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  1. #1
    dejoha's Avatar
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    Yet Another Tensegrity Stand (YATS)

    While I was awaiting some amsteel for my other tensegrity stand, I thought I would try to build a new design that Blackshadow mentioned. An emergency trip to Utah provided me the opportunity to try something out.

    My two requirements for a stand are 1) inexpensive, and 2) easy to construct. This new stand meets the first requirement and I would say it is moderately easy to construct.

    I used the instructions from bweebweebwee.com and found the design to be rock-solid, even with cheap rope. Here's what I did to construct this stand this past weekend.



    Yet Another Tensegrity Stand (YATS, pronounced "Yahtzee!")

    MATERIALS
    3 - 2" x 3" x 8 ft boards @ $1.50 ea -- $4.50
    6 - 3 ft rebar for stakes @ $1.35 ea -- $8.10
    ~250 ft of rope (I purchased 300 ft of 3/8" poly rope; 100 ft @ $8 ea; 3 different colors)

    I purchased everything at Home Depot for about $36, just under the "too expensive" radar.

    CONSTRUCTION
    After arriving at my relatives, I borrowed their tools and drilled two 1" holes on the top of each board and one 1" hole at the bottom. After building the stand, I realized I needed better attach points for the hammock so I drilled a third hole (1/2") on the top where I placed a dowel.

    The top triangle is constructed of 14 ft lengths or rope. For the top triangle, I left it as one continuous line, with some extra length to tie the truckers hitch -- about 50 feet total.

    The side and bottom ropes are both 10 ft 7 inches long. I cut each of these at 13 feet, to allow a few inches to tie knots.

    I took each rebar and bent one end into a crook shape.

    SET-UP
    1) Set up the stakes in a hexagon shape. The radius should be 14 ft. The easiest way to do this is to have two 14 ft strings. From the center point, measure out for your first stake point with the first string. From there, use the second string from the first stake and the string from the center point to determine the next stake point. Use this pattern to determine the six stake points.

    2) Tie off the side and bottom ropes. I just used two half-hitches on both ends. I think it is important to the structural integrity that the side ropes are single ropes, but the bottom rope could be a continuous rope about 24 ft long that threads through the pole.

    3) Thread the top rope through the top holes. Pull the rope to take up the slack and the stand will rise. I tied a figure-8 on a bite on one end and used this as the anchor point to tie a truckers hitch to get the structure taut.

    I made some minor tweaking in the knots to make sure the posts were at a 60 angle.







    Last edited by dejoha; 10-19-2010 at 12:37.

  2. #2
    UncleMJM's Avatar
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    Very nice. Great job on making it look simple.

  3. #3
    Senior Member CajunHiker's Avatar
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    Nice.
    Do you think it could be shortened up a bit?
    To Boldly Hang Where No One Has Hung Before...

  4. #4
    Senior Member thekalimist's Avatar
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    building this in near future,

    thanks dejoha, you always make it looks so easy.
    ...in it for pics.

  5. #5
    dejoha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CajunHiker View Post
    Do you think it could be shortened up a bit?
    Do you mean the side and bottom ropes? The strength comes from equilateral triangles on each side, which also helps achieve the 60 angle on the struts -- everything is equilateral triangles.

    You could experiment with shorter side/bottom ropes, but I don't think it would hold. This is a very solid design.

  6. #6
    sclittlefield's Avatar
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    This is fantastic!

    How much tweaking did you find you needed to get that 60deg angle? What if the bottom of the 2x4 (or2x3) was cut at 60deg and hinged onto a short 2x4. Would that help or be a nuisance?

    Or, what if the hinged pieces were sized so that they would join in the center. Would that add to the strength of it or just be useless extra lumber?

    Just trying to think of ways to make something like this where it's fairly simple to redo often. A friend and I built two out of 4x4's and 2x4's (had a pile of 4x4's so they were free). It was so cumbersome and heavy, we called them "Arks". I want a light, easy to travel with design, and this looks like it.
    The Ark.jpg

    What about drilling up the center of the board (on the bottom) about 6", sized for rebar, and use a 12" rebar so 6" are in the ground to inhibit slipping.

    Think this would work adequately for very large fellas? I'm only weighing in at 165, but there are plenty of us who might put something like this to the test.

    Sorry... lots of questions... very cool design!
    DIY Gear Supply - Your source for DIY outdoor gear.

  7. #7
    dejoha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleMJM View Post
    Very nice. Great job on making it look simple.
    Quote Originally Posted by thekalimist View Post
    thanks dejoha, you always make it looks so easy.
    You know, this is actually pretty easy to put together. I spent a few days staring at the original designs and explanations, but it wasn't until I actually put it together that it all fell in place. Once you get the ropes cut to length, the hardest part is just getting the hexagon set up, but that turns out to be easy too.

    The real challenge with this stand is that it requires a lot of real estate. You need a circle of space at least 28 ft in diameter, which doesn't fit in most backyards.

    I think this design is perfect for some of the Boy Scout camporees I've participated in, especially if you set this up as the hub of a troop camp. You could fit 2-man pup tents in some of the triangle areas for ground dwellers, and the center area becomes a kitchen area or central command post. The hammocks can easily be taken down during the day and put up at night.

  8. #8
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CajunHiker View Post
    Nice.
    Do you think it could be shortened up a bit?
    Quote Originally Posted by dejoha View Post
    Do you mean the side and bottom ropes? The strength comes from equilateral triangles on each side, which also helps achieve the 60 angle on the struts -- everything is equilateral triangles.

    You could experiment with shorter side/bottom ropes, but I don't think it would hold. This is a very solid design.
    I took this to mean whether you could use shorter than 8 foot boards...

    Very nice, btw!


    "Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
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  9. #9
    dejoha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sclittlefield View Post
    How much tweaking did you find you needed to get that 60deg angle? What if the bottom of the 2x4 (or2x3) was cut at 60deg and hinged onto a short 2x4. Would that help or be a nuisance?
    As long as the side and bottom ropes are all the same length +/- the whole stand comes together like clockwork. Once I pulled the top rope together, the whole thing stands up on itself. It's very cool. The only real tweaking I did was to re-tie some of the side ropes to make sure everything was even. I loosened the top triangle slightly so I could adjust one leg back to 60. Having the top triangle a continuous rope help make adjustments easy too.

    The whole stand is very forgiving. At first I thought I would need a ruler to make sure all the lines were "exactly" 10' 7" and the top triangle 14', but it worked as-is, so I didn't. The stand is SOLID.

    I don't think you need to over-engineer any custom cuts or joints. I think it is amazing that something so simple is so rock-solid.

    Quote Originally Posted by sclittlefield View Post
    Or, what if the hinged pieces were sized so that they would join in the center. Would that add to the strength of it or just be useless extra lumber?
    I think it would be extra lumber.

    Quote Originally Posted by sclittlefield View Post
    Just trying to think of ways to make something like this where it's fairly simple to redo often. A friend and I built two out of 4x4's and 2x4's (had a pile of 4x4's so they were free). It was so cumbersome and heavy, we called them "Arks". I want a light, easy to travel with design, and this looks like it.
    I fit the whole stand in my van for our trip. The 2x3s make it light and easy. This is definitely something I would bring on a group car camping trip, family reunion, Boy Scout camporee, or other large gathering.

    Quote Originally Posted by sclittlefield View Post
    What about drilling up the center of the board (on the bottom) about 6", sized for rebar, and use a 12" rebar so 6" are in the ground to inhibit slipping.
    I didn't experience any slipping on the bottom of the 2x3s. The bottom ropes keep them in place. It's very solid. Nothing moves once top top triangle is pulled taut.

    Quote Originally Posted by sclittlefield View Post
    Think this would work adequately for very large fellas? I'm only weighing in at 165, but there are plenty of us who might put something like this to the test.
    We played in this stand for 3 days and had it loaded with all my cousins, brothers, family, etc. The cousins would swing in it and play in it like a jungle gym. In one of the photos you'll see my brother lounging. I think he is about 200 lbs. This stand holds great with one person or all three loaded. I think the most I had loaded was when I had me and my two brothers: 165 + 170 + 200 = 535 lbs. Fully loaded, no lines went slack and nothing moved. It was solid. Have I said that already? Rock solid. It's amazing!

  10. #10
    Senior Member CajunHiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCPatrick View Post
    I took this to mean whether you could use shorter than 8 foot boards...
    Right. If the top triangle was reduced to say 12' sides, you could move it downward on the boards keeping the same angles. This would also shorten up the outer triangles.
    To Boldly Hang Where No One Has Hung Before...

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