Introduction: Hammock Shed (aka Outdoor Storage Box)

I wove my own hammock a few years ago and since then I've been very paranoid about leaving it out in the elements. If you put that kind of work into something you get a little protective. If I see rain clouds on the horizon I unhook the hammock and drag it back into the garage. I can count on both hands the number of times I've left it out overnight. In the winter it slumbers in a large plastic bag in my attic. It's excessive. It's compulsive. It's obsessive. It has to stop. And here's the solution - a hammock shed.

Step 1: Alternate Uses

What brings more pleasure than swinging lightly in a shaded summer breeze? Not much. Maybe a small basketball (as see in the picture). But this need not be just a container for a hammock. Think of things you constantly bring in and out of your house, garage, shed and into your yard. Any of these things could fit into a custom made storage box and fitted to a tree in your yard (or to a 4x4 post set in concrete wherever you like). The two big uses for this kind of container that I can think of are for yard games and garden tools. If you and your family have one of those badmiton/volley ball sets, croquet sets, horsehoe sets or whatever then this might be a great storage solution for you. If you enjoy gardening then a well placed box with your shovels, hoes, and miscellany might be a time and energy saver. Could also be used to hold garden hoses, drip irrigation hoses, loads and loads of things.

Step 2: The Needed

* 4 - 1" x 10" x 6ft boards

* 1 scrap piece of 1" x 12" board

* Outdoor screws - here I used stainless steel

* hinges

* weather stripping gasket

* lock latch

* A drill

* A compound miter saw helps greatly, but a hand saw would work nicely.

* Chisels

* Wood glue

* Shop vac or broom for the horrid mess this makes

Step 3: The Wood

I decided to put a sloped roof on this box. I settled on a 15 degree slope. I cut the two sides accordingly and gave the back piece an angled cut to match as well. While I had the saw set to this angle I cut the 1"x12" scrap piece to be the roof board.

Step 4: Glue It, Screw It

Drill the holes that the screws will go in so that you won't risk cracking the wood. Apply a thick coat of glue before screwing them together. I used one screw per foot.

Step 5: The Bottom, the Top

I measured the bottom and cut the wood to fit, then I drilled, glued, and screwed it. With the top I used the 1"x12" scrap piece to give a little overhang. It too was drilled, glued, and screwed.

Step 6: Hinges

Upon reflection I think I should have used 3 hinges. I may add one eventually if the wood decides it wants to warp. Cutting the wood away for hinges is called mortising. There are a number of machines and "jigs" out there for routers and other tools. I have none of those things and opted for a chisel and hammer. I marked the length of the hinge and then the depth and slowly worked the wood away. The hinges were then screwed on (the holes were drilled first; always pre-drill). You'll have  to do this on both the door and the box.

Okay, you don't actually have to mortise for the hinges, but it will make less of a gap and hence a tighter seal if you're interested in that.

Step 7: Stripping

There are a number of ways you can attach this vinyl weather stripping. I chose to go with a staple gun. If I'd have had a pneumatic stapler I'd have gone with that. I didn't bother putting glue or silicone beneath the stripping, but you certainly could do this. I stapled about every 2 to three inches.

Step 8: Latch and Hole

I drilled and screwed on the latch and then drilled a hole in the back of the box for the large lag bolt hook that I use to hold the hammock chain.

Step 9: Mount and Finish

Here it is mounted to the tree and the hammock installed. I'll probably post another picture once I paint it.

You could make these out of cedar. The cost will be higher, but you could probably get away with not putting any kind of finish on it at all. Plus whatever you put inside of it will smell like cedar. And it'll keep some bugs away.

In all I spent less than $60 dollars on this project.

Happy hammocking.