This post is nothing fancy. I just wanted to note that by setting aside one's desire for nice things, one's options for getting things done increases many-fold.
Case in point: I needed a cover to protect an old wood boat I was restoring. Not only did it need to keep the rain off, I needed to work under it too. It needed to be cheap and portable. I could have paid $1000 on a 14x24 hoop greenhouse that took half a day to assemble. I could have scoured craigslist for a used one for half the price, but one usually pays the price for buying used: incomplete parts, or it needs a new cover, etc.
I rent my shop. The owner stashed many long lengths of inch and a quarter schedule 40 PVC behind his barn. It wasn't getting used, and since it had been lying in the sun for a few seasons, it wasn't ever going to get used in a critical plumbing situation. I started rubbing my chin...
Four hours after the rubbing, I had this:
Its ugly, but its cheap, and with only a half day invested, its the epitome of farmer tech. I paced off the foundation, sinking rebar scraps into the ground every six of my actual feet. Then, eyeballing square, I paced another 14 feet across and sunk another row of five rebar scraps. Then I simply cut the pipe to length with a cordless sawzall and, slipping the PVC over the rebar, raised the "framing".
I was pleased with the utility of the method. Coming from a carpenter's background, I'm used to adhering to the maxim: "plumb, parallel and square". HAHAHAHA! I didn't even use a tape measure.
I've owned the World's Largest Tarp for ten years, a leftover from a remodel I did in 2000. It needed to be huge to cover the roof I had taken off. Afterwards, I coveted it....it was huge! And it cost me a hundred bucks! I'm not getting rid of this! Ten years later: the payoff. I unfolded the enormous tarp in a field (its bigger than a yard, one needs a field). Taking a deep breath, I cut it in half. Oh yeah, that took guts, I know! What you see here is only half of The Worlds Largest Tarp. I told you it was huge!
Square lashing with mason's twine I found unused in a tool bucket of mine:
The PVC is too wobbly, so I anchored it thus:
This getup prevents the whole works from blowing away:
I paid 2.99 for the blue plastic grommets at Harbor Freight.