I'll be making these at the TechShop (link below) which has a ton of machinery and resources. One thing to note, I won't be going over the operation of each tool since you should've previously taken the safety/use classes. Obviously, this project is pretty simple in which you could do it with had shears and a drill OR a plasma cutter.... Anyways, here's my process.
Step 1: Buy Some Material
As for where to purchase material. Most all general stores have a small stock of aluminum but I prefer Alan steel in Redwood City, CA. Great prices and low cut fees.
Step 2: Draw Out Pattern
Step 3: Beverly Shear
Step 4: Hole Punching
Step 5: Bending
Step 6: Finishing
At this point the product probably has some sharp edges and we wouldn't want to cut ourselves in the backcountry so it's time to round out the corners and use a deburring tool to clean everything up.
Now, it's done. If you haven't heard of the TechShop checkout their website for classes/equipment/membership, it's a great resource and worth every penny for all sorts of projects.
Step 7: In Practice
The process is pretty simple
- Determine the best way to attach cordage to the anchor. I'll get to this later.
- Pack down the snow where you want to tie off your tarp, or maybe tent guyline.
- Use a shovel, stick, trowel, etc... to dig out a hole lets say 8 inches deep or more. These are 6 inches tall and at an angle much less so 8 is plenty enough.
- Place anchor in the hole.
- Cover up
- Pack back down again.
- Use a short piece of cord and make a harness through the holes in which the actual taunt tarp cord will slide through (attached Image).
- If you end up placing a tauntline hitch at the tarp grommet the cordage can secured directly to the anchor.
- You could always place the tauntline hitch directly on the anchor although I've never tried this and have a feeling that in high wind situation with powder like snow it might create a sawing action and fray the cord. Maybe not...
It's also worth it to note that these are by no means a load-bearing device as the term "anchor" may imply. It's just simply a means to secure a tarp or tent in snow which may otherwise prove to be difficult with standard tent stakes.