Finally got my homemade buckles (http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ead.php?t=2357) out for a real trip. Good and bad.
The set-up was using a homemade buckle on one end of Ed's 1" webbing and an SMC ring on the other to thread through. Support line was 2.8mm Spyderline.
The trip was a planned five-day paddle on the Potomac last week. I was in my kayak, two friends were in my canoe. All of us were using hammocks.
When setting up the first night, I noticed a nick in the line right at the corner of the buckle where the line goes through the V-shape. I figured it was from a test hang at home. I sometimes tie to a big door hinge and the line can get pinched if I'm not careful.
When I first got in, there was a pop in the line and I hit the ground, although not too hard. The line didn't break, but the cover did. I think that was enough for the slippery core to slide through the hitch, which is how I got dropped.
Assuming it was the nick giving way, I pulled my ridge line, which was also 2.8 mm Spyderline, and used it for the support. I pulled the core from the snapped support and used it for the ridge. No problem through the night.
In the morning, I saw that the other line was also almost completely worn through and that the cut was right where it came out of the V of the buckle. I assume that my edges are not quite polished enough and that there's enough left to wear the line after some use. I'd brought my blue Byer ropes as backup and swapped them out for the remainder of the trip. They did fine, although it was a tight squeeze getting them through the hook of the buckle. Not sure what the diameter, weight, or rating on them is.
The good is that set-up and adjustment were very fast and simple. I also loved having the longer tree-huggers that I made (about 6') and using the rings to thread them through. Very clean and no apparent wear on the webbing. Other than cutting my support lines, the buckles were great. Super quick and I didn't think twice about hanging from them all night.
While I realize there's some more work to be done on the buckle, I'm not thrilled with these results. I plan on ordering the next size up on the Spyderline and also giving some of the uncoated Vectran a whirl. I think, given that the line makes a u-turn over this relatively narrow buckle, something fatter will work out better.
I want a very bomb-proof solution. I'm also going to order some of the webbing buckles and longer webbing and rig that up for comparison.