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  1. #1
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    Question: Hammock Design

    I need some wisdom from the group. I'm doing a DIY open air hammock and want to do something more than a traditional rectangle design. From what I've seen there are a few options that are popular:
    1: Curve the foot and maybe the head out 3 inches
    2: Cut the head/foot in a parallelogram
    3: Add a foot box

    I'm working with a 4 yard piece of robic 1.2 (67 inches wide)and am shooting for a finished length of between 10ft 6-8 inches (I'm 5 10 and 150 of that helps). A problem I currently have is that my quilt falls out so regardless I'll do a knotty mod on the head and foot. I also have some calf ridge tension I'd like to dial back if possible. Right now I'm leaning towards curving the foot out 3 inches (sewn channel) and knotty mod at head and either a foot box or KM at foot but wanted to seek opinions before I get started.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    GilligansWorld's Avatar
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    Following. I've made four hammocks so far but I've always stuck to the traditional rectangular design. I love how wide it is however that wall of fabric has been an issue. Mine are wider than your standard width as I added fabric to the sides - and mine are Long too - 11.75'

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    Last edited by GilligansWorld; 04-11-2019 at 19:35.
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  3. #3
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    Foot boxes are sewn into the net, not the hammock, so I'd mark #3 off the list.
    I'm not convinced the parallelogram makes any difference as I've read that it gets stretched into a rectangle in use anyway, but it may simulate a slightly wider fabric than it actually is in doing so, because the cut end you gather measures slightly longer. But I think the 67" wide fabric your using will be plenty wide cut rectangular.
    Cat cuts improve visibility if that is what your after. But I do wonder how well they work with a knotty mod, and I think it would exacerbate your quilt falling off the edge issue.
    So my piece of wisdom, garnered only from reading what others have done, would be to stick with a rectangular and be innovative elsewhere. It seems calf-ridge issues are often solved with different length RL and/or raising the foot end as much as 16" higher than the head.

  4. #4
    Herder of Cats OutandBack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsjustbusiness999 View Post
    I need some wisdom from the group. I'm doing a DIY open air hammock and want to do something more than a traditional rectangle design. From what I've seen there are a few options that are popular:
    1: Curve the foot and maybe the head out 3 inches
    2: Cut the head/foot in a parallelogram
    3: Add a foot box

    I'm working with a 4 yard piece of robic 1.2 (67 inches wide)and am shooting for a finished length of between 10ft 6-8 inches (I'm 5 10 and 150 of that helps). A problem I currently have is that my quilt falls out so regardless I'll do a knotty mod on the head and foot. I also have some calf ridge tension I'd like to dial back if possible. Right now I'm leaning towards curving the foot out 3 inches (sewn channel) and knotty mod at head and either a foot box or KM at foot but wanted to seek opinions before I get started.
    Thanks
    Holy Cow you've been a member for 10 years and this is just your 74th post? Where have you been man? We miss you.
    If you can lengthen your hammock you will move the calf ridge out of the way of your left leg.
    I am really interested in your new design ideas and I hope you can post your progress with some picts.
    Varying the gatherends allows you to make changes that are not perminent as you try different foot curves.

    That whole foot box thing is kind of a myth it is just how the bug net is sewn on.

    Here is a picture of the source of calf ridge. The longer the hammock the easier it is to move your legs away from it.
    HTH

    Last edited by OutandBack; 04-10-2019 at 22:58.

  5. #5
    Creating a convex curve on the ends will lengthen the middle and shorten the sides. Net result will be tight sides with high sidewalls. I don’t recommend this. It is uncomfortable and prone to tearing.

    My experiments with paralellogramming the body lead me to believe that it doesn’t actually do much. It changes the fabric bias slightly and creates a wider body, but not more comfortable. Choice of fabric may yield different results. If you want to try this, be sure to order your fabric 2 feet longer than normal.

    I recommend you whip the ends to find what you like before committing to a design. Whipping can be done, undone, or fine tuned in just a couple of minutes with no sewing required.

  6. #6
    MAD777's Avatar
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    I cut my hammocks with a 3" curve only at the foot end, otherwise rectangular cut, such that the centerline is longer than the edges. This slightly tensions the edges, which is also the goal of the Knotty mod. I believe this reduces the calf ridge. For backpacking, I like a 54" wide hammock, 11' long. BTW, I'm 6'-1" and 190 lbs.

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  7. #7
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    Yeah I wish I was more active here but had 2 kids back to back and am just now starting to get back to old hobbies. I'll be sure to post progress and am looking forward hearing everyone's thoughts.

  8. #8
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    When I whip the ends, I effectively make a cat cut on the head/foot end. Makes a tippier hammock but a flatter lay when dealing with wide fabrics. Usually 1.5 - 3 inches per end gets the feel I like. I have not been able to replicate that feel with sewn ends (a personal sewing deficit I do imagine...). SLD uses a 3" cat cut on the ends on their streamliner I think.

    Its easy to overdo it and make a bad ridge under the butt. If you do it, whip it and try before sewing.

    I mean cat cut, into the body. Not a convex curve that makes the center longer. Iv done that too with the outside 6". Makes the hammock feel much more secure, knotty mod type feeling. Good for youngins who roll around alot. Not so good for us tall people that need to make use of the wide fabric.

  9. #9
    Senior Member SteelToe's Avatar
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    I just did a bunch of experimenting along these lines. I used a whipped end to play with different end shapes until I was flat & comfortable. Then, I marked off all areas of slack fabric, and the fabric ahead of the knot. I was trying to empirically find the ideal end & side shapes.

    The result? Both ends were square within an inch. From the center to the head end, the sides were parallel at 48". From center to the feet, it flared out along one side to 65".

    So, the simple rectangle just happens to be pretty close to ideal. The wide foot end serves to make the sides more slack, effectively tensioning the center, and raising the user's butt to make the lay flatter. An arc shaped end would do the same, but by directly raising the centerline, resulting in a more "unstable" hammock floor that stuff tends to fall out of.
    www.hammockforums.net --I get it!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelToe View Post
    I just did a bunch of experimenting along these lines. I used a whipped end to play with different end shapes until I was flat & comfortable. Then, I marked off all areas of slack fabric, and the fabric ahead of the knot. I was trying to empirically find the ideal end & side shapes.

    The result? Both ends were square within an inch. From the center to the head end, the sides were parallel at 48". From center to the feet, it flared out along one side to 65".

    So, the simple rectangle just happens to be pretty close to ideal. The wide foot end serves to make the sides more slack, effectively tensioning the center, and raising the user's butt to make the lay flatter. An arc shaped end would do the same, but by directly raising the centerline, resulting in a more "unstable" hammock floor that stuff tends to fall out of.

    Not a surprise! A simple sewn channel hammock - the vast majority of the ones on the market - are just that. Simple rectangle.

    There is something satisfying about getting to your desired lay from your own trial and error. Even if it's about where you may have expected to end up.

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