Sellf Adjusting Hammock




To make a hammock you will need a lot of paracord or some other type of strong string, two steel rings, and a candle. This hammock has the advantage over many commercial hammocks in that if the strings on one side stretch, the hammock will adjust so that it is not lopsided. Also with proper storage this hammock will never get tangled. Although not strictly required having a bunch of pens with clips will make everything much easier. I will write this instructable assuming that you will use pens to keep everything organized.

To get started cut two pieces of string about 2 feet long.
Fuse the ends of the string (assuming it’s nylon string) by holding the ends close to a flame until they melt.
Tie one of the two foot pieces of string to each of the rings. Then tie the rings to two moveable but heavy objects such as chairs.
Separate the two chairs as far apart as you want your hammock to be long. Be sure to make it a few feet longer than you are tall. Otherwise the hammock will be uncomfortable at your head and feet.

Start the weave by tying the end of your roll of string to one of the rings. This knot is structural so I recommend tying a retraced figure eight.
Run the cord from one ring to the other pulling it slightly taut.
Wrap the second line of cord around the first.
Each time you loop the second line around clip a pen on to the newly formed loop. How many loops you decide to do lengthwise is important. The more loops you do the more comfortable the hammock will be, but it will take you longer to finish and make it difficult to tension the string. With the number of strings I used the hammock is comfortable but it took a very long time.
When you finish the second row loop the string back through the ring again and begin the weave for the third row. Always put the roll of cord through the loop made by the pen from the top forming a new loop. By putting it through the same way each time you will make the pattern look better. The roll of line is through the loop formed by the pen’s weight, unclip the pen and reclip it to the new line.
Repeat this procedure until you are done. Then tie off the line with another retraced figure eight.

Complete the hammock by tying larger ropes capable of supporting your weight to the rings so that it can be hung. Remember that the strings actually need to be able to support quite a bit more than your weight due to the angles at which they are supporting you.

  Tensioning is very important to the weaving process. Eventually as you use your hammock the strings will slip and it will conform to your body like a glove. However if you do not tension it correctly you may not be able to use it enough to cause it to adjust. Keep the sides taut and give it a little slack in the middle. If you do not get the tensioning right you can pull the strings through by hand but it is difficult and time consuming. It is better to get the tension right the first time.

Storage: Many hammocks become hopelessly tangled (especially those with spreader bars). To keep your hammock from becoming tangled always tie the two steel rings together when your hammock is not strung up. That way it will remain untangled even if you just wad it up and throw it in your backpack because it forms a continuous loop.

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    9 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Bboybraxton, and DGMauriello, I made this instructable for a contest a while ago, and I'm afraid that it was better in theory than practice. I have no idea how much string I use as I had a roll the was much longer than I needed. When mine was finished the center was tighter than the outsides so I could lay on it and it was reasonably comfortable from a support perspective but it was hard to be stable on top. There was so much friction built into the hammock that it didn't self adjust and I didn't take the time to try to fix it because it would have taken a long time and I have a commercial hammock that works well. I made this one just for fun.

    If I were to do it again I would pre-cut and fuze the chords making the ones on the outsides slightly longer than the ones in the middle. You would have to experiment to find ideal lengths. I would tie all the chords to one of the rings with bowlines then you can weave them one strand at a time and tie them off to the other ring. Another possible way would be to tie all the chords to one of the rings and knot together pairs of strings at even intervals alternating which pairs you knot to form a diamond pattern. I don't know which way would be better as I haven't tried them.

    Also I would only attempt to make a hammock if you're more interested in the journey of making a hammock and the satisfaction of having made one than the final product. If you just want a good hammock I recommend the 2 person hammock from REI which was $30 works very well, is comfortable, durable, and doesn't have cross spars to tangle.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    When I first saw this, I was really excited to make one! So I did, but there were some problems. It's very hard to get in, although that may just be because I'm hanging it too high. However, when I get in it, the diamond weaves become very tight towards the ends, but very big in the middle, so there are like 7 strings supporting me, and all the others are gathering at the sides. Also, the hammock does not "wrap" around me and all bunch up making the hammock very narrow and uncomfortable. Could you help, or post a video showing how you get in it and make yourself comfortable? Thanks.

    Was there any paracord used in makeing this? What is the working strength of the cord you used? Not sure I understand the pens idea but it seems to work for you.

    1 reply

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Have you made a full hammock, or just the section in the instructable?