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  1. #1
    Senior Member darkbyrd's Avatar
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    DIY vs purchased: Cost savings?

    So I'm looking to make a hammock, and put together a preliminary material list. Using the plans from the diy gear supply site, as well as their prices, I've come up with numbers that are close to what I would spend on new gear. Considering all the effort involved, and the risk of failure (I'm not adept at using the wife's thread injector), am I going the right route? Or am I missing some serious cost-cutting that I could be doing? Right now I'm looking at $100 for materials just for a single-layer hammock and tarp, and I'm not even warm yet!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mountnman's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
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    Waynesville, Ohio
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    Can you give us a break down of items and cost?
    "I love not man the less, but Nature more."
    Byron

  3. #3
    Senior Member darkbyrd's Avatar
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    Just going from the materials list from the DIY projects.

    3.5 yd rs nylon $14
    2 yd draw cord .50
    12' tech line 2
    6' amsteel 1/64 1.50
    thread 3.65
    Hammock total 21.65

    7 yd silnylon 43.75
    1 yd oxford nylon 4
    4' 3/4 nylon webbing 1
    6 d-rings .60
    Tarp total 49.35

    EDIT I forgot the straps
    30' 1: poly web $12
    4 Al rings 11
    Last edited by darkbyrd; 11-19-2012 at 21:23.

  4. #4
    New Member Dustb2000's Avatar
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    May 2012
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    Brandon, MS
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    DIY WBBBB
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkbyrd View Post
    Just going from the materials list from the DIY projects.

    3.5 yd rs nylon $14
    2 yd draw cord .50
    12' tech line 2
    6' amsteel 1/64 1.50
    thread 3.65
    Hammock total 21.65

    7 yd silnylon 43.75
    1 yd oxford nylon 4
    4' 3/4 nylon webbing 1
    6 d-rings .60
    Tarp total 49.35

    EDIT I forgot the straps
    30' 1: poly web $12
    4 Al rings 11
    If you're wanting to go as cheaply as possible you could eliminate the Al rings in the suspension and just use a toggle (sticks work fine). Also you could use 2nds silnylon (7 yards would cost around $38) or if weight isn't a concern the coated ripstop 2nds (7 yards roughly = $20). This would bring your total to around $60 although I would round that up to an even $100 by the time you pay for shipping and all the other extra expenses you'll likely run into (thread, ridge line cord, etc.).

    So for a complete set up $100 isn't too terribly bad but it certainly isn't cheap. The only time you will ever come ahead financially in the DIY game is if you happen to have access to cheap materials or are able to re-use other items you already have laying around the house. If you're having to buy all of the raw materials there will be a minimal gain compared to buying from the talented cottage vendors that are out there.

    The way I look at DIY projects is that its a hobby. It can be an expensive hobby but it does allow me to make things that I can use for my other hobbies (camping, motorcycling, travelling, etc.). So for me being able to make my own gear has probably saved me money in the long haul since my time would have been spent pursuing some of my other hobbies which also cost $ and would leave me having to purchase all my hammock gear. If you're not going to enjoy making your own gear then the best bet it to just buy it already made.

    As always HYOY.

  5. #5
    Grinder's Avatar
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    To get started as cheaply as possible, go Used.

    1.Most DIYers make multiple items.
    2. "Normal people" normally buy more than one or each item while "getting it just right".

    You also, unless you are an experienced crafter, will have to make more than one hammock to be satisfied.

    Buy your first item used. Expect to pay about half for a lightly used example.
    I don't feel you can make stuff competitively versus half of list price.

    Then, with real life experience, you will be better prepared to create your dream project.
    grinder

  6. #6
    Senior Member dejoha's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
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    Yes, provide some more information and we can help you sort through the project. Some materials are inherently most costly. I sourced out some fabric, netting, and a cheap 8x10 tarp to make hammock kits for my entire Boy Scout troop. Each "kit" worked out to about $30 _per kit_. It was amazing.

    BUT, those were using some pretty inexpensive fabrics. The goal was complete cost savings. Papa Smurf helped source the materials and he did a yoman's job finding deals, even sourcing some straps from a local Amish group.

    When I made my own hammock, using the same pattern but with better materials (lighter ripstop nylon, lighter no-see-um netting, etc.) the costs went up.

    Materials List

    1 20ft x 1in polyester webbing straps
    1 54 132" (1.4 3.4 m) no-see-um bug netting
    1 60 132" (1.5 3.4 m) ripstop nylon or polyester fabric
    2 8" (1.25 20 cm) elastic ribbon
    1 6' (1.8 m) #3 YKK zipper (w/double pull)
    2 60" (1.5 m) of 3/32" shock cord
    2 36" (91 cm) 3mm Spectra rope
    — Outdoor polyester thread

  7. #7
    Senior Member BrianWillan's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
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    In my particular case, the only way I've been able to justify DIY is when I want something that I can't readily buy or the project involved is pretty straight forward. Ie my 2 bridge hammocks that I made. There wasn't anything available that had 36" spreader bars and made from crinkle polyester taffeta material. So I had to bite the bullet and do it myself. Fun project, BTW.

    Unless you can get your materials very inexpensively and don't place a value on the time involved, DIY can produce some cost savings. For most it doesn't work out that way. For the time involved, some do if for the sake of learning a new skill, others do it because they have the time available.

    There are many threads on the merits of DIY vs. buying. It comes down to the points I mentioned above.

    Cheers

    Brian
    Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment. - Unknown

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  8. #8
    Senior Member ibgary's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
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    Colorado
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    Dangerbird, (custom) thanks Papa
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    10x10 DIY
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    I got my 1st hammock for fathers day and started using an old ground cloth as my 1 st tarp. Since then I've made a larger tarp and then bought a Kelty, Noahs tarp 12x12. So far the things I've made have been workable, but if I'm out by myself for 30-60 days next summer, either my sewing will get a lot better or ill buy what I need. I like making gear, I just hate spending money on diy projects that turn out, how shall I say???? I'm afraid my diy gear may fall apart after a week of hard use.

  9. #9
    adkphoto's Avatar
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    That's not bad. Although, if the Amsteel is for Whoopie Slings, you'll need more like 24 feet for two, six foot slings. You'll probably also need another spool of thread and seam sealer for the tarp and (optional) some no-see-um netting for a bug net. Also, zing-it or tech line for your tarp suspension.


    David

  10. #10
    Senior Member WetRivrRat's Avatar
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    Sometimes the experience is worth more than the expense.

    Sometime the expense is not worth the experience.

    The price you listed is not bad, and is pretty far off from a complete kit brand new from a vendor. Your tarp is the kicker, but you opted for silnylon, which can get expensive quick. I'd say the expense is right on par.

    The question becomes are you ready for the experience?

    I would offer that you buy a couple of yards of the cheapest fabric you're willing to buy (JoAnn's, Hancock, etc), and start out by making stuff sacks and the sort so you can get some lightweight work under your belt. That will help you figure out if doing the whole gig is worth it for you or not.

    My personal experience is that I enjoy sewing and making gear, but I absolutely hate putting in in-ground sprinkler systems - both of which are DIY jobs that I've tackled in times past. One of which I will never do again even if you paid me to...

    Good luck on your journey, oh... and pics or it didn't happen
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