Yet another post from me.
Today, I made a pair of aluminum buckle's based on andersj's design (http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ead.php?t=2357)
As promised, I just implemented my Mythbuster's-style test.
The goal: Simulate my hammock setup with my Civic.
The buckle is designed to thread onto a tree-hugger. There's a cleat on the other end to attach the hammock line to. I'm using 2.8mm Spyderline, which claims to be rated to 1,200 lbs and 1" Speer polypro webbing.
I made a prototype buckle yesterday that is almost the same as my final version. The difference is that the "bars" are slightly thinner and the overall buckle is slightly wider. I attached a loop of unused webbing to this and lark's headed it onto the tow loop of my car. Then I got a length of unused Spyderline and tied it to a very sturdy metal pole and lashed the line to the buckle. The resultant setup left the whole thing in a level line.
I drove very slowly away until I heard a pop. When I checked on it, the line was still attached, but the sheathing had separated. Also, the line had gotten very weird. It had stretched out and become very stiff.
I tried again, this time just using the core (Dyneema? Very slippery) and heard another pop. This time the line was no longer attached. I couldn't tell if it had broken at the lash or just pulled out. I tied the lash again and threw a couple half hitches in behind it. This time, the line broke clean in the middle.
Examining the pieces afterwards, everything but the line looked perfect. Zero signs of wear on the webbing or buckle. I traced the buckle beforehand and it showed no change at all. Also, using my counter, I verified that it was still completely flat.
Based on this, I feel comfortable saying that:
1. Spyderline is more than strong enough for hammocking.
2. The buckle is even stronger than that.
3. Driving at two in the morning until something breaks kicks ***. I wish I was a Mythbuster.
Obviously, this wasn't a genuinely scientific test and only went through one trial. But it was enough for my peace of mind. I think I'll feel as safe as I ever have hanging over broken glass and crocodiles.
Have at it, armchair engineers. I still have a buckle to break.