Wednesday, November 11, 2009

useful tools on a farmette

all tarps are not equal. this tarp is like the kind you can buy at the local farm store.

the plastic that is used is actually woven as the tarp.

as you can see here it frays under mild repeated stress. these kind of tarps are not designed to hold up under rugged conditions. in-fact, in less than a year out in the sun they will be of little value. their lifespan will be shortened further if they are exposed to any stress like wind or rain.

i use tarps for everything around here but the kind i use are entirely different and not readily available. they are recycled from billboards and are very heavy at larger sizes. a thirty feet by thirty feet tarp can weigh over seventy five pounds. i got one once that was seventy feet by thirty feet. i couldn't pick it up by myself.

their makeup is vinyl coated rip stop fabric and wont tear except under the most extreme conditions. this tarp has been on my previously very leaky barn for three years.

the wind whips that excess flap. it has finally begun to tear through at the corners.

here i have used them on my chicken tractors as sides and covers.

this is a wind break that i made for the pigs. it flapped and then they started to tear at it by biting it.

this is all the damage they could do to it over the three months that they had it exposed to them.

sometimes i screw boards to them to make them not flap in the wind. this is a shade for the current pigs.

here i have fashioned a tarp and a cattle panel to make a winter pig hutch.

here a zip tie holds it tight. the zip tie will not outlast the tarp.

here we are using them to keep the weeds from the center of our okra rows. they mostly lay flat even during stormy weather because their weight.

this is my square bale feeder. it has a steel roof but directly under the purlines i stretched a tarp as a secondary barrier.

interior walls for a chicken coop?

chickens are dirty and i wanted to be able to hose the walls down occasionally.
the tarp cuts to size with my very sharp pocket knife.

here i just stapled it to my studs.

this is my first chicken tractor. the tarp has been weather exposed for three years and i will take it off and reuse it for something else.

this pile of chat has been on this tarp for two plus years. chat mixed with the grass makes my mower unhappy.

this tarp covers a pile of lumber. it will stay cozy and dry until i can use it.

this is part of a larger tarp that i use for everything.

it is very thick and won't fray even at this raggedly cut edge.


Jo said...

Where do you get your hands on old billboard tarps? They look great.

Wendy said...

I hate those blue tarps - seriously - but I may have to reconsider using them, as they seem to have a lot of uses :).

jenny said...

yes, WHERE do you get the old billboard tarps?? I know from experience the blue tarps don't last long, but I have no other resource... I also remember you used the billboard tarp as a slip and slide for the kids!

Polar Bear and The Dodger said...

holy cow, that was a fun tarp tour. i find blue tarps don't last long but they make me feel nostalgic about my childhood because my dad uses them all the time. once we even made a movie about all the uses of a blue tarp (it was a comedy). Some of my favorite materials are rebar, zip ties and cardboard. i use that stuff all the time.
good scavenging.

karl said...

jo, jenny, there is a sign place not too far from here that hangs the signs for the different advertisers. branson area has plenty of signs everywhere and it supports several sign companies. i don't know where you'd get them in your local area. i hear lumber tarps are good too. you can find those at your local lumberyard. that stuff is very similar to tyvek.

wendy, the tarps that i use aren't the blue tarps. they are billboard tarps. they are made entirely differently.

molly, that is very funny, a movie about tarps... rebar, zip ties and cardboard are also some of my favorite raw materials.

Beau said...

I laughed when I thought of how I use tarps at home too... I like that last one, thick and useful!

Robbyn said...

We'll have to check and see if there are any billboard sign makers around...what a great idea! you've heard about their religious order, right?....Tarpist Monks??

(haha so sorry, I suffer from Pun Tourrette's...)

:) Robbyn

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