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  1. #1

    First DIY Bridge – Rope Arc Support Question

    A couple of weeks ago I made a GE hammock and a 2x4 hammock stand based on the info that I learned from this forum. I whipped it and whipped it good a bunch of different ways. It was ok and I liked it, but I really liked the possibilities that I saw in the bridge design.
    So, I built my first bridge hammock this weekend. I finished all the sewing, rigged up some spreader bars and set it up to test for a few minutes last night. I guess the good part was it did not drop me but I found my design flaw in using Amsteel instead of webbing the arcs. I stitched the rope in the material like one would stitch piping in furniture, but with stretch from my weight the fabric would bunch up.
    I did not sew the rope to the fabric as I have seen done with the webbing. I guess my question is, do I need to sew the entire length of rope to the fabric? How has others done this? I was thinking maybe I would sew a few inches at the ends (corners)? Any suggestions/insight would be appreciated.
    I want to say thanks to all of you that put information out here for all to read and see. The videos are incredible and the design ideas are enough to keep me experimenting for years. I have to admit that once I started reading the 2 gazillion posts in the bridge design thread, I almost could not put it down. I had to stop and go build one when I realized I needed reading glasses….

  2. #2
    Senior Member GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenDen View Post
    A couple of weeks ago I made a GE hammock and a 2x4 hammock stand based on the info that I learned from this forum. I whipped it and whipped it good a bunch of different ways. It was ok and I liked it, but I really liked the possibilities that I saw in the bridge design.
    So, I built my first bridge hammock this weekend. I finished all the sewing, rigged up some spreader bars and set it up to test for a few minutes last night. I guess the good part was it did not drop me but I found my design flaw in using Amsteel instead of webbing the arcs. I stitched the rope in the material like one would stitch piping in furniture, but with stretch from my weight the fabric would bunch up.
    I did not sew the rope to the fabric as I have seen done with the webbing. I guess my question is, do I need to sew the entire length of rope to the fabric? How has others done this? I was thinking maybe I would sew a few inches at the ends (corners)? Any suggestions/insight would be appreciated.
    I want to say thanks to all of you that put information out here for all to read and see. The videos are incredible and the design ideas are enough to keep me experimenting for years. I have to admit that once I started reading the 2 gazillion posts in the bridge design thread, I almost could not put it down. I had to stop and go build one when I realized I needed reading glasses….
    Welcome KenDen!
    At least a couple of people, including the amazing dblhmmck I think, have sewn the cord to the fabric throughout and report success.
    My trick was to sew a small loop of webbing right where the cord
    emerges from the hammock and tie the cord end there. That keeps the hammock body from sliding towards the middle.

    You can kind of see it in this photo


    The green cord is the suspension, comes to the white loop and is tied down, then continues on to do more suspension stuff.

    TeeDee has a super-secret way of doing this too but he ain't telling.
    Grizz
    (alias ProfessorHammock on youtube)

  3. #3
    Thanks Grizz, that is a quick fix so that I will try it out. I suspect that the suspension (arc) cord will still slide in the sleeve from the forces from your weight/movement. Did you notice if this internal movement seemed to affect the way the hammock lays as compared to one where you have used webbing that is fully stitched?



    TeeDee has a super-secret way of doing this too but he ain't telling
    – That is the best way I know to keep a secret….


    Ken

  4. #4
    Senior Member GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenDen View Post
    Thanks Grizz, that is a quick fix so that I will try it out. I suspect that the suspension (arc) cord will still slide in the sleeve from the forces from your weight/movement. Did you notice if this internal movement seemed to affect the way the hammock lays as compared to one where you have used webbing that is fully stitched?



    – That is the best way I know to keep a secret….


    Ken
    I pulled the body pretty taut over the channel cord before tying it off. The channels are nylon so they must stretch a little, but not so much that I'd notice.
    Grizz
    (alias ProfessorHammock on youtube)

  5. #5
    hangnout's Avatar
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    I sewed it in all the way like I would webbing. I sewed the amsteel along the raw edge, then rolled the edge about 3/4". This put the amsteel about 3/4" from the top edge. Rolled again putting the amsteel back on edge. This formed a edge with 3 layers of material 3/4" wide and amsteel along the top. This allows me to have an area to sew tabs etc that has 3 layers for support.

    This has been my go to hammock the last year or so and I have had no problems with stress etc. I was worried about not getting the amsteel sewn on right and having it pull stitching out the first time loaded but I either got lucky or the sewing was enough to keep amsteel from lengthening like normal when the weave tightens up under load.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the help. I sewed four strips of amsteel into the corners and that seemed to work well. It was interesting seeing how the amsteel flattened out after being sewn. I managed to spend a few minutes trying to get ridge lines and spreader adjustments dialed in before it got too dark.

  7. #7
    dblhmmck's Avatar
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    At least a couple of people, including the amazing dblhmmck I think, have sewn the cord to the fabric throughout and report success.
    I laughed out loud at that reference! Grizz is always giving credit to others... Perhaps I did report success, but I really should tell you, it wasn't 100% true in all cases.

    KenDen, I see you have already attached the amsteel at the corners, but I am not sure how the remainder was attached. Sorry, I was late finding this thread, but I'll include some detail on my experiences anyway.

    I've sewn the cord into the lateral hems on at least four of my hammocks. But, the very first time that I tried it I had problems. I didn't do any pinning of the fabric. (This was in my first month of learning to sew.) As I worked my way down the cat cut edge. I was pulling the fabric too much in an attempt to keep the cord taut. I ended up with some ugly rolling in a couple of places Which actually seemed to cause a mismatch of over an inch of length between the two sides. Lesson learned; either pin or make sure fabric is not being stretched when stitching.

    In later hammocks, I formed a rolled hem in the fabric edge first. Then I attached grossgrain (or something similar) to the rolled hem. The cord was then encased in the grossgrain. This method seems to take an extra step, but perhaps requires less skill. The rolling of the fabric is easier when the cord is not inside.

    But, I believe the way hangNout did it seems to be a better way, because it is simpler, lighter, and saves the cost of the ribbon. Just be sure to keep from making the mistake that I did on my first try.
    Last edited by dblhmmck; 03-31-2010 at 14:07.
    Designer of the Semi-Gathered Bridge hammock

  8. #8
    Yeah I pondered how I was going to hem a curve. I found that Sharpies are great for putting a hem in the right place. I used the sharpie to mark the cut lines when I was laying out the fabric. Then I drew a line for each fold and one for each stitch line. Worked real well for me.

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