Wednesday, August 05, 2015

REI Half Dome Repair strategies

If you read earlier posts, you might know I melted my tent trying out a new stove.  Note to self: try new stoves on the concrete pad behind your house.  I have tried once to repair it using A)Tenacious tape and B) Tear Aid (type A).  The Tear Aid worked well on the smaller holes, using a patch on each side of the fabric.  The Tenacious Tape did not work well by itself when placed under pressure, such as on the edges of a large silicon impregnated fabric patch. Because you can remove/ move the tape, it would not hold well enough to cure.  I will try to rectify this by maybe stitching the new repair fabric to the tent, then applying Tenacious Tape or seam sealer to the edges. I may also try out Sil-Net, which is more of an adhesive. 
So what you see are several different attempts. The black material is a silicone impregnated fabric from Seattle Fabrics.  The holes in this area were so big, there was really no other good way to attach the problem.  I merely laminated the fabric over the damaged areas.  Were it was necessary/appropriate,  I cut out the melted fly fabric, because it was stiff. I made the laminate in 2 pieces to accommodate the roundiness of the fly. I am unsure of which was the outside of the fabric and which was the inside, so I guessed based on the looks of the fly material.
Where the 2 pieces met was a seam on the fly, so I stitched one piece down face up and stitched it down the fly seam, then placed the second on face down and stitched it down the seam. Then I folded it back on itself to protect the raw edges and stitched it again down the seam.

After that I tried cutting Tenacious Tape into strips and using that to stick down the remaining raw edges on the other sides.  FAIL.  That stuff does not work well under tension. You can see the tape at the upper edge of the left piece, where the repair meets up with the fly fabric (cream colored). When I tried to stitch on the repair material over the tape, it gummed up the needle and frayed the thread, so I stitched just to the side of the tape. This seemed to work pretty well, though the tape didn't even hold while the fly was in the sewing machine and so the bottom is messed up and uneven.  I may remove the stitching and redo it. Finally, I used regular seam sealer on the stitching and Seam Grip on the main seam.

Other smaller holes were patched using Tear Aid Type A on both sides of each hole.
*** UPDATE- ultimately these repair were inadequate and the tent could no longer be trusted.  Additionally, this tent has seen extensive use, under difficult circumstances (occasionally packed damp or wet while on extended tours) and the waterproofing had become tacky.  When this happens, you run the risk of peeling when you roll out the tent the next time. Time for a new tent. As a guess, this tent lasted for over 150 nights.

No comments: