# Thread: The Edison Hammock (failure on a shaped footbox)

1. ## The Edison Hammock (failure on a shaped footbox)

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~Thomas Edison

Haha...so I had a stupid idea. I know...first time in the history of men. I wanted to shape a footbox, and I had this idea a long time ago but never made it, and I finally got around to it. Only it doesn't work.

I cut two V's out of the right side of the hammock body, then sewed the two sides of each V to itself, which shaped the hammock...it basically made more room for where the feet lay than should be allowed by the amount of material on the long edge. That's what I wanted, and I think it worked.

The problem is that design makes the seams run parallel to the stretching force that basically runs down the ridgeline. So as soon as I laid in the hammock, I remembered this...it's the same principle I used on the insulated hammocks years ago. (I remembered b/c I could see thru the seam as soon as I laid in the hammock...so I didn't stay in there very long!) I feel like an idiot for not remembering it this time!

Named in honor of Edison...I found another way that doesn't work, so for the record you can subtract one from infinity. I'll probably just cut off the shaped part and have a short hammock.

But I have another idea to create a shaped footbox that doesn't violate this principle...have to see how much weight it adds, though.

Here are a couple of pics with the diagram and dimensions.
http://www.tothewoods.net/HomemadeGe...onHammock.html

2. Originally Posted by Just Jeff
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~Thomas Edison

Haha...so I had a stupid idea. I know...first time in the history of men. I wanted to shape a footbox, and I had this idea a long time ago but never made it, and I finally got around to it. Only it doesn't work.

I cut two V's out of the right side of the hammock body, then sewed the two sides of each V to itself, which shaped the hammock...it basically made more room for where the feet lay than should be allowed by the amount of material on the long edge. That's what I wanted, and I think it worked.

The problem is that design makes the seams run parallel to the stretching force that basically runs down the ridgeline. So as soon as I laid in the hammock, I remembered this...it's the same principle I used on the insulated hammocks years ago. (I remembered b/c I could see thru the seam as soon as I laid in the hammock...so I didn't stay in there very long!) I feel like an idiot for not remembering it this time!

Named in honor of Edison...I found another way that doesn't work, so for the record you can subtract one from infinity. I'll probably just cut off the shaped part and have a short hammock.

But I have another idea to create a shaped footbox that doesn't violate this principle...have to see how much weight it adds, though.

Here are a couple of pics with the diagram and dimensions.
http://www.tothewoods.net/HomemadeGe...onHammock.html
Great start. Two things:

(1.) I made a hammock out of supplex, then cut the ends off at an angle, so it was a parallelogram rather than a rectangle. I added strings to replace the cut parts, but that's not the important part. The resulting hammock worked so well I wanted to make another one. To save fabric, I took a rectangle and cut the end at an angle (removing a triangle), and then sewed the triangle onto the other end with a flat fell seam. This gave me my parallelogram. The seam runs across the hammock at the foot end. Three years later, with lots of use, the hammock (and the seam) are in good shape. You can test your theorizing about shape if you eliminate extraneous variables, like material strength.

(2.) From your web site: "I also had to make sure that the left and right sides ended up the same length when it was time to whip the ends, so I didn't cut the body into the normal rectangle shape."
Are you sure that's necessary? Yes, if the left side is slack your feet will fall out of the hammock. Can you cut a zig-zag instead of a straight edge at the foot end? Better still (for experimenting) sew a channel into the left side seam (or part of it) and use an adjustable cord to tighten up that side. No darts needed. (Warning: this is highly conjectural. )

Keep up the good work.

3. Good points. I guess I didn't state clearly that weight was a criterion for me...I want to be able to make this from lightweight fabric, so a seam across the body isn't desirable. It worked ok for the insulated hammocks b/c there weren't any cuts in the body...just another panel added on. In this case, I wouldn't want to use this design on such a light material.

Re: the shape, you're right...it's not necessary for the sides to be the same length. I did it to reduce the floppy edges and to keep my stuff (TQ and feet) from falling out. Maybe I should experiment more with unequal edges.

There was a lot of talk a while back about making parallelogram bodies, but I never got around to experimenting on my own with one. Sounds like yours worked well...maybe I'll add a few things together on a next model...shaping the footbox, parallogram sides, and lightweight material.

The geek in me says that this violates the principle of isolating a single variable for each test...but the dad/husband/employee in me says that I don't have the time to make a different project for each variable!

Thanks for the comments.

4. by removing fabric, you wouldn't be adding space/room, but reducing it. that's how i'm seeing it.

oops, i see you added it back. still a net gain/loss of zero.

5. The net result would be that the centerline and over towards the footbox has more fabric than the edges. So basically, I'm taking away fabric from a 12' hammock to make a shaped 10' hammock.

6. right, so you're removing length at the edge, which inhibits foot room that you would otherwise have

7. ok, i can see how there is still some extra length there. did you try the same basic shape without removing any fabric?

8. I'm not so sure. My feet don't rest on the edges...they rest inside the hammock. Most of what I removed was at the edge. I could feel a little pocket when I laid in it...it wasn't at exactly the right place so I couldn't say how comfortable this would be if I made another model. It seemed to be more comfortable than a normal GE hammock from that quick test, though.

But the other idea I have for the shaped footbox gets around this whole issue.

9. Originally Posted by Just Jeff
I'm not so sure. My feet don't rest on the edges...they rest inside the hammock.
sure, but say you were laying in a regular hammock, and someone came along and started pinching up fabric at the edge right near your feet, say you lift your feet for a second so they can make a 6" pleat in the edge. i think that would reduce your footroom even though it's just the edge, and from the pics it looks like fabric has been removed inward from the edge as well...where your feet would be laying. maybe if you shorten the edge without removing anything inward, like mule's pleated brigdge?

10. Would it have worked better if instead of cutting the darts out, you had left the material and simply folded it over giving you a much larger area to stitch multiple passes with the thread injector?

My worry about "foot boxes in hammocks" is that they would compress the down insulation around my feet. Cold you sew some integral foam pad under the foot spot, or around it to keep your feet warm?

And I'm just trying to learn, I'm not being a smart A**.
Jim S

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