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on September 9, 2007 at 5:34:03 pm

The MonkeyHut


The MonkeyHut is a half-cylinder, “quanset hut” style shade structure. This particular plan has a 10 x 12’ footprint but, as you’ll see, the tunnel form allows you to extend the length of the Hut to your liking.



• 6 - 10’ x 1” schedule 40 PVC (ribs)

• 2 - 10’ x 1¼” schedule 40 PVC (spine)

• 2 - 1½” T-connector

• 1 - 1½” X-connector

• 6 - 2’+ Heavy stakes

• 1 - 10’ x 20’ tarp(heavy duty silver)

• 2 - Bungie cords (4' long)

• 20+ - Bungie balls

• 10+ - Small Stakes

• Duct tape

Staying cool after a long night

What you’re building is a ribcage with the 1” pipes as the ribs and the 1¼” pipes as the spine. The use of duct tape allows overlapping pieces to fit snug onto one another. You'll have to play with the amount of tape to get these pieces to fit right. If you do all your taping, build all your connectors, etc. before going out to the playa, you'll simply have to slide all your pieces together once on site.




Cut one 10’ x 1¼” PVC pipe in half. Cut the other into four 2½’ pieces. Three of these you’ll use as connectors. Take two of the 2½’ connectors and wrap duct tape around their middles as in image below. Slide a T-connector onto each over the duct tape--there should be enough tape to make the fit snug. Repeat this process with the third 2½’ connector, this time sliding the X-connector onto it.


Lay out two 1” pipes end to end. Where they meet, measure out 15” in both directions and, just inside those points, wrap the pipes with duct tape. Now slide the pipe connector onto the 1” pipe so its end just covers the tape. It should fit snug. If not, use more duct tape. Take the other 1” pipe and slide into the other end of the connector. ) You’ve made your first rib! Repeat this twice more with the 2 remaining connectors so that you have 3 ribs, each 20’ long, 2 with T-connectors and one with an X-connector.


Take the two 5’ lengths of 1¼” PVC and wrap duct tape around both ends. As the spine, these will slide into the T and X-connectors, holding the ribs in place.


On Site


Start by assembling the 5' pieces and cross pieces into the Spine:

Use the bungie cords to secure the spine. Wrap one bungie around the first rib as close to the spine connection as possible, hooking the bungie onto itself. Pull the other end of the cord to the second, or middle, rib and secure it near the spine connection. Duplicate this from the second rib to the third.


Mark out a 10' x 12' footprint. Use the completed spine to mark the locations of the first three heavy stakes along one 10' side at each crosspiece in the spine. Hammer the heavy stakes in at least one foot deep. Then move the spine to the other side. Measure 15'8" from corner to corner, to insure the 10x12 box is square. Down the other side hammer in the second three heavy stakes using the spine as a guide.


Move the spine to the center and insert two ribs so that they meet in the midpoint of the connector. Use the ribs to push the spine up in the air. Then bend them so that they can be slipped over the ends of the heavy stakes. Repeat with the rest of the ribs in pairs. The frame should now be stable and ready for the tarp.




Pull the tarp over the frame and secure it to the first and third ribs with bungie balls. You can also use zip-ties. Either will draw the tarp taut and create solid shade and great protection from the elements.


I recommend paying a few bucks more for the heavy duty silver tarps. These are thick and reflect the sun. Definitely don't use blue tarps. They're too thin and make a great deal of noise in the wind.



Finally stake the tarp down where it's closest to the ground.



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