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  1. #1
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    DIY Hammock Havock

    So, my DIY hammock experiance has been a disaster so far:
    • The company who I ordered my fabric from took 5 weeks to ship;
    • I have set fire to my hand twice, using a small blow-torch to seal the ends of my webbing (I think it was leaking lighter fluid);
    • I have broken or bent three sewing machine needles;
    • I have taken apart and put back together the bobbin section of my sewing machine countless times due to broken thread (100% polyester);
    • Ran out of thread.

    So I'm taking a break. All I've really managed to do is hem the edges of my ripstop. The trouble really started when I started working with webbing. Anyone got any tips for sewing that stuff?

    I think I'm also going to try and find some thinner thread. I think that's part of the reason my machine keeps getting stuck.

  2. #2
    Knotty's Avatar
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    Using the proper needle is important. The fine needle you use for ripstop isn't going to cut it with webbing. I use a universal 80/12 for the fabric and a Jeans Denim 100/16 for the webbing, though I imagine a Universal Heavy Duty 110/18 might also work for the webbing. Hope that helps.
    Knotty
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  3. #3
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    What size needle are you using for your webbing, I use a 100 (heavy duty). I find that cheap needles cause major problems. The last week I haven't been able to make a stitch that was any good. Changed to a better needle last night and installed a pocket on DIY hammock.
    Also your machine may not be strong though to push the needle through multiple layers of webbing.
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  4. #4
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    Not sure what you mean when you say taken apart the bobbin section. Make sure the bobbin unwinds the correct way. Unfortunately, without the manual there is no fool proof way to make sure. If you don't have the threading guides you'll have to just experiment. If you have trouble with the bobbin one way take it out and try it in the other. _Make sure_ that it is the bobbin that is the problem though. Too tight a tension on the upper thread can cause the bobbin thread to break although that would be rare.

    _IF_ you messed with the bobbin tension you may have tightened it up too much. If that's the case you'll have to fiddley with it to make it right. If you did not mess with it don't. Two things are possible beyond the bobbin being threaded wrong... There may be some crud clogging up the works. Brush it out well. Check the bobbin case carefully paying attention to the leaf spring the holds the thread as it feeds off the bobbin. If that is showing a lot of wear you might be cutting the thread on a sharp edge. My advice would be to get a replacement from a repair guy.
    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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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knotty View Post
    Using the proper needle is important.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jazilla View Post
    What size needle are you using for your webbing?
    Cheers for this. I was using a Universal 90, which lasted a good while (I hemmed the hammock with this, but bent it on webbing). The other two were 80's which just snapped - once on webbing, once on ripstop. When I go buy replacement ones for my fiancee I'll get some 100/110 as well for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    Not sure what you mean when you say taken apart the bobbin section. Make sure the bobbin unwinds the correct way. Unfortunately, without the manual there is no fool proof way to make sure. If you don't have the threading guides you'll have to just experiment. If you have trouble with the bobbin one way take it out and try it in the other. _Make sure_ that it is the bobbin that is the problem though. Too tight a tension on the upper thread can cause the bobbin thread to break although that would be rare.

    _IF_ you messed with the bobbin tension you may have tightened it up too much. If that's the case you'll have to fiddley with it to make it right. If you did not mess with it don't. Two things are possible beyond the bobbin being threaded wrong... There may be some crud clogging up the works. Brush it out well. Check the bobbin case carefully paying attention to the leaf spring the holds the thread as it feeds off the bobbin. If that is showing a lot of wear you might be cutting the thread on a sharp edge. My advice would be to get a replacement from a repair guy.
    I have the instructions and the I'm pretty sure I'm using it the correct way around, and the tension is what I need. What I find happens in that the upper thread gets caught down there, which causes it to snag and then the whole machine stops till I take it apart, clean it and put it back together. Once I got the tread tension right on the machine (there is a handy dial on mine) this stopped happening, until I started sewing webbing. Thankfully, it has only happened once on my actual hammock - the rest have been whilst testing on bits of webbing and ripstop.

  6. #6
    PuckerFactor's Avatar
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    Thicker materials can require a higher top thread tension.
    Sounds like you're figuring it out though. Keep plugging along, and eventually you'll be zipping along!

    PF
    Last edited by PuckerFactor; 08-12-2011 at 13:26. Reason: Rev showed it like it is.
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  7. #7
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by id3nt1ty View Post
    I have the instructions and the I'm pretty sure I'm using it the correct way around, and the tension is what I need. What I find happens in that the upper thread gets caught down there, which causes it to snag and then the whole machine stops till I take it apart, clean it and put it back together. Once I got the tread tension right on the machine (there is a handy dial on mine) this stopped happening, until I started sewing webbing. Thankfully, it has only happened once on my actual hammock - the rest have been whilst testing on bits of webbing and ripstop.
    The upper thread getting stuck is a top thread tension problem. Webbing is going to require a higher tension that ripstop. It is denser and heavier and so you have to have more tension to keep from stripping the spool ratherr than pulling up the loop. That's the reason they make the upper thread tension so easily regulated.
    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."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

  8. #8
    PuckerFactor's Avatar
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    Thanks for the correction, Rev. I corrected my post.

    PF
    It's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

    Formerly known as Acercanto, my trail name is MacGuyver to some, and Pucker Factor to others.

    It's not procrastinating, its proactively delaying the implementation of the energy-intensive phase of the project until the enthusiasm factor is at its maximum effectiveness. - Randy Glasbergen

  9. #9
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    Sounds to me like you are right on track. I call that a good week.
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  10. #10
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    Cheers for all the good advice! Actually looking forward to getting back at it! I'm also intrigued to find out if I like sleeping in hammocks!

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