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  1. #1
    Senior Member Risk's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Footbox/Shoulderbox hammock

    I got some 1.1oz 48" wide material in the mail today and was able to put together the 48 in wide foot box design I have been wanting to try. The main body is 10' x 4', offset by 18 inches. For the foot box, I cut a 30x30x42 right triangle and sewed the short sides to the foot end of the right side long edge, like everyone else has done. I did not use zingit in the long edge. The triangle is sewn in the pointy end of the parallelogram.

    With the narrow length of the hammock, it felt like I was falling out of the left side of the hammock. So I cut a second triangle from the material I had left over from forming the parallelogram shape on one end. This triangle long edge is 34 in and the short sides are 22 in long. I sewed the short sides into the center of the left edge, giving my shoulder and left elbow a shoulder box to catch and keep me from falling out of the hammock.

    The hammock is single layer and all the long edge seams were stitched with a zigzag stitch to keep from stressing the material.

    This seemed to work pretty well. I may shorten the hammock by 6 in before I am done because there seems to be excessive room at the head end of the hammock. It would save a couple ounces to shorten the hammock.
    Rick (Risk)
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  2. #2
    Needs more Hang time Catavarie's Avatar
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    So, am I right in that you made 2 triangular footboxes, such as are used in the WBBB, one larger for the feet and one smaller for the shoulder?

    Did adding in the shoulder side triangle make the edge of the hammock more difficult to enter/exit? Is the hammock as comfortable to sit up and lounge in? Did you consider hangnout's Stretchable Footbox as an alternative, assuming you have seen it?
    *Heaven best have trees, because I plan to lounge for eternity.

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  3. #3
    MedicineMan's Avatar
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    Risk--a favor please

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  4. #4
    MAD777's Avatar
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    As Catavarie noted, hangnout's stretchable footbox has become my favorite hammock design for non-netted hammocks.

    I imagine that fixed footboxes on both sides would make entry/exit difficult without stressing the hem on the hammock. Unless of course you enter with a back-flip, 1-1/2 gainer like Shug!
    Mike
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Les Rust's Avatar
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    I had had the same thought a while back, although I wasn't thinking about the parallelogram shape for the body--just a thinner hammock with attached foot/head boxes. I'm interested to see how this does and how comfortable it is.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Risk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catavarie View Post
    So, am I right in that you made 2 triangular footboxes, such as are used in the WBBB, one larger for the feet and one smaller for the shoulder?

    Did adding in the shoulder side triangle make the edge of the hammock more difficult to enter/exit? Is the hammock as comfortable to sit up and lounge in? Did you consider hangnout's Stretchable Footbox as an alternative, assuming you have seen it?
    The smaller shoulder box is not at the end of the hammock, but closer to the middle. Obviously, I need to take a couple photos.... It is small enough that it is easy to sit on.

    The strechable footbox looks like a cool idea for those whose feet come out fo the end of the hammock. I really like it a lot, and had not seen the thread previously. My feet do not come out of the end of my ZHammock, and it seems like if they did, the taut edge of the hammock would feel uncomfortable under my ankle tendon. Thanks for pointing the thread out.

    BTW, for the footbox design I built, I'm not yet sold on the asymetrical nature of the design. It will take some comparison sleeps to see what works best for me.
    Rick (Risk)
    I cook. I sew. I walk. I lead. I hang. I write. I play. I refuse to be ashamed.
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  7. #7
    2Tall's Avatar
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    Working on a similar one myself. Awesome. Not quite that narrow though.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member SGT Rock's Avatar
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    Risk, I did that same thing a couple of years back and it was very comfortable to lay in, but for regular camping it had a fatal flaw that ended up putting me on the ground for a couple of nights on a hike. I'll try to explain it without boring everyone.

    The footbox (or shoulderbox) design shortens the edges of the hammock compared to the body of the hammock. When you get in by sitting down on the shoulder side, there is more stress than normal now being placed on the edge. On the footbox side it doesn't matter as long as you do not get in and out on that side, unless....

    But back to the shoulder box. I did two hammocks this way thinking that I must have done something wrong the first time when one failed. Both ended up dying the same way. What eventually happens is that at some point along the hem, a stress fracture perpendicular to the hammock body will happen. Once that happens, it will catastrophically fail across the hammock body. To demonstrate the stress, sit on the hammock sidewise like you would in camp while relaxing and cooking or whatever. You will feel the stress of the hem somewhere under your legs biting slightly into you, for me this was normally in the back of my knees since that is where my legs hung off the side of my hammock. The stress wasn't that great, but over time it added up.

    The second hammock I did I did a smaller triangle for the shoulder side, and then took care not to use the hammock for side sitting. It just took longer to fail.

    Now for the unless, I've changed my Ghost to work more like the UK Hammock Woodsman X. With that I can let the footbox go completely out of the hammock until I am ready to go to bed. I didn't do a shoulderbox the same way because I came to the conclusion I personally did not need it. If you were to do something like that on the shoulder side, it might prevent problems, but getting the tension right after you are in the hammock may be tricky.

    I came to the conclusion with my cuben fiber ghost that if I were to do a CF hammock like that again, I would keep the adjustable foot box as designed. And I would do a Knotty stretch side on the shoulder side to give better sleeper/gear retention in the hammock. My 1.1 ghost doesn't feel like it needs this to me. The knotty stretch side doesn't change the lay of the hammock, but it does change the shape of the sides to make you feel more secure in the hammock. And since it has a stretch to the side and many, many people are using it successfully, I think it could stand up to long term use.

    Hope that wasn't too boring.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member SGT Rock's Avatar
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    Here is a video demonstrating part of what I am talking about:

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  10. #10
    Senior Member Risk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SGT Rock View Post
    Now for the unless, I've changed my Ghost to work more like the UK Hammock Woodsman X. With that I can let the footbox go completely out of the hammock until I am ready to go to bed. I didn't do a shoulderbox the same way because I came to the conclusion I personally did not need it. If you were to do something like that on the shoulder side, it might prevent problems, but getting the tension right after you are in the hammock may be tricky.
    Not boring and the video that follows your post makes it very clear. I like the idea!

    I am suspicious that the footbox design will fail over time too - especially with 1.1 oz ripstop and my 199 pounds (and dropping). I have only had one hammock fail catastrophically, and that was where some velcro had abraded the material on an edge. It is good to have input on the failure. I may just order up another swatch of 9x4 ripstop and see how light that hammock can get.

    I am getting jealous of your cuban tarp. My light tarp is about 12 oz. I think that a 5x11 tarp made of Cuban may be in my future.

    I'll follow your directions for taping up the tarp when I try it out.

    I guess the materials will cost about $120?
    Rick (Risk)
    I cook. I sew. I walk. I lead. I hang. I write. I play. I refuse to be ashamed.
    http://www.imrisk.com
    Author of "A Wildly Successful 200-Mile Hike"
    http://www.wayahpress.com
    Postholer Trail Journal
    http://www.postholer.com/risk

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