How to make your own Hammock – Part 3
Now that you have finished the hard work of making all those knots, you are ready for the finishing and final constructing of your hammock. At this time you will probably be able to make a Sheet Bend knot blindfolded. I have several hammocks knotted using sisal rope, but sisal really is murder on your hands. In the past I have worked with sisal until my hands were sore and blistering. So it was about time to try to make a hammock of green paracord. This makes life more easier. There is always a great sense of relief when you finally finish the net of the hammock. A milestone so to speak.
Now, cut 20 pieces of rope of 220 centimetres; these ropes you will be doubled and will be attached to the ends of the mesh of your hammock, acting as guy wires. Use two double wires for the middle two guy wires. This is because most of the force will be put to those wires. Figure 8 shows the mesh you need to take to attach the wires to.
You attach the wires to the meshes with the Cow Hitch, or Girth Hitch; figure 9 shows how it is done:
Now take the two strips of wood of about 70 cm, drill holes of 8 mm as shown in Figure 10:
Smoothen the edges of the holes. Cut the strips of wood to length after you have drilled the holes so you can make sure that the outside holes are not too near to the edge of the strips.
For the construction of my hammock, I used two pieces of hazel. First I flattened the pieces with the Small Forest Axe and the Mora Training Knife that were handed to me at the Camp Craft course and drilled the holes according to the pattern. After drying the two pieces of wood I charred them with a gas burner and removed the charred wood by rubbing with a wire brush. This way the wood darkens without having to paint it and it gives the wood a nice old finish. Just make sure you work with the grain of the wood when you brush with the wire brush.
There are also two thick edge ropes needed of 480 cm. These outer tension wires are made from 4 pieces of rope woven together to a sennit. (See Figure 11) But you can also use some 7 mm rope instead of a sennit.
Now take one of the two strips of wood and run the wires and the outer tension wires through the bar. Make a bundle of the wires of your hammock well in the middle. Take this bundle to the two outer tension ropes. Make a sort of loop of the bundle and make a multiple Sheet Bend. (See Figure 12)
You can also fix the wires and ropes using a steel ring. This will add some extra weight but it will give it a nice finish. That’s a trade-off you will have to make. If you decide to use two rings, use a Buntline Hitch to fix the ropes to the rings. (See Figure 13) Don’t buy your rings too small, as I did, because there will be a lot of knots on that ring and you will need the space.