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  1. #1

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    turtlelady's Bamboo Stand

    My portable hammock stand is still in development mode. It is made with low tech skills and cheap materials. It is lightweight and small in mass. Here are some photos of it in use in the last few months.

    It is made from locally harvested bamboo in Kentucky. The poles are 3/4 - 1" in diameter and up to 66" long. They were not "properly" cured. Two of the first ones I used split most of their length. I taped them and they continued to function until I replaced them. Now I taped the ends of all the poles pre-emptively. So far they have not split.

    The tripods are made with simple lashing. A chain link fence top rail has been cut into three pieces to make the ridgeline, using one connector piece. The top rail was a dinged one, and cost just under $5.00. The connector was $1.88. The ridgeline rail hangs from the lashings with a cord loop.

    A prussic knot and toggle are used to connect the hammock to the top rail, not the tripods. This makes a compressive force that holds the sections together. The tripods each hold only 1/2 my weight with a downward force.

    Limiter cords are connected to the lower part of the tripod legs to limit their spread. A shock cord is taped midway down one leg of each tripod with a shower curtain ring to draw up the limiter cords under tension when the legs are gathered closed for bundling, to prevent tangling. 4" squares of rubber shelf liner stuff under the legs protects smooth wood, laminate or tile floors and helps stablize them.

    The bundle of six bamboo poles and top rail weighs 15 pounds and is 5" in diameter.

    I am 5' 8" tall and weigh 185 lbs. This stand system has not dropped me yet. It is fairly low to the ground. I lower my self gently into it, gingerly testing the system each time. It feels amazingly stable once it is weighted.

    I welcome your questions and suggestions for evolution.

    The photos show the stand in actual situations where I have set up for overnight stays without moving any furniture ( other than a floor lamp once so that I could read without using my headlamp.) The tripod legs fit in among and over stuff amazingly well.

    BTW -- the photos show Mac's IX 5-in-1 Jerry chair underquilt with cordura shell. This bundles the hammock, topquilt and stand together nicely. The hammock shown is a Trek Light with a 9'2" rail for indoor use . I use a slightly longer ridgeline rail when I use my Switchback for an outdoor camp, by changing out the shorter section of rail.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by turtlelady; 01-26-2011 at 22:46. Reason: Add clarifying detail.

  2. #2
    BlazeAway's Avatar
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    Turtle Lady.
    That stand looks sweet.
    Thanks for posting.

  3. #3
    Senior Member DiscoveryDiver's Avatar
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    This is a really interesting-looking stand...If you hung the two hammock ends directly from the top of each "pyramid" the middle crossbar would be non-load bearing and I'd guess could be a lighter bar of some sort, if you wanted (as long as it resists compression)
    Last edited by DiscoveryDiver; 01-27-2011 at 08:14.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ShadowAlpha's Avatar
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    TurtleLady - Nice work!

    thanks for sharing

  5. #5
    Senior Member Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Turtle Lady's Bamboo Set up is genius, it looks lightweight, but then I noticed it would not work for me, as I am 235 lbs. The fabric would stretch so much that I would be on the ground by 3am. So I would have to make the tripods bigger. I noticed what appears to be a steel pole down the middle, I am guessing that I could offset that with two heavy ground nails and oversized tent guys. As for the Bamboo, it grows in the area.

    I am going to do this project, I definitely have a need for them. I hope I am not missing something.
    There was an Old Man with a owl,
    Who continued to bother and howl;
    He sat on a rail, And imbibed bitter ale,
    Which refreshed that Old Man and his owl
    .WOO

  6. #6

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    Wise Old Owl -- The ridge pole made from the top rail of chain link fencing materials is a major element in this set up. ( Thanks to Risk for showing this in his portable stand plans, although he doesn't actually connect his hammock to the ridge pole in his system.)

    It is cheap, light weight, accessible, and easy to work with. Do yourself a favor and start by going to your local supplier ( Lowe's, TSC, etc.) and check them out before you try to substitute this element with some other pole. I know from expensive, hard earned experience on this one.

    The chain link fence top rail is 10' long and designed to fit 3.5" of one end into the next piece. One end is smaller diameter than the other --sorry I don't know the term for this. What this means is you can cut it in half and reverse the pieces and they reconnect. Probably this is all you would need to do if you get a first quality piece for starters. Lowe's sells bent poles for 50% off, and these seem to be readily available. I use three pieces with a separate connector only due to my quirky development process and unique specs for several applications. Using only two pieces would make putting the system together much easier.

  7. #7

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    Discovery Diver --
    This system is perhaps deceptively simple in this presentation. While this set up has never dropped me, several of the evolutionary set ups did! I learned first hand about the high forces hammocks can exert. This particular system works because :

    1. The ridge pole, and whatever weight is dangled from it, hangs BELOW the lashings with a flexible connection loop. This means the simple hanging weight is distributed evenly on the three poles and the force of the weight is downward into the ground.

    2. The high compressive inward force of the weighted hammock is along the length of the ridgepole itself, where the strength of this system is, because the hammock is attached to the ridgepole and NOT attached to the tripod legs at all.

    You do NOT want to put that compressive force of the weighted hammock attachment onto the top of the tripod legs.

  8. #8
    WV's Avatar
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    TL,
    Nicely engineered, illustrated, and explained.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rjcress's Avatar
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    Very cool!
    Note to self: plant bamboo
    "I keep telling myself that if I make perfect seams, nobody will believe that I made it... " -JohnSawyer

    My outdoor gear review site http://gear-report.com
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  10. #10
    Very nice, portability is key. I would just have to locate some bamboo...

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