How to make your own Hammock – Part 2

<< Read Part 1 <<


Part 2:

Make a small Bowline Knot in the first piece of rope and put the loop around the nail in cross B. Zigzag the rope loosely around the nails of the first and second row. When you reach the last nail in the first row, put the rope around the last nail in the third row and turn to the last nail of the second row to make your first knot (see Figure 3A & 3B).

Figure 3A - The Start

Figure 3A - The Start


Figure 3B - The First Knot

Figure 3B - The First Knot

The knot that you make is the Sheet Bend. It’s a nice flat knot that contributes to the comfort of your hammock. Figure 4 shows how to make this knot as you work from right to left; Figure 5 shows the example when you work from left to right.

Figure 4 - Right to Left

Figure 4 - Right to Left

Figure 5 - Left to Right

Figure 5 - Left to Right

Remove the rope from the board:

If you have reached the last knot on the board (that is, the first nail of the second row) remove the work from the board. Pay close attention to the fact that the knots and loops sit properly and do not capsize or turn over (see Figure 6).

Figure 6
Figure 6

Now you have to remove the nail in the spot marked B. Cross the stick or broom handle through the first row of meshes and the Bowline Knot – this is to keep the work taut (see Figure 7). Then hook up your work on the first row of nails and continue as Figure 7 indicates.

Figure 7
Figure 7

The sequel is now clear. You just have to fill the board again with the Sheet Bend knots. Remove the work from the board again and hook the new meshes to the first row of nails again. Make sure that the tension of the rope between the knots is about the same. This gives the best result at the end and a hammock of the greatest beauty.

If you have finished the last meshes, put a nail in cross C (or D) and then end up as you started with a Bowline knot.

How to determine the length of your hammock:

The length of your hammock is equal to your body length plus 50 cm. Measure yourself, but take into account the fact that a freshly knotted hammock may stretch quite a bit. One maze of the mesh of the hammock is about 14 centimetres.

Example: my body length is 173 centimetres, add 50 centimetres this comes to about 220 centimetres. Divided into lots of 14 centimetres, this makes about 16 meshes. Therefore, the hammock described here is 16 meshes long.


>> Read Part 3 >>

4 thoughts on “How to make your own Hammock – Part 2

  1. Stephen Smith

    I guessed that you might use the sheetbend because of the description I mentioned (see posting associated with Part 1) in The Ashley Book of Knots (entries 400-403 inclusive).

    If you are making a big net then using a netting needle makes it much easier. The needle will carry the remaining rope through the knot as each sheetbend is formed with ease, because of the way the rope is spooled on the needle. Making a netting needle with a knife is an interesting and fun job in itself.

    With a fishing net the role of the stick is assumed by the headline, which is a long rope that will support the net in the water, and the first row of the net is usually attached to the headline with clove hitches. After that the mesh is constructed with sheetbends.

    Its nice to see the way that the nails are used to achieve regularity in the mesh. Traditionally fishermen achieved that by constant practice at net making and repair.

  2. John van Zanen

    Hi Stephen, I’m glad you responded to the guide how to make your own hammock. Your comment about a netting needle, I have taken to heart.

    I’ve never used a netting needle because they didn’t tell me that when I was a Boy Scout. Later I learned of the technique using a netting needle, but I was not sure using it. This was because I was not sure how much rope a netting needle could hold.

    Because I was still curious, I made my own netting needle this week from a piece of horse chestnut I found in the park
    near my house. The result was great and it struck me that the netting needle I made really could hold a decent length of 3 mm paracord. Nearly 20 meters! I wish they told me of this technique when I was a Boy Scout. That had saved
    me lot of sore hands and a couple of blisters!

    For those who are thinking to get started with this description, I can clearly say that it is worth the effort of making a netting needle before you start. It makes life very easy.

  3. Stephen Smith

    Hi John,

    I am pleased that you made a netting needle, and that you have found that it really does help. The first time I made a netting needle was just an exercise in knife handling skills. Doing detailed cuts with the tip of the blade teaches how to use the knife for small work, which makes it more useful again. However the netting needle is a nice tool in its own right. Its good to see in practice how the knife can be used to make more handy and beautiful things.


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