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  1. #1
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    Idea for load bearing plate for indoor hang

    Hi everyone,

    I've got an idea that I want to run by the good folks here at the forum and if it looks like it will pan out, I'll make a prototype and share the results.

    My desire is to hang inside as an alternative to my regular bed. My concern is that I live in a townhouse and don't want to risk structural damage or injury to myself.

    The solution I'm proposing is creating a plate with multiple mounting locations that spans three wall studs. By using deck screws into three different studs, this distributes the weight of the hang on to a large area. By employing multiple mounting locations the weight of the hang is distributed to multiple parts of the plate.

    The design is made up of a sheet of 1" thick plywood measuring 34" wide and 24" tall, and a 1"x2" piece of hardwood 24" long. I've included a link to a crude mockup of the idea that I created in Google Sketchup.

    Flickr Image



    Here are my questions:
    1. Does anyone see any obvious flaws that I'm missing?
    2. Can anyone tell me if the materials I'm planning on using will be sufficient?
    3. Can anyone suggest any improvements?

    I look forward to any and all constructive criticism and to making something that can help anyone that wants to use it.

  2. #2
    gargoyle's Avatar
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    hmmm. that puts a LOT of stress on that 1x2 board??? I'd say icks-nay on the oard-bay.
    Ambulo tua ambulo.

  3. #3
    Senior Member nacra533's Avatar
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    I think many will be hesitant to say, "yeah, that will work" because of fear of you getting hurt or a presumed liablity for those that condone it.

    I try to look at projects like this with a comparison. A deck is hung on a ledger board, spreading X weight over a Y area. Weight being all vertical.

    The one thing that scares me is the requirement of using wood or drywall screws to attach the main support to the studs combined with the hammock pull tying to pull the screws from the studs.

    Think of it vertically, if you hung a swing from the ceiling, would your plywood and screws hold it???

    All this to say, I have not felt comfortable building a hanging setup screwed into studs, although my engineering background and pictures of others bedroom setups tell me otherwise.

  4. #4
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    nacra533,

    I agree that the pull would best be vertical, but with a hammock that isn't practical.

    Can anyone think of a better way to distribute the weight of the hammock so as not to overload a single stud?

    I'm really trying to avoid using stand(s) so we can hang two hammocks in the room. Placing two stands in the bedroom would prevent any foot traffic in the room. So, I'm working on how to hang two hammocks in the room. With the main door and a bathroom door both being on the same wall, it would be best to hang them in an "L" formation along two walls.

    Any ideas?

  5. #5
    Senior Member pedro's Avatar
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    I'd go with a 2 x 4 board. I'd also use 1/8 plywood spacers at your attachment points rather than routing out the board. My $0.02
    "Interesting! No, wait, the other thing.....tedious!"- Bender Bending Rodriques

  6. #6
    Senior Member hippofeet's Avatar
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    Propellerhead,

    i am new to the forums, but have a solid construction background (10 yr millwright).

    Go for it. 1 inch ply is solid, if you can manage to get the screws into three studs I see no problems. I would go long on the screws, and take care to get them well centered in the studs. If it does break? Big deal. your butt hurts and you patch some holes. I cannot see you jerking three studs out of the wall. I would not hesitate to put one fat eyelette screw in 1 stud and hang on it. but thats me. I wish I could talk my gf into something like that for the bedroom.

  7. #7
    Senior Member MedicineMan's Avatar
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    I think it would be cool if you could put the plate on the opposite of the wall, maybe a plate that is longer and more narrow and could span 5 studs! Then on the hanging wall drill a hole through and into the plate, could find a decorative thimble (even make one out of something), something holow with a flange for the hole in the sheet rock..run the hammock suspension through and a simple toggle through the eye of the suspension.
    Then get a piece of art work a little longer, wider for the side with the plate...since the plate is under tension when you are in the hammock you only need enough screws to hold it in place when no one is in the hammock...less screws holes to patch if you move and 5 stud span will def. hold you.....that said you might (but I doubt it) pull the entier wall out of square.

  8. #8
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    I'm no engineer or even very crafty but... I've been hanging inside for about two months now. Big eye bolt in opposite corners (thinking diagonal stress would be better than straight across), up high, hanging low (more downward stress than pulling-the-stud-out-of-the-wall stress, I hope). I'm far from being light and have had no problems. But my apartment is **** old and probably better build than newer ones. Like hippofeet said, if it pulls out, just have to patch the wall. Even I'm confident in doing that.

  9. #9
    in it for the naps oldgringo's Avatar
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    There are screws, and then, there are screws. Drywall screws, and earlier deck screws can be stripped or broken with a screw gun if you aren't careful.

    The newer torx drive deck screws have awesome holding power, and are tough. They don't strip out, and are tough...if you keep driving, the head will suck down all the way through a treated yellow pine 2x. They are available in lengths long enough to take advantage of the full depth of a stud.

    I honestly think you could destroy a wall with a couple of these things, before they failed.

    My recurring fear relating to hanging from walls, is windows and doors that won't open and close properly. This fear is supported with absolutely zero empirical evidence, however.
    Last edited by oldgringo; 03-24-2010 at 04:36.
    Dave

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  10. #10
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    I like the concept. 1" plywood is very strong, and will distribute the load over three studs, as you intend. I would glue the board as well as screw it. Like OldGringo said, get high quality screws. I also like the idea of extending the board all the way to the floor. You could face it with plywood all the way, making it very strong. Fasten it to the center stud all the way down. It will work just like a T-jack, but with a hanging load instead of a load on top.
    "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." - Ben Franklin
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