Originally printed in the 2013 1st Quarter NARA Newsletter
The following list is PER BLIND, multiple the parts by the number of blinds you plan to build
- 6 – 10 ft long 3/4 inch PVC pipe
- 2 – 3 way elbows (3/4 in)
- 4 – 90 degree elbows (3/4 in)
- 2 – T joints (3/4 in)
- 2 – 45 degree elbows (3/4 in)
- 8×10 unfinished white tarp (finished size 7.5 x 9.5)
- 6 – grommets, metal or plastic snap together
- 1 can PVC cement
- 3 – 2.5 inch long eye bolts with a nut
- 3 – 12 inch galvanized stakes (look like long nails) NOTE Make sure the stakes will fit through the eye of the eye bolt
- Zip ties or Velcro strips
- PVC pipe cutters, hack saw, or other cutting device
- Electric drill
Cutting the PVC
- Cut 3 of the 10 foot pipes into 7 foot lengths.
- Cut 1 of the 10 foot pipes into two 52 inch lengths
- Cut 1 of the 10 foot pipes into two 49.5 inch lengths
- Cut 1 of the 10 foot pipes into a 6.3 foot length
- Cut one of the remnant pieces into four 1.5 inch long pieces
Fold the ends of the tarp over 3 inches on each long end, and sew, glue or otherwise secure it.
I recommend sewing them if you can hand sew or have a machine that can handle it. Some machines will have problems feeding the tarp through (there is nothing for the machine foot to grab because they are so smooth), this can be alleviated by using applying narrow strip of fabric along the bottom seam.
The tarp will be slightly longer than the blind is tall, the excess can be folded under or cut off. If cut, either fold over and sew the edge or use a wood burning tool to melt the edge so it doesn't unravel.
Put 3 grommets on each side of the blind, at 5, 5.5 and 6 feet high for "peep holes". Holes can also be cut in the tarp using a wood burning tool or other hot appliance to seal the edges.
Assemble the frame of the blind using the following guidelines. Do NOT glue any pieces together at this time. Use the 1.5 inch PVC pieces to connect the T-joint and 45 degree joints. Also the T-joint and 90 degree joints.
Before putting the bottom 90 degree angles on the side uprights, slip them through the pockets in the tarp. The back corner upright does not need a pocket, the tarp will go on the outside of this upright.
Verify the fit, it should be snug but not so tight that you tear the seams on the tarp. Trim any pipes as needed.
Disassemble the blind frame so you can glue some of the joints (NOT all of them), leave the uprights in the tarp, once the joints are glued on they will probably not fit through the pockets on the tarp. Pay attention to the direction joints are pointing during disassembly, they will need to be glued on in the same position. Guide lines can be drawn on each joint and pipe for easy of reassembly when gluing.
Glue the 90 degree angles to each end of the front side uprights, MAKING SURE they point in the same direction so you can reassemble the blind later.
Glue the 3 way elbows to each end of the back corner upright, MAKING SURE they point in the same direction for later assembly.
Glue the T-joint to the end of each top bar, and glue the 1.5 inch connecter piece to the end of the T-joint (where it will connect with a 90 degree joint) DO NOT glue a 1.5in connector to the "bottom" of the T where it will connect with the 45 degree joint.
Glue the 45 degree joints to the front cross bar. This will make rolling things up for storage easier, and also clearly mark the front bar as what it is, vs a bottom bar. Glue a 1.5 inch piece to the end of each 45 that will connect to the T joint.
Drill a hole through the bottom 90 degree joints and the bottom 3 way connector, and insert the eye bolts, with the eye facing the outside of the blind. These will be your stake holders.
Allow the joints to dry, and reassemble the blind. Keep one of the castoff lengths of PVC handy to use to pound pieces together, also to help break them apart when tearing the blind down.
If extra stability is needed for extremely windy conditions, purchase 10 foot metal conduit, cut it into 5 foot lengths, and pound those into the ground at each upright. The uprights can be attached to the conduit using zip ties or Velcro straps.
Depending on the level of stress they are put under, the PVC and/or joints can break. Also stakes can be lost. Purchase extra 90 degree and 3 way elbow joints, drill holes in half of them, and store them in a bag with some extra stakes.
Pipe with threaded connections can be used for extra stability, however it may have to be cut and spiced in the middle to achieve the lengths required for a legal blind.
From the Rulebook – 184.108.40.206 The blinds must be comprised of two or three panels at least 2 meters tall (~6ft 5in) and 1.2 meters wide (~4ft) (1.1 meters wide for three panels) and fixed at right angles.
For a more portable blind, the frame can be made by making 2 PVC rectangles then stretching the tarp over them and connecting them with zip ties. This will require t-posts or other stakes to support it if there is any wind.