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Hammock designs.
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Kyle Purcell
(dufus934) - F

Locale: North Texas
Hammock designs. on 12/06/2007 21:31:26 MST Print View

going to give this a shot and don't want to go at it blind the first time. let me know of any quality plans out there. Also, since there is so much experience represented on this forum, any hammock making and using dos and don'ts would be much appreciated.

Casey Cardwell
(Niles) - MLife

Locale: On the Dirt in Oregon
Re: Hammock designs. on 12/06/2007 23:01:52 MST Print View

I've made lots of hammocks, so I'll chime in here. The ultimate goal for me is to be able to lay flat. The two best designs that I've seen for accomplishing this is the bridge hammock and the asymmetrical design. I feel too cramped in a bridge hammock, so I like the asym.

Really, the absolute most key thing (in my experience) is getting the gathering right at the ends. I start with a large rectangle (longer than you'd think), mark the tie out points (asym), gather the ends (you can optionally sew the two edges of the ends together here for several inches), place a length of cord in the middle of the gather at each end for the ridgeline tie out points, and then whip the ends together.

As for the gathering, some people like to just halfhazzardly collect all the fabric and whip it together. I like to make very meticulous folds (each successive fold bringing the outside edges to the center point). If your gather is off, you'll end up with really awkward tension lines.

I like to make the ridgeline adjustable so I can set the amount of sag I want on the fly. I do this with a taughtline hitch.

But now for the ultimate secret! On my asym hammocks I put pockets for a spreader bar (for which is use my trekking poles). This makes the hammock way more livable, and reduces any of those awkward tension lines you might have from construction.

Here are some pictures:

I know that's a lot of vague information, but I hope it helps.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Spreader Bars on 12/07/2007 06:47:06 MST Print View

Hi Casey, nice hammock work! I've also made a lot of hammocks and have been playing with the hiking-pole-spreader-bar idea (most of mine are at the head and foot ends, though three of them are single, like yours). Two concerns, though. One of the goals for my spreader poles was to create a flat surface like in traditional spreader bar hammocks, but the problem is how to get the hammock to continue to be stable enough for wilderness use, due to the tendency of the hammock flipping over at the fulcrum. I like your idea, but it doesn't seem to address the issue of the hammock walls squeezing you in.

The other concern is how did you get the fabric at the pole pockets to allow enough looseness so that when you lie in the hammock the spreader poles don't push so hard into the hammock fabric that the fabric rips? That's a big problem I've found. Your body weight is just too much for the hammock and the spreader bars. Unless your spreader bars don't take any of the tension?

Also, what pattern did you use for the hammock bug-netting? I can't seem to find the right combination of edge angles so that the netting is in tension over me when I lie in the hammock. Is it simply a mirror of the hammock?

Thanks for the pictures!


Edited by butuki on 12/07/2007 06:49:12 MST.

Casey Cardwell
(Niles) - MLife

Locale: On the Dirt in Oregon
Re: Spreader Bars on 12/07/2007 12:56:20 MST Print View

Hey Miguel,

I don't think I understand what you mean about the walls squeezing in. With the spreader bar in place the walls are held apart and can't squeeze in.

As for keeping the hammock from flipping I did a couple things. I made a bottom entry just like Hennessy hammocks use, and having the sides of the hammock staked to the ground (albeit with stretchy cord). With these two things in place I've never had a problem with tipping, or even coming close to tipping.

For the spreader bar pockets I used ballistic nylon and made them specifically for my poles. One end fits the handle, the other fits the tip. And I sewed one side of the pocket to the hammock, and the other side to the bug netting.

I had a fair amount of trouble with the bug netting too. There are no patterns that I know about for getting it to work, so I just set the hammock up and draped the netting over and pinned it in place. The end result was really nice. And it isn't a mirror of the hammock. It is significantly narrower.

Casey Cardwell
(Niles) - MLife

Locale: On the Dirt in Oregon
Re: Hammock designs. on 12/09/2007 01:39:56 MST Print View

Here's a link to a good whipping tutorial for an asym hammock:

Jason Turner
(headchange4u) - F
Making a hammock on 12/14/2007 12:59:46 MST Print View

Look at Jeff's site in the Homemade gear section for some great instructions on making a basic hammock:

I also have a tutorial on making a DIY Hennessy Hammock:

There is also some articles on about a new design on hammocks, called a Bridge Hammock. This hammock is a tottally new concept in hammock design, and it allows you to lay perfectly flat and also allows you to sleep on your stomach, which is very hard to do with most hammocks.

How to make a Bridge Hammock:

A lengthy article on making a Bridge Hammock and accessories (7 part article):

Casey Cardwell
(Niles) - MLife

Locale: On the Dirt in Oregon
Re: Making a hammock on 12/14/2007 13:21:07 MST Print View

Yeah, Jason's tutorial is exactly what I used to make my asym hammock in the pictures above. It's an awesome resource!

Here's another link that discusses a different whipping technique for asym hammocks, if you decide to go that route:

Kyle Hetzer
(Ghost93) - F

Locale: Western MD
Making a Hammock on 12/17/2007 20:14:35 MST Print View

So Far, I've made 5 hammcoks so far. Some were test models, others are more substantal models. My current setup is a modified zHammock designed by Risk. I just made mine wider than Risks. Here's a Link . Also got to to find a huge archive of hammocking info, especially on DIY models.