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  1. #1
    Senior Member Swingblade's Avatar
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    DIY hammock stand thoughts

    I spend a lot of my outdoor time where suitable hang spots are rare - high desert plateau & beaches/lakes. If you have allergies DO NOT hang from Juniper/Cedar which produce an insane amount of pollen virtually year round ... don't ask how I know this .

    There are a number of great posts of DIY stands on this sight. I myself have one I made using 2X4's that's in my yard using these examples which works great (many thanks to those that took the time to engineer & post these easy to understand projects). Then there's the store bought stands that are similar in principle but use powder coated tubular steel instead of lumber such as the often recommended "Vario" (I think that's the brand name), which are often seen used indoors since they are not quite as bulky but cost 2-3 times more than a DIY lumber stand.

    These stands are fine if they are placed on a relatively flat surface. I've been wanting something that can be assembled/disassembled quickly & easily so that it can be transportable by truck, car-rack or boat & can be used on irregular or sloping ground.

    My computer crashed so I cannot post drawings of the plans for my idea right now. The idea is a design similar to a swing set with the "A" frame vertical poles being set with a slight pitch inward from bottom to top & the legs being two 4'-6' pieces, the lower portion sliding within the other with holes drilled at intervals with a cotter pin to hold it thereby allowing for adjustment to different elevations in terrain while keeping the horizontal load bar & suspension connection points at proper height & relatively level. The top load bar will be 2-3 pieces for a total length of 14'-16'. The key component to this is the two end connectors or knuckles that the top load bar & "A" frame legs slide into making the the system compact for transportation but rigid enough to withstand the forces applied with a hammock with a big body in it. It might also be necessary to have a support bar with a quick attachment system between each top vertical "A" frame leg for stability & rigidity.

    I am currently researching cost and if I can have this done complete for under $200. I will do it and post results with instructions & pictures. What I want to know from those of you with better engineering minds than I is; will this work? I have seen 1 or 2 similar concepts, albeit simpler construction & materials, on this site in backyards but with little background or follow ups to assure me this is a good design. I like the pros but are there any cons? I know, I can anticipate the comments now ... go ahead try it & let us know how it works out but I am not a DIY guy and have no interest in wasting money on something that's not going to work as anticipated. Appreciate your input and promise that if I make the commitment I will post a details here. The exciting part is if this does work it can be replicated in aluminum reducing weight and improving durability to weather especially salt water, but also increasing the cost substantially - the blueprint would be the same.
    Last edited by Swingblade; 03-01-2011 at 19:01. Reason: posted in wrong forum
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  2. #2
    Senior Member salamander42's Avatar
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    Here's a link to the tread about mine. . . This may be one of the similar concepts that you've already seen. . .

    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=26550

    It's been a while since I posted an update on that thread. . . I have been using the stand generally once a week or so for at least a few hours. I've only spent one or two full nights on it so far. I have made a few minor changes and adjustments, but it's still essentially the same. It seems to be plenty strong enough and solid as a rock except for the end to end sway I've gotten. I have set it up a couple of times now with guy lines off of the ends, and that seems to have solved the sway problem completely. Now that the weather is warming up, I expect to be using my stand a lot more, and I'll certainly update my original thread as I make adjustments or find problems. I plan to also make a very similar stand to use indoors. I'm hoping to be sleeping in a hammock pretty much every night before too long. Hope this helps out. Good luck!

    Edit to add: For what it's worth, I weigh about 240 and I feel pretty secure hanging from the stand.
    Last edited by salamander42; 03-01-2011 at 20:40.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Swingblade's Avatar
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    salamander42, excellent discussion thread link & yes your stand is one of the ones I saw that gave me hope this design might work. Basically the only differences for mine is that it would be all metal to minimize bulk for transportation and the legs being adjustable to conform to multiple elevations in ground level. The swing set end pieces mentioned in the later post is exactly what I had in mind to fabricate to tie everything together although mine would be smaller in diameter but thicker metal for strength.

    Couple of thoughts; end to end stability might be achieved with a simple flat bar attached at a 45 angle from the "A" frame to the top bar on either end. For portability & ease of set up/teardown one end would attach permanently to either the top bar or a leg bar in a method that allowed it to swivel & the other end by some form of groove & peg method like seen on some foldable saw horses ... quick & secure. My other thought is while galvanized metal is relatively strong, lightweight & cost effective it is toxic to weld. It can be done but not by me.

    On a final note I sure do like the cost of your concept. If it weren't for my desire to have adjustable legs I might have reconsidered the use wood instead of metal for the legs as you did. I also had thought about just buying a swing set as someone in your thread had mentioned but I have been haphazardly looking at craigslist in my area & have yet to see anything. Most everything I've seen have been the fancy wooden set ups, a drawback to living out in the boonies. It would cost me as much in gas to drive down to the city as to buy one on the internet which is to say too much $$$. I hope this thread doesn't die off too soon cause I'm getting excited about this & would like as much input as possible.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swingblade View Post
    If it weren't for my desire to have adjustable legs I might have reconsidered the use wood instead of metal for the legs as you did.
    FWIW...a line of holes in the wood legs would allow for height adjustments. I agree that end to end bracing would be a must have.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Swingblade's Avatar
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    a line of holes in the wood legs would allow for height adjustments.
    gmcttr, I'm not getting what you mean here. Metal allows for a slightly smaller diameter pole such as 1 3/8" to slide inside of a larger 1 1/2" which then would have holes drilled through both that a peg is inserted for a given length. How does this work with wood?
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  6. #6
    Senior Member salamander42's Avatar
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    I think he means having multiple sets of holes for the ridge pole to go through, like maybe a foot apart or something. . . I can see how it would work, but I don't know how much it would affect the strength of the 2x4. Probably more than I would want to risk myself, but maybe alright for someone quite a bit lighter then I am.

    I'm not sure how much adjustment you want or need, Swingblade, but I can make some minor adjustments on mine by varying how far apart the legs are. . . A wider angle = lower ridge pole. I haven't really experimented with it because I'm using the stand on a level patio, but I'd guess I could probably adjust it enough to get between 6 inches and a food of difference between one end and the other.
    Don't alter my altar
    don't desecrate my shrine
    My church is the water
    and my home is underneath the shady pines

    From the song "One Man's Shame" by William Elliot Whitmore

  7. #7
    Senior Member Swingblade's Avatar
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    I think he means having multiple sets of holes for the ridge pole to go through
    Okay, I can see how that could work, but like you at near 250lb I also would be skiddish. Got me thinking now though ... not sure how to explain it but I believe I have an idea. Let me think about it & I'll post later when I can explain what has come to me. I might even have my comp' back where I can post pictures.

    My hope for all metal looks bleak. I was able to get over to the iron yard today & wasn't happy with the material cost. Looks like just materials alone will be closing in on $200. I want to thank you both for your comments as I believe it's given me an idea that just might work using wood with a couple of DIY fabricated metal brackets, keeping cost down but allowing the flexibility of individually adjustable legs at all four corners plus stabilizing the horizontal shifting issue. Give me a day or two.
    The older I get the better I used to be. Superhero status is near.

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