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  1. #1
    SlowBro's Avatar
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    Whoopie Sling Suspension

    I just want a super easy way to adjust the suspension on my hammock that doesn't add extra weight, is simple to make and simple to use and doesn't require an advanced degree or special tools or hardware to put together.

    I have used the ringbuckles with straps, the JRB TriGlides, and most recently the ringbuckles with Garda Hitch. All of which have their good and bad points (weight, extra hardware, backup knots, etc.) I really like the strength, weight, and handling characteristics of the AmSteel line and have been looking to use it in my suspension. I'm also a big fan of TeeDee's marlin spike hitch toggle on the tree straps.

    This all leads me to recent threads on the Utility Constrictor Rope (UCR) and the Whoopie Sling constrictor rope use with suspensions got me interested in trying out this technique, (Thanks to ZA206, Frawg, and TeeDee.)

    The idea here is to have an adjustable loop on each end of the hammock that will allow one to center as well as raise and lower the hammock. AmSteel is very strong but very slippery and has varying difficulty holding a knot. Prusik knots, in my experince, just don't work on this line. Enter -the constrictor rope. These type of knots and splices have been used by arborist and sailors but I was totally unaware of them until ZA206 started his UCR thread.

    I read and re-read the posts and tried to glean as much as I could before I got a hunk of 1/8" AmSteel Blue and stoled one of my wife's Yarn Darner needles. I fooled around with making eye splices and backsplice and UCRs and Whoopie slings. I had developed all of these as separate stand alone slings that I could link to my hammock and then to my toggled tree straps. And then it dawned on me that I could simply use the line on my WBBB and turn it into a Whoopie sling AND it would be incredibly easy to do. So easy that anyone could do it. So here goes.

    First I replace the suspension line on my WBBB to make it longer. (Since we will be making a loop it will need to be twice as long as the longest working length. ie - if I want a 5 foot length I will need about 10 ft of line 5 out + 5 back.). Replacing the line was easy. Untie the overhand knot and undo the larks head around the hammock end. Reverse the process to add the new line, making sure to catch the ridgeline in the suspension. (The constrictor will only work on hollow core braided cord as far as I know.)

    Now with the new 12 ft piece of 1/8" AmSteel blue tied to the hammock the fun begins. Get scissors, marker, and yarn darner needle. A long piece of small gage wire bent in half with the ends taped together might work, too.


    A. Make the taper.
    1. Tappering the end of the line will make it easier to handle when the splice is made. First measure up an inch or two from the free end of the suspension rope and mark two strands ( kind of "V" shaped pairs ), then skip a pair and then mark the next pair. Then skip a pair and mark a third pair. (The picture below shows two ends, but you will only have one end to work with).


    2. Pull out the first strand and continue for all marked strands.




    3. Cut off the strands leaving about 1/2 inch and your taper is done.


    B. The Bury.
    1.We are going to make the loop. To do this we are going to thread the line down the middle of itself. Go to the end of the line that is connected to the hammock. We are going to put two marks on the line, OUT and IN. Make your first mark on the line a few inches from the hammock: the OUT point. Measure 10 inches from the OUT point (away from the hammock) and mark it: the IN point. Get your needle. Thread about 3/4 inch of the taper through the eye.


    2. CAREFULLY work the needle between the strands to the hollow middle at the IN point. This can be facilitated by holding the line on either side of the IN point and pushing your fingers toward each other. Like a Chinese finger trap the weave will open up. Once the needle is headed down the middle of the line work it toward the OUT point. This is the hardest part of this whole process. Take your time and be careful not to catch any strands along the way.


    3. When you get to the OUT point CAREFULLY slip the needle out between the strands and pull a foot or two of the line on through.


    C. The Backsplice.
    1. You could clip off the taper at this point, tie an overhand knot in the free end and be done. For a more finished look a backsplice can be used and it is pretty quick. Mark the IN point about 4 inches in from the tip of the free end taper. Mark the OUT point about 10 inches from the end of the taper. CAREFULLY thread the needle between the strands at the IN point and then down the inside of the line to the OUT point. CAREFULLY push the needle between the strands at the OUT point and pull until the end of the rope is snug and neat. Take the needle off and smooth the bunched up end rope in the direction of the hammock and the exposed taper will be sucked inside the sheath. Done.




    Your Whoopie Sling suspension is done. Put the loop that you formed over a toggle or carabiner at the tree and adjust by pushing the constrictor section and pulling the free end in either direction. Pulling the constrictor part will cause it to seize. No extra hardware, fancy knots, or PhDs required. Takes maybe 5 minutes to do. If you don't like it, snip off the backsplice or untie your end knot and gently pull the free end out of the bury section, no harm done.

    These types of constrictors are extremely strong and diminish the rope strength by something like only 3-12 %.

    Hope this is useful.

    -SlowBro

    P.S. I have nothing against PhDs! In fact I married one!
    Last edited by SlowBro; 07-05-2009 at 14:08.

  2. #2
    SlowBro's Avatar
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    I forgot to include a reference to one of the best videos I've seen on constrictor knots and from which I cribbed a lot of this tutorial.

    http://www.splicesbynick.com/videos

    -SlowBro

  3. #3
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    Congratulations, you have just moved to not only the lightest, but the easiest hammock suspension yet.

    Your excellent directions illustrate just how easy and simple it is to make the buried splices for the Whoopie Sling and I thank you for posting them so that others will know how easy it is to splice the modern high tech braided ropes. Splicing is easy and the tools are readily available and inexpensive.

    I'm getting to be a big fan of splicing the braided rope. It has many advantages:

    1. rated strength of the rope - according to Samson and other references I have seen on the web, a bury splice like you are doing de-rates the rope strength by 3% at the most and likely none at all. At least one reference I have seen states that the buried eye splice retains 100% of the rated rope strength.
    2. relatively no wear on rope - since the abrasion forces are spread out over the length of the splice, the abrasion on the rope is very little. Also, since the adjustment of the splices is done once when hanging the hammock, the wear is non-existent compared to tying and untying knots or using a Figure 9. Also, since the splice doesn't slip under heavy loads (well, heavy for a hammock), the only abrasion is when the splice is slid under little to no load conditions. Thus, the abrasion due to the splice is very little.
    3. No concentrated forces or small radius bends - The bury splice does not introduce bends in the rope. With knots and Figure 9s, the forces are concentrated on a very small spot on the rope and the bends in the rope are very small. Both factors introduce weaknesses and cause premature breaking of the rope. Hence, when using knots or Figure 9s, you have to figure you have lost anywhere from 30% to 50% of the rope strength. I don't know that anybody has tested to determine how much the use of a Figure 9 de-rates rope strength.
    4. easy to do - as you illustrate, splicing is easy. As you gain experience, it gets even easier. If you want to spend $55 you can get the Toss splicing wand and make the splicing considerably easier. The splicing wand is optional though. The needle can be easily carried in your kit and splicing done in the field to repair rope or make new Whoopie slings or to bury the end of a rope. Burying the end is the nicest and cleanest way to whip the rope end to prevent fraying. I've found that even just burying 1" is sufficient. I like to bury about 4" since the fatter end bury gives a "handle" on the end of the rope to grab and hold.
    5. do once and then use - unlike knots which have to be tied and untied with every use, the splice is done once and you're done. Tying and untying knots introduces wear on the rope above and beyond the wear of loading the knot.
    6. makes adjusting super easy - sliding the bury splice is extremely easy and very intuitive once you have done it once. I've started making Solomon Bars on my Whoopie Slings to use as markers that I can slide on the rope to mark a certain spot. For me, it makes adjusting the sling even easier. Google "Solomon bar" and you'll find several videos on how to tie one.
    7. no slippage - I learned very quickly, that a proper bury splice loaded on both ends of the bury like a Whoopie Sling or buried eye splice, does not slip under load. On webbing, I have used cam locking buckles and ring buckles. On rope I have used rings, zig zag cleats, the Hitchcraft rope cleat and Carabiners. All of the hardware I have used has at least 3 disadvantages:
      1. weight - this can be very significant for some of the hardware
      2. slippage - all of the hardware I used has slipped on me at least once until I learned to use a safety half-hitch
      3. wear - the hardware is, well, hard and it abrades the rope or webbing and can significantly shorten the life of either rope or webbing.
    8. no hardware - this is one of the central things about the bury splice that I really like. Like a knot, I don't need anything other than the rope itself. Unlike a knot I retain, for all practical purposes, the full strength of the rope.


    What's not to like about the Whoopie Sling for the hammock suspension??
    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

    Do not dig your grave with your teeth. (Unknown)

  4. #4
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Thanks SlowBro---
    that looks like too much fun not to try! I just need to pick up a big needle, and I'm on it!

    Grizz

  5. #5
    gargoyle's Avatar
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    Back to the store, when will this end? So many ideas and only 24 hours in a day.

  6. #6
    Ken's Avatar
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    8 strand amsteel?

    Hi fellas. I've been following all the threads on the UCRs and whoopie slings.

    I had some 7/64 amsteel I had bought a while back. I pulled it out this morning thinking of doing this mod. I then noticed that this cord is 8-strand and not 12. I purchased this from an ebay seller, so all I know is that it was claimed to be "amsteel blue". Doing some research I did find one online seller who stated that the grey amsteel goes to 8-strand when dropping to the 7/64 size.

    My concern is that 8-strand may not "constrict" as tightly in the buried section, and I now have questions about the origin of this cord so I don't fully trust it.

    I'm going to keep this for other uses and order more from Redden or Annapolis for the whoopie conversion.

    I'm just curious as to whether anyone else has seen 7/64 "blue" in 8-strand?

    Thanks,
    Ken
    http://www.linvillegorge.net

    "You can't hem up a Rat!" Malcom Johnson, ca. 1970

  7. #7
    SlowBro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeeDee View Post
    Congratulations, you have just moved to not only the lightest, but the easiest hammock suspension yet.

    Your excellent directions illustrate just how easy and simple it is to make the buried splices for the Whoopie Sling and I thank you for posting them so that others will know how easy it is to splice the modern high tech braided ropes. Splicing is easy and the tools are readily available and inexpensive.
    Thanks for the kind words TeeDee. I really appreciate all the experimental work you and Frawg and ZA206 have posted as well as input from nacra533 and others.

    And, Yes it is really easy to do and looks cool, too!

    -SlowBro

  8. #8
    SlowBro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    Hi fellas. I've been following all the threads on the UCRs and whoopie slings.

    I had some 7/64 amsteel I had bought a while back. I pulled it out this morning thinking of doing this mod. I then noticed that this cord is 8-strand and not 12. I purchased this from an ebay seller, so all I know is that it was claimed to be "amsteel blue". Doing some research I did find one online seller who stated that the grey amsteel goes to 8-strand when dropping to the 7/64 size.

    My concern is that 8-strand may not "constrict" as tightly in the buried section, and I now have questions about the origin of this cord so I don't fully trust it.

    I'm going to keep this for other uses and order more from Redden or Annapolis for the whoopie conversion.

    I'm just curious as to whether anyone else has seen 7/64 "blue" in 8-strand?

    Thanks,
    Ken
    Ken, If the line you have is really Amsteel 7/64ths it has a breaking strength of 1600lb vs. 2300lb for the 1/8. I would think you could still use it and there would be even more reason to try a whoopie sling as it will degrade the strength only a few percent vs a knot. In fact you may want to make an eye splice in the hammock end for your larks head. ( The eye splice is slightly more involved and instructions on it and the whoopie sling can be viewed on THIS video.)

    For eight strand you would want to only remove 2 sets of strands for the taper instead of 3. Also, even though I think a 10 inch bury would be more than enough, if you're worried about holding, you could always make it a little longer.

    -SlowBro

  9. #9
    Senior Member hangnout's Avatar
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    Great directions and pics!


    I'm just curious as to whether anyone else has seen 7/64 "blue" in 8-strand?
    I have been using the 7/64 grey in 8 strand for a few hangs now and have had no problems. I orginally posted in this thread http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...?t=9021&page=3

    One time I had a little trouble getting it to release but never a problem with slippage

    I used an 8" bury and made the taper on the smaller line with scissors with an angle cut.

  10. #10
    slow bro,

    excellent demonstration, very easy to undertstand.

    couple questions: so a regular eye splice is just a smaller version of this where the threaded end/taper just remains inside the braid instead of being pulled back out? how much do they suggest being buried for a simple eye loop splice done by this technique?

    so you started with 10', so now your max length is 8-9' or so and you're min is 5'? (maybe i'm seeing it wrong though) what's the min distance the hammock whipping can be from the end of the tree strap? seems like this might force you to have to hang from a larger span?

    so the taper is just to get it through the eye of the needle or does it have another purpose?

    nice job, i'm going to have to try this now as well

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