Tuesday, September 18, 2012

tale of a wall tent

*WARNING* this post has nothing to do with the Diamond T :)

Brian has *always* wanted an old-fashioned ''wall tent''.  You know, the kind you can put a wood stove in and actually walk around in?  Well, his boss had an old one, and got a new one just recently (smaller and easier to set up).  So, Brian ended up with the tent for a pretty good deal!

This was what the tent looked like when we first got it set up:
To say it needed help was an understatement.  The legs on the ridgepole were too short so the peak wasn't high enough (thus the strange wrinkle).  The ridgepole/legs were also 2" pipe and were SUPER heavy.  Too heavy for hubby and I to wrangle by ourselves really.

So, first thing we did was buy new smaller diameter pipe, and at less than half the weight, it was a dramatic difference when setting it up.  Easier to set up and looked SO much better!

Hubby and I talked about putting a divider in it.  Because it was HUGE.  14'x18'!  He worried that when we camp in it for hunting in November that it would be too big to heat for just the two of us.  I had some canvas I had inherited from my grandparents, barely enough for a divider, so I borrowed my brother's heavy duty industrial machine.  Not a fancy one mind you, but it has dual feed and is meant for this type of sewing that I'd hate to even attempt on my Pfaff or even on my antique Singer.

 Then hubby got the CRAZY idea to make the whole tent smaller!  EEEEEK.  Yes, I freaked out more than just a little.  I whined, I complained, I resisted.  But, resistance is futile when a hubby has his mind made up!

So, we took the tent down.  It had 6 widths of canvas sewn together, so he decided to remove 2 of them, which would make the tent 14x12.  So, he removed the end of the tent about 4'' from the rear seam, then just on the front side of the 2 back panels.

I put right sides together, and did a felled seam so there was no raw edges.  Here I was replacing zippers in the 'vents' that someone made along the tents journey (there was one in the upper peak of both front and back walls).  They put in ugly orange garment zippers that were in pretty bad shape.  I replaced with heavy duty outdoor zippers with nice big chunky plastic teeth, they should last the rest of the tents life.

 Hubby helped guide the fabric when I sewed the two parts of the tent back together, and it actually worked better than I thought it would.  I was pleasantly surprised and am SO relieved that it worked out and it's DONE.  And, that we were able to remove another 6' from the ridgepole, and 4 wall posts, so it was even *easier* to set up this time!
 Here is the seam from the outside:
 Inside view from the doorway:
 Here is the seam from the inside:
 inside view from the rear corner:
It's still a BIG tent at 14x12, but much more manageable.  Still big enough for 4 comfortably though.

Brian also color-coded the frame so it will be easier for someone to assemble it if they borrow it that way too.  The middle leg is optional, we thought it might be handy for hanging things on though (there are loops inside the tent so we can make a mini clothesline too)

So, now all we have to do is install a zipper on the doorway (it overlaps and has ties and velcro, we want a zipper)...... and the separating zipper has been ordered and is on it's way.

I also have on order some seam sealer for the seam I stitched, and I plan to use the leftover canvas that we removed from the tent to make a bag for it.  Then, we'll just have to locate (or build) a woodstove and we'll be ready for winter camping!

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