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5191Re: Just FInished a double bottom Hammock + Silnylon tips

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  • ciyd01
    Mar 30, 2004
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      A few tips that I foiund that might help you and others.

      > I bought a butane-powered soldering iron to cut the nylon (you can
      use
      > a regular one, but the butane one is "cordless"). It's a 40 watt one
      > from Radio Shack. It's a perfect tool for cutting the nylong. Very
      nice.

      I use a wood burning tool that I bought for $20. The drawback is
      that it has to be plugged in. I found that using a large piece of
      corrugated cardboard as the flat surface to do this on worked well.
      The nylon will sort of melt to the cardboard but the cardboard is
      smooth enough that the nylon peels off without fraying. Wood, like
      plywood, doesn't look like it would work as well. The hotknife isn't
      hot enough to set the cardboard on fire while you're cutting, but you
      will see scorch marks and the cardboard is easy enough to replace. I
      set the hot knife in an old pie tin so I don't set anything on fire.
      I use a metal ruler as a straight edge for cutting.

      > It looks like the silnylong is going to be significantly harder to
      do
      > the edge seams. Does tape help hold it? I want to make the seam
      about
      > 3/4" so I can reinforce the tie-outs with some webbing (a la Ray
      > Jardine's book).

      I have not found any tape that will stick to silnylon. I use a few,
      very few, pins within the seam allowance where pin holes won't matter
      to the waterproofness of the finished item. You can also rub a
      little clear bathtub caulk over any large pin holes when you're seam
      sealing the finished item, if needed.

      > The reinforced corners are making things harder, since I can't pin
      the
      > reinforcements to the silnylong. It seems that masking tape may
      work.
      > I read that someone sewed through tape then removed it after the
      > sewing is done.

      Here's a really good tip for reinforced corners for both silnylon and
      regular ripstop. I have a "template" that I use to cut out large
      circles of fabric. My template happens to be a pie tin with an 8"
      diameter. I then mark the center of the circle of fabric. Now,
      place the circle of fabric under the corner you are trying to
      reinforce. Use the metal ruler and cut the reinforcement by running
      the hotknife along the edge of the corner you are reinforcing. This
      has 2 advantages: 1) the reinforcement is exactly the right size
      and angle for the corner you are reinforcing and 2) it melts the
      edges of the corner and reinforcement together making pinning of the
      fabric unnecessary. Using a large circle of fabric should get you
      several corner reinforcements.

      My underquilt has a lot of weird angles so I gave up on trying to cut
      the reinforcements from a pattern and use the actual fabric piece as
      my pattern. Works great.

      > Anyone have silnylon tips?

      Finger tack. This means holding the fabric together with your
      fingers while you sew (keep them digits out from under the needle!)
      and hold the fabric both in front and behind the needle. Gently pull
      the fabric while the feed dogs push the fabric and tension the two
      pieces of fabric with your hands. This will help get both pieces of
      fabric to feed evenly. Also, set your thread tension on scrap
      fabric. If you're going to sew two pieces of fabric together, set
      your tension using two scraps. The fabric tension on fabric this
      thin and slippery is very sensitive to total number of layers being
      sewn together.

      Hope this is useful.

      ciyd
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