How to Make A Hammock - Make a Netted Hammock


A good hammock should be about 12 ft. long, which includes 8 ft. of network and 2 ft., at each end, of long cords that are attached to rings. Seine twine, of 24-ply, is the best material and it will take 1 1/2 lbs. to make a hammock. The twine comes in 1/2-lb. skeins and should be wound into balls to keep it from knotting before the right time. Two galvanized rings, about 2 1/2 in. in diameter, are required.

Make a Netted Hammock

The equipment for netting a hammock consists of a wood needle, or shuttle, a gauge board for the long meshes at the ends, and a mesh stick for the regular netting of the main body of the hammock, all of which will be described in detail.

The shuttle is made of wood and is 12 in. long, 1 1/4 in. wide, and 1/4 in. thick. The best material to use is maple or other hard wood, but very satisfactory ones can be cut from good-grained pine. The sketch. Fig. 1, shows the general shape of the shuttle, one end being pointed and the other forked.

Lay out the pointed end before beginning to cut down to size. Place a compass at the center of the end, and with a radius of l 1/2 in. describe the arc AB. With the intersections of this arc and the side lines of the needle, C and D, as centers, and the same radius, 1 1/2 in., cut the arc AB at E and F. With E and F as centers draw the curves of the end of the shuttle. The reason for placing the centers outside of the shuttle lines is to obtain a longer curve to the end. The curves can be drawn free-hand, but will then not be so good.

The space across the needle at GH is divided into five 1/4-in. divisions. The centers of the holes J and K at the base of the tongue are 3 1/2 in. from the pointed end. The opening is 2 3/4 in. long. Bore a 1/4 in. hole at the right end of the opening, and just to the left three holes, as shown by the dotted lines.

With a coping saw cut out along the lines and finish with a knife, file, and sandpaper. Round off the edges, as shown by the sectional detail. It is well to bevel the curve at L so that the shuttle will wind easily. The fork is 3/4 in. deep, each prong being 1/4 in. wide. Slant the point of the shuttle and round off all edges throughout and sandpaper smooth.

The gauge board. Fig. 2, is used for making the long meshes at both ends of the hammock. It is a board about 3 ft. long, 4 in. wide, and 1 in. thick. An eight-penny nail is driven into the board 1 in. from the right edge and 2 in. from the end, as shown by M, allowing it to project about 1 in. and slanting a little toward the end; the
other nail N will be located later.

The mesh stick. Fig. 3, should be made of maple, 8 in. long, 1 3/4 in. wide, and 1/4 in. thick. Round off the edges and sandpaper them very smooth.

The making of the net by a specially devised shuttle is called "natting," or netting, when done with a fine thread and a suitably fine shuttle. Much may be done in unique lace-work designs, and when coarser material and larger shuttles are used, such articles as fish nets, tennis nets and hammocks may be made. The old knot used in natting was difficult to learn and there was a knack to it that was easily forgotten, but there is a slight modification of this knot that is quite easy to learn and to make. The modified knot will be the one described.


The shuttle is first wound by looping the cord over the tongue, as shown in Fig 4, then bringing it down to the forked end and up to the opening on the opposite side ; then the cord is again looped over the tongue and returned to the fork or place of starting. Continue winding back and forth until the shuttle is full. The shuttle will
accommodate from 20 to 35 complete rounds. If the shuttle is too full it crowds in passing through the meshes and delays the work.

Attach one of the galvanized rings by means of a short cord to the nail in the gauge board, as shown in Fig. 2. At a point 2 ft. from the lower edge of the ring, drive an eight-penny finishing nail, N. Tie the cord end of the shuttle to the ring, bring the shuttle down and around the nail N; then bring it back and pass it through the ring from the under side. The cord will then appear as shown. A part of the ring projects over the edge of the board to make it easier to pass the shuttle through.

Draw the cord up tightly and put the thumb on top of the cord O, Fig. b, to prevent it from slipping back, then throw a loop of the cord to the left over the thumb and up over a portion of the ring and pass the shuttle under the two taut cords and bring it up between the thumb and the two cords, as shown. Draw the looped knot tight under the thumb. Slip the long loop off the nail N and tie a simple knot at the mark P. This last knot is tied in the long loop to prevent looseness. Proceed with the next loop as with the first and repeat until there are 30 long meshes.

After completing these meshes anchor the ring by its short cord to a hook or other stationary object. The anchorage should be a little above the level for tying the knots of the net. Tie the cord of the shuttle to the left outside loop and always work from the left to the right; and the first time across see that the long meshes do not cross over each other, but are kept in the order in which they are attached to the ring.


After tying the cord to the mesh 1, Fig. 6, bring the mesh stick into use. Pass the cord down over the mesh stick, drawing the lower end of the loop down until it comes against the upper side of the mesh stick and put the thumb down upon it in this position to prevent slipping. Pass the shuttle up through the loop 2 and draw that down to the mesh stick. Shift the thumb from the first position to the second. Throw the cord to the left over the thumb and about the loop 2, as shown in Fig. 7, and bring the shuttle under both of the cords of mesh 2 and up between the large backward loop and the cords of the mesh 2.

Without removing the thumb draw up the knot very tight. This makes the
first netting knot. Continue the cord around the mesh stick, pass it up through mesh 3, throw the backward loop, put the shuttle under and up to the left of the mesh 3 and draw very tight, and do not allow a mesh to be drawn down below the upper side of the mesh stick. Some of these cautions are practically repeated, but if a mesh is allowed to get irregular, it will give trouble in future operations.

Continue across the series until all of the long loops have been used and this will bring the work to the right side. Flip the whole thing over, and the cord will be at the left, ready to begin again. Slip all the meshes off the mesh stick. It makes no difference when the meshes are taken off the stick, but they must all come off before a new row is begun. Having the ring attached to the anchorage by a cord makes it easy to flip the work over. Be sure to flip to the right and then to the left alternately to prevent the twisting, which would result if turned one way all the time.

The first mesh each time across is just a little different problem from all the others, which may be better understood by reference to Fig; 8. The knots Q, R, and S are of the next previous series. The cord is brought down over the mesh stick and up through mesh 1, and when the loop is brought down it may not draw to the mesh stick at its center; it is apt to do otherwise and a sideway pull is necessary, which is pulled so that the knots Q and R are side by side, then the knot at T may be tied. When the mesh 2 is drawn down it should pull to place without shifting, and also all the others of that row.


Continue the use of the mesh stick until a net 8 ft. long is made. When the cord gives out rewind the shuttle and tie with a small knot that will not slip. The weaver's knot is good if known, or the simple square knot shown in Fig. is very good. It is too easy to make to need direction, but unless it is thrown over just right it will slip. Let U, Fig. 8, represent the short cord and V the new piece to be added. Place the cord V back of U and give U a complete turn around V, Fig. 9, and bring them together at a point above U, then to the front. Repeat the complete turn of U about V, shown by the dotted line, and pull tightly. If analyzed, it consists of two loops that are just alike and linked together as shown in Fig. 10.

When the 8 ft. of netting has been completed, proceed to make the long loops as at the beginning. The same gauge board can be used, but the tying occurs at both ends, and since the pairs cannot be knotted in the center, two or three twists can be given by the second about the first of each pair. The long loops and the net are attached together as shown in Fig. 11.


Slip one of the meshes of the last run over the nail N, and when the cord comes down from the ring, the shuttle passes through the same mesh, and when drawn up, the farthest point of the mesh comes against the nail. After this long loop has been secured at the ring, the first mesh is slipped off and the next put on. All of the long loops at this end will be about three inches shorter than at the other end, unless the finishing nail N is moved down. This will not be necessary.

With a piece of cord about six feet long, start quite close to the ring and wind all the cords of the long loops together. The winding should be made very tight, and it is best to loop under with each coil. This is shown in Fig. 13.

The hammock is now ready for use. Some like a soft, small rope run through the outside edges lengthwise, others prefer a fringe, and either can be added. The fringe can be attached about six meshes down from the upper edge of the sides. The hammock should have a stretcher at each end of the netted portion, but not as long as those required for web hammocks.

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