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  1. #1
    Senior Member hutzelbein's Avatar
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    Hammock body cut

    In the past couple of months, I've tried to switch from bed to hammock, but have failed. When hanging indoors, I either have a calf ridge (Warbonnet Blackbird & Traveler), or can't lie flat enough (Ticket to the Moon, Brazilian hammock). The strange thing is that I didn't have a calf ridge problem outdoors. The only thing I couldn't change indoors was the distance between attachment points, therefore I assume, that a longer distance helps with the calf ridge. But I can't do anything about it.

    I have started to think about hammock construction as a result. What determines the flatness and the comfort of the lay? It has often been mentioned that hammock length seems to be an important factor. But still, different hammock brands with the same length feel very different. So there must be something else.

    When I was experimenting with whipping, I found that pulling the outsides of the fabric into the whipping creates more of a bathtub shape. Has anybody ever tried doing the opposite and cut the hammock body concave? Like this:



    I'm just thinking that if you take a rectangle and bunch up the ends, it's impossible that the middle will be flat - it will always retain a bathtub shape to some degree. My guess is that this is why longer hammocks are flatter: the longer the body rectangle is, the less influence the bunched up end has on the hammock. If you were to make a hammock 10m long, provided you had a place to hang it, I doubt you would feel any curvature at all. However, all the DIY-manuals I found suggest taking a rectangular piece of fabric. Is there an error in my reasoning?

    Sewing is not my strong point, but I'm tempted to get a piece of linen fabric and test the theory. Maybe somebody else has done something similar and could give some advice. After all, it's probably important how deep or shallow the curve is (dependent on the length). I'd be interested to hear the thoughts of more experienced DIYers. Maybe it's a bad idea and I should rather go for a bridge design?

  2. #2
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    I was always under the impression with a hammock whipped at the ends, that the wider the hammock - the flatter the lay...

    Are you laying in your hammock at an angle? That usually helps.

    How tall are you and how long/wide is your current hammock?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Desiel's Avatar
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    Maybe check into a bridge hammock they say that that's the most flat lay there is in the hammock world.
    Desiel®
    Hanging Noob
    "If you can't change it, don't worry about it."
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    “All you need is 20 seconds and insane courage, and I promise you something great will come of it.”

  4. #4
    Senior Member hutzelbein's Avatar
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    With regards to flatness, I was more than happy with the WBBB and the WBT. I was fine outdoors; slept in a BB for 6 months and loved it. But indoors I get this calf ridge. Suspension angle is perfect, ridgeline tightness is perfect. Can't figure out what's wrong, other than that the suspension webbing is very short. Outdoors I usually have 2-4m webbing from head/foot end to the attachment point. Indoors it's just about 1m, if at all.

    Can't go more diagonal than I am in both the Brazilian and the TTTTM, because the sides of the hammock come up too much. I can force it, but I won't stay that way for more than 10 minutes.

    Hammock size should me more than adequate for me. All hammocks are +3m long, +1,60m wide; I'm only 1,65m and slim. I already posted about the problem some time back - so I don't think that there's an obvious solution, other than switching to a different hammock (I'm considering both a WL Owl and a Chrysalis, but won't have either of those in the next 3 months). Hence my thoughts about DIY. I'd really be interested in comments on the hammock cut.

  5. #5
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    what percentage of your hammock length is your ridgeline... optimal (at least a starting point) is 83% of overall length (from where your straps attach to your hammock)

  6. #6
    Senior Member hutzelbein's Avatar
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    I use the standard WB ridgeline length now. I believe it's 100". I'm happy with that. No ridgeline on the other hammocks. Tried an adjustable ridgeline on all hammocks for some time. Tried different lengths. I found that the WB ridgeline is really the perfect length for the WB hammocks. Any longer and there would be a calf ridge; any shorter and the bathtub shape would become too pronounced. All those suggestions have already been made, and I tried them all. I changed all variables with the exception of the distance.

  7. #7
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hutzelbein View Post
    ... ridgeline tightness is perfect....
    this is the most puzzling thing to me. The ridgeline sets the the distance between the hammock end points, and if it is taut inside and outside then the way your body conforms to the hammock body should be the same inside and outside.

    The difference between webbing lengths will affect the side-to-side pendulum swing of the hammock body, which I suppose could affect if/how/when you turn when sleeping. If you turn less inside then maybe you tend to feel the ridge more. That's the only thing I can see, and it ain't a satisfying answer.
    Grizz
    (alias ProfessorHammock on youtube)

  8. #8
    Senior Member hutzelbein's Avatar
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    Believe me, I'm as puzzled as you are. But what other factor is there? I go outside and hang the hammock between two posts about 7-8m apart - and everything is fine. I go indoors and hang it between two eye pads 4m apart, and the calf ridge is there. I have installed 5 eye pads at different heights and distances (as much as the room would allow me). I have tried all kinds of angles from 20° to 60° (with and without adjustable ridgelines), step by step. I found that I like the lay of all hammocks better with a shallower angle (right now I'm testing the Brazilian with an angle of 30° - no calf ridge, but still a strong bathtub effect; I'll find out if the lay is flat enough to sleep in tonight). The Warbonnet hammocks provide the flattest lay by far. Were it not for the damned calf ridge, I'd be happy.

  9. #9
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    got any pics as words aren't helping us at all?

  10. #10
    Senior Member hutzelbein's Avatar
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    No pictures. The room is too small to allow me to take a picture of the complete set-up. I could only take pictures of various parts, which I don't think would help. I checked the angles with a smartphone app. I have set up my BB hammock a lot of times in different places. I never had problems outdoors. All this has been discussed before, and I don't think there's an obvious solution. Other than a different hammock model or installing the hammock in a larger room (not an option at the moment, but maybe later this year).

    I believe a bridge could solve the problem, but I can't get one anytime soon - there are not a lot of hammock options in Europe. So the question for the moment is do I build a gathered end hammock which can overcome my problems, or do I build a bridge. I really like the feel of gathered end hammocks, and if there's a way to sleep in one indoors, I'd prefer that over a bridge, I think.

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