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How to Make a Hammock

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How to Make a Hammock
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BLACK+DECKER B+D Contributor 193 Projects

Build this attractive hammock to lounge in on a sunny day. If you have moderate to advanced woodworking skills, you can build this hideaway hammock shelter in about one weekend. Weather-resistant cedar will help this hammock stand strong for years to come.

Below are the TOOLS + MATERIALS you will need to Make a Hammock:

Things You Will Need

How to Make a Hammock

  1. Cut the Cedar Boards and Fir Plywood

    Cut the following pieces with the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* 5 1/2 in. Circular Saw:

    • (4) 2 x 6 cedar boards, 77 1/4" long for the crossties
    • (2) 1/4 x 10 x 48" pieces of fir plywood for the bracket and rafter templates

  2. Draw the Post Notches

    Use a try square to draw two 1 1/2" deep x 5 1/2" wide x 5 1/2" tall notches on opposing sides at one end of both 6 x 6 posts. The top of the notches should be 12 7/8" down from the top of the post. Cut another notch, 4" deep x 1 1/2" wide, perpendicular to the notches on the side, in the top of the post.

    The two notches on the side are cradles for the horizontal crossties. The notch on top is the cradle for the 2 x 8 ridge board that joins the posts together.

  3. Cut the Notches

    Use the 20V MAX* 5-1/2 in. Circular Saw to make a series of 1 1/2" deep cuts inside the marks for the side notches. It should look like a comb when finished. Chip out the wood between the cuts with a chisel.

    Use the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Cordless Lithium Jigsaw to flatten the bottom of the notches. Cut the ridge notch on top by drilling a series of holes down into the end of the post with the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* 2 Speed Drill/Driver and a 1 1/2" spade bit. Smooth and flatten the notches with a bastard file.

  4. Dig the Post Holes

    Dig two holes, 14' apart on-center, or as needed to accommodate your hammock size. Dig the holes at least 32" deep and about 16" in diameter. Screw a scrap of 1 x 4 board across each post, 30" up from the bottom and perpendicular to the post. This supports the post for a 30" deep burial depth.

    TIP: Drill a hole through each post about 8" up from the bottom, using a 1/2" bit. Insert a 16" length of #4 rebar through the hole so it extends equally on both sides of the post. The bar provides added stability to the post when the concrete sets up.

  5. Set The Posts

    Mix the concrete with water as directed by the manufacturer. Set the posts in the holes, with the ridge notches facing each other. Use scrap 2 x 4's and the BLACK+DECKER ACCU-MARK™ 36 in. Level to brace the posts plumb (perfectly vertical).

    Fill the holes with concrete. Allow at least 24 hours for the concrete to set up.

  6. Build the Brackets

    Create a temple for the curved brackets as shown, using one of the 10 x 48" pieces of plywood. Cut out the template with the 20V MAX* Cordless Lithium Jigsaw. Trace around the template to mark out eight brackets onto the 2 x 10 cedar stock. Cut out the brackets with the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Lithium Reciprocating Saw.

    Apply weather-resistant wood glue to two of the brackets, and screw them together with 3" screws for a 3" wide bracket. Repeat to make four brackets total. Sand them smooth with the BLACK+DECKER 3 in. x 21 in. Dragster™ Belt Sander and 100-grit belt.

  7. Install the Ridge

    Fit the 16' ridge beam into the notches on the tops of the posts so it extends 10" beyond each post. Screw the ridge to the posts with 3 1/2" galvanized lag screws.

    Drive one screw through each side of the post, offsetting them slightly so they don't meet in the middle.

  8. Add the Crossties

    Cut a 3 1/2" long, 45-degree angle on two opposing ends of the four 2 x 6 crossties (this is the flat spot where the fascia board attaches). Fit the two crossties centered into the side notches on both posts, with the angles on top.

    Screw them to the posts using four 3", no. 10 screws.

  9. Install the Braces

    Fit one end of each doubled-up brace (the flat angle should be down) between a pair of crossties. Add clamps to the crossties to secure the brace. Adjust it as needed until the flat spot on the brace is flush against the side of the post. Drive 3", no. 10 screws through the crosstie from both sides to secure the top end of the brace.

    Drill two 1" deep countersink holes at the bottom of the brace with a 1" spade bit. Drill 1/4" pilot holes through the countersunk holes. Secure the bottom of the brace to the post with two 5/16 x 4" galvanized lag screws.

    TIP: Depending on what type of screw you're using, pilot holes should be just slightly smaller than the screw. The idea is to allow the hole to be big enough for the screw to pass through without splitting the wood, but at the same time, small enough so that the threads grip firmly.

  10. Sand Everything

    Sand everything smooth using the BLACK+DECKER 5 in. Random Orbit Sander with 100-grit sandpaper. Run the sander over all the rough edges, and smooth any rough surfaces.

  11. Add the Fascia Boards

    Place a 1 x 6 fascia board on the flattened angles of the crossties at each side of the structure. It should overhang 10" on the ends, just like the ridge board. Screw it to the crossties with 3" screws.

    TIP: Cut some long pieces of scrap boards to brace the fascia boards to the ground. The fascia is not stable until the rafters and slats are installed.

  12. Cut the Rafters

    Create a template for the rafters, as shown, using the remaining piece of 1/4" plywood. Note that one end of the rafter fits flush against the ridge board, and the other end fits flush with the bottom of the fascia and helps to support the fascia.

    Cut out the template with the 20V MAX* Cordless Lithium Jigsaw. Trace around the template to mark twelve rafters onto the 2 x 8 stock, then cut the rafters with the 20V MAX* Lithium Reciprocating Saw.

  13. Install the Rafters

    Install the rafters by screwing one end to the ridge board and the other end to the underside of the fascia. The first rafter on both ends should be flush with the outside of the curved bracket supports. Fasten these to the bracket supports with 4" screws.

    The remaining rafters should be spaced evenly (approximately 34 3/4") between the outer rafters and attached with 4" screws. It's fine to offset them slightly on the ridge board to allow for screwing them on (so they don't meet in the middle).

  14. Install the Slats

    Position the 1 x 4, 16' long slats on the curved rafters one at a time. Screw them to the rafters with 1 1/2" screws.

    For accurate, even spacing, tap some finish nails into the rafters to act as a small shelf. When finished with the slats, pull out the nails.

  15. Apply the Sealant and Stain

    Spray the complete assembly with exterior deck sealant, as directed by the manufacturer. Allow the stain to dry fully before hanging up your hammock.

  16. Set the Eye Bolts

    Drill a 3/8" pilot hole, centered on the post, just above the point where the curved rafter braces join the post. Install one eye bolt into the hole with a washer and nut so the eye points toward the other post.

    Repeat with the other post. Connect a length of chain to each eye bolt for the hammock using a quick-connect chain link.

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