For the benefit of some of our younger ministers, who have had little or no experience in pitching an evangelistic tent, I shall here outline a few helpful suggestions, and the procedure in erecting a 40 x 60 tent. First of all, clear away the tall weeds, rubbish, etc., on the lot, and care for whatever leveling may be necessary. The type of tent we will deal with here is in three pieces, which lace together, and is raised by means of block and tackle and bail ring. Note the three major steps.
1. The space selected should be about 70 x 90, which allows 15 feet all around the tent for guy lines and stakes.
2. The center poles should be 20 feet apart. This is the width of the center splice. The poles are laid on the ground with the butt or large end of the pole to the center of tent. Pull out the blocks and tackles, and hook the block with the double pulley in the eyebolt at the end of the pole. There are six long guy lines, each with an eye splice in one end. Three of these ropes should be slipped over or made fast to the end of the center pole which has the eyebolt. There are two round iron rings called bail rings, one for each pole. Slip these rings over the butt ends of the poles. The block and tackle with the single pulley should be hooked in the small ring on the bail ring provided for that purpose.
(See PDF for Diagram)
To square the tent with the center poles, the four stakes (5a) should be laid out to form a rectangle, and so should the center splice. The two end stakes (5b) should form a straight line with the center poles.
Three guy stakes should be driven in, as shown in Diagram A, forming a triangular support to each main pole. These guy stakes should be driven in about 35 feet away from the center poles. Drive four or five temporary stakes at the butt end of the main poles for a buttress. Then tie the extreme ends of two guy lines to their respective guy stakes, allowing enough slack to raise the center pole. Next, raise the center pole to an upright position, and tie the third guy line to the third guy stake of the triangle. Have one man on each guy line to steady the pole as it is raised, and to hold on and tie his guy line firmly so that the pole will not fall.
3. Spread the tent out on the ground, placing each section in its relative position to the center poles, with the middle piece or splice between the center poles. Take the attached, heavy short ropes and tie the tent securely to the bail rings, uniformly around the complete, circle of the ring.
4. Lace the sections together, beginning from the top. Be sure that each lacing loop is made secure by the next loop below it. As the sections are being laced together, you will find, every five or six feet, heavy cross bands or reinforcement ropes to be tied or snapped together.
5. Pull all the wall ropes out from the tent at right angles to the tent. Drive a stake for each of the wall ropes about eight feet out from the edge of tent for a nine-foot wall. Tie the wall ropes to the stakes, leaving the ropes slack so as to allow enough length for the wall poles when in upright position.
6. Take the wall poles and shove them under the tent, with the pins to the outside. Put the pins in the pole holes, and raise the outside of the tent about 6 feet, leaving the poles on a slant. Do this all around the tent.
7. Send two men under the tent, one to each center pole, and then by means of the block and tackle, pull the peaks of the tent fairly well up toward the top of the poles.
8. Go back and straighten the wall poles into an upright position. Then tighten all the wall ropes, thus drawing the edge of the tent out to its full circumference. These wall ropes will need to be tightened several times until the tent and ropes cease to stretch.
9. Then pull up the peaks of the tent to their full height, so that the top is tight and even.
10. As the wall comes in sections, the opening can be made at any point on the tent desired. Start the wall in proper position by snapping the snaps in the rings on the edge of the tent.