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  1. #1

    Join Date
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    marlin sp./whoopie
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    The beefy bridge

    I originally posted this in response to my question in the suspension system section, but thought it belongs in the DIY section.

    This is a 8 foot long bridge made from denim and medium weight cotton. I wanted to make sure my tall and "big boned" friends could use it. I choose 8 foot because that was the length of the denim. If I make a another one it will be tailored to my height and use lightweight material.

    This is a lesson for those who are going to use two different pieces of fabric, limited sewing skills and even less planning. the first photo is of the two different layers of fabric. A medium weight cotton, an old futon cover, and a heavy denim material. First off, the two fabrics act different. This is something I didn't think about until it was to late. The denim didn't stretch the cotton did.

    IMG_3448 by pappy2012, on Flickr

    IMG_3449 by pappy2012, on Flickr
    My first stitch was to make the sealed edge at the foot end. I'm a novice at sewing so my lines weren't strait but they got the job done. You'll notice that the cotton and denim fabric appear to be two different lengths and thats because they are two different lengths. the two different lengths was not what I planned on.

    After I sealed the bottom edges I wanted to make the two pieces one. No picture provide. I measured the two pieces at the same time, cotton on top denim on bottom. the Denim is 8ft long and the cotton is just a inch or so shorter. I think thats because of the stretch of the fabric. I Think the only problem will be aesthetically. to combine the two pieces I put the outside of the fabric against each other sewed a line then flipped right side out and then sewed another line.


    IMG_3450 by pappy2012, on Flickr

    This next photo (above) is from the curve edge of the hammock. As you can see my sticking is improving and it was easy to track the edge. Actually it was only easy until about half way down the edge.


    IMG_3451 by pappy2012, on Flickr

    This next photo shows how the cotton fabric starting acting weird and wanted to pull away from the curve of the denim. I figured this was do to curve of the fabric, the types of material, and my lack of experience with sewing. Whatever the reason was it was very frustrating to go from nice clean edges to unkept and unruly.

    My next step will be to sew channels along the curve for the amsteel. After posting this thread I discovered the article about the dual mode hammock and decided to sew on loops made from webbing at the ends to attach the rope to the hammock.

    overall I'm happy with this project thus far. Its really my first time at sewing something so large and working with two different types of material. I'll post more as the project unravels. The first hang will be very rewarding.

  2. #2
    DivaB's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    continuous L. Amst
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    Holy cow! Good Job Keep us posted on the rest and keep the pictures coming. Love being able to see how things are done, and the pictures help me wrap my brain around it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bigbamaguy's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
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    NE Alabama
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    Will be following this thread........cute assistant you have there helping you.
    Par Si Vis Pace Para Bellum

  4. #4
    Jazilla's Avatar
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    The cotton will stretch to meet the length of the denim. How wide are you planning your spreaders?
    Yosemite Sam: Are you trying to make me look a fool?
    Bugs: You don't need me to make you look like a fool.
    Yosemite Sam: Yer deerrrnnn right I don't!

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    marlin sp./whoopie
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    Jazilla- I was panning on making it 42 inches wide. I read the reports fom Ber about his bridge hammocks and decides that I'll just make this hammock as big and comfy as I can. I don't know what I'll use yet for the bar material. I was looking at making the bridge on the cheap, as in all i wanted to spend money on was the amsteel for the suspension. Do you have any suggestion for material?

    Big Bama guy- she is a great assistant. As I was sewing this beast up every time I stopped to adjust the fabric she would clap and say, "yay daddy." she also made sure the material was right for rolling over. It passed the rolling test.

  6. #6

    Join Date
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    Correction- reports "from" Ber...

  7. #7
    Jazilla's Avatar
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    I have successfully used a broom handle and some metal tubes from a clothing rack my wife got rid of (I'm a pack rat). That is a long hammock at 8ft. The farther away you lay from the spreaders the more it will squeeze you. I say while your at it put a spreader in the middle.
    Yosemite Sam: Are you trying to make me look a fool?
    Bugs: You don't need me to make you look like a fool.
    Yosemite Sam: Yer deerrrnnn right I don't!

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    Jazilla, the middle of the hammock should end up being about 32 inches wide. What would you suggest for the length of the bar? Man, a bar in the middle would make it inconvenient getting in and out. I shouldn't count this as a failure but rather I learned another way not to do this. Thank you Thomas Edison.

  9. #9
    Jazilla's Avatar
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    I was just kidding about the middle bar. It's never too late. You could always fold it in half and remove 6". That would a foot off the length making it 84" which will be a closer fit.
    Yosemite Sam: Are you trying to make me look a fool?
    Bugs: You don't need me to make you look like a fool.
    Yosemite Sam: Yer deerrrnnn right I don't!

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    UPDATE: Almost done!

    I knew my sewing machine couldn't handle creating the channels for the rope so I took it to my mothers house. There the hammock proceeded to destroy 5 needles from her sewing machine! Sorry mom. The side couldn't have been rolled because it would have been to much dense material so we sealed the edge and sewed three stitches across the hammock on each side. Hopefully that will work. The bridge is just a little over 30in. wide at the center.

    IMG_3507 by pappy2012, on Flickr

    right now i'm running two lengths of 550 cord through the channels. After the Christmas season I'll spend some money on myself and get some am steel. I did a kind of prussik knot to attach the descender ring.

    IMG_3505 by pappy2012, on Flickr

    Here is a close up of the underside of the hammock. You can faintly see the three lines of stitching. I also have sewn in loops on the four conners. I thought I might have attach rope and those would provide easy attachment points.

    IMG_3504 by pappy2012, on Flickr

    All I have left is to cut my bamboo to size and then make my suspension triangle. A guy down the street from me grows lumber bamboo and gave a length of bamboo that was almost as tall as a two story house! I plan on making some sore of cap out of am steel and denim for the bamboo to rest in. Hopefully my classes and life won't stop me from having this done by January for the Oregon winter hang!

    Any advice is still appreciated. My next bridge will definitely be lighter and more backpacker friendly.

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