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  1. #1
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    Turtledog Hammock Stand Troubles

    I recently finished building a version of the Turtledog stand following the example here https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...urtleDog-Stand. Here is a picture of the two tripods: image6.jpeg.

    I am using the suggested chain-link fence top rail in three pieces. Two pieces with the tapered ends are 6' and the center piece is 4' to create a 16' length. I need the 16' to hang my WO Ridgerunner Hammock. Here is a pic of the setup: image5.jpeg

    It should also be known that I weigh about 220 pounds.

    Here are the troubles I have been having. Initially I hung my whoopie sling over the center pole resting on the eyebolt as seen here (ignore the tree strap): image3.jpeg I got int the hammock and the center pole immediately bent down towards the ground and slightly bent the center '4 section.

    As my second attempt I added a second eyebolt behind the one that attached to the tripod and connected the hammock the eyebolt with a carabiner like so: image2 (1).jpeg The slightest downward pressure on the hammock arced the center pole upwards to the sky. I was afraid even try to get in to the hammock at this point.

    I tried attaching a tree strap to the spring clip attached to the tripod and feeding it through the lower eyebolt like this: image1 (1).jpeg I let my son (70 pounds) try this and it looked better, so got in the hammock. It bent the center section fairly significantly and I ended up sitting on the ground. Pic of aftermath: image4.jpeg

    I also thought about trying to attach the hammock directly to the spring clip like this: image0.jpeg but the slightest pressure seems to really tweak everything.

    (Sorry about the pics being sideways. they look normal on my computer.)

    I don't know if I am doing something wrong or if it is just too much weight over the long distance and the top rail is just not strong enough. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    gargoyle's Avatar
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    Not all toprail is created equal. As with anything manufactured, the suppliers try to scrimp for profit.
    Try to find a thicker gauge steel toprail would be my suggestion.

    Now that the section is bent, it is useless in this application. Toss it!
    Ambulo tua ambulo.

  3. #3
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gargoyle View Post
    Not all toprail is created equal. As with anything manufactured, the suppliers try to scrimp for profit.
    Try to find a thicker gauge steel top rail would be my suggestion.

    Now that the section is bent, it is useless in this application. Toss it!
    That was also my first thought: something wrong with the top rail, not as strong as normal. I did bend a top rail once way back years ago, when I added a joint to extend length from 10 to 15 ft. But I'm pretty sure it bent at the joint, and not as much as yours. After that I found various ways of beefing up the joints. First I bought a larger diameter fence upright, cut it down and made a sleeve to go over the joint. At a similar weight as you, no more bends over several years. Other times, I have place a wooden toggle inside the top rail in the area of the joints. Currently, I am using these https://www.lowes.com/pd/Blue-Hawk-A...Sleeve/3160769 to brace one joint on a 15 foot top rail and a seemingly stronger version I found here: http://tarps.com/fittings2.htm

    I got the idea for those particular sleeves here: https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...od-style-stand
    I have had no noticeable flexion for over a year with this current set up.I don't know if beefing up the joints with the splicer thingies is needed, but I did bend one at the joint one time, so I take no chances. But did yours bend at a joint?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Something you might consider is shortening your dog bones by about 6". The ones I use on my Ridgerunner are 36" long and didn't seem to change the hang noticeably but shortened the top pole of my pipe stand by a foot.

  5. #5
    cougarmeat's Avatar
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    Couple of things - I didn't see "keeper" line to prevent the tripod legs from spreading. Maybe that's done by the hardware (hinge) on top?

    You didn't mention the angle of your Ridge Runner hang. We know GE's like about 30 degrees and WB says about 25 degrees for their bridge. if you get shallower than that, really large forces can develop. So maybe the hang angle was too slight.

    I understand the desire to go to 16 ft but the apex connectors on the ridge runner only need to be about 13 ft apart. One friend perfers them at 12 ft. So you could shorten that 16 ft by quite a bit - say 14 - 15 ft.

    Be careful about shortening the ridge runner suspension lines. As they get shorter, the stress on the spreader poles get larger. Brandon could have made them any length. There's a reason they come the length they are.
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

  6. #6
    New Member
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    Thanks for the advice. I did not have the keeper lines added in the first picture, but I did add them before attempting to hang.

    I will check on the angle. I have just eyeballed when I hang in trees. I may have to get more precise with the TD Stands. I may be able to shorten the distance. I was following the advice from a specific post about using the TD Stands with the Ridgerunner. I am going to continue to experiment. I think I may be able to slide 1-1/4" conduit over the top rail so I may try that as a reinforcement.

  7. #7
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    I think hanging the hammock from eyebolts exacerbates the problem. Every other turtledog variant I've seen has the hammock connected to the ridgepole primarily with cordage, putting the inward shear forces "inside" or just outside the body of the ridgepole.

    When you use hard connection points like this that are away from the body of the ridgepole, I think you introduce a torque-like situation where each inward shear force is attempting to "rotate" its end of the ridgepole around the ridgepole's [lengthwise] center.

  8. #8
    Senior Member jeff-oh's Avatar
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    Yep, you will bend the top bar every time with this set up. You are basically taking a thin wall pole 16 feet long unsupported pole and hanging off the end. The referenced link shows the hammock hanging from the tripod and the pole is placed in compression only. The way you are loading up the pole is putting all kinds of bending moment into it.

    I am not surprised it buckled. The eye-bolts are your problem. They are multiplying the load and driving the bending moment. Particularly when you hang from one side and attach the tripod to the other.

  9. #9
    Senior Member jeff-oh's Avatar
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    This is a fun little design problem. I think you can salvage your work for the most part. I would recommend a couple of changes.
    1) Reverse the Eye-bolt positions. (i.e. flip the end poles over.) Hammock on the inside and stand to the outside. This will make the moments counter-act and cancel each other rather than adding.
    2) Bring the eye of the eye bolt as close to the pole as possible to shorten the lever affect as much as possible.
    3) Shorten your pole length as much as possible.

    This should reduce the moment load significantly. At 16 feet the critical bending load is only 300lbs. Thus assuming everything is perfect you would still only have a margin of safety of 0.37. That is pretty low for something to hang from.
    Going to a 14 Foot span increased the MS to .8 and 12' it is nearly 1.5.

    Anyway good luck with your project. I am confident you'll get it to work.
    Here are my calculation: Assumed a 250lb load, top rail of Dia: 1.315" Thickness: .072". Hang angle 30*. Dimensions as depicted.
    Untitled.png

  10. #10
    Us5Camp's Avatar
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    Although I never saw the bending you did (mine bowed maybe 4-6")... I think my top rail of 2 fence post sections are 7' each... I strengthened the center joint section w/ about a 2' piece of aluminum angle. That flattened it right out. I may have been hanging my hammock at the time from one of the bolts pictured... since then I've reduced the bending moment by hanging my whoopies for the hammock from the same eye bolt that suspends the rail (see last picture), using a piece of inner-tube to help distribute the forces on the whoopie loop.
    The eye bolts on the ends that are facing downward are where I attach my tarp. Good luck... you're mostly there.... the extra long 16' length probably requires a little strengthening.

    The downward eye bolts on the Al angle are solely to provide tool-less disassembly and no sharp edges facing down toward the tarp.

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    Last edited by Us5Camp; 11-01-2019 at 09:28.

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