View Full Version : new homemade speer hammock
(i just think the dancing banana is too cute)
i've been busy at the sewing machine this weekend -- made about 12 silnylon stuff sacks and started sewing my speer hammock.
so far, only the hammock structure is complete -- bug net and tarp are next.
i tried it out in the yard and felt that i had a lot of slack on the sides and solid tension down the middle. i followed the instructions in ed speer's book as far as tying the knot with the outside edges shorter. maybe i need to experiment with retying the knot?
any suggestions out there? i didn't totally mind the slack, as i tried one of his hammocks before that had so much tension that when i was inside -- i was INSIDE --- the edges closed up around me like a bad taco shell.
i haven't made the bug net yet -- but it's supported by a ridgeline --- and i'm sure there's too much slack to properly attach the bug net.
That's the way mine is too, and I retied the knot to no effect. It works for me this way as it isn't so tight around the shoulders.
Post some pics when you get it finished!
Denise, how wide is your hammock? I've made a 5 foot wide one and a 4 foot wide one. You can really get wrapped up in the 5 footer. The 4 footer feels like you might be able to fall out when you get very off-center, but I don't think this is likely. Have you tried pitching it with different tensions between the trees? More tension mean more side wrap, slacker means looser sides. Find what feels right to you. You could also try tying the end knots different ways. When you sit in the hammock as you first get in, the sides should dig into your knees uncomfortably.
Ed Speer is the moderator of a Yahoo Group called Hammock Camping. You will probably get Ed's expert advise on this if you post your question over there. It's web address is: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hammockcamping/
debw- the hammock is 5' wide. i used 1.9 oz ripstop --- the fabric was cut to order so i only had to hem the edges. i have not retied the knots (yet).
it's raining here (and i haven't made the tarp yet)(staying dry while i can -- only two+ weeks left 'til trail time).
it may be a little tricky retying the knots, as the straps are already sewn on --- leaving a very narrow space to judge if things were gathered enough or evenly. i do know that my edges are the same length between the knots.
i'll have to check out ed's site and throw some questions at him too.
i only pitched it once, and will again to test different slack between the trees. maybe the fabric needs some "break in" time too? i know the polypropylene straps will stretch a little at first.
I have successfully untied hammock knots, slid the fabric out of the strap loop, put it back, and retied the knots. So it can be done if you're patient. But first I'd try repitching with more or less tension. Ed's guideline of 2 inches at the knot edges seems pretty good, and I'm sure he's tested that extensively. Have a great hike, Denise.
I have untied & retied hammock knots when I have played around with my home made hammocks. I don't think I would recommend doing it though, the material stretches and it may be difficult to retie the hammock knots and have the 'stretched' material come out even. When this happens the hammock feels like it has a left or right side 'tilt'. I have resorted to steam ironing the ends of the fabric but usually I have to try 'fine-tuning' the hammock by noting which side seemed shorter, untying one knot, pulling out some fabric on the short side, retying the knot, checking the lay of the hammock and then repeating on the other knot if necessary. 'Fine-tuning' takes a fair amount of skill/luck/time and it probably isn't as good as just leaving the hammock knot alone in the first place. I would recommend re-tensioning the hammock webbing like Deb mentioned.
BTW, I think the sides of the hammock should be somewhat slack when you are laying directing down the center-line of the hammock. This will change when you adjust how you are laying in the hammock. When you attach the bug netting over its ridgeline, it will put the loose sides of the hammock upward.