New poster here.... Got interested in hammocks as lightweight alternatives to tents and pads. And as an inveterate DIY guy I came across this forum. I've made clothes, sleeping bags, overbags with Gore-tex, and a few boats... Been reading a bunch here over the last few days and decided to join.
A couple of things have come to mind in all the reading I've covered.
1) CF poles - have you guys looked at the kite building suppliers? CF poles are common in a whole range of sizes/weights and in nesting diameters and with inserts for joining in lengths. Kitebuilder.com is one such source. They also sometimes have interesting fabrics in very light weights at good prices (sale prices...) .75 oz or even 0.5 oz.... Not great for hammocks, but probably fine for very light cat cut tarps.
2) In the HH diassembly thread there was some minor mention of bias cut material. It looked to me like they are indeed bias cut, but there is very little notice made of that. Bias cutting is likely a vital part of the "comfort" and apparent "flatness" and the final little bit of the secret of the HH hammock.
The reason is that Bias cut fabric has more give and conforms much better to curves as the fabric is more able to distribute the pressure to other threads around it (assuming the threads aren't bonded to each other in some fashion like PU coating or silnylon.) This means that high pressure points will cause more give in the fabric in localized areas and this will make the sling/bed conform more naturally. The downside is that its likely that the edges of the hammock would require binding to maintain strength. Not really an issue if you're making something like a bridge hammock, but more work if you're making a whipped one. This knowledge comes from extensive fibreglassing experience where bias cut cloth will fold cleanly over a much sharper edge and conform tightly to compound curved surfaces where flat laid/cut cloth won't even come close, without bubbles, puckers, wrinkles and folds.
Has anyone experimented with the bias cut idea?
Looking forward to making a few hammocks and seeing what works best for me and my best girl.