Featured Project: Hammock Stand
Who doesn’t wish they could bring a little bit of that tropical vacation back into their living room? One of our member’s thought maybe changing up his furnishings would let him do just that… check out our latest featured project, Ben Taft’s hand-built hammock stand!
VTL: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Are projects like these a hobby for you, or do you work with tools professionally?
Ben: I’m a filmmaker and spend a lot of time travelling or stuck in front of a computer pushing pixels around. Because of this, I felt a need to create something that would exist in a more tangible way for a change, something that could be enjoyed and perhaps last for a long time. Woodworking was the answer to this.
VTL: Describe your project. What inspired you to build it?
Ben: My girlfriend and I travelled to Honduras a couple of years ago on a whim and enjoyed laying around the hammocks any chance we got. We intended to buy one there but ended up not being able to decide which one to get so we returned empty handed. When we moved into a new place a few months ago, we didn’t really have much furniture so I figured this was a great opportunity to get a hammock. Thus, I turned to one of my favourite sites, Instructables. There, I came upon this detailed guide by user “forke” on how to build a hammock stand. I built the hammock stand’s main beam with a 12 foot 4×4 and stained it, but other than that, it’s very similar to his plans.
VTL: What tools did you need for the job, how long did it take you, level of difficulty to put together?
Ben: It took me about a week worths of evenings, spread out over a month to complete. I haven’t really built anything by myself before, the most difficult part was cutting through the 4x4s at the angles required. I didn’t end up with perfectly even cuts but it all came together anyways. A better understanding of measuring angles, cutting on the outside of the line and a table saw would have helped. I also ended up getting treated wood since that was the only thing available at the Home Depot I went to (a lumber yard would probably have been a better place to source it). This is not really ideal if you, like me, intend to mainly use the stand indoors as it apparently makes staining it more difficult (although, I didn’t have any problem with the stainer I got) and I’m pretty sure the chemicals used aren’t particularly good for you. Specific tools I used were:
- Reciprocating saw
- Hand sander
- Power drill
- 1″ spade bit (slightly larger than the diameter of your lag bolt)
- a wood drill bit (slightly smaller than the diameter of the threads on your lag bolts)
- Socket wrench
- sockets to fit the lag bolt you choose
- Measuring tape
- Eye, respirator and hearing protecting gear
VTL: So you got your design plan for the hammock stand from instructables.com. Have you used this page for DIY project before? Would you recommend it as a reliable source for project ideas and instruction?
Ben: I’m a longtime fan of Instructables.com and DIY culture in general. I wrote a stop motion & light painting instructable a few years ago. Although I’ve bookmarked a number of neat projects, this is the first one I’ve actually gone ahead and built. If it hadn’t been for The Vancouver Tool Library, I don’t think I would have done it as I don’t own a lot of tools and to rent them would have been way too expensive for the time period I needed them for. I also greatly benefited from the help and encouragement of the volunteers in the shop who helped me select the right tools. I wish there was also a space for members to work on projects like this, I built this hammock stand in my friend’s garage but now they are using that space for summer so I’m not able to work there anymore.
VTL: If you could hang your hammock one place in the world, where would it be?
Ben: I would love to travel around the world on a boat and hang my hammock from the railings or mast. Or maybe set it up next to a river or waterfall, I love the sound of flowing water, I find it very relaxing and soothing.
VTL: What’s next on your DIY project list?
Ben: I’d love to build a dinner table or desk out of scrap wood, this one is really beautiful.
See more photos of this project, and others, in our Member Projects Album on Facebook!
This post is part of our “Featured Project” series which shines the spotlight on the projects that VTL members are currently working on. We hope it gives you an inside perspective on the many different jobs our tools get used on and provides some inspiration, too!
We’re always looking for more projects to feature, so please get in touch with Caitlin at email@example.com if you have a project you’d like to tell us about!