Curved Spreader Bars?
So I was looking at a park in NYC that has public hammocks:
5 hammocks - 5! - for 8,175,133 people
and one park that may soon add some:
maybe 20 more... help is on the way
Not to speak anathema in a largely camping hammock forum, but the public demands spreader bars in their hammocks (they also need instructions on shampoo bottles and choking hazard warnings on Nerf products). But instead of a flat bar, is there any reason I couldn't/shouldn't experiment with a somewhat downward curved bar that better mimics the more comfortable and cocoon-like hug of our beloved camping hammocks?
Obviously, there is a lot of force shooting through those bars, and a curve would have to resists it all the more. But we have carbon fiber, space age alloys and whatnot. Also, it could be reinforced at the top by adding a flat bar across it. But are there any other practical concerns that I may have totally missed (the arc bending forward/back distorting the overall shape of the hammock, etc.)?
If you haven't guessed by now, I'm not much of an engineer or even a DIYer. Still, it seems like this add could make public or emplaced hammocks a ton more comfortable and stable.
Well. Next time I am a bum... Guess I'm gonna need to hitch to NYC! I don't think a curved spreader bar would change much. And it would be harder to get in and out of. I would disinfect those baby's before use. But what do I know? Try it and see.
Well, if it's a yard hammock, you could make a curved bar out of any hardwood and it would be fine for the forces involved, but it's rather easy to get a flat diagonal, even with a flat spreader bar, just lay on the diagonal, and they do what they do. Works fine for me.
Not a fan of spreader bars myself, but that's not what you asked! You could try it first with galvanized pipes or fence rail, diameter depending on your weight. Maybe a muffler shop would cut & bend them into arcs for you. Then make a simple flat hammock bed with wide hems on each end to slip the pipes into. You might need to attach the fabric near the ends of the bars to keep it from scrunching down toward the center of the arc. That could be a reasonably quick & inexpensive way to see if you like the feel of it before you invest a lot of time and money making the more aesthetically pleasing curved hardwood spreaders. Please let us know if you do this! :)
Thanks for your input. Will do.
Would the average park pedestrian come upon this? I know that I'd never think to lay diagonally until I was told to do so. I'm pretty sure that my experience is non-representative to anticipate a public reaction.
If I was putting up hammocks in a park, I would probably have some sort of placard describing the installation, with sponsors, "We'd like to thank" bits, and I'd probably put a picture of someone laying in the hammock (diagonally of course), and maybe people would pick up on it.
Flat spreader bar hammocks are passably comfortable even if you lay straight. In a park, most people wouldn't be laying in them for hours and hours on end, so it won't be terribly uncomfortable.
Depending on the material, one could even paint/dye/mark an outline of a lounging person on the body of the hammock to get the idea across.
That last sentence is a fantastic idea! It could be quite beautiful to place an outline/template/whatever on the hammock without adding one word to the park's long list of rules that amount to, "don't be an idiot." Thanks!