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  1. #31
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    truth be known any advances we have made have been built on the "innocence" of those before us. Without _you_ and the others who contributed to this process we would not be doing what we are doing now.
    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."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

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  2. #32
    Senior Member
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    Looking at the stars

    Very enchanting and a little moving at times.You have fond memories based around the hammock Im sure.I particularly like the part where you mention looking at the stars wow in my humble assesment it's got to be the best thing one can do in a hammock what you say?Thanks for posting your really nice story.It has a real vintage air to it.

  3. #33
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    At the risk of sounding like a nancy boy, that last part brought a tear to my eye.

    Thank you. You are an example of why I chose to go into the woods as a past time instead of one of the thousands of other activities one can take up as a hobby.

  4. #34
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    Hello Hangers;

    While reading of all the creative devices, and ideas you guys are developing now, I tried to think of the things we were doing then. Most of which have been long surpassed. But here goes some on hanging and other stuff.

    The old jungle hammocks have lots of lines going to them, and in a hard rain storm water would run down the lines and creep into the hammock. You can stop rain running down a line by tying a fairly large cotton string around each line using a Prusick knot and letting both ends of the string dangle down 3-4 inches, much like the fringe on a western jacket. The knot must be tight, but you can easily move it up and down the line. The water will run down the line hit the knot and drain down the dangling strings.

    The only rope I was ever satisfied with tying the hammock to a tree was real 3/8 inch hemp. I can't say I tried them all, but I tried lots. Hemp is natural, it is easy to tie and untie, it becomes more friendly with use, like a good pair of levis. While it was not my concern at the time, I think it was easier on the trees, without using straps like today. Also, three part hemp can be spliced, in the old fashion way as sailors did it. You can put a eye splice in the ring next to the hammock that will be there forever. Splicing is easy, once you figure it out. When you buy REAL hemp rope it is stiff and not so friendly , and I stress real because there are other cordages that are sold as hemp that are not. Buy lots of it, 5 times what you think you will need. Go find a light pole, (not creosote) round fence post, or dead tree), back you car/truck up close to it. Wrap the rope around the post once, and tie the end to the bumper. Have some one slowly drive off while you are holding the rope (with gloves) just tight enough to make it "sing a bit" but not really stress it. You will need to do this multiple times. Each time the rope will become more pliable, more natural, and flexible. But Wait!!! You aint done yet! The next step works best on a rain day. Find an unpaved county road. Tie the rope behind your car and drag it for a mile or so. Stop and tie the other end to the bumper and go another mile or so. This will remove any sticky things that might have popped up in step 1. When the rope feels good in your hands your almost done. Go home and coil it in a bucket with very mild soap. Clean and shake until all of the sand and crap is gone. Sand will weaken the rope over time. Do not used strong soap as it will remove natural oils from the rope. Each time I would coil the rope I would run it through my fist and I "believed" would put a oil back into it I can remember also taking a rag with a little Neatsfoot oil and running it down the rope to put some oil back in it. I coiled the rope in a "Plowmans" wrap (I think that is what it is called), the width of the hammock. (Looks sort of like a sausage, and laid them crossways in the hammock and rolled it up as tight as I could folding the sides in You will need to learn how to do and dead end splice, or shrink wrap end because three strand hemp can not be fused because it is natural. I am not saying it is lighter, stronger, more durable, than the modern stuff, and indeed it is heavier and more bulky, but I am saying it work better for me and I like the feel of working with it, and I even like the smell. Also, please no comments about hemp and its origins.

    There is no other form of camping, (other thna climbing) that stresses your equipment more than hanging. The loads and shocks are great and stuff will break. I just went to the basement and dug out my old repair kit. I hope this is not boring.

    First, it is in a Prince Albert tobacco can. Flat and rectangular, and fits easily anywhere, jut measuring it it is 7/8" thick, 4 "long and 3" wide. It has got to be 45 years old, works fine, and I don't know if is still made!

    Starting on the outside the most important item: duct tape. The can is 4" long and that means it will take 2 wraps of duct tape around the can. Each wrap is 7" and it looks like there are three wraps. So that means there is about 42" of duck tape, taking no room in the can. (The duck needs to be replaced it stuck to itself after so long)

    Bear me on the list of items in no order out of the can:

    1. A tight flat roll of small picture frame wired measured at 36 ".
    2. A flatten roll of wax coated sewing thread from one of the awl sewing devices. It is flat and hard as a rock with old wax.
    3. 1 sewing awl needle. Just the needle.
    4 1 roll of soft copper wire about the size of a quarter. Probably about a foot long.
    5. 2 medium size safety pins wrapped in different size thread.
    6. A single edge razor blade with the cutting edge taped.
    7. Mountain Master backed used lot of clevis pins in two lengths. Two of each, because my Buddy also used Mountain Master.
    8. A medium and small needle.
    9. A piece of one of my wifes emery board.
    10. 2 different shaped Exacto Blades. Important: you don't need the handle. Find a nice straight green limb that is as round as the Exacto blade is wide. Cut about 6". Split the end and carefully shove the blade in the split. Wrap it tightly with copper wire, and you a good to go.
    11. 2 rubber bands. Oops, they just disintegrated in my hand!! Better replace them.
    12. The tongue out of a pair of my old leather shoes. These were great for repair straps.
    13. 1 very small plastic bag with the gaskets/repair of Svea 123.
    14. 1 flat roll of music wire (came from a music supply house) the exact same size as the gas jet in the Seva for cleaning it. But this stuff is very strong, and can be pushed through some very resistant materials. I remember that the sole of my Buddies boot started to come off, and we pushed the wire through it in several places, and twisted it. Twisting would have been impossible without the next item.
    15. A very very small pair of good industrial strength needle nose pliers. These were very important in sewing straps because it took the pliers to push the needle through the material. I have not idea when and where I got them. Might be jewelers. Today, a multi tool would replace these.
    16. A 2'X4" piece of nylon repair tape. And you guessed it, it is no longer any GOOD.
    17. A quarter, 25 cents. I think this was for pay phones.
    18. A tightly roller 20 dollar bill. God, it has been there so long I am surprised it is not a silver certificate!
    19. A Bayer Aspirin tin with 4 different size fish small hooks, 6 little split lead sinkers, and two fishing flies that have fallen apart.
    20. The aspirin tin is wrapped with some very thin fishing, no idea what size, probably 10 feet.
    21. 1 1/4X1" nut and bolt. I have NO idea what I thought I would use this for.
    22. 1 little folded piece of tin foil, I had no idea what was in it. It was a little ball Bees Wax for the needle and thread. I have since discovered that you can use chap stick for this.
    23. 1 needle threading thingie out of a hotel sewing kit.
    24. Last to come out a very small tube of Super Glue. Also no good.

    By the way, make sure you have needles that you can thread a strand from a para cord through the eye of the needle. The para cord is you greatest
    source of thread!!!

    And yes, it was all in the can. Will I ever get it back? I doubt it.

    Enough for now....

    Warm Regards;

    Tirediron

  5. #35
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    When I worked in the theater we got to know hemp rope really really well. You are correct that nothing, absolutely nothing feels so good in the hands as a well cared for, well broken in hemp rope. We used 3/4". I don;t know what they use for rigging ropes now... I hope its not polyester or poly pro.... The biggest problem was getting that hemp broken in well to start with the first couple of seasons with hanging rigging in the stage house were horrid until that rope stopped splintering and started laying fibers down flat and smooth. After that happened you could let that line run through your hands without gloves and have nothing but smooth twists run past.

    To be honest.. I would still want to hang with the the poly webbing nowdays. particularly when the suspension is subject to so much bad weather.

    The dangerous thing about hemp rope in the outdoors is if you don't care for it correctly it turns on you with a vengeance. It rots from the inside out. The outside fibers can be so smooth and silky but there is a powder of dry rot inside the twists. Many a times I would pick up a piece of rope and twist it against the spiral to check for a clean inner surface.
    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."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

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  6. #36
    MacEntyre's Avatar
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    I worked with natural fiber rope (hemp and manilla) for years, mostly aboard vintage schooners and other sailing vessels. Then, aboard the tug, when lashing equipment on deck for offshore passages, we used only natural fibers because they shrink when they get wet. That kept the lashings tight.
    "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." - Ben Franklin
    www.MollyMacGear.com

  7. #37
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    You can stop rain running down a line by tying a fairly large cotton string around each line using a Prusick knot
    I have used a drip line, but I had not thought about attaching with a prussick. That might well work better, and I will have to try it.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

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