i was surprised about. I needed to do something about the seams, so i made some silicone seam sealer and applied that. The canvas absorbed it nicely and best of all.... No leaks !
 
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"Made some silicone seam sealer?" Now thats REAL DIY.

One of the best DIY tips i have picked up whilst making the range of tents i have. Simply get some clear silicon from the hardware shop ( make sure its that one with 'glass' on the package ) mix in equal weight qty's with turps stir until all silicon has devolved and you have a smooth paste. Works great.
 
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You can see the seam sealer on the edges of this Henry Shires Tarptent designed tent i made.
 

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One of the best DIY tips i have picked up whilst making the range of tents i have. Simply get some clear silicon from the hardware shop ( make sure its that one with 'glass' on the package ) mix in equal weight qty's with turps stir until all silicon has devolved and you have a smooth paste. Works great.

Good to know turpentine works... I've made it the same way, but with mineral spirits. or is that Australian for mineral spirits? (USA, Canada, Great Britain, and Australia... four nations separated by a common language.)
 
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