How to Make a Four Sided Shade Sail
About This Video
This video is not created by us. It is freely available on YouTube and we have simply included it here as we believe it is an interesting video in relation to some areas relating to shade sails. The fact it is on our site does not imply that we necessarily agree with the information, ideas and advice given, nor do we necessarily endorse the products or methods used. None of these videos shows our products. Please bear in mind that these videos may be from other countries with different climates where the design, fixing and use of shade sail will differ.
If a video creator leaves the embed functionality enabled for a video, that person has agreed to allow other people to share that video on other mediums (including websites) without YouTube’s prior written permission according to YouTube’s Terms of Service. However, if you are or represent the creator and would prefer the video was not used on our website please get in touch.
This video is brought to you by Sailrite. Visit sailrite.com for all your project supplies tools and instructions.
In this tutorial video we’re going to show you how to build a four-sided sail shade or shade sail. The sail shades can transform in the outdoor living area into a stylish and comfortable seating area, as they help to provide shade and a pleasing ambience that helps to define what may have felt like a rather disjointed or unconnected patio or deck.
This tutorial video will show you all the steps required to sew up your own sail shade and install it. Visit the Sailrite website and use our fantastic fabric calculator to help you figure what you will need for your particular sail shade in both fabric and hardware. If you’re interested in building a three-sided sail shade, click the link at the top right for a tutorial video on that.
Let’s get started and show you how to make your very own sail shade. The first step is planning and also the attachment points. Let’s discuss them. We highly recommend that you read over these notes before you begin a sail shade project like this. Pause the video to read them in more detail. Once you know where the sail shade will be installed you’ll need to take measurements.
Now in this next chapter we already show some of the stainless steel hardware installed, including the eye bolts and the fascia brackets. We’ll be covering that in a future chapter, so don’t worry, we won’t skip that.
Our posts have already been installed with a gentle slope away from the centre of the sail, at an angle of about 5 to 10 degrees. Our posts are installed so they’re about at a 10 degree angle, and that’s away from the sail shade. The idea here is that if they were straight up and down, when the sail shaved is under tension and over time they’ll start to cant inward. At a 10 degree angle like this, it means that if they start to cant inward, they won’t look ridiculous. So we always recommend putting each one of your posts at a 10 degree angle.
Now that we know where our sail shade will be installed and our posts are planted in the ground, we’re ready to take measurements to begin construction of our sail shade. First visit the Sailrite website and click on fabric calculator, here at the bottom of the web page. Now you can see a calculator for all kinds of projects. Click the sail shade button, then click for sighted parallel cut sails shades. This drawing represents your four-sided sail shade. you must measure each side of your four-sided sail shade as though you were filling in the blanks for this exact drawing. On paper make a rough drawing of your sail shade. We’ll be using that to mark down the measurements.
So I’m using a laser measure here. So I’ve positioned it at the mounting position. We already have the eyes installed here and I’m pointing the laser at the fascia over there, where we have another eye installed. Our measurement for this side, side C, is 135 inches. From this post to that post. This is side B and it is 288 inches for us. On paper draw a rough shape of the sail shade and then write all these measurements down. From this end we have 12 feet 3 inches. If you do not have a laser measure like we do, you can simply use tape measures. For the D measurement we’re going to demonstrate using a tape measure. You’ll need two ladders, a tape measure and two people also help to take this measurement. Right in front of the eye. This side D was 95 inches.
Now it’s exceptionally important to get the diagonal from BE to CD are the corners that you want to get. That’s this corner to that corner. So again, I’m going to use my laser measure and I’m going to get that measurement.
This is measurement A, the diagonal, 198 inches for us. We’ll be entering our calculations into the Sailrite fabric calculator, but before we can do that we need to account for the hardware at the corners. For instance this corner includes a turnbuckle and a length of chain. Turnbuckles are used to tension the sail shade to remove wrinkles and make it flat. Here along the house no turnbuckle was used. A four-sided sail shade must have at least two turnbuckles. We have a turnbuckle at each post and no turnbuckles at the fascia of the house.
Sailrite sells a large selection of stainless steel turnbuckles in various sizes to accommodate different sails shades maximum tension loads at the corners. We recommend a minimum of no less than two turnbuckles per four-sided sail shade. Each additional turnbuckle will increase the ability to tension the shade. This is typically more important with sail shades that are 20 feet or more on a side.
Why was chain used? It’s used to gap any distance that may be a little too short of target, or to offset a corner. Here at the fascia we did not want the sail shade to be right up underneath the gutter, so the chain offsets it. So with the measurements you just took and wrote down on paper, we must consider the hardware that will be used at each corner. For corners which utilize a turnbuckle, subtract 12 to 15 inches, while corners that do not, subtract only 3 to 5 inches. We’ll explain that in more detail here.
Okay here we have the Sailrite fabric calculator and it does all the work for you. This is a three-sided sail shade and obviously this video is a four-sided sail shade, so we’re going to click on this one.
Here’s the illustration that we’re using to take our measurements. We have A being the diagonal, B being this side C D and E. We need to enter our calculations here, but before we can enter our calculations we have to do the hardware accommodation calculations. So I’m going to set the calculator aside. This is the paper that we had when we took the measurements, and you can see the A measurement at 198, B – 228, C – 135, D – 95 and E – 147. Now this is from the exact mounting position to the exact mounting position. So this is the fascia of the house to the post. Fascia of the house to the post and the diagonal from BE corner to DC corner here.
Okay so those are the exact measurements, they do not accommodate for any of the hardware like the turnbuckles. Now we’ve decided to only use two turnbuckles on this rather small four-sided sail shade. So we’re going to use a turnbuckle here at this corner, and we’re going to use a turnbuckle here. Here we’re only going to use hardware, we’re not going to tension the sail here and we’re not going to tension the sail here. So let’s begin with the diagonal measurement the A measurement at 198 for us, yours will be different. 198 minus 12 inches for a turnbuckle minus 3 inches, no turnbuckle at this side, equals 183 inches. Okay, so B is 228. We have a turnbuckle here and a turnbuckle here on B. So 228 minus 12 minus 12, 204. C 135, turnbuckle here, no turnbuckle here. So C is minus 12 for the turnbuckle and 3 inches for no turnbuckle. 120, and so on as you can see for D and E. D has no turnbuckles so it is minus 3 minus 3, and E has a turnbuckle here and no turnbuckle here, so minus 12 minus 3, 132. These are the measurements that we will enter into the Sailrite fabric calculator. The A measurement is the diagonal, 183. B is 204.
Let’s switch from the smart phone to a computer so we can see more. For the Hem field we will use 2 inches, as should you if you follow the techniques in this video. Use the illustration above as a reference for each measured side and the diagonal, as they must be placed in the correct field for your sail shade to come out correctly.
If you have any doubts about a field, click the question mark. An explanation will be given to what the parameters are for that certain field. For instance the diagonal here. We entered 118 inches for our fabric width.
To pick your fabric go to the Sailrite website and hover over fabric, then click awning in shade fabric. Now select shade sails at the left side. Scroll down to the width of fabric that you desire, that’s how I like to do it, and I’ll click 118 inches, and I’ll also scroll down and click 150 inches, so I have the widest material available for sail shades in an HDPE fabric. Now I can select the colour and size that I want.
Now we’re ready to hit the calculate button. The clicking that button will calculate the dimensions of your sail shade and a full materials list, and it will also give a rendering at the bottom. The estimated maximum tension at corners is calculated by using the max tension of 400 pounds. Typically tensioning usually is considerably less, and a maximum wind load of 75 miles per hour. It is wise to pick stainless steel hardware that has a working load limit coming close or exceeding this amount. Scroll down and you will see the cut panel rendering. This shows the panel or panels of fabric, lofted on the floor. The length of the fabric and shade sail’s edge B, is on the left side. And for us it says it’s 210.2 inches. Our shade sail requires a second panel of fabric which is at the right, and it’s side D and it is 40.18 inches in length. It is joined to the first panel of fabric, down from the top edge on the right hand side, at 109.83 inches. We call that the offset.
This chapter shows how to reinforce a facial board for the installation of our sail shade. This chapter may not apply to you but we do recommend you watch the first few minutes of it, because we’re going to go over some of the hardware that may work for a solid surface.
This is the fascia bracket that we’re going to be using in this chapter to reinforce the fascia for our eye bolt that will go through here, but there are other pieces of equipment you can use on a solid surface or hardware I should say. This is a diamond pad eye. Here you would use a screw that’s appropriate for your solid surface in an anchor, if you needed it, and you could attach this to your solid surface, as long as the surface were strong enough to support the sail shades tension. This is an external corner bracket that would obviously the house corner would be here and then it attached here with the appropriate bolts and anchors, and then your sail shade would attach directly to it.
Now we also have an internal bracket that’s very similar to this, which we are out of stock right now, so I can’t really show that. But how it works, so if you have a house here, this one would attach here and here, and here would be your attachment point. But if you had a house that had an internal corner, it would attach like this and this and then it has a attachment point here. So bolts would come through here.
Now we’ll go over reinforcing a fascia board on a house or a building. Our sail shade on this small patio will be attached here, hopefully to a rafter on this corner and also on that corner. So we need to remove the fascia trim here, and the soffit.
We’ve already pulled the few nails that hold this together out, so now we’re going to move this soffit back, trying not to break it.
Okay just attaching an eye bolt to the fascia here, it’s probably not a good idea, that means all the stress of the sail shade will be on this fascia, and it will more than likely rip out. So what’s Sailrite carries is a fascia bracket by Polyfab, and this is a bracket that allows for a left hand and a right hand application. So you can attach it to the rafter, which is up here in the soffit, and it will reinforce the fascia board in the front, with the strength of the rafter. Now if I were attaching on this side, I would use this, so this was basically horizontal, I’m sorry, vertical. If I were attaching on the other side, this left side, I would attach it like this, so this were vertical. So the beauty of this bracket is it’s versatile, you can use it for a left hand application or a right hand application.
We are going to attach this one on this, the right hand side, so we want this to be cocked almost vertical this way, and attach it to that rafter.
Now I have the fascia bracket installed here, and typically it is installed so that it is level with the rafter, so that it almost comes flush with the fascia, but I have an issue, I have a gutter.
If I install the fascia bracket here the eye would come through this gutter, not a good thing. So I’m going to tilt it down and have the eye come through down here, and because of that, I have to bring it down so that it can come past the gutter and be installed lower so I can miss that gutter, which means I’m going to have an angle or a wedge here that we’re going to have to reinforce with something. I don’t know if you can see, my fingers are kind of in the way, there’s a hole there, there’s a hole up there, all I need is two lag screws, screwed into the rafter. As long as I can achieve that, I can come down like this and as long as I can reinforce this with a wedge, I should be okay.
We need to install hardware at two locations along the house on the fascia, so we’re going to skip between one corner to the other corner, whichever utilizes the best video content.
After we mark the locations for the hole, we will pre-drill holes for the lag screws. Obviously these holes are slightly smaller than the threads of the lag screws that we will be using. Lag screws are not included, you’ll need to purchase those from a hardware store.
Now we’re just going to use lag screws. You really, there are three holes in this bracket but you only need to use two. If you can use three, great, but because of our angle and we don’t want to hit the gutter, we’re going to use two.
I’ve already pre-drilled holes up here, so I should be able to hand-start these. The fascia bracket that’s available from Sailrite has three holes, so three lag screws or three through bolts, with nuts can be used if you prefer. We’re only using two of those three holes mainly because of the angle to miss the gutter. We’ve tightened them down to the socket and now our fascia bracket is installed.
Okay, what I’ve done is I’ve stuck a pencil in the hole of my fascia bracket, and we had somebody look from below to see if I was in line with out here, and we also took a measurement, so we’re hoping this is perfectly in line with our bracket. We marked that position. I’m going to use a small drill bit first.
So this drill would not fit inside the overhang, however, if you use a right angle drill, you’d be able to drill from the backside, out through the fascia.
This is the eye that we have chosen to use and we want to drill a hole that’s slightly bigger than it. So what I do is I just hold it up to the to the threaded post and I can determine if the drill bit is just a little bit bigger. The nut is what does all the holding, not the threads.
We pre-drilled a hole with a smaller drill bit, now we’re going to use the appropriate size drill bit so that we can insert the eye bolt through the hole, and also through the fascia bracket on the underside of our roof.
The size of the eye bolts is completely dependent upon the size of your sail shade.
So on the Sailrite fabric calculator, you’ll see calculations for approximately the maximum weight that will be sustained, so you want to make sure you buy hardware that’ll be able to support the maximum wind load at each corner, and you can check that out at the Sailrite fabric calculator.
So instead of using wedges, I’m planning to just stack a whole bunch of washers back here, so I don’t have to cut a wedge out of wood or plastic or nylon. So I’m going to insert the bolt partly through and then I’m going to start stacking washers and run our bolt through. Sorry if my head gets in the way.
All right three, let me get a couple more on there. Well we want it to be just extra supported so it doesn’t pull the fascia in, and we believe these washers will help to do that. There’s four washers, can you see that Seth? Let’s see if I can get another one in there. Five, I think I can get more. One more, so we got six washers under there and that’s pretty good.
So now I can push the eye bolt all the way through. Now the eye bolt comes with a nut and a very small washer. I’m going to put a larger washer on the end first, and I am assured that this small washer actually fills the hole around and then the small washer and then the nut. Wow, that’s actually very strong. Now we’re just going to tighten that nut down.
You can see that the washers at the top are tightening up pretty well and the bracket is being pulled into the fascia, but we’re not really pulling the fascia away from its position.
We want this to be fairly tight, now the position of this eye is not too crucial, so it’s fine the way it is, it can be up and down. This way is actually nice because we’re going to have tension here and we’re also going to have tension here, so it’s not too bad to have it horizontal like it is.
My fingers are on these washers, they are tight up here, the bracket is solid, so now we have reinforcement for the fascia from the roof rafter using the fascia brackets that are available from Sailrite. This will be strong enough.
Now we’ll carefully reinstall the soffit. We have to pull the metal fascia trim away to get the soffit to fit in there again. That just fits in that channel like that, and then goes right in. There we go, now all we have to do is nail these back in place and it will be as good as new.
In this chapter we’ll install hardware in our posts so we can attach our sail shade to the posts. Our posts are installed so they’re about at a 10 degree angle, and that’s away from the sail shade. Now because the height of the sail shade, this post is not very high up in the air, we want to get as much height as possible, but sometimes canting a sail shade so that it’s angled higher on one end, lower on the other and maybe medium on the other corner, makes it look great, however in this situation, most of these posts are about the same level, so we’re just going to go for the maximum height here, because it’s not very high up.
We need to drill a hole that’s slightly larger than the threaded post of the eye bolts. The nut is what we’ll do the holding of the bolt in the post. These are 6×6 posts which have an actual size of 5.5 inch by 5.5 inch. We’re through.
Okay, these eyes are stainless steel, they come with a nut and a single washer. We’re going to remove the nut and the washer and then insert it in the hole we just made, all the way through to the back side. Then on the back side, I will insert my washer and my nut.
Visit the Sailrite website for multiple choices of eye bolts like this, and also you can look up the working load limits of each eye bolt, to make sure it accommodates your sail shade.
We will install the second in the same manner in our second post, we will not show that. Pretty good.
You may or may not need to add an additional panel, depending on the size of the shade sail or the width of the fabric that you’ve selected. Today we’re going to be using parasol, it’s 118 inches wide. There’s also a material called polytex which is 150 inches wide. Obviously you want to use the one that utilizes the best cloth usage for your application.
These are HDPE fabrics or high-density polyethylene fabrics, which are phenomenal for sun shade and UV resistance.
Let’s get started.
After entering our measurements and hitting calculate, we’ll scroll down to the cut panel rendering down here, and if we take a look at that, we can see that we’re going to have to join a piece of fabric to this very small section, but we still need to do it.
When we look at this side, we see the length here at the top, if we expand that, is 210.21, so we need to measure down the length of the fabric, and mark the fabric at that location.
Now we’ve measured our table here, and it’s 72 inches from edge to edge. The nice thing about this is that you don’t necessarily have to have a large surface for these sail shades, to do the measuring because of the Sailrite fabric calculator, however, if you do have a good flat surface like a driveway or a yard, you may want to lay out the fabric and measure on that. We’re going to measure on our table. The nice thing about the parasol and polytex fabric, is that it comes to you’ve already folded as you can see, so it’s centre folded. We’ll leave it centre folded and put this edge on the edge of the table.
Now the the fold isn’t perfect here, but we’re going to have some extra fabric anyway, so now what we’ll do is we will unscroll our fabric and let the roll fall to the ground. Line up this edge to the edge of the table, and then we’ll mark the fabric at the edge of the table with our chalk. This is 72 inches. Then we’ll move it down the table, and put the mark on the edge of the table, and this obviously would be 144 inches, 72 times 2. So the mark is here, now we’ll mark it here. Move it down the table again.
Now our last measurement, we need about 66, I’m going to say 67 inches of fabric, and that is basically all the fabric we need.
Now if you notice here, we have only this much extra, which is perfect, I don’t really need to make a cut in this, I’m going to have extra fabric, so I’ll be able to nest it well, but I still have to sew a panel to this.
Okay, when we see our cut panel rendering here, we have an entire panel and we have this little bitty piece on here. Sometimes you obviously may have a big piece to add on to this thing, so the calculator is telling us that we need this much more fabric added, a complete width of that fabric added on there, so that’s about an extra yard. I don’t need that, I can actually use that little piece from the scrap fabric right here. So how deep does that go in? Now the calculator doesn’t say that but if I look at that, this is a 2 inch hem, so 2 inches here and I’m obviously less fabric than 2 inches going into the green, which is our actual fabric without the hem. So if I have a piece of fabric that is 37.6 in length, and I have a piece of fabric that is at least 4 inches but I’m going to go 8 inches in width, I will have enough fabric to sew it onto this piece.
So I’m going to cut a piece of fabric a little bit bigger than that, probably about 40 inches by 8 or 9 inches, and then I’ll sew it on as my second panel, and I’ll take it from there.
My fabric is still folded in half here, which I’m going to leave it folded in half. Now we’ve said we wanted at least about 40 inches, so there’s 36, 37, 38, 39, 40. So right there is 40 inches. So 40 inches in, and I said I only needed about 8 inches or so, I’m going to go 9 just to be safe. 9 inches here, and 9 inches here.
So I just need to strike a line from that point to that point and cut this corner out without cutting the fabric underneath.
Okay we can cut this out with scissors, no reason to use a hot knife even though a hot knife does work for this HDPE fabric.
Notice I’m not cutting the fabric underneath this, you do not want to do that.
There we go, that’s our piece we’re going to add on. Okay there’s our top edge of our fabric, so where do we want to sew this piece on?
Well we’ll measure from the top edge down to where it says right here, I’ll make it a little bit bigger 112.4 inches which is that point right there, so I’m going to measure down 112 inches, I’ll just round it off because I have extra fabric, and at 112 inches, we will base this panel to that panel.
Now we want to unfold our fabric, which makes it doubly big, and get to the other side, the side that we cut the little rectangle out of.
So remember my table is 72 inches so the fabric is up very close to that edge, and I’m going to mark it here at 72 inches. Now I need to add 40 more inches to that to make it 112. So 40 inches, this is my 112 right here. It might not be bad to mark it 112.
Now we’re going to use our clear acrylic ruler, and we’re going to strike a line that’s 1 inch from the raw edge of the fabric, this will be our seam allowance, 1 inch seam allowance. And we know that it needs to be about 40 inches, so that’s 24, so this will give us about 40 inches, so 1 inch from the edge, strike a line. Your width may be obviously be different, your panel orientation will be different but hopefully you understand this all. There we go.
Now I’m going to place the double-sided tape right in the middle of that seam allowance, so I can pre-base the panel to itself before I take it to the sewing machine and sew. So this is our panel that we need to base to this bigger panel here.
If we look at the weave of the fabric you’ll notice if we look at the backside it looks different in colour and that’s mainly because of the weave.
Now you can use this side or that side for the outside surface, it doesn’t really matter, but you do want to base panels together so the colours are consistent from panel to panel.
So if I basted it like this which is opposite of the way that I cut this fabric, you would see that this looks totally different than that, so make sure that you keep the sides of the fabric the same, so that the colours look the same.
So I’ll peel off the transfer paper revealing the glue, so again we want to make sure that the correct side is the same on this, and if you can see here, this is the factory edge. Now it isn’t a big deal if you get the edge that you have cut on there, but what I’d rather do is have the factory edges being our seam lines. So factory edge, factory edge, then it goes along the 1 inch line that we created at 112 inches for us, and we want to base this down so that we do not pull on one fabric more than the other.
If you do pull on one, you will get some wrinkles and not the other, so basically go down nice and flat without wrinkles.
Now it’s basted together, we will use our Sailrite Canvas patterning ruler, and apply excess pressure on the fabric which will help to baste it more permanently. It’s not a permanent baste by any means, it’s temporarily basted in place, but this will help to secure it so that it hopefully will not move when we take it to the sewing machine and sew.
If your panels were very, very large you could use straight pins and actually just baste through. I’ll just go like this so that we don’t sew through the head of the pin, and come through the opposite side, that way, it won’t move and I would space these about every 12 inches or so on very large panels. Ours is small, I’m not going to use them.
This fabric is very slippery and we’re also sewing with a PTFE thread called the Sailrite Lifetime Thread which is totally UV proof and chemical resistant. We want to keep our first stitch about a quarter inch from the raw edge of the fabric.
Now when you’re sewing it’s going to want to slip all over, even though we have a walking foot that bites the fabric well. So you’re going to have to take your time doing this. No reason to do any reversing, because of the fact that we’re going to be cutting the panel down in size.
So I’m going to pay attention so that this outside of this presser foot is up against the raw edge of the fabric to keep my stitches straight as possible.
If your stitch does vary, don’t worry about it, it’s not going to really be visible since the sail shade is up in the air. Because we’re using a PTFE thread it’s very slippery, and you may get a few skipped stitches. That can and is expected if you’re using a PTFE thread. If you use a polyester like a V92 or a polyester 138, you will not get as many skipped stitches, but the life of that thread is not as long in high UV concentrated areas.
There’s our first stitch, now we want to create a second stitch.
Now I always like sewing, so I’m sewing it up against the edge of the fabric, so I’m actually going to flip my panel around here, so I can sew the opposite side and I can see that edge, so I basically just flip it like that, now I can put it in the machine. So if you had a lot of extra fabric you would have to roll it up here to get it through the arm of the sewing machine. We do not have much so we don’t have to worry about that, but on big panels you would have to scroll it.
There we go, now if you’d like to put a third stitch in, you may, I’m only going to do two.
We’ll take this fabric now and we will loft it on the floor so that we can mark it to size, that’s next.
Now we’re looking at the Sailrite fabric calculator and we’re looking at side B C D and E.
You can see the overall size including the hem allowance of 2 inches who is 210.57 for that side and the hollow is 14.28. Obviously these measurements will be different for you but this is what we’re concentrating on now.
We’re going to use tape measures, so you can get by with three, it’s nice to have four on the fabric, and measure that along this, being our straight line. So this is our first measurement, the straight line along the, what is that, the left side of the fabric.
And we have our tape measures roughly laid out here accurately. I’m going to take my first, the tape measure here, I could start all the way to the edge but I don’t want to deal with all this ruffle, so I’m going to start it a few inches down since we have extra fabric.
I’m going to take my chalk, this is going to be my start here. There and then come down here. Okay 210.57 is right about there. This isn’t rocket science, you just want to be close.
So there’s our first line, I could use this tape measure now for the other one since we already have this measured. We will look at the dimensions here and you can see the diagonal with hem allowance is 189.56
Next we need to measure the diagonal. Looking at the fabric calculator the cut rendering, the diagonal would be measured from the bottom left to the top right, as seen here.
I’m going to use an office clamp and clamp my other tape measure right on that edge, so it doesn’t move on me and I don’t have to keep coming back over here and adjusting it. So right there on that mark, and I actually want the top edge, like that.
This is a different sail shade but yet we’re going to still use the same measurements. You notice there’s not a notch cut out here. Technically if we were working on the same sail shade, there would be a notch here, but we neglected to show how to measure the diagonal.
So the diagonal is taken after the measurement on the left side, which we already did, and the diagonal is always taken from the bottom left corner to the upper right corner here. So let’s show you how to do that.
This side is already clamped down but if you have a second helper you may want to have them just hold this end on the mark that we made earlier. This is the left side or side B. The diagonal for us is 189.5 so what I’m going to do is I’m going to lock my tape measure here at 189.5
Now what I need to do is I need to decide where is this measurement going to fall, and the best, we don’t know where it’s going to fall so we’re going to have to make an arch, and the best way to do that is to use this tape and actually just make notches or an arc, making sure that your tape measure is straight as you do it.
So there’s my arch for the diagonal and I don’t think I have to go any further but I might as well do it because it won’t hurt, at least we don’t have to do it twice. That should be good enough.
So this is edge C and for us it’s 124.34. So 124.34 is, get this one out of the way, is right here. So where does it intersect this arch that I made? 124.34 is right there. So there is our mark. This is where we measure from. So after the diagonals taken we can take a measurement of this top edge, then we can measure this edge and that edge and wherever it intersects down there, it’s going to be perfect. And this one is side D, and it’s 91.45 So I’ll place that right on top of this.
Now let’s see if we have the right measurement here.
That is side E and that’s 136.67 It’s perfect, it’s exactly what we want. So the X marks the spot, this is perfect, right there. So I’m going to put a mark right here, an X.
Now we’re done with our tape measure since the fabric is completely marked.
Adding hollow to the sides will help support the edges and also tension the centre of the sail shade. In basic terms the hollow is the curve on the sides of the sail shade.
We’re using thin-walled ¾ inch PVC here and we place it on that mark that we have here, and on the mark that we have here. Right now we want it fairly straight, so we are going to use this side as our straight edge. We want to find the halfway point of this side.
This is 91.4 somewhere around there, so that would be 45.5 approximately. So the centre position for this is about 45.5, so here’s the middle of this side.
Okay now the pipe is straight right now from X to X and I placed sandbags on top of the pipe to keep it from moving, and you can sight down the pipe to make sure that it looks fairly straight, and it does, so we want to mark where the pipe is resting right now, here, along the inner edge.
So now we have to create a hollow at that centre position and we need to look at the fabric calculator again to create that hollow. We’re going to create a hollow of approximately 7%. The hollow for side D for this side is 6.23, so approximately 6.25 inches.
Doesn’t have to be totally accurate, because we’re just using approximately 7 % hollow, which gives us good shape. So right here, we need to move the pipe in to create that hollow.
So hopefully those ends are anchored enough that I can create a bend to that location along the outer edge, and place two more sandbags to hold the PVC in place. Now if you’ve got super long pipes you may want to use cinder blocks.
Now you want to confirm that the ends are still on your X, which it isn’t here, so I’m going to bend this over, making sure that it’s on that X, right there, and I’m going to confirm that over here.
Now site down the pipe, make sure it’s a good-looking hollow and it’s consistent and the curve is the same on this side as it is on that side, and it looks pretty good.
Okay the calculator calculates, at least we put in a 2 inch hem and that’s where really what I would like everyone to put in, so I’m going to mark a line here.
This is our cut line, our actual finished edge will be to about 2 inches inside of this edge, so these measurements calculate for this 2 inch hem that we put in the calculator.
I’m just marking along the curved edge, this includes the hollow. Do this gently so that you don’t move your PVC all the way to your mark.
Now we can hold this down and Mark underneath the sandbags as well. There we go.
The hardwares typically sells these in 10 foot lengths, so you can buy a splicer here and just insert the PVC inside the slicer, no reason to glue it.
Now we have an extended length for our application.
I have my PVC along this straight edge, obviously this edge is straight and I found my middle position here, and from our middle position the Sailrite fabric calculator says for side B which is this side, I need a hollow of 14.28 for me.
So I’m in a measure in 14.28 inches approximately for our 7% hollow from the middle position. Right there.
So now hopefully the sandbags will hold it down on the ends and if not you can use cinder blocks as I discussed earlier, and we will curve the PVC pipe into that 14 inch measurement, 14.25 inch measurement.
That actually looks pretty good, we’re going to confirm that it’s on the X’s on the other side. And we’ll put our sandbags right here. Nice curve, we will strike our line.
Now I want to do the other two sides in exactly the same manner, we’re not going to show that because the process is exactly the same.
It’s hot, it’s going to be a good thing when we get this sail shade done, not that it matters inside of the building but it will outside.
Everything is done here, okay, and I did make a mistake, I said ¾ inch PVC pipe, we’re actually using a ½ inch PVC pipe. both would probably work.
But I do want to talk a little bit about this excess fabric. When the Sailrite fabric calculator calculates, it’s calculating for straight lines, and then it adds in the hollow later, you add it in actually, so that’s why it thinks it needs all this fabric because it’s a straight line here.
Now we still had to have some fabric in here because the hollow took out that straight line and basically moved it all the way here but we only needed a little chunk like this, so you may say well the calculator messed up, no it didn’t. It’s actually calculating for straight lines.
Now all we need to do is take this and cut it out on the lines that we struck. We’re going to take it back to the studio to do that. It’s now time to create that 2 inch hem along the sides. So no need to use a hot knife, this edge will actually be hidden under webbing after we’re done. We’re just going to cut on these lines that we struck on the fabric with scissors.
We have two marking pencils, I believe they’re called the Scribe-All marking pencils. We have white and black, if you have a light fabric, you may want to choose the black one for this. The white one is perfect for our application because we have a dark fabric.
This line needs to be parallel to this edge so we’ll place our marking utensil, the Scribe-All pencil, in the 2 inch holes here, and then this metal edge will ride against the edge of our parasol fabric, and that way we can easily scribe a line that is 2 inches from the edge that is parallel with that edge.
So we hold this perpendicular to that edge as we scribe this line, and we can just move the table, or move the fabric on the table when we get to the end. Now don’t worry about this unravelling here along this edge, that will be covered with our webbing in the future step.
It is extremely important that these lines be placed on the side of the sail shade fabric that will be facing the Sun, in other words the outside surface of the sail shade. There is no right side and wrong side to this fabric, but the outside is determined by what side measures what length, based on the fabric calculator, so you must get that right.
Why is that? Well that’s because we want the webbing to be on the underside of the sail shade when it’s completed.
Now that we have our white lines, which could be black depending on the fabric that you have, our 2 inch hem line placed on it, we need to flip the panel so the line is facing the table top, or the floor if you’re working on the floor.
So the side that is going to face the sun, is facing the table top.
We will now apply basting tape approximately 1 inch or so away from the raw edge to the fabric on all four sides of our sail shade.
We’re using the Sailrite canvas patterning ruler in applying pressure to the double-sided tape so that it adheres well to the parasol or polytex fabric if you’re using that. You can also use Phifertex Plus for sail shades, and you can use Sunbrella, though Sunbrella does not allow water to go through. Solstice 86 is another choice for sail shades.
Okay we’ll peel off the transfer paper on this side, we did not base the other sides yet. We’re going to create a hem here and then we will fold the fabric back to the line that we’ve struck on the fabric and crease it upon that line. This creates the 2 inch hem.
When you get so far down the panel, it creases well and it sticks pretty well but use the Sailrite Canvas Patterning Ruler to create a nice sharp crease and also to stick the double-sided tape well.
So the nice thing is since we put the line on the other side and the double-sided tape on the opposite side, we can see the line that we’re folding upon here, so it makes it easy to determine where the 2 inch hem is.
When you get so far, crease the fabric well with a heavy object like the Sailrite Canvas Patterning Ruler again.
The number one thing that the webbing does around the perimeter is adds the strength so that it could be tensioned under high tension and pull out any wrinkles or, and keep the edges nice and straight, but when it’s placed on top of this 2 inch hem, it conceals the raw edge that is kind of ugly, because it covers it, and it is placed inside this folded edge so that it is protected from the sun.
This is the bottom side of the sail shade. Polyester webbing does fairly well in the sun, but it’s always best to hide it if possible.
This is the next edge that we’re doing. Okay, don’t cut anything off the corners even though some corners may look wacky. I’m going to leave that as they are, leave them as they are, so just create a hem on the next side and do that to all four sides.
Now that all sides have a 2 inch hem, it’s now time to add the 2 inch polyester webbing from Sailrite.
Okay we have a 90 degree corner here, but in preparation for our round ring we need to cut out some of this fabric here, so that we can take the fabric and roll it around the ring. To do that, we’re going to take this 2 inch hem that’s here and here, and first we’re going to undo it there at the corner.
Our first cut will be along this edge, so right on the crease that we created and we’re only going to go to this crease. Right there. then our second cut will be on this crease. and we’re going to go to the edge of the hem here. Right there.
Now this needs to be cut as well to here, which is, right there. So in other in other words all the way into that 2 inch hem which would be right there, so three cuts. Right there.
So now we’ve got this flap and you have this flap, this is longer, this is shorter, but we’re going to cut some of this off in a later step. So now let’s just fold it like it was when it was a double hem, just like that.
Now we cut these with scissors along those edges and that’s because it makes a little bit easier, but if you take a hot knife now, because this edge will be actually a little bit exposed, and you just touch the edges of where you cut, this melts the edge of the HDPE fabric, so that it stays neatly together as it folds over that webbing.
So just touching the cut edge with a hot knife melts up beautifully like that, and we’ll touch this edge as well because this is going to fold over.
Okay so there’s that one, now this one it has a little bit too much extra fabric in it, but even though we’re going to cut some of that away, we’re still going to touch the edges of this one a little bit. You’ll see later on why we’re doing this.
The ends of the webbing should be touched with a hot knife, otherwise they will unravel. You can cut them with scissors then touch them with odd knife, or you can cut them with a hot knife and not have to do it twice.
From the end of the webbing, we’re going to measure 12 inches and mark the webbing with our chalk. The 12 inch mark will go at our 2 inch hem, so basically 2 inches from the corner and we will use just a clamp to hold it in place.
What we want to do is we want to find the length of this side, so we’re just going to run the webbing down this length to the next corner. At this corner, we will mark it 12, at the, where the 2 inch hem is, so right here, and then we need to make sure that we have 12 inches of extra webbing, which we have more than 12 inches here so we’re good.
Now we’ll take this webbing and we’ll flip it over, and we will start to baste at the 12 inch mark on the opposite side.
So there’s our 12 inch mark, we will start basting from that, in the middle of this webbing, all the way down slink to the next 12 inch mark which is on the opposite side, in other words, facing the table top.
This Seamstick holds very well to the polyester webbing. In fact it’s almost impossible to get it off. We’re going to peel off the transfer paper, revealing the glue, and at the 2 inch, in other words 2 inches from the corner, we’re going to baste on our 12 inch mark. So here, we’re going to place the webbing along this edge so there’s about an eight inch of the fabric that is protruding from this outer edge of the webbing.
The raw edge is concealed, because you can see here as I fold it back up, the ugly raw edge of the polytex or the parasol fabric, parasol we’re using, is concealed underneath the webbing.
Don’t be alarmed if your 12 inch mark doesn’t fall right where you marked it, it’s not a big deal as long as we have approximately 12 inches overhanging the edge we’re fine.
So there’s one leg, now we’ll do the same to the next leg.
A triangular corner like this will receive a triangular ring like this, it can have either the opening or not have the opening, it’s your choice. We carry all kinds of stainless steel hardware, but before we attach the webbing onto this leg, let’s lift this webbing up a little bit and let’s again cut this corner so we can wrap it around the end of our hardware.
And so to do that, what I’m going to do, this has some excess fabric here, we’re going to open this up, and on this fold here, we’re going to cut it open. So I’m going to cut on that fold approximately. We have extra fabric here so don’t be alarmed by this, and then we cut on this fold, I’m cutting this extra fabric on the inside, that’s why it’s not cutting very well, just a single layer here, down about 2 inches into that corner, so right about there.
And now this fold is still attached here, I’m going to cut it right there.
Okay so now this will fold back, like that and cover our webbing. This will be the cover piece, so again we’re just going to touch the edges, it’s probably too much fabric. We’ll trim it away later but might as well touch the edges now with a hot knife to keep them from unravelling.
So we applied double-sided tape, peeled off the transfer paper, we have 12 inches of extra webbing here, we’re going to lay this 12 inches on top of this 12 inches, and go down this leg in the same manner, and we will do that for all the edges.
Double-sided tape is great to hold the webbing in place but it’s not permanent it’s only temporary, and then when you get all these edges done, there’s just a lot of bulk. So I recommend that you take a stapler and staple about every 24 inches on these edges, that way you don’t have to worry about everything coming apart, as you continue to work your way around.
Some of you may be asking, well they didn’t put any corner patches on? Well don’t worry, we’re going to do that now. I placed some scrap fabric, you’ll typically have a lot of scrap fabric or right on this corner patch and we want to do this for all the corners, and we have the same side facing up, okay.
So now what I’m going to do is I want to, for a shade sail this size, I want to go in about 16 inches or so, and then we’ll make a rounded patch here. So I’m going to take my chalk and I’m just going to mark along the sides, going at least 16 inches in, then I’ll move this out of the way, and we’ll join up those lines to find the exact corner.
Then I’m going to take a yardstick and put it on that corner. There are is 16 inches. I’m going to run into some stuff if I’m not careful here, so I’m going to hold it here, and take my chalk and make an arc. That’s pleasing.
Okay so that’s my patch for this corner assembly. I’m going to cut it out with scissors, I’m not going to use a hot knife, you’ll see why in a minute.
This is the outside surface, we’re going to flip it so the outside surface is down, not that it really matters, but again we want to try to match the outside surface with the outside surface of the sail shade.
We’re going to apply double-sided tape to the bottom curved edge that we just made, and then we’re going to use our Sailrite Canvas Patterning Ruler to crease it down and make sure it sticks, peel off the transfer paper, and then create a very small ½ inch hem here. No reason to do any measuring here.
Now, we’re going to place double-sided tape on the two long sides of our triangle patch, and on the bottom edge, again on top of that ½ inch hem that we just created. Now we’ll peel off the transfer paper on all of this.
Okay so here’s our corner, we’re going to lift up the webbing. It has double-sided tape on it so we can easily re-baste it again.
We’re going to place it on this corner, not so that it’s up against the edges but a little bit inside the edges as you can see here. And then we’re going to baste it in place.
So there is our patch, now we can lay the webbing directly on top of that yet again, and our patch edges are concealed by this webbing.
Okay we have our corner here, this is more of our 90 degree corner, sort of 90 degrees, then we have some scrap fabric underneath to create our patch again here.
So again we’re going to mark alongside the edge, at least 16 inches or so along that edge, and then we’re going to lift this up We’ll hold down here and make an arc. My body is getting in the way. There we go.
We’ll prepare this patch in the exact same way we did with the first, a ½ inch hem along the curved edge we just created, and then basting tape on all the sides including over top of that ½ inch hem, we will not show all of this.
With the triangular patch, we’ve placed it on top of the 2 inch hem on the sail, with this one, we have to place it underneath the 2 inch hem because there’s no excess fabric sticking over the edge and we need a little bit of that 2 inch hem to cover the webbing in the later step, so watch what we do here.
So now we’ll take our hem, it’s only basted down in place, lift it up a little bit, and then stuff our patch in, so that it’s very close to the fold of that hem. Make sure that it’s resting flat as you baste it in place. So there we go.
Then we’ll place our hem back over the top, like so, and we’ll cut this out so we have a portion that we can pull over the webbing.
So cut here, and we will cut, need to cut a little bit deeper in there, and then we will cut here. About like that.
Okay, now we can put our webbing back over top. And to hold it in place, we will place a few staples as well. Repeat this process for all corners. Let’s move on.
Sewing the hem and the webbing in place is next.
Okay we’re going to start sewing here, at the edge of the webbing, and here at the edge of the webbing here. We’re going to run a row of stitches down here, and a row stitches down here. Two rows, you can do three rows if you want but it’s really overkill.
Now I’m going to use the deluxe 5 ½ inch magnetic guide, and place it on the machine, as soon as I get past this corner.
Right now I’m going to use this bar here I can kind of see the bar of the webbing the last bar, I’m going to use that as my guide for my stitch, and when I do my first stitch, there’s a lot of bulk here at this corner, I’m going to do a little bit of reversing.
Because we’re using a PTFE thread and this fabric, HDPE fabric is very slippery, we can get some skipped stitches. I find that using a size number 14 needle actually reduces the skipped stitches to a minimum.
Now we’re past that bulk so I can put my magnetic guide here, and that way I can just kind of use that as my guide. And we’ll just sew down the length.
If you’ve chosen to use a V92 polyester thread, we recommend a size number 20 needle.
This Sailrite Ultrafeed LS-1 sewing machine is in the industrial table top, with a workhorse servo motor, so we get unparalleled slow speed control and power.
Looks nice on the bottom side. Always good to check your tension.
I’m going to go ahead and move the magnetic guide. I’m getting close to the corner. Then right here I’ll do some reversing.
Okay now we’ll pull this back, and we will sew the same leg so I don’t have to flip the fabric around again. So we’re going to sew this side of it now.
I am going to try to sew right about here, so put my foot down and do some reversing yet again.
And I’ll put my magnetic guide back down and use that as my edge guide. Now we’ll just do that for every single leg in the same manner.
Since the process is the same for all the sides, we’re not going to show any more of this.
Okay, we have all the webbing sewn on all the sides, now we’ll just sew across the bottom of each one of our patches.
I’m going to start at the edge of the webbing here, and put my presser foot down and do a little bit of reversing. Then we’ll just so very close to that hem.
To sew this shade sail we’re using the Sailrite Ultrafeed LS-1 sewing machine and it’s set up in the Sailrite Ultrafeed Industrial Sewing Table in Workhorse Servomotor Package.
I’m going to do some reversing here at the end. We decided to sew two rows of stitches right next to each other, just to reinforce this bottom edge of this patch. Now we needed to remove the staples everywhere. Best way to do that is just with a standard screwdriver, pry them up.
Sewing corner rings is next.
Sailrite carries a large selection of rings, whether they be triangular, round or a D ring.
First thing we’re going to do is we’re going to put basting tape on the middle of each one of these. They will be folded over like this, so you want to put it on this side, here and here.
Don’t peel off the transfer paper yet.
Make sure the ends of the webbing are sealed with hot knife, and then we are going to run our ring, stainless steel ring, into the loop of webbing this way, and then this loop in like this.
So this ring will fall right on this corner, very similar to that.
So I’m going to peel off the transfer paper and baste it in place, so that the webbing is tight to the ring, and the ring is right at that corner or a little bit past.
So I’m going to fold it down hard and put it right on top. Then I’m going to do the same with the other leg.
Our length of webbing here is a little bit longer than 12 inches, that’s okay, we didn’t cut off the excess.
I’m holding the ring, a lot of pressure on the ring here with this finger, and I’m pulling the webbing very taut indeed.
A little bit of basting tape went past the ring, so I’m just going to peel it up and break it off.
So now here are the flaps that we created earlier. So this flap will fit in and over, and then this flap will fit in and over.
So when the, this is the side that’s going to be facing the Sun, and because those are going to be covering the webbing, they will not be exposed here along the bottom edge or the side I should say. This part will be cut out. So right now I’ve got plenty of fabric to catch and sew here, so I’m good there. This is way too much fabric, so I’m going to cut off some of the fabric here, as we discussed earlier. And I have got double-sided tape here. I’m going to break that off, comes off easy on that. Now again, since I made a brand new cut, I’m going to actually burn this edge a little bit, so that it seals nicely.
That’s a round ring, now let’s do a triangular ring. Here we go.
Okay we have double-sided tape on top of these again, they’re going to fold back like this.
We’re going to, here on this triangular corner we’re going to use a triangular ring. This ring actually opens up so that we can hopefully avoid using a shackle when we attach it to the eye.
So we’re going to feed it through, and then feed this leg through. These legs are actually going to be placed right on top of the adjacent legs.
Okay so again I’m going to peel off the transfer paper, revealing the glue.
Okay so now this ring, I’m going to hold this ring so that the ring is basically following the same edges as the corner, and I’m going to hold it taut here. Then I’m going to pull this webbing. Now this this webbing will want to pull the ring around here, but we have two legs to consider. So I’m going to pull fairly tight here, but I don’t want to twist the ring again.
And then this leg goes down, so this is the reason I keep that angle like this, because if I were to pull it so much that it actually straighten out, then this leg would not be grabbing the bottom of that triangular ring.
So there, it’s pretty down, it’s down nice and tight. I still have a little bit of a bubble here, I have a little bit of a bubble here, but obviously because we’re taking a different angle there, but that is down.
Now we have this flap of fabric here, this is actually our patch that we could use, but we also have this flap here. This is the one that I want to cover over top of the webbing to protect it.
So as you can see it’s too big, I don’t need it that big, I’m going to trim some of it off, enough so that I can actually sew it. And then I’m going to touch it with a hot knife to keep it from unravelling.
The links of webbing coming through this triangular ring could actually criss cross each other, in other words the one-leg could go on the other side and the other leg the opposite.
I am going to cut a little corner off of this, just to make sure it doesn’t show up. We did not do that but that can also be done.
Get rid of that double-sided tape and this we will be cutting off.
Okay we’re going to leave this flap up right now and we’re going to start in approximately the centre location and get as close to this ring as possible.
I’m going to lower my presser foot and I am going to just sew a little back tack here, so forward and back. All we’re trying to do is secure it, so that we can sew across, and then forward. Okay so now it’s secured, now I’m going to lift my presser foot, and I’m going to position it back a little bit.
Let’s just cut our threads and start again there. Well now we’ll start back here, now that we have it tacked in place.
And we’re sewing forward, making sure that this foot doesn’t get caught on that webbing, so I’m going to use a screwdriver here to kind of hold it down.
I am just going to sew fairly slowly here, all the way across, then I’m going to put the machine in reverse, and do the same thing again. Now in reverse it will actually feed pretty good here because I don’t have a toe that will get caught on any stainless steel hardware.
Not stainless steel, I meant webbing.
Let’s go forward again, probably going to have that toe get stuck on that thing, so I’m going to use a screwdriver and hold it down. And then a little bit of reversing here. Okay so that secures the ring in place.
Now with the ring secured in place I’m going to fold this back down, which will hide the webbing at the corner, and we will just do a little tack here.
Okay, so now we need to sew down the legs.
To do this, you can do fancier stitches like a box X Stitch, box X stitch, box X stitch. We’re just going to sew down and back down and back down and back. No reason to make this fancy, nobody is going to see these stitches up high, well maybe somebody will, but they’re not very noticeable.
Now my reverse is not as long, so I’m going to lower that so I can get a longer reverse stitch, and I’m going to hold this down, so in reverse, nothing fancy here, so again this stuff skips like crazy when we’re sewing this shade sail material, because it’s a PTFE thread, and it’s also slippery, like we talked about a hundred times.
I just don’t want you to think hey, why am I getting skipped stitches all the time? Well it’s hard to sew this material with a PTFE thread, but a PTFE thread will never rot, so there’s some advantages in using it.
When sewing with the PTFE thread, a lifetime guaranteed thread, we find that having a large selection of needle sizes on hand is a good idea. Sometimes by changing the needle size to a smaller needle, or sometimes even a larger needle, can change the performance of how the sewing machine will sew this thread.
If using a polyester thread, you don’t have any issues with this.
And then here I’ll do some reversing.
Okay that’s all we need to do to each one of the legs, and also the rings, let’s show you a corner ring next.
Okay here’s one of the almost 90 degree corners, and it’s done a little bit differently than the triangular corners.
First we’re going to create a stitch here, so since we have it positioned here, we’re just going to come across this round ring and sew a few straight stitches here.
And then the same thing here. All right now let’s sew down the leg, just like we did on the triangular one.
You could do box X stitches if you like, we don’t want to be fancy, but again we’re just going to sew straight down and then do reversing back up several times.
Now we have these two flaps of the fabric that we can fold over that will protect this from the Sun, and this one will go here, and we just want to stitch those down. These are not for strength, they’re for UV protection for the webbing.
So we just sew very close to that ring, with a few reverse stitches. One, and the other.
And we’ll do that same thing with the other corners, this is going to be trimmed up with a hot knife here, you don’t need all this excess fabric.
Okay so I’m just going to place a metal ruler under here, that will protect our webbing because we definitely don’t want to cut our webbing. Just trim that off.
Now for here, we don’t need all this fabric here and this is not any kind of strength here, but we don’t want to hurt the fabric that’s covering the webbing, so I’m going to take my hot knife on the inside of this ring, and kind of just cut through the fabric, right up against there, to make sure that I’m not coming up against my fabric that’s covering the webbing.
Now I can flip this over and trim out the rest, without hurting anything else. There we go, that’s what she looks like from this side. The hot knifed edge will not unravel. Now we’re going to cut off this excess here, again this is not for strength, the strength is in the webbing and in the patch. This will seal that edge, nicely, with a hot knife. There we go.
We are finally at the stage of installing the sail shade, that’s next.
Now for our sail shade, at the small side we do not have any turnbuckles, we’re hoping that we can just use two turnbuckles with this sail shade, and I’m sure it will work.
So what I have is a shackle, a stainless steel shackle, available from Sailrite and this shackle meets the requirements for the maximum load at each corner.
I want to go position the shackle so that I can screw it from the bottom. We will actually in the end be adding a little bit of chain here.
Now I’m not going to cinch these down super tight, I’m just going to cinch them down by finger, until I get everything situated.
Now chain is your best friend, the sail shade is going to be small, and maybe we can reach the sail shade all the way to this ring, but I doubt it.
We design them fairly small so they can be tensioned, so we’re going to use a chain and a shackle. Now we have excess length of chain here, and can tie tension it by hand? Probably not well enough, but for now all I’m going to do is get it up temporarily.
So this is probably not the link it’s going to be in, we’ll probably have to use a come-along or a ratchet to tension this side, but I want to get all the corners up before I do anything as far as tensioning goes.
The nice thing about the quick link triangle, is that you can open it up, so you don’t necessarily have to use a shackle.
So now we have our turnbuckle attached, and we have a length of chain attached.
Again we are not tensioning it all the way yet, we’re just getting all the corners up so adjustments we’ll probably more than likely be necessary. We’re going to leave this open at this point.
To avoid having to use a shackle, we’re going to release this quick release triangle and we’re going to put our chain on that. This is a matter of cutting chain to the right length until you have what you want.
Obviously the chain will extend any one of the ends that you need to possibly change in diameter. There you go.
We’ll just put that on temporarily right now, the turnbuckle is extended all the way to the end. At the Sailrite website, you’ll find a large selection of turnbuckles, this is a rather small one.
So now we’re going to use some of this excess chain to get the sail shade away from the house. A little bit more to provide a little bit more coverage. This chain is your best friend.
Release the shackle, and I think I’m just going to go a couple links here. This is guesswork until we get it the way we want it.
That’s a chain link, I’m not going to cut this yet until I’m satisfied. Okay.
All right so we are going to cut off the excess here, we think we’re happy with this one.
When I’m using these bolt cutters I’m cutting through both sides of the chain at once, that makes this job twice as difficult.
Cutting one side of the link at a time makes it much easier. I’d like to do this on the ground.
We’re going to add a few chain links here to get it away from the house. Maybe just two.
So we have a ratcheting strap that is placed on our post, and it’s wrapped around so the two hooks are hooked to each other, so that I have enough to tension.
That’s pretty good tension. I could probably go more but we can do that with our turnbuckle now.
So I’m going to hopefully get this chain into that triangle and still be able to get our webbing on. Okay so I got it in there.
I don’t think I’m going to tighten this down yet, I’m going to try to get this off now. We’ll be able to tighten more from our turnbuckle, now that we have it up this close. So we’re going to take this off. There we go.
I’m going to disconnect the chain here, just to get out of the way to the side, I’ll leave it on this triangle here and I’ll let the turnbuckle fall. So now I’ll apply some tension here with our strap. So notice how sloppy it is, it’s because it’s not under much tension. When we start tensioning it, we’re not even using the turnbuckles yet, but look at that. It’s starting to come out.
Okay so that is definitely enough right now because look at all this adjustment we have in the turnbuckle.
So what I want to do is I want to try to put this link on here, as tight as I can get it. I was hoping I can steal one more link, I think I can if I just ratchet some more. Can I get two? I’d love to get two. I’m going to try. Boy am I close. Let’s see if I can turn one of these out a little bit. Yes! We did it.
So now, I’ll release the strap, and there we go.
Now it’s up in the position that we want, we still have to tension it with the turnbuckles, it’s still too loose. Okay we basically have the sail shade up in the approximate position that we like.
We have not done any tensioning to the two turnbuckles, this sail shade required two turnbuckles and we did require some shackles. Here we had a round ring, so that requires two shackles and a length of chain to keep it away from the house here.
Over here, we have a round ring and it too requires two shackles because it has a length of chain.
Now on these corners, since we used the quick plank triangle here, we didn’t have to use a shackle there to connect to the chain, and because we used a turnbuckle with hooks, we didn’t have to have a shackle there either.
Now the specific load weight of each one of these sail shades will be different based on the square footage.
Under normal tension, in other words when you’re tightening down an edge, the tension of a sail shade can be anywhere from 150 pounds to 400 pounds, okay that’s just your tensioning.
So at each corner, you could have 150 to 400 pounds just in the tensioning of the sail shade. This one is fairly small so it’s probably going to be closer to 150.
Now wind loads, at 75 miles an hour, that’s the maximum wind load we’d like to see the sail shade experience, nothing more hopefully, you could have 15 pounds per square foot of excess pressure on each one of the corners. You divide that by the number of corners you have, for this we have four. The Sailrite fabric calculator will tell you the maximum amount of tension you’ll get at each one of the corners, and you want to be sure that you buy stainless steel hardware that can sustain those loads. So it’s all dependent on the square footage of your sail shade, and again the Sailrite Fabric Calculator tells you the square footage of your sail shade after you put your measurements in.
Wow, lots of information, I’ve just been doused with a fire hose.
Let’s go on to tensioning.
To protect galling, we’re going to apply some anti-seize to the threads. This is very important.
Stainless steel when it comes under high tension, the threads could become welded, so this anti-seize will prevent that from happening. Notice I put on rubber gloves, the reason being as anti-seize gets all over the place.
So now we can start the tension, we have the nuts turned away. Let’s see, which way do I go?
Just tensioning by hand right now, but I’m going to put a screwdriver in here and start the tension with it, and I want to keep an eye on the eyes, to make sure that they are not spinning, and rather the hardware is.
An adjustable wrench also fits on this tensioning device in the middle of the turnbuckle, so you can use that as well, sometimes I like to use an adjustable wrench rather than a large screwdriver.
See if I can get up here a little bit more before, it will make a little bit easier for me, there you go. Much easier, so keep an eye on your sail shade, see what kind of tension you have. It’s looking good. I’m going to go ahead and tighten this up.
We’ll use a wrench later on here, just to make sure everything is tightened up well.
I’m not going to tighten down these nuts yet, we’re going to go start tensioning the next turnbuckle, in the same manner.
Okay, we’re going to lock our triangle, we have tension the way we want it set.
It’s probably about 150 to 200 pounds on this one, I didn’t do take a measurement I’m just guessing at it. We’ll lock that down tight, now we need to cinch up these nuts, to make sure that it does not come loose.
I’m still wearing the gloves because I’ve got the anti-seize all over it and I don’t want that all over my hands, it is a pain to get off. I would rather throw away gloves. And then we’ll just use a wrench and lock up each one of these nuts.
Notice here we have a couple links we need to cut, we’re going to use some bolt cutters to take those off. Ching! The sail shade is now complete and ready for use.
Don’t go away, coming up next is the materials list and the tools that we used to make this sail shade.
The Sailrite fabric calculator does give you a list of materials, but we still recommend that you study this materials and tools list, before you order anything from Sailrite.
Shown in yellow here is the quantity of items that we use for this four-sided sail shade.
At the Sailrite website you will find a variety of types and sizes of stainless steel hardware.
If you’d like to see how to make a three sided sail shade, you can click the i icon in the top right corner for a tutorial video showing how to do that.
These are some of the related videos that may be of interest to you, click on them if you’d like to view them. For more free videos like this, check out the Sailrite website or subscribe to the Sailrite You Tube channel. Be sure to click the Bell to be notified of new videos when they become available.
I’m Eric Grant and from all of us here at Sailrite, thanks for watching.