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  1. #1
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Dual use one tree hammock stand

    I've mentioned to all my HF friends that I was working on a new hammock stand and was encouraged by both of them to post pictures.

    So most of my hammock-in-yard pictures are taken from a pair of trees in the front yard. This is not optimal for a number of reasons, but I don't have but two pair of trees in the yard I can hang from, and they're both out front. I've set up hammock stands, but there's always the set up and tear down time. I've been wanting a stand I can put in the yard and just leave there. My Better Half has certain ideas about what is acceptable as a permanent yard fixture and what is not.

    So I figured if I put in a permanent pole I could use it and a tree. So I bought myself a 12' long 4x4 post, figuring if I put half of it in the ground, then the half that was above the ground would be securely enough anchored to not topple over. I'm a cautious engineer, right?

    So I got a set of post hole diggers and set to work. Naturally I hit a 3 inch diameter root about 8" down, and naturally its orientation was more down than across, so naturally I had to go get more tools to deal with it. In this case a 70 lb digging bar that has a point at one end and a chisel at another. An hour or more later I was through the root and on my way. But aghast! At about 2' down the spades of the digger were so far down that when I pulled the handles apart to close the spades and bring up the dirt, they wouldn't close enough. With the digging bar and my hands I could deepen the hole to about 33" but then I was running out of arm to pull the the loose soil.

    th-post.jpg

    Hmm. 33" is not 72", and I was concerned that this was not deep enough to really anchor the post with a hammock attachment 5' or so up. So I packed the pole in with pea gravel, sat down, and had me a think.

    Bracing! That's it. I need to brace the pole in a way that it stays up. Since I had the pole hole digger anyway, I put in a couple more poles, some cross-pieces, and braces.

    th-crossbeam.jpg

    Well, as long as I had the support structure in place, it wasn't much more trouble to put in a floor and guard rails.

    tr-setup.jpgth-jp.jpg

    So my braced pole serves to support one end of the hammock, and a nearby tree supports the other.

    th-dmb.jpgth-feet.jpg

    BTW, the strapping on that tree is a 12' long piece of 1" heavy duty strapping I got from strapworks last year. Very nice strapping, albeit heavy, but perfect for this job. That's a Big Tree. If you look extremely closely at the suspension on the feet picture you'll see the hitchless cotter pin I've employed (at TeeDee's suggestion) for the Marlinspike hitch on the cord that connects suspension to hammock (in addition to the one at the tree). Luv dat Marlinspike hitch.

    Anyway, now I have a one-tree hammock stand in the back yard with dual use as a "tree house" for my 7 year old, thereby satisfying my Better Half's constraint about what may be a permanent fixture in the yard. I'll still have to use the front yard for fooling around with tarps. Or sink another post. But I've had my fill of sinking posts for a while.

    Now that that's done I can start to think about new DIY hammock projects.

    Grizz

  2. #2
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrizzlyAdams View Post
    At about 2' down the spades of the digger were so far down that when I pulled the handles apart to close the spades and bring up the dirt, they wouldn't close enough. With the digging bar and my hands I could deepen the hole to about 33" but then I was running out of arm to pull the the loose soil.
    I remember learning the post-holer lesson once too.

    Congrats on your new hanging spot.
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  3. #3
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    I will never forget my dad trying to dig a well with a hand auger post hole digger... Well... you'd have to know my dad. But let's just say the apple doesn't rot far from the tree.
    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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  4. #4
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    That's funny. Since you started out wanting a hammock stand, for your next project you should build an addition to the tree house and maybe it will end up as a stand you can use with your tarp
    Last edited by HappyCamper; 09-03-2008 at 04:51.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Very nice Grizz! I'm coming up on 40 years old and I'll be damned if I don't STILL think tree houses are cool. Watched a whole show on tree houses that people actually live in, running water and everything, but I digress.

    Nice piece of multi-use gear you've got yourself.
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  6. #6
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannibal View Post
    Very nice Grizz! I'm coming up on 40 years old and I'll be damned if I don't STILL think tree houses are cool. Watched a whole show on tree houses that people actually live in, running water and everything, but I digress.

    Nice piece of multi-use gear you've got yourself.
    well then Cannibal, you're invited over to Chez Grizz to play anytime you like. Projects queuing up for the tree house include a zip line!

    It's also a place where I can use some of the too-heavy-for-anything-else coated fabric I foolishly bought on the Internet before understanding that any weight rating given is taken BEFORE the coating is put on. Thinking about a tarp-like awning over the floor.

    Good to show my Better Half that this sewing compulsion can be put to use on projects she approves of!

    Grizz

  7. #7
    Senior Member fin's Avatar
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    Grizz is the king of dual use items, isn't he? I know what you mean about wives and allowable yard structures.

  8. #8
    Senior Member gunn parker's Avatar
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    Hi
    Great stuff, I am in the same place myself at the moment, I have only one tree in the back yard and I need another pole set into the ground.
    Did you concrete it in?
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  9. #9
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunn parker View Post
    Hi
    Great stuff, I am in the same place myself at the moment, I have only one tree in the back yard and I need another pole set into the ground.
    Did you concrete it in?
    I did a fair amount of reading different opinions on this before commiting to what I actually did, which was to pack the hole with "pea gravel". These are rocks smaller than 1 cm in diameter. I poured in about 5 cm before plunking down the pole. Then the pole went in. After that I'd pour another 5 cm or so around the hole and tamp it down with the end of a crowbar. Repeated until done.

    What sold me on this approach is that the idea is to make it so that water doesn't pool around the pole. And, as was pointed out on some handy-man site or other, when you pour concrete in you are immediately immersing the pole in water, that water tends to pool on top of dried concrete and work its way down between the wood and concrete with no way out.

    Also, knowing that the force on these poles was going to be primarily vertical (and not have a significant horizontal component, as you would if sinking a single pole for a hammock end as I jestingly said I was doing), then I was not so concerned about trying to arrest side-to-side movement within the hole.

    So build a tree house! Your kids and wife will love you for it.

    Or if it is going to be one pole only, see if you can rent a power auger and dig deeper than you can with post hole diggers.

    Grizz

  10. #10
    Senior Member Walking Bear's Avatar
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    But Grizz did you call the "Diggers Hot Line" at least two working days ahead of time?

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