medievalrosalie

Past tents.

Tent. Roof sag not too bad while dry.
Tent. Roof sag not too bad while dry.

Another job that needs finishing which I've been trying to address, is the droop of the tent roof which sags a little more than I'd like. This photo here shows the tent freshly erected and not rained on and holding up quite well, but after overnight dew or rains, the weight of wet canvas is a problem.

I'd had various ideas, but since I made the tent myself out of fairly lightweight canvas, I'm worried that replying on pulling it super tight with the ropes with tear it.

I have tried a rope, then a cable between the poles at the top but they had limited success. I feel that one event when it really rained for two days straight, the fabric was stretched a little.

I've even considered another third tent pole right in the middle, but it just didn't look right. 

The biggest issue with needing to pull the roof out of line to keep the ropes taut, is that then the sides of the tent don't quite sit the way they should. They splay out a little which means everything in the tent doesn't sit against walls like the walls of a house/workshop, which is what the tent represents.

With this in mind, I've often considered a ridge pole which would make the tent a tad more waterproof by keeping the tent roof at a more definite angle rather than allowing the water to pool a bit on the roof itself.

It's not period accurate, but it would make for a more functional space.

BNF. Francais 261, Titus Livius Ab Urbe Condita f.25. 1400-1410
BNF. Francais 261, Titus Livius Ab Urbe Condita f.25. 1400-1410

My biggest problem is that the tent has a top of 4.5 metres, which means that a pole for the top would need to be segmented for transporting, and therefore not very stable in windy weather. The last thing I need is the tent moving a little and the ridge pole falling on a member of the public's head.

I think, however, that I have a solution. I have an aluminium set of three poles sourced from a thrift shop. They were modern tent poles- light but strong- and I selected the ones which can be arranged with two end poles slotting into the middle piece.

This doesn't solve the issue of seeing a modern pole or the pole coming apart in very bad weather, BUT if a sew a sturdy canvas sleeve for the three sections to slide into, the sleeve holds it together firmly and makes it all but invisible at the top of the roof.

The ridge pole then keeps the top level, which is turn pulls the walls back into alignment which improved the stability and look of the entire tent.

My biggest issue today, is that although my tent-making notes indicate 4.5 metres x 2 metres was the original tent plan, I feel that the measurement ended up (after seams and shrinkage in the rain) to be 4 metres. I really can't remember.

Tonight my tent is on my lounge room floor ready to be unpacked and physically measured against the ridge pole. It's quite possible that I really just need to make the tent just a little smaller. 

I shall see. I'd really rather not need to resew anything. 


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