Hang Your Hammock Indoors

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Introduction: Hang Your Hammock Indoors

Ok, guys, so I like hammocks. A lot. You should know this from my other instructable. For the last few years I've been sleeping in someone else's bed, which was cool, but I got kicked out and found myself sans bed. I've since been sleeping on my camping stuff in my own place. It's not so bad, it's a small room and a whole bed would take up way too much space anyway, the camping stuff I can fold out of the way futon-style. I like to imagine I'll have people hang out here sometime, and the extra space is/would be nice. Recently I thought about building a frame to hang my hammock in, since that would take up far less space than a bed and be way comfortable, but then the landlady gave me the go-ahead to hang it right from the walls. Nice! This afternoon I made these hangers and got my hammock all strung up. Here I'll show you what I did to achieve this without just screwing a big fat lag hook into the wall.

Step 1: Gather Materials

We're going to build a couple of wood plates with a hook on them, which we'll screw into the top plate and/or studs in a normal stick-framed wall. The reason for this is because I don't want to put a 5/8" hole in the wall, and it will give me the option of fastening this to two studs in the wall if I want to hang it lower.

First, do some homework. If you're into engineering like me, you should be able to estimate pretty well what kind of loads you'll be putting on these hooks and design accordingly. If you're not, or if you just like to play with online calculators, use this to see what you'll need for hook ratings (it's interesting to note that depending on how the hammock is hung, a 200 lb person can put over 1000 lbs of tension on the lines! Wow!) I found that lag hooks rated at 250 lbs would be sufficient for me.

You'll need:
2 lag hooks (you could also use eye-bolts, but you'll need something like a load-bearing carabiner to fasten the hammock to these)
2 pieces of 2x4 (or something similar) around 2 feet long
some 3.5" (or more) drywall screws
a snack (optional)
wood finish of your choice (also optional)
Probably also a hammock, and some tools. Something with which to cut your lumber, drive the screws into the wall, and drill pilot holes for your lag hooks (bonus points if you do it all with the same tool!)

Step 2: Prepare Lumber

We'll need to cut the 2x4s down to size and drill pilot holes.

Start by cutting the 2x4s down to size. Around 20" sounds good...

Then drill pilot holes for the lag hooks. Some of you might want to measure and make them perfectly centered, but I just eye-balled them. Don't drill them too big, or the threads won't grab. I used a bit just slightly smaller than the shaft of the hooks. You should do the same. I also did mine at an angle to be more co-linear with the force exerted by the hammock, and so that I could get more of the threads in contact with the wood.

Step 3: (optional) Dress Up the Lumber

I didn't want to just screw some boring 2x4s into the walls, even if they are "Top Choice" - it's time to get creative! I had some leftover wheatpaste from a school project (still in progress), and it's been forever since I've done any papier-mache (seriously, who didn't love  that stuff when they were a kid?!), so I decided to get down with some brown paper, coffee grounds, tea leaves, leaf leaves, and wheatpaste. Basically, I glued some compost pile onto the 2x4s. I think they turned out alright, you can put whatever you want on there. How about a paisley bandana or cool scrap-booking paper? Some flora from your locale? Or pictures of your cat, or of you camping in your hammock! Whatever, go nuts, it's your thing

Step 4: (also Optional) Wait for Stuff to Dry

If you painted, stained, lacquered, or wheatpasted your lumber you'll need to let it dry. Hey cool! It's a beautiful day, grab you snack (you have one, right?) and go chill in your hammock!

Step 5: Insert Lag Hooks, Install Hangers

Before you install your hangers (we're almost done! I promise!) you'll need to do some more figuring. Think about how high you'll want your hammock from the ground, and how far apart you want the ends of your hammock. You'll have to consider these two factors when you place your hangers, don't just stick them up on opposite sides of the room! They might end up being too far apart or too close together, or your hammock might hang too high for you to get in and out of comfortably. Having your hammock properly arranged with the right amount of sag will make the difference between the most comfort and less comfort.

So, do you have all that figured out? Got a good spot for your hangers? Good!  Screw your lag hooks into the hangers, making sure they don't stick all the way through the wood. Large pliers may be helpful here. Once everything looks good you're ready to screw in the hangers! I used about 6 or 7 screws per hanger, positioned up high so that the screws go into the top plate, or if you prefer, screw them into the studs. If you tap on your wall with a hammer you can feel where this is, or you can use a stud finder. Don't go overboard with the screws, too many will start to split and weaken the wood. Stagger them slightly if you can, rather than going in a row.

Step 6: Hang It Up!

Alright! You've made it this far, now sit back and enjoy your handiwork. Before you get all the way in your hammock, test it with your weight for a while to make sure nothing will break. I like to get underneath the hammock and hang like a sloth, just off the ground, so there's no great risk of falling too far. Once you're sure everything is copacetic go ahead and climb on in!

I realize this was kind of a quick and dirty project, and there are other ways of hanging your hammock indoors, but I wanted to share what I came up with. I didn't really want to get into suspension and hanging details, those are covered in my other hammock instructable and discussed ad nauseum at the Hammock Forums.I hope it helps! Thanks, and don't forget to share your thoughts in the comments below!

Also, thanks to the mass of people who helped get this thing featured! That's really cool, thanks guys! I'm glad you like it. Again, don't forget to vote for the laser challenge!

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    63 Comments

    is that a hiragana chart on your wall next to the hammock?

    Not OP, but as an avid Japanese learner and a guitar player... I'd have to say that looks more like a chord chart.

    The amp in the room supports my theory.

    Very awesome! Can't wait to try!!!

    I love hammocks. I have one that you sit in from Mexico. It hangs from a single point. Any idea how to hang it in the middle of a room?

    I went to Venezuela in 1991 with a group of kids in a camper exchange program...
    Interestingly, all the hotel rooms we stayed in had metal anchor points for just this idea. (In addition to beds) I slept in a cotton hammock that I purchased there in the market for $20 USD. (It easily sleeps two, and I still use it to this day!)

    They were sort of a recessed metal box with a bar for tying or clipping into. (Obviously these were pro made by some company...)
    Most of the rooms had provisions for at least two hammocks, if not more!

    Something I like about your design: It seems that if you were in a rental, that your setup would cause minimal damage. (Nothing that a touch of Spackle couldn't cure)

    Is this the case?

    Great idea, thanks!!

    And another point of interest:
    I worked at Lowe's for almost 10 years in the Tools and Hardware Departments...
    Campbell (One of Lowe's suppliers for chain, cable, lag screws, etc.) intentionally leaves vast room for error in their "Working Capacity" limits, specifically for liability reasons.
    Where one chain might say "Max. 300 lbs", its breaking limit is actually somewhere around 1200lbs.
    I'm not by any means encouraging people to test this theory; however I know what I know, and have always used a good dose of common sense...

    The style lags you use in this instructable, however, usually are rated much lower, because of their "open nature" (That is its much easier to bend it open further than it is to break the metal)

    But definitely not in your case. I'd if anything, it would pull out of the wood before opening up under the weight of say, a 200 lb. man jumping on the hammock...

    Again, thanks for the idea! I'm going to do this, for the next time our friends with five kids comes to visit!

    Glad to hear that you'll give this a try, please let me know how it works out!

    Yes, I'm renting a room so I wanted to use a few drywall screws rather than put a 5/8" hole in the wall, but this design also distributes the load over a wider area. I did the math and figured I *probably* wouldn't be loading the hooks more than 250 lbs each, but I know that there's a safety factor figured into the ratings, so if I go a little over it won't break them. I'm actually more concerned about the screws failing in shear, but I'm trying to find more info on their capacities.

    Great simple solution for hanging a hammock indoors!

    However, I would highly recommend using something like deck screws and not drywall screws to hang the mounting plates. Drywall screws are not intended to support large loads and can break fairly easily. A full sheet of drywall only weighs 50 lbs or less and is held up with 50+ drywall screws.

    Cool!

    About screw capacities:

    I was in a position a few years ago where I needed to hack off some DECK screws (2 1/2") that were sticking out of wood. I tried a hacksaw, and got nowhere. I pulled out the recip. saw, and I'll be darned if it didn't take almost a minute to cut each one. (and totally spent my blade)

    Turns out, the metal underneath the coating was gold-colored. Hardened, Grade-8 like metal! I investigated at work with a vendor, and here's the gist of what he said:

    The longer decking screws (say, 2" and above) employ hardened steel to prevent shearing when driving that much screw into the wood. (ever try put a "trash" screw in wood with a drill, just to have the head "twist" right off?)

    Their diameters are generally slightly thicker, too. An 1 1/4" drywall screw might measure 8 ga. in diameter, while longer deck screws can be 9, 10 or even bigger - even more resistance for shearing...

    So, if you're looking for some bomb-proof shear resistance, swap out what you have for 2 1/2" deck screws.

    But personally, I think what you already have is more than sufficient!