Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How to make a hammock with stand in 45 minutes

This guide shows how to make a hammock with stand, including how to do the knots, the rows and more.

Materials Needed

– 60×126 in Crinkle Taffeta Tablecloth
– Continuous rope loops
4 - 4"x4"x10" posts
12 - lag bolts (I think I had 3.5") & washers
8 - 2" eye bolts w/ wood thread (wooden hammock stand)
3 - 3" eye bolts w/ wood thread
4 - turnbuckles
- aircraft cable (I used high-tensile climbing rope, which has some acceptable give to it.)
- compound mitre saw (what I used) / chop saw / hand saw
- sockets to fit the lag bolt you choose
- drill and/or socket wrench
- 1" spade bit
- a spade bit - slightly larger than the diameter of your lag bolt
- a wood drill bit - slightly smaller than the diameter of the threads on your lag bolts
- measuring tape
- sharp knife
- small leverage bar to aid in threading eye-bolts into wood

Step 1: Make a hammock

The tablecloths come pre-hammed on all the edges, so all that needs to be done to convert them into a hammock is to whip the ends (gather them up) and wrap a continuous loop around the bundle. The video illustrates the “W” whipping method where the end of the hammock is folded in a unique way to create the end bundle.
how to make a hammock

The second method illustrated in the video demonstrates sewing a narrow channel on the ends and using a zip tie to gather the hammock before the continuous loop is used to whip the end.
The final method I discuss briefly is sewing a channel where the suspension is threaded through.

Step 2: Design & Cuts

Over a few weeks I would sketch out possible designs for my stand. Unfortunately I didn't keep any of them, but the basis of the winning design was in my head.
Design & Cuts

I used Google's Sketchup to get definitive angles and distances. Unfortunately my mitre saw wouldn't cut the angle I had hoped, so I made it up.
The main horizontal beam sits inside the notched  "legs" perpendicular to it.
See pictures for more description.

Step 3: Assembly

I set all the pieces up loosely so I could measure it out and make sure that it would fit in my living room.

Thankfully, the notches I cut  in the "legs" were snug enough that it made for a good press-fit against the main horizontal beam, and holds the structure upright without support. This will also help later, when the turn-buckles are tightened.

Step 4: Final Touches

I had actually purchased aircraft-cable for lateral stabilization. Turns out I didn't have any tools that will cut the cable, so I was in a bind. BUT, I did have some good quality climbing rope, so that's what I used instead.

I've got it pretty tight, but it seems to work. I'm about 155lbs, and it's very stable with my weight swinging back and forth. The test will be when friends have had a few "beverages" and climb in together. If it moves too much or the rope breaks, I'll switch to the wire cable.

For greatest stability, the turnbuckle should have been connected to the main vertical beam, at a higher point. This would mean sliding the stabilizing beam further outwards. I didn't, because I thought that it would impede with furniture already in my living room. Turns out that it wouldn't, and I could have. So far it has been stable enough not to worry about.

Once again, pilot holes were drilled, and the larger 3" eye bolts were threaded in. My pilot holes are small enough that you can't turn them in by hand, but with some sort of pry bar (large screwdriver in my case) they can be turned in. I wanted the fit to be nice and snug, for maximum "grabbage", but not so small that you would worry about splitting wood.

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