How to make your own Hammock – Part 3

<< Read Part 2 <<


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.

Figure 8 - Lines & Mesh

Figure 8 – Lines & Mesh

You attach the wires to the meshes with the Cow Hitch, or Girth Hitch; figure 9 shows how it is done:

Figure 9 - Cow Hitch

Figure 9 – Cow Hitch

Now take the two strips of wood of about 70 cm, drill holes of 8 mm as shown in Figure 10:

Figure 10 - The Two Pieces of Wood

Figure 10 – The Two Pieces of Wood

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.

Figure 11 - Sennit

Figure 11 – 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)

Figure 12 - Multiple Sheet Bend

Figure 12 – Multiple Sheet Bend

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.

Figure 13 - Buntline Hitch

Figure 13 – Buntline Hitch

>> Read Part 4 >>

7 thoughts on “How to make your own Hammock – Part 3

  1. Frank

    But Ciaran, how is it different from all the hammocks without the board? They dont crush, though I can imagine that it folds a bit. The folding helps on the other hand from dropping out…

    I am still puzzled.




  2. Frank

    Splendid 3rd post, cant wait for the final and of course all the posts with people sleeping out in their own hammock 🙂

    I do actually remember the period when scouts from other groups where quite active in making hammocks and using them at camps. Never made one myself though but now with these posts I will have to.

    One question still lingers in my mind (and it has for all those years), why is the hammock finished with the head and foot board (fig 10), why is this board not left out and the hammock made in the usual style (all the mesh going to one point)?


    Frank de Wolf



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