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The dreaded Hammock

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by gafftaper, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Night of the Iguana again... the dreaded Hammock. Portable hammocks are of course ridiculously huge. I'm building a deck and cubicles but the director doesn't want the hammock to attach to them she wants it free standing. But free standing hammocks are 12+ feet long and the ends stick up about 4.5' off the ground. Plus you can't see the actor's face when he's in the hammock. The Director is wondering if I can build something smaller and on a slant so that we can see the actor better. (I need a smilie where the guy is shocked and has steam coming out of his ears to insert here).

    So this is what I'm thinking. No welding gear available.

    Point #1
    I've got a spare rope hammock without a stand to play with. There's the main "basket" area of the hammock that the person lays in. Then the ropes all go through a piece of wood to fix their distances apart. Then they travel about 2 1/2' before they are all woven together at a single ring. The director wants me to shorten the whole thing by tying the lines together about 6" from the wooden spacer instead of 2 1/2'. I'm worried that will make it highly unstable. Anyone agree?

    Point #2
    Director is wondering if we can use the existing metal tube stand and build a rake to it at one end. My feeling is this would look weird and would alter the way the forces act upon the stand possibly causing a collapse. Again thoughts?

    Point #3
    The director is wondering if I can build something shorter. Ok, I've got a nice beefy 4x6 for a main back bone, some monstrous bolts, and a bunch of 2x6 kicking around for the uprights. I could throw a frame together. BUT, if it's lower, I'm afraid that the actor will hit the ground when he gets in it. The ropes stretch. That's the reason for the height of the frame in the first place. If I drop it down to 3' high supports on the ends, the actor is likely to hit bottom getting in and out.

    ANY suggestions on how to make a hammock that will still work but is smaller, has better sight lines to the actor, and can be built from wood?

    About the only thing I can come up with is building a 4 post hammock that is raked. But that seems like it would look a little weird.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2008
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Get a smaller hammock, they do exist. The ones you pick up at home depot are huge, way to large to put onstage. They can easily hold a few people, unless you need to do that I would try to avoid the larger ones.
     
  3. Sayen

    Sayen Active Member

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    Point #2 might be the easiest to try, just as an experiment? I'm not sure I understand the build very well, but if raking it solves the problem, you're set.

    For smaller hammocks try military surplus stores or backpacking stores. Soft hammocks without the wood braces are much smaller, and I think you could build some smaller wood braces.
     
  4. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    You might want to post your query over at my other hangout, Hammock Forums. The group over there would probably be intrigued by the challenge and might even fabricate something for you.
     
  5. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Unbelievable. I was shocked when Van told me about pondliners.com... but Hammock Forums. It's amazing what's out there on the internets.
     
  6. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    I've been hammock camping for years now. It's also a great way to catch a few winks over at the theatre between shows, just to keep it on topic for THIS forum.
     
  7. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    My buddy built a hammock support that has a really cool look to it and was manufactured almost completely from 2x6's. Let me know and I'll ask him if he still has the plans, Or I might be able to thumbnail some.
     
  8. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    Ha, ha... hangout...

    Definitely try to find one without a wooden brace. A few people in my dorm have hammocks strung up in their room at a raked angle (because of the bedposts.) The only problem is that the hammock rolls around them like a cocoon, which is ok because they're made of knotted yarn (I think they got them in the Dominican Republic,) but just a heads up.
     
  9. anne111

    anne111 Member

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  10. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    The Hammoc forums are definitely a much more laid back group than we are. :)
     
  11. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    i know of a booth that was spec'd by our td to include "mounting points" when the venue was done we worked that it was for him to sleep in :p.
     
  12. Kelite

    Kelite Apollo Staff Premium Member

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    Uh we are, Charc....
     
  13. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Not me !
    I'm Lame'
     
  14. kbbear

    kbbear Member

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    How about the actor sitting sideways in the hammock.
     
  15. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Never more than one actor in it at a time. I think I'm going to build a 4 post hammock. 2x6 frame with 4x4 posts. Keep the foot end low, raise the head end up high. Should be able to shorten the overall length as well.
     

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