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  1. #1
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    Question DIY knotting an open netted hammock

    Heya guys,

    Just yesterday I somehow figured it would be fun to make my own hammock. And since i'm a bit of the crafty type I do not wat to just pull some rags together but actually knot it from a spool (or two) of twine.

    Now i've done some searching but found no real guidance on doing this kind of thing so here I am. I have a few questions about knotting a hammock before I start and hope you could help me out on the following:

    1: I plan on using 2mm Polypropylene twine with a breaking strength of 70 kilos, would this be a good idea? (maybe the rope is to thick and the knots will hurt, maybe it's to thin and breaks?)

    2: I have knotted some (very) small stuff years ago using a knot that I also found in some hammock knotting arcticles, called the "square knot". I suspect that it will do fine but I'd be more confident if that's confirmed by someone who actually knows what he's doing ;)

    3: What kind of dimentions should I use to make my hammock comfortable yet not too large (I'm the one knotting it after all) So far I figured specs like below will do:
    - 2m long
    - 1m wide
    - knots every 5cm
    - resulting in about 50 cords wide
    - cords twice the hammock length to compensate knots and leave some slack.

    4: How much can I reduce the amount of work involved without sacrificing comfort? As in spacing the knots further apart, using less strands of twine, making the whole thing smaller, using easier knots or weaving, etc.

    The result I'm aiming for looks a little like what this guy made, just much smaller. What do you think, would it work out? What needs to change about my plans?

    Thanks for any advice,

    Schop.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Savage's Avatar
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    I probably wouldn't refer to a DIY hammock as "pulling some rags together" but, if I were looking for methods for knotting a string hammock, I would start with You Tube. I might also do a search for knots on Google.

    John

  3. #3
    in it for the naps oldgringo's Avatar
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    What you're talking about is knitting netting. There was a time when the craft was widely practiced by commercial fishermen, but I think those days are long passed...everyone uses machine made webbing now.

    I've seen it done...it's not hard, just tedious. You'll need a netting needle, or shuttle, and a gauge to set the stretched length of each opening. And, yes, a square, or reef knot is the knot of choice.

    Good luck.
    Dave

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldgringo View Post
    What you're talking about is knitting netting. There was a time when the craft was widely practiced by commercial fishermen, but I think those days are long passed...
    There might still be folks who can mend twine. (Netting is called twine by some fishermen.) I still have a bunch of net needles... one is full of orange Speer No Tangle!

    Quote Originally Posted by oldgringo View Post
    ...a square, or reef knot is the knot of choice.
    I use sheet bends.

    - MacEntyre
    "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." - Ben Franklin
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  5. #5
    Senior Member wirerat123's Avatar
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    I have to say that I would much rather build one out of "rags". Knotting a tight enough weave that it doesn't leave marks in your skin after a reasonable amount of time would take a lot more time than I am sure you are aware of, will still not be as comfy, especially if you wish to lay in it with exposed skin on a pressure area.

    It's a beautiful hammock, but the functionality of it, it limited to a lounge hammock unless you have no bugs what so ever around, and even then you'd need plenty of insulation.

    I'll keep the rags. Hanging in 20 minutes vs. hanging next week, waking up refreshed vs. waking up with string marks all over that are itchy and kind of stinging? Yeah, I'll keep my rags hammock.

    Go for it. ( I have a sneaky suspicion your string is going to be way too thick.)
    Fulfillment is living a life that makes the lives of others worth living.
    DIY is addicting and fulfilling!
    "If guns kill people, then pencils mispell words, cars cause people to drink and drive, and spoons made Rosie O'donnell fat."

  6. #6
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    Quick reactions, thanks!

    Sorry by the way if "pulling some rags together" sounds insulting, I just meant to stress the difference in effort required. I definetly do value the easier and better way, but just want to create something to be proud of.

    Anyway, a hammock made of netting will apparently never be very good for sleeping. That's acceptable though, I plan on lounging in it. Probably buying or making another one that's fit for sleeping later. (Maybe I can just put a simple quilt in the thing for added comfort.)

    Using a gauge to make things neater is a very good idea indeed, probably even a board with a grid of pins to space everything out. Judging from some youtube instructables a smaller diameter twine will indeed suffice as well.

  7. #7
    Senior Member wirerat123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schop View Post
    That's acceptable though, I plan on lounging in it.

    Using a gauge to make things neater is a very good idea indeed, probably even a board with a grid of pins to space everything out. Judging from some youtube instructables a smaller diameter twine will indeed suffice as well.
    They can be beautiful if done correctly. Good luck in your venture. A gauge is a necessity.

    Just building the right gauge (template) will take a considerable amount of time. Remember, the smaller the weave, the more comfy it'll be.

    This hammock will be more comfy than


    This hammock.


    Depending on materials..
    Fulfillment is living a life that makes the lives of others worth living.
    DIY is addicting and fulfilling!
    "If guns kill people, then pencils mispell words, cars cause people to drink and drive, and spoons made Rosie O'donnell fat."

  8. #8
    ZMad2000's Avatar
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    Here is a vid on how to make a rope hammock. Its a long vid but very informative.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0J7zvg--pHE

  9. #9
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    Nice video, really shows the simplest of possibilities and some context.

    Some updates: I'm not going to use spacer bars since the whole idea of using a hammock, to me, is not carrying around any poles or herrings. Also, I might just look into designing my own variation on the regular knotting pattern to incorporate more twine using less knots. In the end, just weaving appears to be anough for Mayans so why not reduce the number of knots.

    Looking at this example, I'm thinking of using four instead of two "white strands" in between each "coloured" knot.

    In the meantime, I made some trial knots with a stopwatch next to me and found out each knot takes me about 45 seconds right now. Some quick math using a 100x210cm hammock and a 5cm maze makes for roughly a thousand knots and thus 12.5 hours of work, not including preparation and finishing.

    Should be very possible in a week of vacation
    Anyway, is there anyone out here who has some experience himself?

    [edit]
    Quote Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
    ...the top knot for the loop and to distribute the lines...
    Hmm, depending on whether the hammock in the video uses a spreader bar that would be useful to watch. I intend not to. But I do need a method of tying all the ends together, preferably using some nice but simple macrambe piece :P
    Last edited by Schop; 07-28-2010 at 13:47.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Strapped-4-Cache's Avatar
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    Well, if you wanted to avoid knots altogether you could just make the entire thing out of Dynaglide. All of the connections could be spliced instead of being knotted. It would probably end up being waaaay expensive, but I guarantee that you wouldn’t have to worry about it being strong enough to support your weight.

    The more I think about it, this sounds like something Opie would try…

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