Circus Tent Answered
Greetings again, Sorry I didn't photograph all I went through to create this miniature circus tent that is my stage for a movie I'm making. It was a difficult project as i work without any idea of how it would work. I just knew that I wanted it to look like what one would think a circus tent would look like. I can give descriptions of how I made it: The tent material is kite fabric that I bought online from kitebuilders.com. I also bought two rolls of double face tape from them. There is the cheap one that worked great for piecing the tent pieces together and one that costs about $16 that I used to add in the roping that ties fabric to the tent poles. For the tent main support poles I bought 2 3' pieces of 1/2" aluminum from Home Despot. Here's how it went together: I made two semi-circle pieces out of triangle pieces of red and yellow fabric. The main tent poles are embedded in a 1" piece of flake board. In order to hold up the tent while I pieced other parts to it I made two circles of 1/4" board with 1/2" holes drilled so they would slip over the aluminum pole and held them up with clamps until I got them to the proper height. The tent towers cam next. These were made with smaller triangle pieces to make a full circle. As the top of the tower would be holding up the entire structure so I used a 2" metal ring at the top. To attach I cut slices at the top and folded them over ring and used the double face tape to secure. So now I've got the two ends of the tent and the two towers but nothing is holding them together. And there is still the center section that has to be made. My next step was to add tent poles at the corners and other strategic positions. I jury rigged all connections with paper clamps, tape and what ever else I could thing of to hold the thing together long enough to force fit. From here I did a rough markup of where I thought the tie down roping should be. I then used some cotton rope (3/16" approx). Once again, simple slices in fabric turned under and held together with dbl face tape worked. I must say I worked through three different ways of doing this until I got something that worked. I left a lot of extra rope between the arcs so I could attach to the tent poles. These poles are just pieces of 5/8" dowels. The towers and the main tent pieces were also connected with dbl face tape. I made two circle frames out of 1/16" steel cable (@ 10 cents a foot) and used a swedge connector on each. This gave me a way to alternate tower and main connections that pull against the cable and not the fabric. Worked great. The last part was to fabricate pieces to add between the towers to complete the tent. You will notice that one side is completely open. That's were I will film from. The last thing I added was a large lazy-susan bearing so the entire stage can revolve as needed. I have also created a stage that fits inside the tent. And, lighting and back drops. I'll show those at a later date. There will be a YouTube video in a few days. I'm editing it right now.