Introduction: Paracord Hammock

Picture of Paracord Hammock

I love SCUBA diving! So much that in February of 2014 I spent a month on the island of Roatan, Honduras getting my Divemaster Certification. While there, I spent my days studying, diving, and relaxing in my hammock. Of course after I left, I missed diving everyday the most. However, after the diving, the thing that I missed was relaxing in my hammock on a daily basis. Upon arriving home, I made it a goal to somehow recreate my hammock that I'd left behind but not forgotten. Once I figured out the general idea, I decided to improve upon it by making my hammock with paracord.

This instructable is split up into five main parts:

  • How to make a Hammock Loom (Step 1)
  • How to make a Netting Needle (Step 15)
  • How to load the Netting Needle (Step 19)
  • How to weave a Hammock (Step 24)
  • How to make Rope (Step 32)
  • How to weave a Clew (Step 35)

Step 1: Tools and Materiel for Hammock Loom

Picture of Tools and Materiel for Hammock Loom

Tools:

  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • Drill bit
  • Driver bit
  • Hex Wrench (for Threaded Insert)
  • Router
  • Various Roundover Bits
  • Planer

Material:

  • 2x4's
  • 2 1/2" Grabber Screws

Step 2: Design and Plan

Picture of Design and Plan

After a few different design ideas, I settled on this final design using 2x4's and wedges to secure the cross members.

Measurements:

  • Uprights 2 - 2x4x6'
  • Cross members 2 - 2x4x105"
  • Legs 4 - 2x4x15 1/2"
  • Legs 4 - 2x4x14 1/2"

Step 3: Cut Crossmember Slots in Uprights

Picture of Cut Crossmember Slots in Uprights

Cut the slots for the 2x4' crossmembers using scroll saw. Center the cuts so there is just a little more than 1 1/2" on the face of the 2x4. Cut these slots 2 inches from the top and 5 1/2 inches from the bottom.

Step 4: Cut Profile in Uprights

Picture of Cut Profile in Uprights

8 inches from the top, cut a round profile with a 1 inch radius. Continue cutting perpendicular to the face till the middle portion of the upright is a square 1 1/2" by 1 1/2" cross sectional profile.

Step 5: Cut Legs

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Cut 4 legs 15 1/2 inches and 4 legs 14 1/2 inches.

Step 6: Smooth Out Uprights

Picture of Smooth Out Uprights

Make the uprights round. You can do this by a sander (that would take forever), hand planer (this would also take a while), or a power planer. I used a weird obscure planer attachment that came with my Dremel. Break down the corners till you have a 1 1/2 inch diameter pole.

Step 7: Router Uprights

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Using a 1/4 inch roundover bit, soften all the corners of your uprights.

Step 8: Router Everything Else

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Use a 1/4 inch roundover bit to router the legs and a 3/8 inch roundover bit to router the crossmembers.

Step 9: Cut Off the Top

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Mark and cut 10 inches below the top. This is so you will be able to remove the hammock bed from the loom once the hammock is finished.

Step 10: Install Threaded Inserts

Picture of Install Threaded Inserts

These threaded inserts are so the hammock loom can be disassembled and reassembled. Follow the directions on the packaging of the threaded inserts for what drill bit size to use for installation.

Mark the center of the upright. Drill a hole for the threaded insert. Using a hex key, install the female portion of the insert into the base of the upright and install the male portion into the top. Tighten to top piece until the grain lines up.

Step 11: Attach Legs

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Using a square, countersink and attach the legs. In all reality, the four 15 1/2 inch legs attached are the only necessary legs, however the four additional legs assist when assembling the loom.

Step 12: Make Wedges

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Make wedges to secure the crossmembers in the uprights. These can be any size that will hold the crossmembers securely. Mine turned out being 7x1 1/2 inches.

Step 13: Mark Crossmembers

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Using a tape measure, square, and a sharpie - mark the center of the crossmembers in one foot increments. This will assist with aligning the uprights with the crossmembers.

Step 14: Loom Finished

Picture of Loom Finished

Now assemble and pat yourself on the back. You just finished the first part of your hammock!

Step 15: Tools and Materials for Netting Needle

Picture of Tools and Materials for Netting Needle

Tools:

  • Spray Adhesive or Glue Stick (to glue pattern to wood)
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill Bit
  • Router
  • 1/8" Roundover Bit

Materials:

  • Oak (planed down to 3/8 of an inch)
  • Pattern

Step 16: Attach Pattern

Picture of Attach Pattern

Print and cut out pattern. Using spray adhesive or a glue stick, attach the pattern to your piece of oak. (edit the length of the needle to hold more strands. I made my needle 8 inches longer than the pattern for a total length of 16 inches)

Step 17: Cut Out the Netting Needle

Picture of Cut Out the Netting Needle

Using a jigsaw, cut the outside off and the inside out of your netting needle. On the inside of the needle drill a hole to facilitate the jigsaw blade.

Step 18: Finish Netting Needle

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Finish the netting needle by using a 1/8 inch roundover bit and some final sanding. I didn't use any sort of finish on my needle but you can if you wish. If you choose to use a finish make sure you select something that won't rub off onto your hammock during the weaving process.

Step 19: How to Load the Netting Needle

Picture of How to Load the Netting Needle

To load the netting needle, take whatever length of paracord you wish. I found that a length of 48 feet of paracord was enough to complete 4 passes of the foreground strands (half of a color section shown - See Step 24)

  1. Loop the end around the tongue of the netting needle and secure in place using the pressure of the paracord
  2. Flip over netting needle and loop slack end over tongue
  3. Repeat until you are out of paracord

Step 20: Materials and Planning for Hammock

Picture of Materials and Planning for Hammock

Paracord does stretch, but if you make this hammock out of paracord you will not notice hardly any stretching. That being said, you need to plan on how large of a hammock you want so you know how much paracord you will need to order. Throughout the rest of this instructable, I will refer to a strand of paracord in two separate ways. The background strands (are wrapped around the loom - See Step 22) and the foreground strands (are anything brought into the hammock with the netting needle - See Step 24).

I ordered 5000 feet of paracord because I didn't want to run out of any particular color and was alright with having leftovers.

***All of the following information are stats based on an 8 foot hammock bed***

***Use this info when planning the size and look of your hammock***

  • This hammock has 11 sections in the bed and is 35 inches wide
  • Each of the 11 sections contains about 300 feet of paracord
  • Each of the sections of this hammock is a little over 3 inches wide
  • There are 188 strands of paracord running the length of the bed (100 background and 88 foreground)
  • Each foreground strand will have 46 stitches resulting in a total of 4048 stitches through the whole bed
  • In total, the hammock weighs nearly 10 pounds which means it contains nearly 2500 feet of paracord

For this hammock you will need:

  • 3000 feet of paracord (I used about 2750 including scraps, so this will give you that much more wiggle room)
  • Scissors
  • Lighter

Step 21: Things to Remember

Picture of Things to Remember
  • Whenever you cut paracord always melt the end to prevent fraying
  • When you introduce a strand into the hammock (background or foreground) tie the end of the paracord to one of the uprights with a bowline knot
  • When working with a foreground strand, you will always be working in between two background strands

Step 22: Start the Background

Picture of Start the Background

To start your hammock, set up the loom for the desired length of bed (this was set up for an 8 foot bed measured using the marks on the crossmembers).

To start the background, tie a bowline and wrap the paracord around a good amount. The third picture shows I wrapped around the whole thing 11 times. After realizing this was a lot of paracord to manage, in the future I only wrapped the background strands around the loom 4 to 8 times. Tie the other end to the loom using a clove hitch.

Step 23: Tie Boarder

Picture of Tie Boarder

The boarder consists of three passes of foreground strands. To create the first pass, tie a bowline between the two bottom most background strands. Using an overhand knot, tie those two background strands together. The foreground strand will always stay between the two background strands. Making these knots uniform is the most important part of the hammock! These knots create the spacing that the rest of the hammock will take. If they are not evenly spaced, the whole hammock will be uneven. To aid in the placement of these knots, I made marks 4 inches apart on the side of my netting needle with a sharpie. Take the time to make the first pass of knots as perfect as possible.

For the second pass, loop around the hammock loom upright and perform the same overhand knot bringing in the next background strand into the boarder.

For the third and final pass, perform the same series of over hand knots. Make sure that every knot as you go is tight before going on to the next knot.

Step 24: Triple Weave

Picture of Triple Weave

The hammock is woven together by the triple weave pattern. If you remember "Under Two, Over One" you have everything you need to know to weave the rest of the hammock.

Tie the loose end of the foreground strand (from netting needle) to the hammock loom upright using a bowline (sorry that this is not shown here). Insert the netting needle under the two background strands located under the bottom most loose background strand and above that bottom most loose background strand. Push the netting needle all the way through these three strands. Bring the netting needle back under the top strand that was just introduced into the weave. Perform this action twice between each set of knots.

ooooooops....

Continue this pattern till your hammock is the size you prefer. Work around the hammock in a clock wise motion or a counter clockwise motion. What ever direction you decide on, stick with that direction through the rest of the weave. As you can see in this video, I worked in a counter-clockwise direction.

Step 25: What Mistakes Look Like

Picture of What Mistakes Look Like

More than likely you will make mistakes through the process of working on your hammock. It's important to be able to recognize them early so that you don't need to backtrack very far.

The first image shows the mistake of forgetting to go back under the background thread that you introduced into the weave.

The second image is the result of staying on the same side of the loom when finishing a pass and not going around the back to perform the next pass.

Step 26: Progress

Picture of Progress

These are a series of pictures showing the progress of the hammock bed through the weaving process.

Step 27: Other Boarder - Part 1

Picture of Other Boarder - Part 1

The best part about this boarder, is you already have an example right in front of you! Take a look at the other side of the hammock for reference.

  • Before you finish the last pass of the triple weave, tie in enough paracord to add 3 lengths of background strand (40 feet should be enough to compensate for the knots that it's going to be tying - mine is blue) with a bowline
  • Finish last pass of the triple weave
  • Untie and remove the last background strand (blue in my case - see last picture)

Step 28: Other Boarder - Part 2

Picture of Other Boarder - Part 2

Remember to reference the other side of the hammock for correct placement of knots.

  • Load the 40 foot blue background strand from previous step onto netting needle
  • Retie bowline
  • Make sure that the pattern as you weave the paracord back through the loops is correct (I completed a whole pass with knots before I realized that I was weaving them backwards - see next step)
  • Tie overhand knots following the same pattern that was used on the first boarder

Step 29: Other Boarder - Mistake

Picture of Other Boarder - Mistake

Don't be like me and complete a whole pass before realizing that it was done wrong. Pay attention to what direction your netting needle is passing through the loops of the hammock.

Step 30: Potential Problems

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One thing to remember is paracord is strong. With this design, there is a potential it could break the loom. Remember to pay attention to this because it could potentially cause one boarder to be shorter of the other. If you decide on a different loom design because of this issue please share it in the comments!

Step 31: Removal From the Loom

Picture of Removal From the Loom

When removing the hammock from the loom, it's best and easiest to plan out how the clew (made in step 33) will attach. I originally decided on 8 strands per end, but quickly decided that 12 would be more aesthetically pleasing.

Locate and mark the middle of the hammock (blue double zip-tie). You want the hammock to be balanced above all else. Count the top or bottom half of the loops going around the end of the hammock loom upright, and divide that number equally by 6. Make it as even as possible because because more than likely it will not turn out to be an equal number. Separate the loops, I used zip ties because I had a bunch just lying around.

Do this for the other half on the same hammock loom upright and the other end of the loom.

Remove the top crossmember.

Unscrew the top of the hammock loom uprights.

Slide the hammock bed off of the loom and marvel at your handiwork!

Step 32: Rope Making Jig

Picture of Rope Making Jig

In order to twist together paracord to make the rope for the clew, you will need to make a rope making jig.

I made mine using 2x2's and some scrap bicycle spokes I had lying around, but any sort of stiff wire will work.

This jig is designed to make up to a 3 strand rope even though we will only be making one 2 strand rope at a time (See Step 31)

  1. Using pliers, make loops at the end of the rods
  2. Drill holes 4 inches apart in stationary piece of the jig slightly bigger than the rods
  3. Drill matching holes in the rotary board
  4. Feed the rods through the stationary board
  5. Make a 90 degree bend in the rods
  6. Make another 90 degree bend an inch down the rod
  7. Insert the rotary board over the rods
  8. Bend and cut the remaining rod so that it doesn't catch and cut your hand when rotating the jig (it hurts if you don't do this)

Step 33: Two Strand Rope

Picture of Two Strand Rope

You need to make a lot of rope! I used 480 total feet of paracord to make both clews for this hammock. I originally tried to make a rope with 40 foot strands. This was a bad idea and really difficult to handle. After that I realized it would be easiest to make rope with shorter strands.

You can make the clews as long as you'd like. Traditionally one clew will be half the length of the bed thus doubling the length of the total hammock.

When making rope, cut 48 strands 10 feet in length (cut these longer if you want longer clews). This will result in 12 ropes with 4 strands each (6 ropes per clew).

To make rope:

  1. Attach two strands using slip knots to the rope making jig (pictures 2-3)
  2. Tie an over hand knot at the end of those two ropes (picture 4)
  3. Rotate the rope making jig clockwise till the entire two-strand rope is twisted (picture 8)
  4. Repeat with a secondary two strand rope (pictures 9-11)

There is another great instructable on how to make rope written by Mrballeng and can be found here.

Step 34: Four Strand Rope

Picture of Four Strand Rope

To make the complete 4 strand rope, use the same process as before with one important change.

Instead of rotating the jig clockwise, rotate counter-clockwise.

Step 35: Weave the Clew

Picture of Weave the Clew

This is the most confusing step, but once you understand the idea behind it, it makes a lot of sense.

Mark the middle of your rope with a sharpie and make the loop in your clew 4 inches long. Following the diagram in the fourth picture, open the twists in the rope to allow the corresponding rope to be fed through the "eye" of the rope.

The numbers on the 4th picture correspond to the ropes in the clew.

Step 36: Make the Clew Even

Picture of Make the Clew Even

Lay the clew on the ground. By untying the knots on the ends, shorten the length of the strands of the clew making them uniform. I decided that I liked the short tassels on the ends of the ropes so I left them there. You can just as easily cut them off at the knot if you wish.

Step 37: Wrap Clew

Picture of Wrap Clew

The clew needs to be wrapped. This will keep the ropes from separating and reduce potential wear on the load bearing strands.

To wrap the clew:

  1. Secure edges of clew with zip-ties to reduce movement of rope
  2. Using 14 feet of paracord, tie an overhand knot
  3. Secure the short tail of the overhand knot by tying a series of overhand knots from one zip-tie to the other
  4. Once the wrap is complete crate a "needle" of sorts out of the tail of a zip-tie (cut of the block on the end)
  5. Attach the paracord to the zip-tie (I used a hot wire to melt through and connect the paracord to the zip-tie)
  6. Feed the tail through about half of the wrap
  7. Pull tight, cut and melt

Step 38: Attach Clew to Hammock Bed

Picture of Attach Clew to Hammock Bed

Using a sheet bend, attach the ends of the clew to the hammock bed. To make the hammock more comfortable, shorten the lengths of rope on the edges. This will form more of a cup to keep you from falling out.

Step 39: Final Thoughts

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This has been one of the most time consuming and rewarding projects I've ever done. I started designing and making the loom almost a year ago. If you ever decide to take the time to make a hammock yourself, please let me know and share your results in the comments!

Comments

CementTruck (author)2015-07-17

Beautiful work!!!

With the 550lb load strength of each paracord strand this may be a bit overkill :D . You could probably hold up an elephant easily with the hammock pouch.

We had hammocks growing up and they had wooden stretchers on each end to keep the hammock open. I am not accustomed to the hammocks that wrap up around you when you step into them.

tomatoskins (author)CementTruck2015-07-17

Hahaha yeah I agree! I know that it wouldn't be exactly linear with being able to hold 550 lb per strand because there are bends in every strand. But lets say that those bends and knots reduce the strength to 75% that would still be a weight capacity of 77,550 lb which is nearly 38 tons. So crazy!

CementTruck (author)tomatoskins2015-07-17

You could make some pocket money selling these things to small island airports as aircraft arresting nets so they could catch planes that overshoot the runway.

jakeers (author)CementTruck2015-07-26

That's dang hilarious!

Ryhorn12 (author)2017-01-22

I just have a few questions.
1. Does it pack up nicely, or does it get tangled?
2. How small does it pack up?
3. Ballpark estimate, how much did all the paracord cost?
4. Is it like "sleep in it every night for a week and a half" comfortable?
I do this Boundary Waters trip, and we aren't allowed too much space to pack our stuff including tent. I'm trying to be a step ahead and get a hammock with a mosquito net and rain fly arrangements. I can easily get the net and fly, but I'm considering making this if it is cheaper and packs up more nicely that those hammocks you can buy at like gander mountain or another outfitter like REB. Thanks.

tomatoskins (author)Ryhorn122017-02-01

I haven't ever gotten my tangled up at all. The ends are big enough rope that they don't tangle easily at all.

Since the paracord doesn't compress much at all, it's doesn't pack small at all.

It depends on how expensive your paracord is. This took about 3000 feet to make. I bought more than that because I wanted different colors.

I wouldn't sleep in this every night. If you are wanting to do that I'd make it out of something much softer like cotton or nylon.

Ryhorn12 (author)tomatoskins2017-02-26

Just thought of this, If you were to take the white core strands out, do you think it would be a bit more comfortable to the point where it would be easy to sleep in? It would definitely pack smaller. I am also going to use a different weave that I discovered on accident.

tomatoskins (author)Ryhorn122017-02-27

That would definitely make it more comfortable. I would think that taking all the cores of the paracord out would be quite tedious however. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes.

Yotafan23 (author)tomatoskins2017-09-22

Gutting the cord isn't really all that bad, I've done it to make paracord bullwhips with strands that are up to 26 feet long. 300 ft lengths might be a little challenging but if you had enough open space to string it out straight it wouldn't be all that bad.

Ryhorn12 (author)tomatoskins2017-02-28

I have the weave shown and I tried it with both cores in and out, out is definitely better. I don't have the ability to attach an image on mobile browser, but the weave uses a bit more paracord. I used 6 strands about 2' each and ended up with a 3"*3" square. The weave is easy to add to and extend. I will add a picture when I can.

gdsmit1 (author)Ryhorn122017-05-18

Any idea how much smaller your test weave is than if you used the same length of cord with the cores still in the cord? Just trying to estimate how much more cord would be required to make this hammock with the core lines removed.

I would think that a hammock without the cores would be plenty strong.

tomatoskins (author)Ryhorn122017-03-01

Awesome! I can't wait to see it!

Ryhorn12 (author)tomatoskins2017-02-26

Thanks. I have an ENO hammock that I will be using for that Boundary Waters trip, but this will still be on the back burner as something that I just want to do.

Katie Kroger (author)Ryhorn122017-02-13

I use an ENO hammock when I camp, its about $50 for a single size ($90 for a double, more comfortable) and they pack up pretty small, mine is nylon and its holds 400lb for the single size. You have to get the straps separately though but they pack up small too!

Ryhorn12 (author)Katie Kroger2017-02-26

Yeah, I recently got one of those and that is what I will be using for the trip. The straps were definitely worth getting

MoP1 (author)2017-06-27

Fantastic, beautifully-documented 'ible! I love the close-ups of the hammock...weaving is such a useful and beautiful science and art. Hope you get to test the hammock with a "super-sized human"...or I guess you could pile on multiple normal-sized ones.

KryptoTSD (author)2017-06-27

I want one of these!!!!!!!!!!

ithica2012 (author)2017-06-27

A silly question but what does the hammock weigh? Do you use this as a field hammock or just in the yard?

tomatoskins (author)ithica20122017-06-27

I just use it around the yard and if I want to haul it somewhere. It's not the most light hammock created. If I remember correctly, it comes in at just under 10 pounds. Definitely not something I'd want to take backpacking.

Anne46 (author)2017-06-27

Not sure if my comment posted?

The loom you made is wonderful but it would be easier to make a hammock using macrame. This is just an example, there are different types of knots. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KovXSRHhlRc

tomatoskins (author)Anne462017-06-27

Definitely worth a shot! I wouldn't think it would flex like the weave I showed does.

Ethan1023 (author)2016-06-14

I can't even imagine how much money and paracord that would cost.

gdsmit1 (author)Ethan10232017-05-18

I find a lot of places online that sell 1000 foot spools
for about $50. So it's about $150 worth of cord.

gdsmit1 (author)2017-05-18

Outstanding 'ible. Thanks for taking the time to write it up. I'm putting this in my list of things I'd like to eventually make.

I I have a question about the loom. Would it be stronger to make the uprights out of something like hardwood dowels? I'm thinking that oak dowels wouldn't bow in as much as the upright does when it's made out of the 2x4.

wsexton23 (author)2017-05-14

how many 2 by 4's did it take to make the jig? thanks(:

tomatoskins (author)wsexton232017-05-16

You can see my cut list in step 2, but if I remember correctly I used 3-4 six foot 2x4's and two 105 inch 2x4's. I'd honestly suggest using cross members that are as long as possible (based on space and availability) as it will allow for longer hammock beds.

jasbury4 (author)2017-02-24

Also for flexibility purposes would you think making this with cored strands would still be strong enough? Or maybe using a lighter weight/gauge paracord... i dont mean 95 but maybe a 330 or so?

jasbury4 (author)2017-02-24

I have not made this yet. However i have a question/ possible improvement on the loom... what about building it out of chain link fence posts or steel piping (yes it would be more expensive but not everyone has access to a planar)? The metal strikes me as less flexible and still retains the ability to break down for storage or conversion into a hammock stand for the back yard. What do you think?

Ethan1023 (author)2016-10-20

Who even HAS that much paracord?

ST NZ (author)Ethan10232017-01-04

not me! sadly.

Ethan1023 (author)2016-06-14

That. Is a lot. Of Paracord.

Suberous (author)2016-06-01

I would love to do this but am to afraid of messing it up for the price of all those materials. Have you ever thought about doing another? If you do next time maybe do an entire video on making one, I feel like that would be very helpful and interesting.

BigTuna624 (author)2016-05-26

Just wanted to know, how long did the process of weaving the hammock take?

tomatoskins (author)BigTuna624 2016-05-26

It took me about four months, but I wasn't very diligent about it. About half way through I got really sick of it so I took a longer break than I really should have. If you worked straight through, this can probably be woven start to finish in about 25 to 30 hours.

BigTuna624 (author)tomatoskins2016-05-31

Wow. That's a long time. Based on how yours turned out it looks worth it in the end though.

Thanks for the quick response.

That1ParacordGuy (author)2015-07-15

This is awesome! Nice dedication. I love paracord and hammocks but 3000ft is a little too pricey for me

me too, I was thinking maybe if you wove it more loosely to make larger holes if it would use less? hard to say but the design is still enticing.

I'm actually making a 8ft by 5~ft hammock out of 250ft of paracord. If it turns out well I think my friend wants one and I'll document the process. Not trying to advertise just inspired by this idea!

I was just wondering if you ever made the hammock you were referring to in your comment?

I would love to see it! Make sure that you write up an instructable!

TheTutor11 (author)2016-02-15

LOVE IT

TheTutor11 (author)2016-02-15

Love it

Suberous (author)2015-11-08

wow this is crazy. I've messed around with a few different hammock styles with few of them working the first time. You have defiantly left in depth instructions for this. I really want to make this but I think the cost is a bit much for me... I'm 17 and don't have a job so that much cord isn't exactly easy for me to get a hold of. I love the design and am saving this for when I get the money to do it. My only question is about how much was it overall? I'm going to review this for quite awhile before I start but some info on cost and time would be helpful. If you ever decide to make another maybe you could do a video tutorial on some different things?

tomatoskins (author)Suberous2015-11-09

I got all my paracord from here: http://wholesale-parachute-cord.com/ You do need to have a minimum order of 5 spools, but if you ever plan on using paracord for anything else you will be more than set. For the 5 it cost about $250USD. Hope this helps! If you ever have questions don't hesitate to to comment again or send me a PM.

Ho0ksie125 (author)2015-10-27

Dang this is awesome

MarcoS18 (author)2015-07-16

I would really like to make this, wonderful design and great instructions, but i don't have the money for the cord as i live in New Zealand and paracord is fairly expensive here, would it work to make it out of another type of cord? how heavily is the streangth of the cord relied upon?

Tv one5 (author)MarcoS182015-09-23

YOu could try bailing twine? Haha heres a very cheap place to get it: http://www.aliexpress.com/item/New-Paracord-550-Pa...

I live in the wairarapa about 45 kms from the nearest town and these guys stilkl ship for free all the way there Blimmin marvelous.

tomatoskins (author)MarcoS182015-07-17

You can honestly make this out of almost anything. I've seen pictures of people making them out of small nylon cord.

MarcoS18 (author)2015-07-16

Any particular reason not to make a four strand rope twister? instead of doing two the two again?

kcross-1 (author)MarcoS182015-08-10

Cable-plied yarns and ropes are stronger and more abrasion-resistant than the same number of strands all plied together at once (a cable ply is what's done here, where there are multiple passes, plied strands plied with other plied strands). Also, cable plies are lumpier, which can help knots hold on slippery materials like this.

Finally, you'll notice he didn't insert any twist into the single strands before plying them, so the twisted strands aren't fundamentally locked together; the twist of one pass relieving the stress created in the material by the opposite twist of the previous pass is what makes a plied cord lock together, so here the "Z twist" of the first pass locks in the "S twist" of the second. S and Z are terms that denote the twist direction--look at the angled bit in the middle, the little angles on the rope look like either \\\\\ and are S twist, or ///// and are Z twist. Make sense?

I'm a bit disappointed that this tutorial doesn't take into account the centuries--maybe millennia?--of accumulated knowledge of how to make netting and hammocks. Reinventing the wheel is kind of wasteful. It would be awesome to investigate and share the techniques of traditional hammock-making. Maybe I will! :)

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Bio: My name is Troy. I'm a Mechatronics graduate studying Mechanical Engineering. I love making things and doing anything outdoors (especially SCUBA diving). I am ... More »
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