# Thread: Tree and/or post movement, ripped hammock

1. I got to thinking about the stresses on a pole used for hanging a hammock. If I remember correctly, each end of the hammock is carrying half the weight. I'm 220, plus clothes, hammock and accessories, so lets say 230 total and 115 on each end. It would be the same as rigging one of those timbers sideways with 6 feet sticking out over a fixed edge with 115 pounds hung on the tip, and there is some "bounce" involved too. I would know better than to try that, particularly with the low grade lumber.

2. What you want is some sort of overhead beam in compression, to take the load off of the uprights.

I built an arbor that is now covered with wisteria. Monkey bars for the kids would be a splendid solution, or, for the skilled craftsmen among us, a lich gate would be an easy sell to just about any wife.

3. Originally Posted by DaleW
I got to thinking about the stresses on a pole used for hanging a hammock. If I remember correctly, each end of the hammock is carrying half the weight. I'm 220, plus clothes, hammock and accessories, so lets say 230 total and 115 on each end. It would be the same as rigging one of those timbers sideways with 6 feet sticking out over a fixed edge with 115 pounds hung on the tip, and there is some "bounce" involved too. I would know better than to try that, particularly with the low grade lumber.
There's a few charts and graphs floating around HF that quantify the forces on each attachment point based on weight, the angle of the sag, etc. You've no doubt read that 30* is the preferred sag angle - that's because 30* puts the least tension (100% of the total weight, not 50%) on each point.

4. Originally Posted by oldgringo
What you want is some sort of overhead beam in compression, to take the load off of the uprights.

I built an arbor that is now covered with wisteria. Monkey bars for the kids would be a splendid solution, or, for the skilled craftsmen among us, a lich gate would be an easy sell to just about any wife.
I'm with you OG, putting a beam across the top would move the pressure so that it is trying to compress the beam instead of using the poles as giant levers.

Given the stresses that can be applied if the angle drops below 30* plus the leverage advantage of a 5 foot pole, it is not surprising to me that it could easily snap a 4x4.

A 16 foot span is quite a distance for a beam, so you are probably looking for at least a 2x8 to avoid sag in the beam.

5. I didn't want to go with an overhead beam so I was off to Home Despots to get a couple treated 4"x6"x10' timbers. I sunk them a full 3' and that takes care of the bending issues They were 8 times the cost, but solid. I'll have to string some lights and get some vines planted.

The 7' height gives me all kinds of room to experiment with hangs. For tonight's hangin' pleasure I'm test driving my new Warbonnet Traveler DL 1.1

It's pretty deluxe to set up on a patio with a table and an umbrella. I did a quick test and some experimenting with the Warbonnet straps and saw the biggest, brightest meteor ever with a big fat tail. It's nice to be under the stars with 0% chance of rain.

6. Put the fridge and tv out there too. Don't forget the remote!

7. ok,,,you guys posts had me looking at my 4 x 4 in the ground set in concrete 2 ft down,,8 ft total length,,so I put a guy wire of cable across the drive way to my electric pole and stablized it with that. now there is no stress on the pole when I hang the hammocks and its level on all 4 sides..works great,,I attached turnbuckle to a open hook in 4 x 4 and can take it down if want by loosening turnbuckle alittle. guy wire is way high enough so that no vehicle coming down driveway will hit it. works great.

8. ## Electrifying.

Originally Posted by cevans
ok,,,you guys posts had me looking at my 4 x 4 in the ground set in concrete 2 ft down,,8 ft total length,,so I put a guy wire of cable across the drive way to my electric pole and stablized it with that. now there is no stress on the pole when I hang the hammocks and its level on all 4 sides..works great,,I attached turnbuckle to a open hook in 4 x 4 and can take it down if want by loosening turnbuckle alittle. guy wire is way high enough so that no vehicle coming down driveway will hit it. works great.
All that follows is IMHO:

I would not attach anything to an electric utility pole. There is nothing to protect you, should something go wrong.

Better to stay at least 15 feet away from electric utility poles as well as the guy wires that support them.

Sometimes, lightning strikes electric utility poles. Anything attached to the pole (even something that normally is not a conductor) could form a conductive path for the lightning.

I would almost be willing to bet the electric company will tell you to remove anything you have attached to one of their poles.

9. Originally Posted by gargoyle
Put the fridge and tv out there too. Don't forget the remote!
My wifi is in range-- that's all I need A coffee pot would have been nice this morning. But then I would need a port-potty.....

All that follows is IMHO:

I would not attach anything to an electric utility pole. There is nothing to protect you, should something go wrong.
#1 on that, even if the pole is grounded. Having three linemen in the family, I know they would take the cutters to it. Take your guy wire to a short post. A turnbuckle would be good too.