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Near Disaster!

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  • geoflyfisher
    Well, it seems like near disaster. On my Zaleski trip, I almost had to sleep on the ground. The robust nature of Ed s design had me swinging after a 10
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 16 12:19 PM
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      Well, it seems like near disaster. On my Zaleski trip, I almost had
      to sleep on the ground. The robust nature of Ed's design had me
      swinging after a 10 minute repair.

      When I arrived at the campsite, I put up the hammock and decided to
      take the bug net off completely, as it is entirely too early for the
      flying biting stuff, and I no longer need the bug net to keep snow
      flakes off my quilt.

      When I got to one end, I discovered to my horror, that there was a 6
      inch rip in the hammock right at the end of the velcro strip. I
      don't know if the hook velcro of the bug net had weakened the
      unprotected 1.9 oz ripstop, or my pulling the 2 inches Ed suggests in
      the book had caused the edge to become extra tight, but there was a
      failure of the material. I was a bit afraid to sleep in the torn
      hammock.

      Solution.. I pulled the strap loop down a foot or so toward the
      other end of the hammock. Then I tied a new knot in the end of the
      hammock, incorporating the velcro edge. The rip is in the material
      that no longer supports weight. It worked just fine, but is a little
      shorter (about 14 inches) than I planned. As such it will work fine
      for Diane, but I was a little long for the new length. But it
      worked.

      I'm glad I had not used the sewn method of making the hammock end.
      If I had, I would have been sleeping on the ground.

      Prevention... I am reconsidering Ed's instruction to pull the two
      edges up about two inches. I may be this unequal tension which led
      to the failure. I have to think a little about that. I also am
      considering sewing the velcro strip all the way to the end of the
      material so the strip is part of the knot and lends extra strength at
      the critical last couple inches.

      Has anyone else had problems with a failure of the hammock material
      when they used the right material and did not violate the weight
      limits?? (I weigh 190#)

      <><
    • Ed Speer
      Wow! Flyfisher--glad you were able to salvage your hike. Your quick thinking saved the day (or the night). I m most interested in what caused the ripped
      Message 2 of 8 , Mar 16 5:57 PM
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        Message
        Wow! Flyfisher--glad you were able to salvage your hike.  Your quick thinking saved the day (or the night). 
         
        I'm most interested in what caused the ripped hammock, as I'm sure you are.  I've never had a hammock do that before, so my suspicion is that the fabric somehow got cut or torn on a sharp edge.  How was the rip oriented--along the fabric edge, perpendicular to the fabric edge, etc.  Does the features of the rip suggest how it tore--I don't even know what torn ripstop is suppose to like.
         
        Were you using 1.9 ripstop, or it's lighter 1.1 oz cousin?  I've had 1.1 ripstop tear from normal use--but never 1.9.
         
        Tying the end knot by pulling the long edges a few inches longer than the rest of the hammock shouldn't put undue stress on the long edges--if anything, it puts more stress on the centerline of the hammock, not the long edges.  And the velcro shouldn't be the culprit either (FYI, sometimes my velcro stops just shy of the end knot and other times it disappears into the end knot, but it never extends completely through the knots).  As far as user weight goes, I've tested a 1.9 ripstop hammock to 375 lbs w/ me wildly bouncing up and down --the only thing that happened was the 1/2" steel bolts I was tied to pulled out of the wall!  I have many customers who weigh more than you and they've not reported any problems.  I'm currently using a 1.9 oz ripstop hammock that has been slept in over 400 times--that's over 3,200 hours, with no sign of failure or damage (I weigh 170 lbs).  In fact, that's the same hammock I tested to 375 lbs earlier.
         
        What I'm trying to say here is it seems unlikely the fabric failed from normal use only.  I would carefully consider sources other than the fabric or the design.  I'm assuming the fabric was sound to begin with.  Were you using seconds--fabric seconds are usually OK since defects are generally cosmetic, but defects in the fabric strength can exist. 
         
        How was the hammock packed/transported after the last use--is it possible it could have been cut or ripped accidentally.  Did the hammock snag on anything while making or breaking camp, like a sharp stick or rock--I've often worried that mine will get damaged this way--it's very easy to miss a potential snag or rip.  Also, once occupied, the taut hammock fabric is much more susceptible to punctures or tears--could it have gotten caught on anything after you were inside, either this time or a recent previous use?  Did anyone else use your hammock--could they have had a problem?  When all else fails, blame it on the Mad Hammock Slasher!
         
        I'm sure you're trying to think of every possible cause and may have already considered the ones I mention above.  Hopefully we can use your episode as a learning experience--if you can only solve the mystery....Ed
         
        -----Original Message-----
        From: geoflyfisher [mailto:geoflyfisher@...]
        Sent: Sunday, March 16, 2003 3:20 PM
        To: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Hammock Camping Near Disaster!

        Well, it seems like near disaster.  On my Zaleski trip, I almost had
        to sleep on the ground.  The robust nature of Ed's design had me
        swinging after a 10 minute repair. 

        When I arrived at the campsite, I put up the hammock and decided to
        take the bug net off completely, as it is entirely too early for the
        flying biting stuff, and I no longer need the bug net to keep snow
        flakes off my quilt.

        When I got to one end, I discovered to my horror, that there was a 6
        inch rip in the hammock right at the end of the velcro strip.  I
        don't know if the hook velcro of the bug net had weakened the
        unprotected 1.9 oz ripstop, or my pulling the 2 inches Ed suggests in
        the book had caused the edge to become extra tight, but there was a
        failure of the material.  I was a bit afraid to sleep in the torn
        hammock. 

        Solution..  I pulled the strap loop down a foot or so toward the
        other end of the hammock.  Then I tied a new knot in the end of the
        hammock, incorporating the velcro edge.   The rip is in the material
        that no longer supports weight.  It worked just fine, but is a little
        shorter (about 14 inches) than I planned.  As such it will work fine
        for Diane, but I was a little long for the new length.  But it
        worked.

        I'm glad I had not used the sewn method of making the hammock end. 
        If I had, I would have been sleeping on the ground.

        Prevention...  I am reconsidering Ed's instruction to pull the two
        edges up about two inches.  I may be this unequal tension which led
        to the failure.  I have to think a little about that.  I also am
        considering sewing the velcro strip all the way to the end of the
        material so the strip is part of the knot and lends extra strength at
        the critical last couple inches. 

        Has anyone else had problems with a failure of the hammock material
        when they used the right material and did not violate the weight
        limits??  (I weigh 190#)

        <><



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      • geoflyfisher
        Regarding the cause/anatomy/etc... the rip is at the end of the loop velcro. It is perpendicular to the edge of the fabric and extends about 6 inches into the
        Message 3 of 8 , Mar 24 12:23 PM
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          Regarding the cause/anatomy/etc...

          the rip is at the end of the loop velcro. It is perpendicular to the
          edge of the fabric and extends about 6 inches into the hammock.

          My guess is the cause was the hook velcro of my bug net. I had sewn
          hook velcro all the way to the end of the bug net, somewhat
          differently than you suggest. It is a little more form fitting to
          the opening of the hammock. I'd guess that the hooked together
          velcro on the bug net somewhere outside the overhand knot of the
          hammock got stuck and as I sat down on the edge of the hammock the
          hook velcro, or the sharp edge on that velcro, acted as a knife,
          starting a rip.

          At this point, I am considering doing something different with the
          velcro for the poncho/insulator, so I may just chuck the material for
          the hammock and peel off the existing velcro to re-use it. Patching
          the material might work, but for the 12 bucks to replace the
          material, it seems like too much work to patch and then worry.

          <><

          --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Ed Speer" <info@s...> wrote:
          > Wow! Flyfisher--glad you were able to salvage your hike. Your quick
          > thinking saved the day (or the night).
          >
          > I'm most interested in what caused the ripped hammock, as I'm sure
          you
          > are. I've never had a hammock do that before, so my suspicion is
          that
          > the fabric somehow got cut or torn on a sharp edge. How was the rip
          > oriented--along the fabric edge, perpendicular to the fabric edge,
          etc.
          > Does the features of the rip suggest how it tore--I don't even know
          what
          > torn ripstop is suppose to like.
          >
          > Were you using 1.9 ripstop, or it's lighter 1.1 oz cousin? I've
          had 1.1
          > ripstop tear from normal use--but never 1.9.
          >
          > Tying the end knot by pulling the long edges a few inches longer
          than
          > the rest of the hammock shouldn't put undue stress on the long
          edges--if
          > anything, it puts more stress on the centerline of the hammock, not
          the
          > long edges. And the velcro shouldn't be the culprit either (FYI,
          > sometimes my velcro stops just shy of the end knot and other times
          it
          > disappears into the end knot, but it never extends completely
          through
          > the knots). As far as user weight goes, I've tested a 1.9 ripstop
          > hammock to 375 lbs w/ me wildly bouncing up and down --the only
          thing
          > that happened was the 1/2" steel bolts I was tied to pulled out of
          the
          > wall! I have many customers who weigh more than you and they've not
          > reported any problems. I'm currently using a 1.9 oz ripstop hammock
          > that has been slept in over 400 times--that's over 3,200 hours,
          with no
          > sign of failure or damage (I weigh 170 lbs). In fact, that's the
          same
          > hammock I tested to 375 lbs earlier.
          >
          > What I'm trying to say here is it seems unlikely the fabric failed
          from
          > normal use only. I would carefully consider sources other than the
          > fabric or the design. I'm assuming the fabric was sound to begin
          with.
          > Were you using seconds--fabric seconds are usually OK since defects
          are
          > generally cosmetic, but defects in the fabric strength can exist.
          >
          > How was the hammock packed/transported after the last use--is it
          > possible it could have been cut or ripped accidentally. Did the
          hammock
          > snag on anything while making or breaking camp, like a sharp stick
          or
          > rock--I've often worried that mine will get damaged this way--it's
          very
          > easy to miss a potential snag or rip. Also, once occupied, the taut
          > hammock fabric is much more susceptible to punctures or tears--
          could it
          > have gotten caught on anything after you were inside, either this
          time
          > or a recent previous use? Did anyone else use your hammock--could
          they
          > have had a problem? When all else fails, blame it on the Mad
          Hammock
          > Slasher!
          >
          > I'm sure you're trying to think of every possible cause and may have
          > already considered the ones I mention above. Hopefully we can use
          your
          > episode as a learning experience--if you can only solve the
          > mystery....Ed
          >
          >
          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: geoflyfisher [mailto:geoflyfisher@y...]
          > Sent: Sunday, March 16, 2003 3:20 PM
          > To: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: Hammock Camping Near Disaster!
          >
          >
          > Well, it seems like near disaster. On my Zaleski trip, I almost
          had
          > to sleep on the ground. The robust nature of Ed's design had me
          > swinging after a 10 minute repair.
          >
          > When I arrived at the campsite, I put up the hammock and decided to
          > take the bug net off completely, as it is entirely too early for
          the
          > flying biting stuff, and I no longer need the bug net to keep snow
          > flakes off my quilt.
          >
          > When I got to one end, I discovered to my horror, that there was a
          6
          > inch rip in the hammock right at the end of the velcro strip. I
          > don't know if the hook velcro of the bug net had weakened the
          > unprotected 1.9 oz ripstop, or my pulling the 2 inches Ed suggests
          in
          > the book had caused the edge to become extra tight, but there was a
          > failure of the material. I was a bit afraid to sleep in the torn
          > hammock.
          >
          > Solution.. I pulled the strap loop down a foot or so toward the
          > other end of the hammock. Then I tied a new knot in the end of the
          > hammock, incorporating the velcro edge. The rip is in the
          material
          > that no longer supports weight. It worked just fine, but is a
          little
          > shorter (about 14 inches) than I planned. As such it will work
          fine
          > for Diane, but I was a little long for the new length. But it
          > worked.
          >
          > I'm glad I had not used the sewn method of making the hammock end.
          > If I had, I would have been sleeping on the ground.
          >
          > Prevention... I am reconsidering Ed's instruction to pull the two
          > edges up about two inches. I may be this unequal tension which led
          > to the failure. I have to think a little about that. I also am
          > considering sewing the velcro strip all the way to the end of the
          > material so the strip is part of the knot and lends extra strength
          at
          > the critical last couple inches.
          >
          > Has anyone else had problems with a failure of the hammock material
          > when they used the right material and did not violate the weight
          > limits?? (I weigh 190#)
          >
          > <><
          >
          >
          >
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        • Ed Speer
          Wow, Flyfisher. Thanks for the info. I ve never seen velcro cause a tear in ripstop nylon, but I ll certainly watch for that in the future. Good luck with
          Message 4 of 8 , Mar 25 5:24 AM
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            Message
            Wow, Flyfisher.  Thanks for the info.  I've never seen velcro cause a tear in ripstop nylon, but I'll certainly watch for that in the future.  Good luck with your next hammock...Ed
            -----Original Message-----
            From: geoflyfisher [mailto:geoflyfisher@...]
            Sent: Monday, March 24, 2003 3:24 PM
            To: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: Hammock Camping Near Disaster!

            Regarding the cause/anatomy/etc...

            the rip is at the end of the loop velcro.  It is perpendicular to the
            edge of the fabric and extends about 6 inches into the hammock. 

            My guess is the cause was the hook velcro of my bug net.  I had sewn
            hook velcro all the way to the end of the bug net, somewhat
            differently than you suggest.  It is a little more form fitting to
            the opening of the hammock.  I'd guess that the hooked together
            velcro on the bug net somewhere outside the overhand knot of the
            hammock got stuck and as I sat down on the edge of the hammock the
            hook velcro, or the sharp edge on that velcro, acted as a knife,
            starting a rip.  

          • geoflyfisher
            ... you ... I did some work with the ripped hammock over the weekend. There is a new theory on what caused the tear. It looks like the tear actually started
            Message 5 of 8 , Mar 31 5:27 AM
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              --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Ed Speer" <info@s...> wrote:
              > Wow! Flyfisher--glad you were able to salvage your hike. Your quick
              > thinking saved the day (or the night).
              >
              > I'm most interested in what caused the ripped hammock, as I'm sure
              you
              > are.

              I did some work with the ripped hammock over the weekend. There is a
              new theory on what caused the tear.

              It looks like the tear actually started in a bartack at the end of
              the velcro. The bartack was perpendicular to the edge of the
              hammock. The tear, once started, pulled through the hem of the
              hammock material and then about 6 inches into the body of the hammock.

              The material was white ripstop. It was listed as 1.9 oz but
              examination now leads me to think it could well be 1.1 oz instead. I
              have not weighed it, but will do so.

              As you know, Ed, the edge of the hammock takes some extra tension
              entering and exiting. Along the edge of my hammock, I had sewn the
              velcro and it ended about 6 inches short of the knot. Because the
              velcro is relatively non elastic compared to the nylon body of the
              hammock, at the end of the velcro, there is a stress point. That was
              the reason I had put the bartack in to begin with... but it ended up
              being the weak point instead.

              Plans for next experiment are to continue the velcro all the way into
              the knot both for strength and better bug protection, and to attach
              the insulator/poncho with snaps instead of velcro.

              <><
            • Ed Speer
              Thanks for the update Flyfisher. I, too have had simialr trouble elsewhere w/ heavy bar tacks--It s easy to reach a point where the additional thread in the
              Message 6 of 8 , Apr 1, 2003
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                Message
                Thanks for the update Flyfisher.  I, too have had simialr trouble elsewhere w/ heavy bar tacks--It's easy to reach a point where the additional thread in the bar tack is not needed for strength, but the extra needle holes weaken the fabric by perforating it too much.  Kind of a catch22.  Best of luck with the remake...Ed
                 
                 
                -----Original Message-----
                From: geoflyfisher [mailto:geoflyfisher@...]
                Sent: Monday, March 31, 2003 8:28 AM
                To: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Hammock Camping Near Disaster! "Autopsy" Results

                --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Ed Speer" <info@s...> wrote:
                > Wow! Flyfisher--glad you were able to salvage your hike.  Your quick
                > thinking saved the day (or the night). 

                > I'm most interested in what caused the ripped hammock, as I'm sure
                you
                > are. 

                I did some work with the ripped hammock over the weekend.  There is a
                new theory on what caused the tear.

                It looks like the tear actually started in a bartack at the end of
                the velcro.  The bartack was perpendicular to the edge of the
                hammock.  The tear, once started, pulled through the hem of the
                hammock material and then about 6 inches into the body of the hammock.

                The material was white ripstop.  It was listed as 1.9 oz but
                examination now leads me to think it could well be 1.1 oz instead.  I
                have not weighed it, but will do so.

                As you know, Ed, the edge of the hammock takes some extra tension
                entering and exiting.  Along the edge of my hammock, I had sewn the
                velcro and it ended about 6 inches short of the knot.  Because the
                velcro is relatively non elastic compared to the nylon body of the
                hammock, at the end of the velcro, there is a stress point.  That was
                the reason I had put the bartack in to begin with...  but it ended up
                being the weak point instead. 

                Plans for next experiment are to continue the velcro all the way into
                the knot both for strength and better bug protection, and to attach
                the insulator/poncho with snaps instead of velcro. 

                <>< 



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              • rosaleen43@aol.com
                Hi, Everyone! There have been several posts trying to study a failure in a hammock, starting at the point of a bar tack. Just to add points to consider in
                Message 7 of 8 , Apr 2, 2003
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                  Hi, Everyone!

                  There have been several posts trying to study a failure in a hammock, starting at the point of a bar tack.

                  Just to add points to consider in sewing.  In my experience, there seem to be materials that perform as if I'd just made perforations indicating where I want to be able to tear something off.  Notably, stitching on pieces of foam/mylar for a reflector.

                  There are likely a lot of reasons for this.  Let me throw in one thought for some of you who have less sewing experience.  Manufacturers have come out with different needle points, targeting them to knits or wovens.  There are also some sold as "universal point."

                  So, along with length and diameter, dullness and burrs, we may also need to concern ourselves with the actual type of needle point.  Before starting a large project, or one that needs to bear weight, sew a test strip and subject it to the forces you anticipate for you finished project.  I haven't sewn enough silnylon to know, yet, it does best with the sharper needles meant for wovens or the ball points meant for knits.  It may just behave differently from what we expect. 

                  Cheers, and happy tinkering!

                  Rosaleen

                • geoflyfisher
                  Hi Rosaleen, Great points in your post (pun intended ;) ) The hammock material which failed was uncoated ripstop nylon. I was using a standard sewing machine
                  Message 8 of 8 , Apr 2, 2003
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                    Hi Rosaleen,

                    Great points in your post (pun intended ;) )

                    The hammock material which failed was uncoated ripstop nylon. I was
                    using a standard sewing machine needle... not ball point, not
                    cutting needle, just sharp... When I made the bar tack, I had just
                    sewn dozens of feet of hook and also loop velcro, which tends to
                    cause burrs on the needle occasionally.

                    I believe that ripstop nylon would be less likely to be weakened by
                    sewing than silnylon is. The silicone stablizes the fabric thread
                    and may allow it to be cut by a needle when regular woven cloth
                    threads would be allowed to be separated by the needle.

                    For this reason, silnylon and tyvek may have some inherent weakness
                    for the weight supporting part of hammock making which the woven
                    ripstop does not.

                    I pointed out what I did to allow others to avoid over sewing the
                    velcro at such a vulnerable location. As Ed Speer noted, it is
                    likely the many needle punctures of the material which caused
                    weakness instead of strength.

                    <><

                    --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, rosaleen43@a... wrote:
                    > Hi, Everyone!
                    >
                    > There have been several posts trying to study a failure in a
                    hammock,
                    > starting at the point of a bar tack.
                    >
                    > Just to add points to consider in sewing. In my experience, there
                    seem to be
                    > materials that perform as if I'd just made perforations indicating
                    where I
                    > want to be able to tear something off. Notably, stitching on
                    pieces of
                    > foam/mylar for a reflector.
                    >
                    > There are likely a lot of reasons for this. Let me throw in one
                    thought for
                    > some of you who have less sewing experience. Manufacturers have
                    come out
                    > with different needle points, targeting them to knits or wovens.
                    There are
                    > also some sold as "universal point."
                    >
                    > So, along with length and diameter, dullness and burrs, we may also
                    need to
                    > concern ourselves with the actual type of needle point. Before
                    starting a
                    > large project, or one that needs to bear weight, sew a test strip
                    and subject
                    > it to the forces you anticipate for you finished project. I
                    haven't sewn
                    > enough silnylon to know, yet, it does best with the sharper needles
                    meant for
                    > wovens or the ball points meant for knits. It may just behave
                    differently
                    > from what we expect.
                    >
                    > Cheers, and happy tinkering!
                    >
                    > Rosaleen
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