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  1. #1
    Lost_Biker's Avatar
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    My DIY $107 Hammock And Tarp

    Greetings all. Finally had a chance to finish one of my projects and here it is!
    I wanted to see how cheaply I could make a nice quality hammock (with bug net) and a decent cat cut tarp with doors. Since there's a gazillion threads on how to make a hammock, I'll show how I made the tarp.

    The entire cost of the hammock and tarp materials was $107.40 - including thread, but not including shipping (about $12.00). I got everything from Scott at DIY Gear Supply. The only seconds material I used was the 70 digital camo that Scott has. The Hammock was made from 1.9oz 1st's black ripstop - it's a single layer, gathered ends that's 10ft long.

    I made the 6ft Whoopie suspension and 100inch ridgeline from 7/64 amsteel.

    Here's the cost breakdown:

    amsteel - 24 ft - $6.00
    hammock material 1.9oz black ripstop 4 yds $21.00
    spool of thread - black guttermans - tara $3.65
    noseeum - 3 yds - $9.75
    zipper - 20ft coil 2 sliders #3 $5.00+0.50= $5.50
    6ft 1/8" shockcord - $1.50
    2 plastic mitten hooks - $0.24
    1ft 1/2" nylon webbing - $0.44

    Total for Hammock = $48.08

    8yds 70d coated ripstop 2nds Dig Camo - $23.60
    20ft Tech Line 1.2mm - $3.20
    2 plastic triangles - $0.38
    4 plastic line locks - $1.12
    2ft nylon webbing - 1" $0.48
    2ft nylon webbing - 1/2" $0.88

    Total for tarp = $59.32

    48.08+59.32= $107.40 -- does not include shipping $12.00




    First thing was to make enough room - I moved and upended all the furniture in the living room. Then I laid out the material and lined up the edges.






    Next I started to sew a french seam for the ridgeline. A roller foot really helps when doing this, but is not necessary.







    Now it's time to cut the cat curves. I used some 1/2 in plastic pipe with a string to set the depth to 5 inches (the cat curves have a 5 inch depth). I simply used a marker and traced down the curve for the sides. For the edges, that made a 30 inch depth on the outside edge - the piece of tape is 30 inches from the end and the cat cut is 5 inches.











    This last shot above shows all the cuts made.

    Now it's time to sew the tie out supports and sew the edges. I did a simple rolled edge about 1/4 wide on all the edges and my oxford material was cut to match the areas of support - I used a piece of card board cut to the correct shape and size, then I cut out all the pieces.





    Now the triangles and tie outs are sewn to the ridgeline.



    And the tie outs. I used 1/2 inch with a reflective stripe - easy to see at night.



    This is how it looked when I strung it up outside.










    I really tightened down the tarp and let hang edge on in 30 mph wind for a day. I had to use 12" stakes to keep it from flying away. It stretched a little and then stopped stretching. I have to admit I guessed at the cat cuts even though the length is 12 ft. I used Scotts Hex Tarp guide for well, a guide, and used the same 5" for the cat curves.

    It pulls nice and tight with no floppy edges. I admit I redid the ridgeline - I just ripped the thread out - as it wasn't straight. The second time I got it right. I sealed the ridgeline seam and all is well. I let it hang in a rain storm over night and it had no leaks.

    Here's a woods shot - now you can see why I made it 12ft long - plenty of room to close the edges like doors.





    OK - the bad news. This 12x10 tarp weighs in at 34oz. Heavy, but not too heavy.

    The hammock weighs 14.9 oz with all lines including 5ft tree huggers, peak bag for the net and the stuff sack. It has left and right side lay - very comfy!



    You CAN make it cheaper if you shop around for cheaper materials. Scott had everything in stock and his prices are very good.

    This was quite a learning experience. My seams aren't really straight - working with such long material is a pain. It took me a total (off and on) of about 13 hours to make everything. The hammock was done in 3 hours. More time was wasted figuring out all the dimensions - then I just did the cat cuts at 5 inches and hoped everything would turn out ok. It did!

    Let me add that the seams were very east to fold and sew. I didn't use pins, just folded 4 or 5 inches and sewed. This material is stretchy and easy to sew, but don't pull on the material as it will stretch and your stitches will look terrible. Just let the feed dogs put it thru slowly.

    This hammock and tarp is being given to a friend (forum member) who's going to hike the AT next year. He gets to play with it for the rest of this year and tell me what I did wrong
    Last edited by Lost_Biker; 04-22-2013 at 15:43. Reason: Added stuff
    I got in a fight one time with a really big guy, and he said, "I'm going to mop the floor with your face." I said, "You'll be sorry." He said, "Oh, yeah? Why?" I said, "Well, you won't be able to get into the corners very well."


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  2. #2
    dragon360's Avatar
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    Always great stuff (and great breakdown of the process) coming from your end of the hammock world!
    The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering. - St. Augustine

    Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.
    - Bob Marley

  3. #3
    Lost_Biker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragon360 View Post
    Always great stuff (and great breakdown of the process) coming from your end of the hammock world!
    Thanks dragon! It's good to be back after so long. Now that the weather has gotten up to 60 degrees, it's time to go camping and hiking and cycling and getting out of the house and .......well, you get the picture.
    I got in a fight one time with a really big guy, and he said, "I'm going to mop the floor with your face." I said, "You'll be sorry." He said, "Oh, yeah? Why?" I said, "Well, you won't be able to get into the corners very well."


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  4. #4
    Senior Member Hiknhanger's Avatar
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    Looks great Lost Biker! I can't get up enough nerve to try a tarp yet, especially with cat cuts. Great job.

    (One thing I like about that PU coated nylon you got is how it doesn't fray when you cut it. I wish all ripstop was like that!)

  5. #5
    Lost_Biker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiknhanger View Post
    Looks great Lost Biker! I can't get up enough nerve to try a tarp yet, especially with cat cuts. Great job.

    (One thing I like about that PU coated nylon you got is how it doesn't fray when you cut it. I wish all ripstop was like that!)
    Thanks Hiknhanger!
    I've played with some scrap syl seconds and it doesn't fray that much with a sharp pair of scissors - I just push it thru instead of cutting. Good for going around the curves too. When I cut ripstop it doesn't fray until I handle it, then comes the bad language.

    I was worried about the cat cuts too - till I just decided to use a plastic pole and a string and then use a marker to make the lines - very easy. It took maybe 45 minutes to mark and cut all the cats. I know some advise you to cut the cats before sewing the ridgeline, but I found it easier to do the ridgeline first and use tape to mark all the spots, mark the cats and cut, one right after the other. I used the ridgeline as a center guide.

    I did the 70d as a test model - now I feel confident I can do syl easily. The syl will be easier as it slides easier. The 70d coated grabs and stretches a bit so I had to really slow the feed rate down. My tarp has lots of mistakes, but it still works rather well!

    If you have a big area to work in, it's sooooo much easier to set, mark, cut. Just go slow, measure 2x, cut and sew - it'll be done quicker than you think.
    Last edited by Lost_Biker; 04-22-2013 at 20:09. Reason: add stuff
    I got in a fight one time with a really big guy, and he said, "I'm going to mop the floor with your face." I said, "You'll be sorry." He said, "Oh, yeah? Why?" I said, "Well, you won't be able to get into the corners very well."


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  6. #6
    Lost_Biker's Avatar
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    As requested, here's what it looks like in porch mode.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    I got in a fight one time with a really big guy, and he said, "I'm going to mop the floor with your face." I said, "You'll be sorry." He said, "Oh, yeah? Why?" I said, "Well, you won't be able to get into the corners very well."


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  7. #7
    Lost_Biker's Avatar
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    Here's more of the hammock. The last picture shows the peak bag the zippered bug net is in.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Lost_Biker; 04-23-2013 at 09:25. Reason: added stuff
    I got in a fight one time with a really big guy, and he said, "I'm going to mop the floor with your face." I said, "You'll be sorry." He said, "Oh, yeah? Why?" I said, "Well, you won't be able to get into the corners very well."


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  8. #8
    Caveman's Avatar
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    Loving the tarp. I've been a little scared of trying to tackle that project yet, but you made it look (sorta) easy Looks like it turned out great. Thanks for posting.
    If you ain't havin' fun, you're doin' it wrong

  9. #9
    Lost_Biker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caveman View Post
    Loving the tarp. I've been a little scared of trying to tackle that project yet, but you made it look (sorta) easy Looks like it turned out great. Thanks for posting.

    Thanks Caveman. In my opinion, the hardest part is sewing the french seam ridgeline and once I got out the roller foot, it was much easier as the foot would flatten out the width of the seam as it was sewn. I also learned NOT to help pull or push the fabric - let the machine do it. Just keep a small tension and keep it straight. I think I did like 6 inches at a time.

    Pins pins pins - or use folder clamps to hold the material. I used pins as I knew I would use seam sealer (Permatex Flowable Windshield Sealer) on the ridgeline anyhow. I had the pins far enough over on the material that I could sew right along the pins without removing them. That was the second time I sewed the ridgeline - the first time was really bad as I used my standard foot on the machine and was all over the place.

    If you can sew the ridgeline, the rest is very straight forward - using plastic poles to mark the cat curves - and goes quickly.

    Can't wait to do one in sylnylon!. I really like the 12ft length and being able to close the ends.
    I got in a fight one time with a really big guy, and he said, "I'm going to mop the floor with your face." I said, "You'll be sorry." He said, "Oh, yeah? Why?" I said, "Well, you won't be able to get into the corners very well."


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  10. #10

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    I may just have to try this! I'm more interested in the tarp design than the hammock, but great work on both!

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