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.
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!