Estimated Cost: $$$$
Total: 13 hours
The simple geometry and clean lines of this project add aesthetic value to any yard. The inset platform floats above the ground and allows the ebb and flow of wind to gently sway its occupants.
The hammock features strong joinery utilizing 4x4 wood stock for the wall columns, has braces at the corners for added stability, and takes advantage of rope connections to gracefully suspend the bed platform.
You can customize this piece as little or as much as you’d like – adding a simple pad on the platform makes it ready to enjoy, or you can dress it up with curtain rods and fabric. Add a rug below the platform and pillows for a comfy, home-away-from-home appeal.
Make sure to take proper safety precautions including always wearing gloves, goggles and a dust mask when you’re cutting or sanding.
First, cut boards (A) and (B) using a miter saw. To make a part with two clean faces, cut 1" off one end, then measure and cut to 102" at the other end. Lay out two parallel parts (A) on the ground about 102" apart.
At one end of the parallel boards, place part (A) on top of them, keeping the edges flush. This will act as a cross-member. Pre-drill first, then screw into the other (A) boards using 6" screws.
Use a miter square to ensure angles are at 90°. Repeat step 2 at the other end. The four pieces should form a square.
Next, add another part (A) next to the one already on the ground. Use a scrap piece of 4x4 as a spacer. Pre-drill and attach all the parts with screws. Then repeat on the other side.
Add four more parts (A) on top of the assembly. These four parts are positioned directly over the four parts (A) on the ground. Pre-drill and attach all the parts with screws.*
* Alternating screw patterns is recommended to avoid intersection of existing screws
You’ll now attach vertical cross-members. First, take two parts (A) and attach them as shown. Pre-drill and use screws to attach them.
Now, attach two parts (B) at the opposite end. These rest on the cross-members from step A2. You will now have the right wall assembled.
To create the left wall, repeat steps 1-5 from Step 1. It will be identical to the right wall, except with no vertical beams.
Now, tip the right wall assembly 90° toward the left wall assembly. Part (B) should be on the ground now.
Tip the left wall assembly 90° toward the right wall assembly. This left wall assembly should line up with the cross-members. Pre-drill and use 6" screws to attach the left wall assembly to the right wall assembly.
Cut parts (C) using a miter saw. At each corner of the structure, there will be two braces (C).
Each brace will join the vertical posts (A) to the horizontal cross-members (A). Attach them using 6" screws into the 4x4 beams at an angle. Use 2 screws at each end, for a total of 4 screws per (C) part.
There are a total of 8 braces to complete the structure.
Cross-cut boards (D), (E) to the proper dimensions, noting their 45º angle on each end. They require a recessed lip along their lengths. Using a table saw, cut a ⅞" x ⅞" notch into the inside edge along the top.
Use a nail gun and tack parts (D) and (E) together, and then attach with 2" screws.
Then, cut parts (G) and drill a 1" hole in each part. Attach to the bottom of the platform using 2" screws.
To complete the frame for the platform, evenly space the two parts (F) to the two parts (E) and attach, ensuring the tops of (F) are flush with the bottom of the notch. Pre-drill and use 2" screws to hold them together.
Next, attach the eleven boards (H). They rest in the shelf you made in parts (D) and (E). At both ends of the board, screw into parts (D). Also screw into supports (F).
At each corner of the platform, mark the center of a circle at 2½" x 2½" from the corner, and drill holes using a 1" Forstner bit. These holes will align with the holes you drilled in parts (G) to accommodate the rope.
Take a scrap piece of sandpaper and smooth the edges of all holes to prevent the rope from fraying.
To suspend the platform from the structure, you’ll need a ten foot section of rope at each corner. Tie a stopper knot in one end (see diagram), then thread it through the holes in the platform from the bottom. Do this for all corners.
(Close-up of how to tie stopper knot.)
Take the other end of the rope and wrap it around the horizontal supports (A) three times.
Using your conduit hanger, secure the end of the rope to the horizontal support (A). Attach hanger first with a screw, and then pull rope through. Repeat this step for the other corners.
Place a level on the platform and fine-tune level in all directions. Once the platform is leveled, tighten the nut on the hanger the rest of the way.
Ease any sharp edges with a medium grit sanding block. Apply preferred finish to the wood.
Place the mattress pad of your choice onto the platform and decorate with pillows, blankets, and even curtains if you wish. (You can spray fabrics with Scotchgard to add a layer of protection from outdoor elements.)