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Brad Fitzpatrick

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Hammock Failure [Apr. 13th, 2007|02:41 pm]
Brad Fitzpatrick
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I bought a hammock in Belize.

I bought some hardware at Home Depot last night to hang it on my office deck, diagonally between two beams.

I shrugged at the "not for carrying human weight" warning on both the clip and hook mount, considering a single clip said it could bear 280 lbs and there's no way 560 lbs is getting in the hammock anyway. So whatever, no problems....

I was wrong.

It worked for a bit, but not once I started bouncing and swinging in it as a stress test.

In fairness, and to highlight my stupidity, the hook mount didn't have a max load weighting. I'd figured, "hey, it's metal! and that other metal thing says 280 lbs!". But the hook mount was two parts, and the welding busted. I should go find one that's one part.


[User Picture]From: xotiffany
2007-04-13 09:57 pm (UTC)
I wish I could've witnessed this. =P
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[User Picture]From: erik
2007-04-14 08:51 am (UTC)
Yeah, what, no video of this like the Segway incident?
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[User Picture]From: burr86
2007-04-13 09:58 pm (UTC)
(Obligatory reference to xkcd comic about electrocution/lightning.)
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[User Picture]From: brad
2007-04-13 10:09 pm (UTC)

this one? :)

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[User Picture]From: robflynn
2007-04-13 10:06 pm (UTC)
I noticed once that my really tall bed looked like it was breaking. One of the pieces of wood was cracked and a metal brace was about to fall out.

To test it's stability, I decided to sit on it and bounce a bit.


It broke. Dropped me to the ground.

I hurt my back so badly that I couldn't even tie my own shoes for a week.

Having to have Erin tie my shoes in the grocery store while I barely hobbled up and down the aisles was a bit embarrassing.

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[User Picture]From: graceadieu
2007-04-13 10:20 pm (UTC)


This sounds like a job for Sandy! :) Let's be grateful you didn't get hurt.
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[User Picture]From: eli
2007-04-13 10:57 pm (UTC)
Hammocks are the best. I bought one in Costa Rica but haven't found the spot to hang it up yet. I think I might have to go back to Costa Rica, I found a good spot there.
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[User Picture]From: mbrubeck
2007-04-13 10:58 pm (UTC)
Dynamic load (e.g. when you get in or out of the hammock) can be several times higher than static load from the same mass. Also, the shape of a hammock can mean that the tension on each end is several times higher than the downward force at the center. Go to a climbing or marine supply store and buy hardware with a load rating at least ten times the maximum weight the hammock should hold.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2007-04-13 11:58 pm (UTC)

I knew about the difference between dynamic and static load, vaguely, which is why I was doing the stress test in the first place, but wasn't sure of any good rules of thumb regarding multiples I should be looking out for.

In any case, I got a stronger mounting solution now that seems to work.... I'll swing carefully, though. :)
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From: altamira16
2007-04-14 12:01 am (UTC)
The rule of thumb in trapeze is to use stuff that can support 10 times your body weight.
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[User Picture]From: scosol
2007-04-14 12:02 am (UTC)
buy a real hammock, and lay in it brazilian style:


and yeah- like other guy said- go to REI and get some 5mm acc cord to tie it :)
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