I just want a super easy way to adjust the suspension on my hammock that doesn't add extra weight, is simple to make and simple to use and doesn't require an advanced degree or special tools or hardware to put together.
I have used the ringbuckles with straps, the JRB TriGlides, and most recently the ringbuckles with Garda Hitch. All of which have their good and bad points (weight, extra hardware, backup knots, etc.) I really like the strength, weight, and handling characteristics of the AmSteel line and have been looking to use it in my suspension. I'm also a big fan of TeeDee's marlin spike hitch toggle on the tree straps.
This all leads me to recent threads on the Utility Constrictor Rope (UCR) and the Whoopie Sling constrictor rope use with suspensions got me interested in trying out this technique, (Thanks to ZA206, Frawg, and TeeDee.)
The idea here is to have an adjustable loop on each end of the hammock that will allow one to center as well as raise and lower the hammock. AmSteel is very strong but very slippery and has varying difficulty holding a knot. Prusik knots, in my experince, just don't work on this line. Enter -the constrictor rope. These type of knots and splices have been used by arborist and sailors but I was totally unaware of them until ZA206 started his UCR thread.
I read and re-read the posts and tried to glean as much as I could before I got a hunk of 1/8" AmSteel Blue and stoled one of my wife's Yarn Darner needles. I fooled around with making eye splices and backsplice and UCRs and Whoopie slings. I had developed all of these as separate stand alone slings that I could link to my hammock and then to my toggled tree straps. And then it dawned on me that I could simply use the line on my WBBB and turn it into a Whoopie sling AND it would be incredibly easy to do. So easy that anyone could do it. So here goes.
First I replace the suspension line on my WBBB to make it longer. (Since we will be making a loop it will need to be twice as long as the longest working length. ie - if I want a 5 foot length I will need about 10 ft of line 5 out + 5 back.). Replacing the line was easy. Untie the overhand knot and undo the larks head around the hammock end. Reverse the process to add the new line, making sure to catch the ridgeline in the suspension. (The constrictor will only work on hollow core braided cord as far as I know.)
Now with the new 12 ft piece of 1/8" AmSteel blue tied to the hammock the fun begins. Get scissors, marker, and yarn darner needle. A long piece of small gage wire bent in half with the ends taped together might work, too.
A. Make the taper.
1. Tappering the end of the line will make it easier to handle when the splice is made. First measure up an inch or two from the free end of the suspension rope and mark two strands ( kind of "V" shaped pairs ), then skip a pair and then mark the next pair. Then skip a pair and mark a third pair. (The picture below shows two ends, but you will only have one end to work with).
2. Pull out the first strand and continue for all marked strands.
3. Cut off the strands leaving about 1/2 inch and your taper is done.
B. The Bury.
1.We are going to make the loop. To do this we are going to thread the line down the middle of itself. Go to the end of the line that is connected to the hammock. We are going to put two marks on the line, OUT and IN. Make your first mark on the line a few inches from the hammock: the OUT point. Measure 10 inches from the OUT point (away from the hammock) and mark it: the IN point. Get your needle. Thread about 3/4 inch of the taper through the eye.
2. CAREFULLY work the needle between the strands to the hollow middle at the IN point. This can be facilitated by holding the line on either side of the IN point and pushing your fingers toward each other. Like a Chinese finger trap the weave will open up. Once the needle is headed down the middle of the line work it toward the OUT point. This is the hardest part of this whole process. Take your time and be careful not to catch any strands along the way.
3. When you get to the OUT point CAREFULLY slip the needle out between the strands and pull a foot or two of the line on through.
C. The Backsplice.
1. You could clip off the taper at this point, tie an overhand knot in the free end and be done. For a more finished look a backsplice can be used and it is pretty quick. Mark the IN point about 4 inches in from the tip of the free end taper. Mark the OUT point about 10 inches from the end of the taper. CAREFULLY thread the needle between the strands at the IN point and then down the inside of the line to the OUT point. CAREFULLY push the needle between the strands at the OUT point and pull until the end of the rope is snug and neat. Take the needle off and smooth the bunched up end rope in the direction of the hammock and the exposed taper will be sucked inside the sheath. Done.
Your Whoopie Sling suspension is done. Put the loop that you formed over a toggle or carabiner at the tree and adjust by pushing the constrictor section and pulling the free end in either direction. Pulling the constrictor part will cause it to seize. No extra hardware, fancy knots, or PhDs required. Takes maybe 5 minutes to do. If you don't like it, snip off the backsplice or untie your end knot and gently pull the free end out of the bury section, no harm done.
These types of constrictors are extremely strong and diminish the rope strength by something like only 3-12 %.
Hope this is useful.
P.S. I have nothing against PhDs! In fact I married one!