Introduction: Office Hammock Chair

Picture of Office Hammock Chair

Office chairs are so overrated. Sometimes, a bit of whimsey can add a lot of much needed relaxation to your workspace. Whether you're looking to maximize efficiency, or just like to swing, this office hammock chair is the perfect backdrop for indoor summer office fun!

With about 30 minutes of prep time to complete, what are we waiting for?? Let's get started!

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

For this project, you will need:

Rope (I used a black braided poly 3/4 inch, with a load limit of 294 lbs.)

Canvas cloth or other durable fabric (1 yard wide by 2 yards long)

Heavy duty dowel. I used a closet hanging dowel, that can support 300+ lbs.

A ceiling beam.

Drill + drill bit that is slightly larger than the rope's width

Sewing machine

Scissor or blade to cut rope

duct tape (optional)

Step 2: Drilling the Dowel

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I got my closet hanging rod/dowel from Homedepot, and had them cut it down from 60 inches to 40 inches.

Then, I marked in at 6 inches and then at 4 inches. This is where the rope would thread through. I did this for both sides of the dowel. Then, using a 11/16 size drill bit, I drilled all four markings straight through.

Step 3: Prepping the Fabric

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I used a heavy weight canvas fabric, that I cut down to 36 inches by 72 inches (or 1 x 2 yards). I then serged all the edges, and folded down the two longer sides and sewed them, leaving a margin where the rope would be threaded through inside. I sewed the margins twice to reinforce the seam, which would need to hold up against the weight of the person sitting on the hammock chair.

Step 4: Prepping the Rope

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Although the rope was burned at both ends to prevent fraying, it still proves difficult to thread through, so I wrapped some duct tape around both ends so I could effortlessly thread it through the dowel and canvas.

Step 5: Test Your Beam

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The fastest and easiest way to do this was to have a friend hang from the beam for a couple of minutes. In all seriousness, though, you should either ask building staff or if doing this in your home, check the beam's load bearing weight limit.

Step 6: Throw It Over

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First step in getting your hammock going is to throw it over the beam, equalling out both ends of the rope, and then tying a knot a few inches below the beam.

Step 7: Thread Through Dowel

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Using one end of your rope for each end of your dowel, begin by threading the rope through the inner hole you drilled earlier. Then tie a knot immediately below where you want your dowel to sit. Having an extra pair of hands for this step is helpful.

Step 8: Thread Through Fabric

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Using one end of the rope, begin threading through the side margins of the fabric. Do the same for the other side with the other end of the rope.

Step 9: Thread Through Dowel Again

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Decide where you want your fabric to sit, and then take the remaining end of the ropes and thread them through their respective sides' 2nd dowel hole. Tie a knot in the rope immediately above the dowel, then leaving a few inches slack, cut the rope.

Step 10: Details

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Here are some close up shots of how the fabric should sit on the swing.

Step 11: Enjoy!

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Geg123 (author)2015-07-31

Amazing Job!! :)

ksciluffo (author)2015-04-21

how about just drilling in a couple screws where the holes would be to keep the rope in place, wrapping the rope around the dowel a couple times or tie a clove hitch knot, and then you could use either a pipe or a dowel.

mdsuave13 (author)2014-07-18

maybe using paracord would make the holes much smaller and in turn make everyone stop whining about the dowel? paracord 550 will hold 550 lbs no problem, plus you could double stitch the edge of the fabric to also, double up that. idk, just spitballing here :) great idea, gonna give it a shot using aforementioned ideas.

czarnian (author)2014-06-29

replace the dowel for a steel pipe. that's gonna break, sooner or later.

wperry1 (author)czarnian2014-06-30

I don't think the dowel is supporting the entire load. I lack the math/physics/engineering skills to do the calculations myself but I imagine, even with a 300lb individual, only a fraction of that is going to be on the dowel. Even then, I would expect much of that force would be pushing inward, or compressing, the dowel. You could probably further reduce the load on the dowel by moving it farther down the ropes, ideally, so it would be just above the seated person's head.

I included a crude drawing describing the forces involved as I understand them. If anyone can solve for the ? or correct my drawing I would be interested in seeing the result.

Here's a link to the Google drawing

przemek (author)wperry12014-07-14

You can calculate the forces by decomposing them into orthogonal components, one parallel to the dowel (compressing it from both ends) and another, perpendicular to the dowel and therefore vertical in direction. Let's take your 300lb linebacker,. and let's assume that the rope-dowel triangle is a right-angle triangle (close enough if you look at the picture). In that case, the diagonal ropes run at 45 degree angles, and each vertical rope below the dowel is under 150lbf tension. The tension in the diagonal ropes is the vector sum of a vertical and horizontal component, Fv and Fh, respectively, and Fv has to be equal to 150lbf. Because of the 45deg angle, Fh also has to be equal to 150lbf, so that the dowel is being compressed by the force of 300lbf. White pine has compressive strength of 4800 psi, so a 1" diameter dowel should sustain 3800 lbf, so this seems to be a sound design. I would sit again.

pdu toit1 (author)wperry12014-06-30

the way its hangs and set up if some twists while sitting its going to brake

toxonix (author)czarnian2014-06-30

It's not taking any lateral load, it just acts as a spreader for the rope. The load on the dowel is almost entirely in compression. There is maybe a 30lb max compression force when someone's sitting in the hammock.

rawly old (author)czarnian2014-06-29

I agree,Czarnian, especially if vigorously used.:)

czarnian (author)rawly old2014-06-30

The strenght of the dowel is valid only if it has not been tampered. Two drill holes not a foot apart can weaken the whole dowel. As everything, it is only as strong as its weaker part. Go steel pipe, use a dremel or insulate the rope from the edges of the pipe with PVC hose or duct tape.

vbanaszak (author)czarnian2014-06-30

Won't that eventually cut the rope?

hvansick (author)czarnian2014-06-29

The edges of the steel pipe would cut your rope in no time due to the friction. I would expect the fabric seams to fail long before the wood does, as long as people are using it responsibly. Wood functions in very similar situations in other settings quite nicely.

rawly old (author)hvansick2014-06-29

just use a dremel to round off the edges of the pipe bore, a trick

I've used for similar applications.

kidharris (author)hvansick2014-06-29

That argument would also apply to the attachment to the steel beam. I usually slide a piece of water hose over ropes when I do something like that.

ralphab (author)2014-07-04

wperry has the right drawing but remember physics in HS that the two armed pulley cuts the load in half again so each hole exerts 25% of the load. A two inch dowel will more that hold the load. If you want to clean it up insert the dowel in pvc for added strength and white coloration.

neffk (author)2014-06-30

Wperry1 is on the right track. The dowel is in compression and doesn't bear much weight. And if it fails, no one will die. Unless you're suspended over a tank of sharks with LASERs, in which case falling a few inches would be a problem.

IMHO, the art of making is knowing what is good enough. A steel pipe would be fine but you have to do more work to drill the holes and dress them properly so that they don't damage the rope over the long term. Sure, you could math it up but in the professional world of engineering, that type of work is not necessary and generally not worth the cost. The 125-250 $/hr shop rate will eat you alive. Unless it's a critical part or very expensive to over-do a part, estimation is used.

pdu toit1 (author)2014-06-30

ger that dowel out it will kill you !! well maybe not kill you but it will brake

abunda (author)2014-06-30

Genial! Muchas gracias! Linda y fácil :-)

hstough101 (author)2014-06-30

(Not to be weird) but that looks like a really fun place to work!

grannyjones (author)2014-06-29

This looks a lot more comfortable than a macramé one somebody made many years ago. Saw it in college; in a book called kama-something.

doodlecraft (author)2014-06-26

I love it! :)

rawly old (author)doodlecraft2014-06-29

Doodle, would you love it enough to work late when

when all have gone.:)

doodlecraft (author)rawly old2014-06-29

Hahaha...maybe the first time! :) Question is, can you get it swinging? Or would that be totally unsafe? :)

kidharris (author)2014-06-29

great idea

kidharris (author)kidharris2014-06-29

Now, how about a recliner?

Jennigma (author)2014-06-29

Drilling those holes will have weakened your dowel significantly. I would be careful about sitting down heavily or bouncing, particularly if most of the force were centered on one of the ropes.

kidharris (author)Jennigma2014-06-29

I agree, rope could just as easily been looped and tied over the dowel and secured with pins using much smaller holes...or....make a matching fabric cover over the rope and dowel to prevent the loops from moving....or...macrame it in place...or

klyb4238 (author)2014-06-29

Cool. Could be even more fun if it was hung from a gantry used for moving engine hoists along a beam. Then you would be able to glide from computer to printer to coffee maker. Looks like fun!

fbonera (author)2014-06-29

Do you think this would work also to make an outdoor hammock chair to hang to trees? (of course without the ceiling beam)

ekiessling10 (author)2014-06-26

where in the world do you people work?
what do you do for a living?

wilgubeast (author)ekiessling102014-06-26

Pier 9. This was one of the (many many) in-house projects created at Instructables. It joins the swinging conference table and the desk swing on the list of "swinging office furniture" at Instructables HQ.

It's a great addition to the office :)

vegasrandall (author)2014-06-26

three quarter poly rope with a 294 pound limit? that's got to be the worse rope in the world.

Kiteman (author)2014-06-26

It's tempting to picture that hanging from a bungee...

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