Portable Hammock Pipe Stand

UPDATE: For more information on portable hammock stands, check out my guest post on Section Hiker.

The hammock pipe stand has been around for a while. I believe Speer was the first to build one back in 2004. The Jacks from Jacks ‘R’ Better built a similar pipe stand for their displays out of 2 in. (5 cm.) threaded pie. I used these stands during Trail Days 2012 when I worked with the Jacks in their booth. The stand has a very simple construction (there are plenty of complex variants), travels well, and is easy to put together. I built mine from 1 in. pipe and it’s just as sturdy and costs less.

I’ve used a few commercial hammock stands in the past, but the problem with these backyard stands is that they flex once you get into the hammock. This poses a problem if you want to pitch a tarp on the stand, as the tarp will sag once the hammock is used. Stands with a vertical bar eliminate this problem. This stand uses 6 ft. (1.8 m.) pipe lengths creating a nice 12-ft. (3.6 m.) span that will accommodate most tarp configurations and a variety of hammock sizes and styles. For indoor use, you could get away with a 10 ft. (3 m.) span and five foot leg length.

I threw this illustration together as a service to those looking for the original Speer instructions; I hope you enjoy!

hammock pipe stand

You may also like...

148 Responses

  1. Larry Crouse says:

    So I’m not your average sized bear…..@250#’s, would a 1″ setup work or should I just stick to the 2″. Also my eno hammock has beaners and no straps (yet), what type of hardware would you suggest for beaner usage?

    • Derek says:

      Based on my experience and those I consulted when building my stand, I think you’d be fine. If you want to play the safe side, go with the 1.25 inch pipe. I think the 2 inch pipe is overkill and heavy.

  2. Van Campa says:

    Sounds like a good idea but I wish you Americans used metric measurements so the rest ofthe World could understand!

    I am thinking about making a stand using bamboo. There would be a tripod on both ends. The hammock would be attached to the ridge pole. The ridge pole would be hung from the tripod by some rope.

    • Derek says:

      Thanks for the reminder. Typically I add metrics to all my posts, but I failed here. I’m updating the post now!

    • Clark says:

      Please let me know if you went through with this idea. I’m curious about how the metrics of this turned out. There are actually a lot of bamboo forests around where I live (who knew its an invasive species) and might be worth the shot at making something from bamboo before shelling out for steel pipes..

    • Kylee says:

      Quick conversion: 1″ = 25.4mm

  3. Grant says:

    I just built a stand out of 1″ pipe and i weigh 330lbs. it holds me just fine, but I think I’m gonna be borrowing a pipe wrench from work and really tightening the fittings down and then welding the fittings that stay put so it adds some sturdiness.

    also, it seems that maybe putting foam around the support bars on the ground will help stiffen it up. or I could weld feet to the ends of the 24″ sections to add some stability.

    it is a bit rickety for now, but has a lot of potential for my uses. I’ll report back once I beef it up.

    • Derek says:

      Sweet! Be sure to post some pictures on Facebook. The Jacks recommend adding elbows on the feet for stabilization. I haven’t had a problem on carpet, but it is wobbly on hard, flat surfaces. Adding some of that pool floating noodles could also work for a lot less.

      I took a pipe wrench and ratcheted all the fittings that were “permanent.” The others were hand tight so I could disassemble it for demos.

      • Wayne says:

        There’s no need to weld pipe fittings that you have no intention of taking apart. You can affix (threaded) pipe fitting by applying liquid “Loctite® Red High Strength Threadlocker” I’ve tried to loosen pipe fittings after applying Threadlocker Red with extender wrenches for extra leverage, without success. If you want to separate the fittings again, you’ll need a torch. According to the package instructions, “Cured Threadlocker Red must be heated to 500ºF (260ºC) before fittings will separate.” I purchased Threadlocker Red from my local (Hawaii) NAPA Auto Parts Store (Item #765-1144). For a quick demo about Threadlocker Red, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9zFgB8lTNM

  4. Ben says:

    Hey, thanks for the instructions! What is an expected materials cost for building a stand like this? Can I just put in an order at the hardware store and have them cut the pipe to the proper lengths and then thread the ends of the pipe?

    • Derek says:

      I purchased all the pipe and fittings from Home Depot for about $150, if I remember correctly. I paid a premium for the convenience, but it was one of the easiest do-it-yourself stands I’ve made. You can probably get the pipe cheaper if you have access to someone (plumber, welder) who can get the pipe at wholesale and cut and thread the pipe for you.

      • Robert says:

        Did the Home Depot thread the pipe you bought from them?

        • Derek says:

          The pipe I purchased already had threads and caps on both ends. They were ready to go out of the box. I literally purchased the pipe on my way to a hammock demo. It worked great.

        • Frank says:

          The Home Depot I went to DID cut it and thread it for me at no charge. But the guy warned me that sometimes the machine is down bc new hires don’t always know to turn the oil pump on, and it burns out the machine.

  5. Dan says:

    What’s the total weight of the stand when built with the 1″ pipe?

    • Derek says:

      I’m not sure. Mine was built with larger diameter pipe. From other’s I’ve spoken with who’ve built stands with 1″ (2.5 cm) pipe, they said it bent and wasn’t as strong. I wouldn’t recommend the smaller pipe.

  6. Tai says:

    What pipe material do you suggest to use? Would thicker PVC pipes work?

    • Derek says:

      You can experiment with PVC, but I don’t have any experience with the plastic pipes. I used 1.5 in (3.8 cm) stainless steel pipe. Friends of mine used the thinner 1 in (2.5 cm) pipe and said it was too flimsy. My friends from Jacks “R” Better use 2 in (5 cm) pipe for their stands.

  7. turk says:

    Hi Derek…I have read your posts on the building of the stand out of 1.5 inch pipe…I am thinking of building one ….do you have an updates on the materials or building the stand before I start on mine…also your book on hammock backpacking is great….going to use your ideas also to hang my tarps as well… thanks Turk

    • Derek says:

      Thanks for the feedback and support! The Jacks recommend 2 inch pipe for extra security, and you can add corner joints on the legs to add stability. I used 1.5 inch and left off the corners for some cost savings. The 1.5 inch pipe has worked great for me.

  8. Kerri Larkin says:

    Hi Derek,

    You are an inspiration to the hammock community. Thanks for your tireless good humour. Looks like I’m off to the pipe yard this afternoon to make one of these stands. I’ll let you know how it works!

    Kerri

  9. WHITTLESEY WILLIAM says:

    Did you or anyone every try a PVC option?? Trying to get stands for a Boy scout troop, and PVC would be much more affordable (pending no emergency room visits)…

    • Derek says:

      I’ve never tried PVC, and I’m not aware of anyone yet to make one (although a few have wanted to). For your scout group, do you need a free-standing anchor? If you’re in a field, I would recommend the 3-person hammock stand instead. It’s much less expensive than even PVC and can accommodate up to 3 hammocks at a time. There are other less expensive options for a free-standing anchor, like the Turtle-Dog stand (I’m working on plans for that one soon).

    • Van says:

      I would think you would have to use really thick/big diameter PVC pipe to safely support your weight. Even then, I would worry about the plastic eventually weakening and failing. Just my $0.02…

  10. Kerri Larkin says:

    Great news! I finally sourced the pipes and fittings. In Australia we don’t get the same fence fittings as the US, so I had to source galvanised water pipe. The fittings are getting hard to find as most plumbers use plastic pipe now. However, for the grand total of about $AU 200 I’ve got a 1 1/4″ stand which is plenty strong enough to manage my weight, feels sturdy, and gives me a great hang. Hooray! Thanks again Derek.

    • Derek says:

      You’re welcome, Kerri. Glad it worked out for you! Send me some photos of your completed stand 😉

    • Ray says:

      Hi Kerri, alot of US plumbers use either copper or PVC in homes, but industrial businesses (shops, parking lots, warehouses, plants) still use black pipe (steel). Normal, unsupported PVC can’t handle the pressures required in multi-story buildings requiring alot of water flow.

      I’m not a plumber but I have worked for a friend that has installed fire sprinklers for a few decades. So you might try to find an industrial supplier for fittings for your next build. They’re used to dealing in bulk but if you smile and tell them what it’s for, they might sell you 8 fittings but probably not any pipe. My friend usually buys pipe in 24 ft sections cuts it and threads it himself. Good luck.

  11. bagoodwin says:

    Hey, thanks for this post! I just had an idea. I don’t think I’d feel comfortable using wraps to attach the hammock to the stand, so I might try putting T-joints at the top instead of elbows, that way I can just use an S hook or something to go straight into the top.

    • Ray says:

      I’m sure you’ve already found out that wraps are easier and more secure than an S hook directly to a T fitting.

  12. Daniel L. says:

    What diameter pipe did you use? I purchased all the materials from Home Depot last night and it weighs A TON. Hardly seems portable. Please help, THanks.

    • Derek says:

      Daniel, I just went out to the garage with a ruler, just to triple-check. It’s 1-inch pipe. At least, that’s what it says on the labels. I’m not a plumber, but I believe the diameter is measured from the inside. The outer width is more like 1.5+ inches, taking into account the thick pipe walls. My instructions list 1-inch pipe, but I do mention that folks have made these stands out of thicker pipe. When I spent time with Jacks “R” Better, they used 2-inch pipe for their stands. Thicker pipe will be heavier, no question.

      “Portable” is in reference to its ability to break down into smaller pieces so it can fit into a trunk or the bed of a truck. The pipe stand is the best in this category of all my hammock stands. It’s “footprint” in my trunk is the smallest.

      I weighed my 1-inch pipe stand this morning. The pipe sections are roughly 10 lbs (4.5 kg) each, making the stand around 60 lbs (27 kg). I hope I didn’t give the impression that these stands were in any way “backpack-able.” I usually carry my pipe stand in sections, shuttling back and forth from my car. That’s about as much movement that this stand gets, but that’s what it’s designed for: car camping, backyard hangs, or doing hammock demos at expos, trade shows, or inside retail shops.

      • Daniel L. says:

        Okay thank you Derek. VERY helpful. I didn’t know if buying a smaller diameter would make it lighter but even if it did I wouldn’t think by much. I am stilling hunting for a union joint then I can put this bad boy together! I purchased the 1.5 inch pipe and the 72” pipes are wayyyy heavier than 10 pounds. Do you think that 12 foot span is necessary? would a 10 foot span and a 5 foot height work all the same? Thank you for your time.

        • Derek says:

          Much depends on how you want to use it. At 10 ft, you’ll have just enough room to hang most hammocks, but not larger hammocks, unless you hang them with a significant sag (not a problem for spacious Brazilian or Mayan-style hammocks). But with a deep sag, you’ll also need more height so you’re not on the floor. Use my hammock calculator to figure out the right hang point for your hammock and use that as a general aid when building your stand (just remember to allow a few inches for wiggle room — the calculator is exact, but reality requires more forgiving).

          I wanted a 12 ft span because that mimics real world hanging more closely. It allows me to string up a tarp with a little room to spare on each side, which in turn provides enough space and height for the hammock suspension.

          I have other stands, like the Vario, that can adjust to a very small footprint. This works with some hammocks, but it will just allow for the hammock to clip on and no room for a tarp.

  13. Frank says:

    Do you think it would work with 2 36″ pieces vs. 1 72″ piece for the vertical supports? Or would it lose too much structural integrity to support the loaded hammock?

    • Derek says:

      I wouldn’t recommend shorter poles as the stress could bend the pipe. Unless you add a larger coupler over or through the two sections, it is risky.

  14. Kent says:

    Hi, saw the post and will be making one this weekend. will be using 1.5 or 2″ pipe. will report back with pic/maybe a video . I do alot of Off roading Jeep 4×4 wrangler rock crawling, and alot of times the camp sites we stay at dont have tree’s located in locations close to my other wheeling buddies, so this will be nice to carry in my jeep , just incase, plus, if i dont need it, i can use it with a tarp as an extra shelter area for cooking or just hanging out at night.

    • Derek says:

      Fantastic! My uncle does a lot of jeeping in the southwest of Utah where trees can be scarce. A portable pipe stand should work out well!

    • Kent says:

      I am going to modify, to make this easyer to store/carry. instead of 6ft sections (72inches), across the top i am going to do 3 4 foot sections and for the two up right poles at each end i am going to make those 2 3 foot sections, sure i will have a few more items, and union joints, but it will be smaller in length when apart, thus easyer to store.

      • Kent says:

        Ok, my specs are as follows, this works, very sturdy, and fits in the back of my jeep wranger JK 2D. a few more
        connections, but im 250lbs and no issues.

        http://s275.photobucket.com/user/kent10s/library/Hammock-no-trees?sort=3&page=1 for the immages.
        My specs are as follows.
        3 (4ft sections 1″)
        4 (3ft sections 1″)
        4 (2ft sections 1″)
        2 90degree elbows
        6 “T” joints

        really sturdy, i will make a few adjustments but overall it all fits easy in my back, and if trees are around, then this can act as a canopy with my tarps.

  15. Kent says:

    I have since modified the end pipes, the images on the site above are 2 3ft sections, i went and got 2 5ft sections which still barely fit in my jeep. this cuts the 4 pole ends to just 2. the total height is not 5ft instead of 6. a bit more compact, but still plenty of ground clear with lots of adjustments.

    the biggest issue i have it getting the pip dis’assembled , i can get it on pretty snug, but break down can be a bear, need some kind of options to help hold the pip and fitting so u can unscrew it if its in snug.

    i did get a pipe wrench, its got a thick rubber strap, but it tends to slip on the round pipe.. need some better ideas
    on how to tighten, untighten this so setup and breakdown is easyer.

    • Van says:

      I just want to clarify what you did for other readers because I found your response confusing.

      You had: 2, 3-foot pipe sections on each end
      You went to: 1, 5-foot pipe on each end

      Okay, so why did you change the ends? Did you find that it wasn’t as sturdy as you originally thought?

      The reason I’m asking is because using smaller pipe sections makes for easier transport.

    • Mark says:

      Get a tube od STL-8 it is a pipe thread lubricant that helps screw them on and off more easily. If you do not use STL-8 the pipe surfaces can gall together and make it very hard to disassemble.

  16. Tom Wicks says:

    Thank you Derek… really cool idea, and even more so for people like me, who do not have any natural offerings to hang a ‘mock onto.

  17. bdaabat says:

    Quick question: how do you set these up? Do you get both sides built and then join them at the union? Do you create each side and then attack the center pole on one side, then the other? Just curious about recommended approaches. I just got the pipe cut this weekend, but have not had a chance to set it up yet.
    Thanks in advance!

    Bruce

    • Derek says:

      I set up the legs first and then attach the ridge poles, one side at a time. Join the two halves in the middle at the union. I keep the feet and T joint attached and keep the elbows attached to the legs. The ridge poles keep one half of the union.

  18. Kent says:

    I made a few more adjustments. keeping the 12 foot across, instead of going 72″ on the end poles i went 60. 5 feet is plenty high for me, i dont like that much sag. but over all this work. still struggling with how tight and hard it can be to break down, need some way to make the connections snug without being a pain to unscrew when u need to break it down. do u guys just hand tighten?

    • Kerri says:

      I hand tighten mine, but as this is a car-based system (way too heavy to carry far) I carry a pair of multigrips in the car to loosen any tight joints

  19. Zach says:

    This would raise the price a bit but Kee Klamp pipe fittings would be much easier to connect the pipes since they only require an allen wrench and they are really sturdy. I have used them in the past and i’m planning on using them for this project next.

    I will mostly be leaving this setup stationary on my patio to use with my Kammock Roo, occasionally moving it into the yard and throwing it in the truck for camping. I do have a few questions though.

    Does this design flex at all? I was considering putting angular supports between the base legs and the vertical bars to give more strength during sway. Is that over kill?

    I have noticed people using 1″-2″. What should I use? I want it to hold 300 lbs well, without any give. I don’t know what is not enough and what is too much for this project. I want it to be sturdy but I don’t want a $400 hammock stand.

    • Onno says:

      Hi Zach, I’m in touch with a supplier with such connections and he mentioned some of the essential connections need to be screw type to be sturdy enough. I am building this one too with perhaps a combination of the two connections, more news in a few weeks.

  20. Zach says:

    To be clear, I meant to say 1″-2″ pipes. Sorry.

  21. Mike @ NIU says:

    Question for physics folks: My studio apartment is 12ft wide and walls are 8ft high. It would be really convenient to run the top bar right across the ceiling and sides right up the walls so that this system takes up literally no real estate. At 8ft, do I need the thicker pipes? Or is it the crossbeam that really holds the weight and needs to be thicker? I’m running a 14 foot Brazilian to replace my obnoxious space hog of a full bed.

    • Derek says:

      You don’t really need thicker pipes. The trick is to make sure everything fits. To thread the pipe you’ll need some extra space for the fittings. It might cost less to get a floor stand like the vario stand since you don’t need the rigidity of the top bar to keep a tarp taut. The vario is adjustable and works well with large Brazilian hammocks.

      • Mike @ NIU says:

        The floor stand would be much cheaper, but I’m in a ~300 square foot studio and can’t afford the floor space. I currently keep a mattress against the wall and flip it down after moving a couch in order to sleep. It’s uncomfortable and super tacky. The upper bar hammock stand, if I measure right, would take up effectively zero space. I’m just concerned about making sure it’s structurally sound.

      • Van says:

        No, the Vario will not work for a 14-ft Brazilian hammock. I know because I purchased one and it bottoms out when I get in the hammock.

  22. Onno says:

    Hi Derek, great site! I got a Mexican hammock from a UK based company, very large and comfy triple woven cotton but the required pitch is 3.4meters with a height of 1.8m. That excludes most stands but for various other reasons I also want to make this pipe stand. I found a local supplier of tubes and fittings but I have the choice to go with sleeve couplings, with an Allen key nut in the sleeve to tighten it up. Do you think this will work too? Here’s the sites with the products:
    http://www.fixingsandfittings.co.uk/shop/Interclamp/C42/
    http://www.hammocks.co.uk/hammocks.htm
    I’m afraid it may be too wobbly, I could put in some diagonals in the corners to stiffen it up but those fittings make it a lot more expensive. Or I could just go with threaded ends…
    Thanks!
    Onno, UK

  23. Deano says:

    Hi Derek,
    I’d been looking for a hammock stand for the garden and camping trips, but none seemed practical until I came across this one, alas it is a bit big and heavy.
    So I spoke to some engineering friends over a beer (the best ideas are often fuelled this way) and have come up with the idea of using Aluminium Scaffold Poles and Kee Klamp fittings. This should drop the weight (Hopefully), I’m also shortening the ridge poles to 3 x 4 feet and putting a joint in each upright, so the longest length should be 4 feet long and will hopefully fit in my car.
    I have a welder friend cutting the poles for me, once I have everything and have done a trial run, I will take some photos and post them. I may cut the size of the whole thing down once I’ve tried it out, as you hang calculator says I don’t need such a big stand?

    • Derek says:

      The 12ft length is to accommodate a tarp. If you won’t need that then the stand can be shorter. Is love to hear how it goes!

  24. Robin says:

    Great post! I’m a little confused though. At the beginning/top of your post in the diagram, you specify 1 inch pipe. Same at the beginning of the replies/questions. Then on 8/22/12 you say you used 1.5 inch pipe, and that people you’ve talked to who used 1 inch pipe thought it wasn’t strong enough… So as a sub 175-pound person, would I need 1 inch or 1.5 inch pipe? Thanks!
    Robin

  25. Kevin says:

    Just a quick comment to help those that are pipe illiterate :).
    Black and galvanized pipe (the pipe that you would purchase at Home Depot or Lowes) is sized different than it’s actual dimensions. A 1″ pipe is not actually 1″ in size. There is a full write up on wikipedia – search for Nominal Pipe Size. Also the “pipe schedule” (shedule 40, 80, etc.) determines it’s wall thickness. Hope that is helpful.

  26. Robin says:

    So would 1 inch pipe (OD 1.3 inch) Galvanized (looking at big box website) be sufficient for under 200 pound hanger? Or would it be safer to go with 1.25 (1.66 OD)? Thanks, I’m pipe clueless :-).

  27. Van says:

    Even with wrapping web straps multiple times around the pipe, I would think the hammock would be prone to slip a bit once you put your weight in it.

    • Derek says:

      I’ve never had a problem. But I’ve heard it happen to others. Some add some tape to add some friction. Others add t-connectors.

    • Ray says:

      Hi Van, I’m sure you’ve already found your solution, but for anyone else wondering about this, I currently loop the line included with my Grand Trunk Double a few times around the upper corners of my pipe stand throw a half-hitch in to keep the wraps from moving, dangle the excess line, tie an easy to untie overhand knot (double the last section of the knot so you can just pull it to undo the knot) at the level that you want to hang the hammock, put the knot on the outside of the vertical pipe, and clip into the doubled loop on the inside portion.

  28. Van says:

    Derek,

    Have you tried hanging a 14-foot Brazilian hammock from this stand and if so, does it fit; e.g. it hangs correctly and doesn’t bottom out?

  29. Lisa Yelland says:

    Hi. Do you think it will be possible to hang a hammock higher and use a ladder to get into it? Was thinking then my son would have room under it for another hammock or mattress on the floor for friends to sit or sleep.
    Also, do you think sleeping in a hammock all the time is good for your body?
    Thank you for your helpful site.

    • Derek says:

      In my house we have set up hooks near the ceiling. It’s high but not too bad. People sleep in hammocks every day year round. It’s awesome.

  30. Van says:

    @Lisa Yelland…Checkout Hammock Forums for an answer to your second question; https://www.hammockforums.net

  31. James says:

    Hey I really like this plan over the turtledog stand in terms of space saving. I am just wondering if it would work the same using timber for the side struts whilst still having a metal bar at the top? Sort of a hybrid between the two designs.

    • Derek says:

      Good question. Youd need some thick strut like a 4×4. This stand works different too, with compressive forces in the bar, so as you experiment, be careful.

  32. Dan says:

    What would your opinion be on the following. Instead of running a pipe along the top to join the sides, you run one on the bottom. Then you attach the hammock to some webbing that ran over the vertical pipe, down to the ground, across to the other side, up the opposing vertical post and attached to the other end of the hammock. My assumption is that having weight in the hammock would result in the properly adjusted strap to pull against itself rather pulling the vertical posts inwards.

    The thought behind this change in design is that it could be build with a sofa put on top of it. without the bar on top, It would look slightly more aesthetically pleasing when there is no hammock hung.

  33. Bobby says:

    Would a coupling work in place of a union joint?

  34. Mark says:

    For the Individuals having problems disassembling the pipe from one section to another use STL-2 or STL-8. These are pipe thread lubricants that prevent seizing and galling of pipe that is threaded together.
    http://www.emersonindustrial.com/en-US/documentcenter/EGSElectricalGroup/products_documents/fitting/haz_loc_fitting/haz_loc_drain_breathers/stl-thread-joint-lubricant/STL-Thread-Joint-Lubricant.pdf

    You can purchase it at any hardware store that has a pipe department. It is applied upon the threads before screwing them together. A one time application is all that is needed unless you get dirt and debris in the lubricant between the threads. Would recommend covering the disassembled ends with a protective thread cap .

  35. anthony johnston says:

    Galvanized pipe is black steel pipe with a coating to retard rusting but it can still rust. It is not stainless. 1 inch means the inside diameter is 1 inch. I don’t know of different thickness variations in steel. Plastic and copper do. Schedule 80 pvc would be really thick and very expensive. 2 pipe wrenches are needed to tighten & untighten the pipes snug. 1 to backup the other. A coupling would be much cheaper and probably stronger than a union but not as easy to assemble. Teflon on the threads would make it easier to unscrew.. They make galvanized pipe in 1.25″ also. I am a plumber.

  36. murph says:

    Go to a fire sprinkler company.
    I work for one and am going to fabricate one this week.
    Bought a foldable stand/hammock online, stand only 85″ long, doesn’t fit real hammocks.
    Thanks for your stand idea!!!

  37. Woof. Alright. Got ambitious last night and headed across the street to the Home Depot to pick all the fixings and have them thread the pipe to build this stand. I wanted/hoping to toss it on my balcony of my apt to hang and chill. 3rd floor means great breeze.

    1st thing I’ve noticed (went with 1 1/4 galvanized pipe) is the weight. This sucker is heavy. This isn’t like a “Handy Hammock” so the initial plan of setting it up and taking it down all the time might be out the window. I went exact to the original plans.

    Anyone have any thoughts/comments on this thought to make it more “compact”: Cutting the 72″ ridge bars down to 36″ and adding 2 more union joints? Comprise any structural integrity (I assume some if I’m cutting it)?

    • I’d end up probably doing the same to the legs going off of Kent’s idea from March 18th. That design looks awesome but I’m over the 200lbs mark. Probably need to stick 1 1/4.

    • Derek says:

      Lots of people have wanted to make smaller sections, but the coupling can bend, depending on how you set it up, and with more joints, you have more fail points. Each stand has its tradeoffs. The pipe stand is, admittedly, quite heavy. But as stands go, it’s not the heaviest nor the least portable. I use it when I do my hammock demos because it is freestanding, portable, sturdy, and works with a tarp without flexing. It’s portable in the sense that I can fit it in my car or van; it’s not something I haul on my back.

  38. Bob Jordan says:

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing. Here is a idea on how to make the stand lighter.

    I built a “turtle dog” stand from 6 each 2″x2″ lumber (to make tripods), 2 hinges, and one 20′ chain link fence top rail. I cut the top rail into 2 – 6′ pieces with the tapered (flared) end fitting into the end of the other piece. I put a bolt and wing nut thru a horizontal hole drilled thru the assembled joint made by both pieces (tapered and not tapered piece) to strengthen the joint. This method could be used to replace the top pole of the steel pipe stand.

    Use pipe legs as show in Derek’s design. 1) Use threaded steel pipe “Tee”s on the top of the legs sized to allow the fence rail / pipe to fit into it snugly. Drill a hole thru outside end of “Tee” and the end of the fence rail. Then bolt together for rigidity. This would lower the total weight of the stand significantly and still provide the compression strength needed for hanging the hammock.
    2) Alternatively, you could bolt a short threaded piece of steel pipe onto the ends of the fence rail and thread it into the fitting on top of the pipe legs. This would allow your joint to the pipe to be tighter when assembled.

    I have not tried this…yet!

    • Katie B. says:

      Your 2×2 turtledog and fence rail idea is exactly what I want to do for this crazy hammock a friend bought for me in Bali. My only concern is the weight limit; to be safe I’d say 250 lbs.

      Also, how did you attach the fence rail to the turtledog stands? I’ve seen multiple methods in the videos and pictures I’ve looked at.

      I do not need to hang tarps or bug nets; this is for indoor use. If you’ve published a tutorial anywhere, I’d love to see it! Thanks!

  39. dewankin says:

    Built a modified stand last night using 1 inch (as labelled) black steel pipe (for cost) which has a 1 1/4 inch outer diameter (measured it at the store). I’ve included a link to a photo of my setup below. Modifications include 48 inch uprights rather than the spec’d 72 inch, and using two approx. 24 inch wooden 4x4s (cedar I had laying around) as the base, or feet. The two 4x4s have 1 1/4 inch holes bored about 2.5-3 inches deep so that the vertical pipes can be inserted into them. I kept the total length of the ‘ridgepole’ at 12 feet using two 72 inch pipes and a coupling (as spec’d in the drawing above). I’m just under 220lbs and the 1inch black steel had no problem holding me. Also, the shorter uprights allowed for shorter feet without compromising stability. This setup came in somewhere around $70 in my neck of the woods (Ontario, Canada).

    With this design I was trying to reduce cost while achieving a non-portable, but storable stand. This stand is optimal for use on a porch or deck as well as a concrete or brick patio. It is also somewhat portable.

    http://i.imgur.com/Cinrhxn.jpg

  40. Wyatt says:

    Hey Derek, I saved a little money on this by going to Home Depot and buying three 1″ X 10′ galvanized pipes, then having two split into 5′ lengths, and the last one split into quarters to make the legs. The whole thing breaks down into six 5′ lengths. I can’t state for fact, but the 5′ lengths, in my opinion, work the best for the 1″ pipes in terms of stability.

    It all cost me $89 total.

  41. Elbert says:

    I have a kammok Roo. Derek do you know if it would fit on a 10 foot stand instead of a 12 foot stand? space is limited.

  42. Bird says:

    Derek,

    I’m looking at buying a Mayan double sized hammock to sleep in at home. It seems like the hammock length is 13.12ft long, with the body length 6.5ft long. Do you think that a 10ft long stand would be okay to get a proper hanging, or should I try and fit the 12ft stand into my room?

    I’ve used the hang calculator but I’m worried I’m not using it correctly, it’s telling me that the hang point would be 59.6″ at a 10ft distance. This is all very new to me and I’ve been scouring the forums to try and figure out how to do this best, there is just so much information, I’m getting a little confused! aha.

    • Derek says:

      I need to make some adjustment to the calculator because when I put in those numbers I get a negative suspension length. For a 10 foot span and a 13 foot hammock hung around 30 degrees, it is too long for the space. If you hang it with a deeper sag, say 45 to 50 degrees, it would fit, but the hang point is now 7.5 feet high.

      • Bird says:

        Ah, see I was also getting the negative hang point every other time I put it in which threw me off.

        So I guess sticking to 12ft if I can would be possibly better, it looks like that would have a 30degree angle at about 6ft? Or is that also a bit off you’d say?

        It seems to give me a negative sometimes when I put that in as well with a 13ft hammock

        • Derek says:

          A negative number on the suspension means the hammock is too long for the distance and angle selected. This is a bug I need to get fixed. You can fit a longer hammock in a short distance if the hang angle is extreme and the hang point is high. For some Mayan hammocks this is ideal.

          • Bird says:

            Thank you for your help!
            This makes a bit more sense to me now. I just used the calculator again, now that I’m on my computer and off my phone, to check for a 12ft distance with a 13ft hammock and it seems to be consistently giving me a hang height of 59.6in @ 30degree angle with a +5.1 suspension length.

            It seems to have been my phone not changing the hang distance to 12ft after putting in 10ft and giving a neg. reading. So it looks like 12ft is the way to go for the hammock that size. I appreciate the help! I’ve found this site and you very helpful for figuring out the ins and outs of the hammock world.

            One last question if you don’t mind… Do you happen to know what the impact of using an extreme hang angle with a high hang point has on the comfort of laying properly on a Mayan hammock?

          • Derek says:

            For big, long Mayan hammocks you can hang at a 45 degree angle and then sleep almost perpendicular. It can be very comfortable. You’ll have to play with it and see what works.

          • Bird says:

            Great, thanks!

  43. chris says:

    Hey Derek Thanks for the info! I’ve been wanting to do this for years and tonight I bought and assembled the pieces according to the plans.

    A question on tightness though; I’ve tightened the pieces by hand as much as possible, is it necessary to use a pipe wrench to tighten them further?

    • Derek says:

      Most of my stand stays assembled, like the T-joint on the feet and the elbows on the uprights. These I tighten down. When I assemble I can use the stand itself to tighten it up pretty good by using the mechanical advantage of rotating the pipe. The only piece that I can’t do that is the center connector.

  44. Amy says:

    Hey Derek! This looks like a great design. I’m hoping to build the stand for use on my small apartment balcony. The balcony is about 10ft wide by 2 ft deep. Do you think I would see any sort of compromising instability if I shortened the length of the stand to 10ft instead of 12ft, and made the four base poles for the feet 12″ long instead of 24″? Thanks!

    • Derek says:

      Yes, that could get dangerous. I would lower the stand height and find a way to anchor it to the ground or wall because a two foot base is very small.

  45. Trey says:

    Does anyone have any thoughts on the ability of this stand to double as a spot to hang a hanging chair. Or will this put too much stress on the cross piece and cause it to bend? I am thinking of using this stand in my apartment since all the studs are metal and not good for hanging hammocks. I was hoping this stand could do double duty depending if I was looking for a place to lay down or sit up. Any feedback would be appreciated.

    • Trey says:

      And for a little more information on my plans, I was going to use a solid ten foot span across the top since that is all the space I have and I thought I would have a better chance of it working double duty.

    • Derek says:

      If you hang a chair, use the piles not the top bar.

  46. Trey says:

    When you say “use the piles” do you mean to hang the chair from the upright? If so, I am not sure how you are planning on hanging the chair from them. I guess you could tie a rope across the top between the two uprights and make it as tight as possible and hang the chair from that. I guess I can play with that and see if I can keep off the ground.

    • Derek says:

      Typo. I meant poles. Yes, you would need to put the stress on the poles. If you hang straight down on the ridge pole you risk damaging the pipe.

  47. Davep785 says:

    I will soon purchase Warbonnet Ridgerunner. It seems to require at least 18′ length. Will the pipestand work (maybe three 6′ poles at the top)? Would a turtledog stand work better?

  48. Randy Howell says:

    Hi Derek! Been following your page since May when I decided to start camping again after 40 years and bought my first hammock. Just decided today to build this. I used 1.5″ schedule 40 and it’s perfect. I’m a big guy and didn’t want any issues. Had to make some adjustments on my suspension system to make it work but it’s perfect. Sleeping in my back yard tonight! This will be perfect to take car camping in case I can’t find trees that work but it’s main use will be my back yard! Thanks a ton – and I love your book!

  49. tim says:

    Has any one built this stand with 3/4 inch pipe? I’m wondering if it would work if the stand was 10ft long instead of 12ft?

    • Derek says:

      10 feet will work fine. You just won’t be able to hang a tarp between it.

      • tim says:

        you say between it? do you mean between the hammock and the 10ft cross piece? Could I put the tarp over the cross piece? What would the disadvantages be to putting the tarp over the 10ft cross piece vs under it? I ask because I am trying to build a double stand that would hold two hammocks ( two separate 10ft cross pieces) for a festival. Basically I am looking at having two single stands joined together at the base.

        • Derek says:

          Most hammock tarps have an 11 foot ridgeline. This poses a problem if you are trying to create a free-standing hammock stand because a large tarp will extend past the support pieces. I’ve seen a pipe stand that uses an elbow joint at the top to create a “V” stand so two hammocks can hang side-by-side but use less pipe. I hope I’m not misunderstanding your design.

    • Mike says:

      I built my stand to exact measurements above but used 3/4 since that was all I could find in my area. It’s working great so far, 32 hours and counting, holding me at 235 lbs.

  50. Mark says:

    I built a pipe stand from 1 1/4″ and it’s REALLY HEAVY. Are you familiar with this one? http://www.hammeck.com/store.html#!/Hammeck-Stand-400/p/51812241/category=13535026

  51. Matthew Ng says:

    Hello!

    I am interested in using this design to build a hammock stand in my apartment.

    Metal pipes and fittings are really expensive in Singapore. So I will be giving bamboo poles and pvc fittings a shot.

    I am 183cm tall and about 67kg. Can I simply adopt these dimensions without modifications?

    Kind regards,
    Matthew

    • Derek says:

      For using bamboo (a fantastic idea) I would make a turtle-dog stand that lashes two tripod stands together with a central pole joining them. It’s easy to set up and can be made to accommodate different areas, including your room.

      • Matthew Ng says:

        I did read up on the turtle dog stand but most of the builds I have come across uses some form of metal plates and screws to attach to ply woods. And I cannot adopt the same idea for bamboo as it will split. How do you suggest I attach the central pole to the two stands by lashings? Is it possible to just rest the central pole atop the two stands?

        Is there a guide you could recommend?

        Kind regards,
        Matthew Ng

  52. Sqid. says:

    How well do ya think a 1″ x 14′ stand would hold up 2 hammocks using a spreader bar? Need to go larger diameter?

  53. Sqid says:

    You mean something that had 2 verticals at the head end and a single vertical at the foot end? 2 horizontal pipes in v pattern would probably require a special tarp as well. Far easier and less expensive to go larger diameter. BTW, this is only for the back yard.

  54. Ray says:

    I currently weigh ~140# and I’ve used a 1/2″ pipe stand for a couple of weeks then I added a bottom, long piece to make the stand sway less along the ridgeline. Once I did that I noticed that there was some side-to-side swaying from the 2″ nipples connecting the 2 T-fittings at the bottom. The swaying isn’t bad if there’s just me in the hammock, I just notice it. There are quite a few threads showing from those close nipples, and I think I may take a couple of wrenches and grind the two fittings tighter on the close nipples if I keep the this configuration.

    I use 5 ft. sections on all the main pieces (the longer bars are made of 2 5 ft sections) and I think 2 ft. sections for each foot side (so each foot is 4 ft. wide).

    I have a threaded coupling on the bottom long bar and a union on the top. I don’t like the way the union flexes when I only had the top bar, that’s why I put the bottom bar in. I put the stronger, threaded coupling on the bottom bar because I figure I’ll occasionally step or rest my foot on the bottom bar and that bar will take more stress when I do.

    I was always careful to setup my lines so that my weight is taken up by the two upright bars, and the top long bar never takes any weight directly. This puts the pressure on the top bar in compression (forces pointing mainly toward the middle of the long top bar). If I hang my body from the center of the top bar it flexes too much and I’d be worried that I’d break the union fitting.

    I found that my current setup is fine for sleeping but the bottom bar bugs me so I was thinking of doing away with the bottom bar by going to a 1″ setup.

    From what I’ve read, 1″ pipe should be more than enough for me. I avoided it earlier because I knew how heavy it is.

    I’m thinking of making a second set of feet for if I take the frame outdoors.
    I know I’ll be lazy about cleaning off the dirt and I currently use the frame in my bedroom so I can clean the outdoor feet at my leisure if I go camping,

    I’ve been spending way too much time researching how useful whoopie slings are…LoL, the one time I used my hammock outdoors (two palm trees at the beach) I just took the flat strap that I got in the climbing section of my now defunct sporting goods store ($15 for 30 ft.) and adjusted the water knot I put in it.

    People seem to be way too concerned about their hammock angle…I’ve played around with different hang angles and I just adjust the angle of how I lay…as long as my hammock starts out at sitting height.

    For my indoor hammock hang, whoopie slings are not good (too close) but if I were to run a ridge line or two, I think the whoopie slings would be handy…a piece of wire with some line and I have my own, custom length whoopie slings.

    Thanks Derek for starting this discussion.

    • Derek says:

      You’re welcome! Thanks for participating.

    • Ray says:

      One side note: I have to check the fittings for tightness, especially the union joint fitting.

      Not sure why, maybe a combination of the thin pipe flex and a settling in of the joint threads due to my weight but the last adjustment was about 4 threads in…I noticed that one of the upright legs was flexing a bit much above the T-Fitting. I had to partially disassemble that side to grind it in.

      The union joint fitting is easy to check and usually requires only a small adjustment but you can see the improvement in the straightness of the pipe line going through the fitting,

      • Gene Culver says:

        Pipe fitting have a tapered thread system intended to fit up for static pressurized systems like water and gas distribution. While you can hang a hammock on a frame of this pipe, the components are not intended to structurally support a dynamic load such as a swinging hammock or someone getting into or out of it.
        That you have to tighten or grind your fitting joints is indicative of this limitation to your application. The strength of pipe structures is dependant on the rigidity of the joints. Larger pipe systems can developed stronger joints but will be heavier.
        Piping systems for dynamic loads like hand rails and scaffolds have parallel sliding joints with additional components like set screws and/or pins to fix the joint together. These systems aren’t typically available at the big box stores. Industrial supply folks like Grainger and McMaster Carr do have these materials. They won’t be cheaper.
        I have spent some time trying to come up with a design for a light weight, compact, inexpensive, and adequate hammock stand for camping. Many parks don’t allow hanging from trees in heavily populated parks, like Great Smokey Mountains which are near me.
        My current best practice design includes heavy walled aluminum tubing with spliced straight joints and a system of tie out lines to hold the pole in place until I can get into the hammock. The poles are at about 45 degrees, close to the hammock, and the tie outs spread around to support front, back, and out from the top of the pole. Also requires a ridge line.
        This system is not ready for prime time yet. It is still bulky, ok for car or truck camping, still not good to my satisfaction for cycling, and not for back packing (my goal).
        The poles take most of the load in compression and the tie outs just hold the pole in position and resist cross axis loads.
        Any ideas, let’s hear them.
        Enjoy the woods!
        Gene

        • Ray says:

          Hi Gene, thanks for your input.

          I consider the tightening of the joints, not a limitation, but a settling in…kinda like the factory break-in period of new cars…you don’t say that a new car has a limitation because it has a break-in period.

          For your described frame, it sounds interesting, but I don’t like to trust guy lines in a movable system if there’s a chance that my not falling depends on them…call me funny but around this area there’s plenty of loose soil/sand that can fail and plenty of hard pack that’s difficult to break through.

          Unless you can build a mono-molecular frame (2 poles?) I don’t think that dragging along a frame for backpacking is viable…but I would be interested if you find a solution 🙂

  55. robert says:

    How about using aluminum pipe? Its a lot lighter less weight to carry on long hikes.

  56. Michael says:

    For all you DIY’ers. The use of 1″ PVC schedule 40 is no longer a consideration. After spending close to $60 on materials,( as I was going to build more than one) this construction failed to support even my youngest at 49lbs. Tries many different support techniques, it just does not hold up. Do not waste your $$$ on 1″. I will try one more model of 2″ and will let you know how it comes out.

  1. June 7, 2015

    […] backpacking trip into the Grand Canyon is one such example. In these areas, I recommend installing simple pipe stands that will work for hammocks and also provide places to hang gear. In the Grand Canyon, these pipe […]

  2. March 11, 2016

    […] A few old pipes can be used to make a DIY hammock […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: