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  1. #1
    jokerr's Avatar
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    spreader bar failure

    I was testing my diy bridge,felt pretty comfy,looked up at my spreader bar right above my head and wondered what would happen if it snapped...

    At that very moment the bar at the foot end did snap and gravity did its thing..

    I had just created two very sharp oak vampire stakes and luckily they were not in me.

    I used 5/8 inch oak dowel rods which should work ok. either the rod was faulty or my suspension triangle may have been a bit to short.

    either way no more wood spreader bars for me. A good reminder to us
    non expert DIYers to be careful of what we create
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  2. #2
    New Member rylake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by senecio-joe View Post
    I was testing my diy bridge,felt pretty comfy,looked up at my spreader bar right above my head and wondered what would happen if it snapped...

    At that very moment the bar at the foot end did snap and gravity did its thing..

    I had just created two very sharp oak vampire stakes and luckily they were not in me.

    I used 5/8 inch oak dowel rods which should work ok. either the rod was faulty or my suspension triangle may have been a bit to short.

    either way no more wood spreader bars for me. A good reminder to us
    non expert DIYers to be careful of what we create
    Even the so-called experts play a little fast and loose with materials IMHO.

    Glad you are OK.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Resqsarge03's Avatar
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    I'm uneducated in the ways of bridge hammocking but I am a woodworker and I had two (possibly useful) thoughts when I read this.
    First- Oak has a pronounced grain unlike some other hardwoods like maple which tends to be a little tighter. Sometimes grain lines create weaknesses.
    Second- Not all dowels are produced with perfectly aligned grain. If the piece that was turned into that dowel had some grain that went diagonally across the dowel, that would create a weak spot.
    Glad you are OK.
    Last edited by Resqsarge03; 08-16-2012 at 14:55. Reason: forgot a word

  4. #4
    MT's Avatar
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    You could poke an eye out with one of those

    Glad you are ok.
    MT

    "Bye bye, boys!"
    "Have fun storming the castle!"

  5. #5
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    Yep. That's called grain runout. Look for pieces with grain that runs parallel to the length of the dowel.

  6. #6
    Acer's Avatar
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    My thoughts do to the stress spreader bars have to be under,,is to use aluminum or carbon. You can even use your hiking poles..but I have read reports where they have even snapped depending on thickness of the walls of the materials used.

  7. #7
    Peter_pan's Avatar
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    Second the alum or carbon recommendation.

    Additionally, one should never attempt to repostion oneself in the hammock by pulling on the spreader bar...They will bend or snap... Most, if not all, are designed for compression forces fron the ends...Not to resist center pull force.

    Pan
    Ounces to Grams.

    www.jacksrbetter.com ... Largest supplier of camping quilts and under quilts...Home of the Original Nest Under Quilt, and Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock. 800 595 0413

  8. #8
    Senior Member Les Rust's Avatar
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    Glad you're ok. That definitely looks like a grain failure to me. Dowels are usually mass-produced and getting maximum yield is the priority--not creating the strongest component. With aluminum or carbon components the structural strength is very consistent and much more predictable.

  9. #9
    Senior Member spamburglar's Avatar
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    Just finished stitching up the body for my first bridge. I was going to get dowels for my spreaders, but this makes me reconsider....maybe conduit till I can find something else
    "Go sell crazy somewhere else, we're all stocked up here"~Jack Nicholson/As Good As It Gets

  10. #10
    Senior Member ninjahamockman's Avatar
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    Have you tried pvc and a wooden dowel this time a strong dowel.
    Bacon and Camping makes me happy.

    "When life gives you lemons throw them back"
    Me

    I camp in bear country and I am a bear Burrito.

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