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Thread: Overhead Hang

  1. #1
    in it for the naps oldgringo's Avatar
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    Overhead Hang

    After much pondering, head scratching, and some several cups of coffee, I've decided (subject to Executive veto) to hang on our porch/sunroom.

    Structurally and aesthetically, an overhead hang seems like the best option. I need to get this right on the first go for obvious reasons...anyone have any experience with this? Recognizing that this ain't a one-size-fits-all problem, are there some general guidelines vis-a-vis spacing? Pitfalls?

    Thanks,

    Dave

  2. #2
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    Do you mean hanging from the ceiling joists? If so, they usually aren't designed to take much extra load so I'd be careful with it. Read some of the threads on how much force a hammock support can exert.

    If you do it, I'd recommend eye bolts or lag screws go into the joist very close to wall to reduce the moment at the intersection of the joist and wall.

    But I bet a $100 hammock stand would be structurally a better option, and aesthetically much better than a crashed in ceilling...
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  3. #3
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Jeff View Post
    Do you mean hanging from the ceiling joists? If so, they usually aren't designed to take much extra load so I'd be careful with it. Read some of the threads on how much force a hammock support can exert.
    I agree with JJ's concerns about the force a hammock can exert. However, if you are thinking of hanging a hammock to use as a chair,-- that is, if the weight is pretty much directly under the eyebolts,-- then I figure if the joists can support the weight if it's on top, they can support the weight if underneath. That is, if the ceiling joists would support a room above, with furniture, people, etc., then why not from below. Subject, that is, to really good eyebolts directly in the center (side-to-side) of two (not just one) joists. After all, many porches have porch swings hanging from eyebolts. But that's only if they hang straight down.

    Clear as mud?

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  4. #4
    in it for the naps oldgringo's Avatar
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    Jeff, I agree, but there just isn't enough room out there for a stand, and even if there were, I'm disinclined to give up that much space.

    What I'm envisioning is 3/8" welded eyebolts through the joist and a 2x6 on top of the joist, positioned to span three joists. As further insurance, both bolts will be w/in 6" of load bearing walls.

  5. #5
    in it for the naps oldgringo's Avatar
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    Good point, Rain Man. I may be better off going between the joists, as opposed to drilling through one.

    In any case, I will be beefing up the structure to accomodate the loads, and I can get these eyebolts really close to load bearing walls.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldgringo View Post
    In any case, I will be beefing up the structure to accomodate the loads, and I can get these eyebolts really close to load bearing walls.

    ummm... unless you are a structural engineer, in which case you wouldn't be asking the question, I would be extremely careful with that statement. You can beef up a toothpick with a tongue depressor, but in the end it is still a toothpick bearing the weight and now it has the added weight of the tongue depressor. There trheads here dealing is the physics of hanging and the forces involved as well as the spacing of the supports. Generally the farther apart the supports the higher you need to hang to get the optimum sag. Conversely, the higher you hang your supports the farther away your supports need to be. You might find that a stand would take up less space than a ceiling hang for the best positionng. Either way you are going to need 13 - 16' for a typical hammock.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

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    Senior Member gargoyle's Avatar
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    old gringo, what did you mean when you mentioned "beefing up the structure", and what do you have for present structure, 2 x 4's, 2 x 6's? Is there a ceiling on your porch?
    Ambulo tua ambulo.

  8. #8
    in it for the naps oldgringo's Avatar
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    I didn't express myself clearly...it is less a matter of beefing up than distributing the load, and careful placement of the eyebolts.

    The home is of recent construction...2x6 studs and joists on 24" centers.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    What is the ceiling height and what are your usable dimensions. My 10' fabric length (100" ridgeline) indoor sleeper requires at least 13' of space with the suspension attached about 5' off the floor in order to get the right amount of sag. I _could_ get by with maybe 11' at bare minimun. But to hang it from a 7' ceiling I would need probably more like 20'. An 8' ceiling would require more and so on.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
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  10. #10
    Knotty's Avatar
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    I think your idea of spreading out the load over a few joists at each end is sound.

    Any chance you can post a picture of the porch?
    Knotty
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