easiest metal to work with

can any one tell me which hollow meal rods are easiest to work with? I am thinking about building a hammock frame that will support at least 170-200 lbs. ( i weigh 160 but it never hurts to hold more). I wouldn't necessarily need to bend the metal rods but they should be relatively easy to cut. I want to stay away from hard wood and copper if possible. At first i was thinking about using pvc but i don't know how much it can hold. I only have hand tools and a power drill. Please feel free to post any suggestions. If you have a better way to build a hammock frame please post it here. If i figure it out ill post an instructable. I uploaded the top view and side view of my design. it was drawn in paint for brain storm so its not very detailed

Picture of easiest metal to work with
side view.bmp
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srikar06 (author) 10 years ago
i am thinking about using electric conduit with pipe couplings that fit. this way i don't have to use any nuts or bolts and i can take it apart easily when moving. ill rough drawings of my design shortly. let me know what you guys think
Patrik srikar0610 years ago
It seems like the vast majority of commercial metal (and wood) hammock stands use a single tube down the length of the hammock, bent upwards at an angle at either end, and supported by two perpendicular bars. (Just for kicks, here's a patent illustrating this type of model.)

For a DIY model, I wouldn't feel comfortable with a design like that, because it has a number of potential weak points. For one, I would worry about the main "spine" bar rotating sideways on the perpendicular "leg" bars.

A safer design would be to have two tubes like that, connecting at both ends where the hammock is attached, and joined on the ground by two connecting bars for stability. Kinda like this:
srikar06 (author)  Patrik10 years ago
ok thx this helps me a lot.
glorybe10 years ago
Steel, in its unhardened state is by far the easiest metal to work with. For one it is a good candidate for grinding operations. It welds nicely. It does not tend to snag or grab machine tools. Unlike aluminum it is not shape or design sensitive. It does not accumulate stress.
Patrik10 years ago
Have a look at electrical conduit, aka Electric Metallic Tube (EMT). That is what most of the DIY geodesic dome tents are made of. 1/2 or 3/4 inch should be fine for a simple hammock. I'm sure someone could dig up some strength specs for this stuff.

Here's some cool DIY geodesic dome links - some of the building techniques may be of use to you:

A Rainproof Geodesic Dome for Burning Man
Desert Domes - Conduit Dome Tips
Geodesic Dome Tent Construction Instructions
srikar06 (author)  Patrik10 years ago
thx ill look into it
NachoMahma10 years ago
. Electrical conduit. EMT is like tubing but will probably meet your design specs. Rigid conduit is more like pipe, so it will hold more weight, but is harder to work with. Most rigid fittings are threaded and most EMT fittings are compression.
what about the galvanised steel used for plumbing?
Kiteman10 years ago
i weigh 160 but it never hurts to hold more
Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more!

Rather than solid rod, go with hollow tubing - you should be able to cut it with a decent hacksaw, and maybe use plumbing fittings for the joints (depending on your design). Try visiting a scrapyard or scoping out local back gardens - a recycled climbing frame should be just the job.
srikar06 (author)  Kiteman10 years ago
sry i was thinking about hollow rods. ill go edit that right now. i dont have any scrap yards close by but ill keep my eye out thx