Greetings all. Finally had a chance to finish one of my projects and here it is!
I wanted to see how cheaply I could make a nice quality hammock (with bug net) and a decent cat cut tarp with doors. Since there's a gazillion threads on how to make a hammock, I'll show how I made the tarp.
The entire cost of the hammock and tarp materials was $107.40 - including thread, but not including shipping (about $12.00). I got everything from Scott at DIY Gear Supply. The only seconds material I used was the 70 digital camo that Scott has. The Hammock was made from 1.9oz 1st's black ripstop - it's a single layer, gathered ends that's 10ft long.
I made the 6ft Whoopie suspension and 100inch ridgeline from 7/64 amsteel.
Here's the cost breakdown:
amsteel - 24 ft - $6.00
hammock material 1.9oz black ripstop 4 yds $21.00
spool of thread - black guttermans - tara $3.65
noseeum - 3 yds - $9.75
zipper - 20ft coil 2 sliders #3 $5.00+0.50= $5.50
6ft 1/8" shockcord - $1.50
2 plastic mitten hooks - $0.24
1ft 1/2" nylon webbing - $0.44
Total for Hammock = $48.08
8yds 70d coated ripstop 2nds Dig Camo - $23.60
20ft Tech Line 1.2mm - $3.20
2 plastic triangles - $0.38
4 plastic line locks - $1.12
2ft nylon webbing - 1" $0.48
2ft nylon webbing - 1/2" $0.88
Total for tarp = $59.32
48.08+59.32= $107.40 -- does not include shipping $12.00
First thing was to make enough room - I moved and upended all the furniture in the living room. Then I laid out the material and lined up the edges.
Next I started to sew a french seam for the ridgeline. A roller foot really helps when doing this, but is not necessary.
Now it's time to cut the cat curves. I used some 1/2 in plastic pipe with a string to set the depth to 5 inches (the cat curves have a 5 inch depth). I simply used a marker and traced down the curve for the sides. For the edges, that made a 30 inch depth on the outside edge - the piece of tape is 30 inches from the end and the cat cut is 5 inches.
This last shot above shows all the cuts made.
Now it's time to sew the tie out supports and sew the edges. I did a simple rolled edge about 1/4 wide on all the edges and my oxford material was cut to match the areas of support - I used a piece of card board cut to the correct shape and size, then I cut out all the pieces.
Now the triangles and tie outs are sewn to the ridgeline.
And the tie outs. I used 1/2 inch with a reflective stripe - easy to see at night.
This is how it looked when I strung it up outside.
I really tightened down the tarp and let hang edge on in 30 mph wind for a day. I had to use 12" stakes to keep it from flying away. It stretched a little and then stopped stretching. I have to admit I guessed at the cat cuts even though the length is 12 ft. I used Scotts Hex Tarp guide for well, a guide, and used the same 5" for the cat curves.
It pulls nice and tight with no floppy edges. I admit I redid the ridgeline - I just ripped the thread out - as it wasn't straight. The second time I got it right. I sealed the ridgeline seam and all is well. I let it hang in a rain storm over night and it had no leaks.
Here's a woods shot - now you can see why I made it 12ft long - plenty of room to close the edges like doors.
OK - the bad news. This 12x10 tarp weighs in at 34oz. Heavy, but not too heavy.
The hammock weighs 14.9 oz with all lines including 5ft tree huggers, peak bag for the net and the stuff sack. It has left and right side lay - very comfy!
You CAN make it cheaper if you shop around for cheaper materials. Scott had everything in stock and his prices are very good.
This was quite a learning experience. My seams aren't really straight - working with such long material is a pain. It took me a total (off and on) of about 13 hours to make everything. The hammock was done in 3 hours. More time was wasted figuring out all the dimensions - then I just did the cat cuts at 5 inches and hoped everything would turn out ok. It did!
Let me add that the seams were very east to fold and sew. I didn't use pins, just folded 4 or 5 inches and sewed. This material is stretchy and easy to sew, but don't pull on the material as it will stretch and your stitches will look terrible. Just let the feed dogs put it thru slowly.
This hammock and tarp is being given to a friend (forum member) who's going to hike the AT next year. He gets to play with it for the rest of this year and tell me what I did wrong