The entire structure is put up and tensioned without the Alumanet in place; each corner is placed about 21 feet apart with the eye-bolt in the top and facing inward. Two two-foot re-bar pegs per corner, about 4 feet from the corner-post at 90-degrees from each other, a ratchet strap on each and the 100 foot piece of good-quality-rope going through the eyebolts, tied together at the ends to form a square… once erected tighten the ratchets so the perimeter rope makes a tight square of rope about 25 feet by 25 feet strung between the 7-foot uprights. This needs 2 people or more, practice before you leave home.
The perimeter rope does not need to be so tight that you can do pull-ups on it, but it needs to form a solid structure. This is why you need to use such long corner pegs. There must be no chance of the structure moving, collapsing or the pegs coming out when the wind gets up; this would be the worst time for it to fail, do it right!
As an alternative to the 100-feet of good quality rope you could use a 100-feet length of wire-rope to make the perimeter as this will really easy to get tight as it won’t stretch – just make sure you use suitable wire rope and fittings!
Only once this is up, 25 feet square, stable and solid… the 21 foot square of Alumanet is added… stretching it gently, corners first, using the (black!) zip-ties to attach it through the rings. It may well droop a lot in the centre, don’t worry about this.
After that the 9-foot centre pole is placed in the centre. Something big and soft attached to the top so it does not wear a hole in the Alumanet during the week. Put the top of the pole in the middle of the Alumanet first, push up and bring in the base of the pole to the centre. Then add a big heavy weight at the bottom or use some more re-bar to stop it moving because people will lean on it and it will wobble about in the wind and you don’t want it falling over and killing someone.
Add, maybe, a corner-to-corner cross of some string to suspend your lights or whatever from.
Come find the original, and us, in the AEZ (Alternative Energy Zone); we are Camp Starstruck.
The same, but improved, structure in 2011: