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How to Make Shade Sails

This tutorial video shows how to make your own shade sail for your outdoor living area. Order supplies & tools for your DIY Shade Sail at: http://

Determining Shade Sail Positioning – 0:58 min
Lofting Shade Fabric – 4:05 min
Basting Panels Together – 12:04 min
Sewing Seams – 14:43 min
Creating Hollow on Sides – 16:19 min
Cutting Corner Patches – 20:41 min
Hemming Sides – 22:39 min
Basting Patches – 24:47 min
Basting & Sewing Webbing on Sides – 26:27 min
Sewing Corner Rings – 32:06 min
Planning Elevation for Attachment Points – 36:50 min
Attaching Hardware to Posts – 39:12 min
Installing Shade Sail – 41:15 min
Tensioning Shade Sail – 48:24 min
Installing a Guy Wire for Extra Strength – 50:30 min
Materials List – 58:43 min

Shade Sail Fabric from Sailrite we used Polytex 150" Shadecloth - Item # 120467
Seamstick 3/8" Basting Tape for Canvas - Item # 129
Profilen  PTFE Lifetime Thread Clear 4oz Cone - Item # 107128 or Polyester Thread
Webbing Polyester 2" 4720# from Sailrite we used - Item # 120262
Polyfab Pro Triangle 5/16" (8mm) - Item # 120272
Polyfab Pro Eye Bolt With Nut & Washer 3/8" (10mm) - Item # 120271
Jaw & Jaw With Nut Turnbuckle 3/8" (10mm) - Item # 121206
Polyfab Pro Dee Shackle With Bolt 5/16" (8mm) - Item # 120269

Marking Chalk for Fabrics - Item # 102464
Gingher 8" Scissors Right Handed - Item # 19104
Clear Acrylic Ruler 6" x 24" - Item # 102400
Sailrite  Canvas Patterning Ruler - Item # 107040
Sailrite  Ultrafeed LS 1 PLUS Walking Foot Sewing Machine - Item # 300502
Sailrite  Edge Hotknife Package (110V) - Item # 103800
Deluxe 5 1/2" Magnetic Sewing Guide - Item # 103597
Rope, Stakes,  Tape Measures, Marking Spray Paint, String, Cement Blocks,
½” PVC Pipe & Pipe Connectors, Sharpie Marker, Straight Edge, Ladder, Pencil, Extra Long
Drill Bit & Drill, Adjustable Wrench, 5/16” Coil Chain Zinc Plated, Bolt Cutters, Anti-seize
Compound, Channel Lock Pliers
* Materials and tools for installation of posts is not included in this list, since it can be done in a variety of ways.
36" Penetrator (PE36) & Tie-Off 3/8" x 19" (PE46-TC) - Available from: American Earth Anchors
2” Socket, Impact Wrench or Ratchet Wrench with Pipe, 3/16” Wire Rope Galvanized 
Eye Bolt with Nut & Washer 5/16" x 6" - Item # 120766
Quick Link 5/16" (8mm) - Item # 120764
Thimble Stainless Steel 3/16" - Item # 26202
Wire Rope Clamp 3/16" (5mm) - Item # 120771
Turnbuckle Eye & Eye with Nut 5/16" (8mm) - Item # 121163

DIY SAIL SHADE NOTES - - - - - - - - 
a) Determine the location for your shade sail(s). Do not install shade sails near an open flame source.
b) Determine attachment points. These may include a pergola, a large tree, post or building fascia. Connections must be structurally sound, get independent advice from an structural engineer.
c) Sail shades of 25 feet or less per side may be supported with 2” polyester webbing sewn along the sides. Larger sails should be supported with wire rope in sleeves, which is not covered in this video.
d) A properly mounted and tensioned shade sail will have approximately 150-400 pounds of edge tension. Wind loads from 5 to 15 lbs. per square foot are typical. Loading is divisible by the number of corners.
e) Flat sails must be canted adequately, 1:4 slope is recommended.
f) Remove shade sail(s) in harsh weather. Shade sails are not intended to support snow loads.
g) Prior to installation, check with local authorities for any relevant building codes or permits that may be required.

a) We recommend the use of 4 inch, schedule 40 steel pipe or 6 x 6 inch wood intended for outdoors use. Obtaining independent advice from a builder is recommended.
b) Posts should slope away from the center of the sail at an angle of about 5 to 10 degrees.
c) A conservative guide to burying the posts would be one third in the ground and two thirds above ground. This will vary depending on how many sails are attached to the post, soil conditions, size of the sails, etc. Posts are usually embedded in a concrete footing, 3 ft. to 6 ft. deep and 1 ft. to 1.5 ft. in diameter.
d) The use of a guy wire to help support posts where two or more sails are attached is recommended, especially for a 6 x 6 inch wood post.
e) Always call local authorities before you dig.

a) Diamond Pad Eyes, Corner Brackets or Eyebolts can be used to secure connectors to an existing structure. Use appropriate screws/bolts.
b) If attachments are secured to fascia the use of a fascia support is required.
c) Don’t attach a shade sail to trees of less than 10 inch diameter. Use lag screw eyebolts.

a) Goto http:// for all shade sail hardware.
b) Use chain to span distances from shade sail corners to attachment points. We recommend 5/16” coil chain zinc plated (grade 30 proof).
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