Few backyard elements have as much emotional appeal as a hammock. A hammock is simply idyllic; it transforms your backyard from a patch of ground to a dreamy paradise. But if there's one obstacle to this dream, it's a lack of support points for the hammock.
Trees aren't always reliable. The trees—if you even have them—must be just the right distance from each other: not too close, not too far. If you don't have the right trees, the solution is a DIY hammock stand. Freestanding and relatively lightweight, this wood hammock stand lets you place the hammock anywhere you like. This simple build requires just six pieces of lumber, a handful of fasteners and hardware, and takes about one day.
Before You Begin
This DIY hammock stand supports a standard hammock 11 feet long from hook to hook. Adding 12-inch chains at each end brings the total hammock length to 13 feet.
This stand can carry 400 pounds of weight in the hammock.
Equipment / Tools
- Electric miter saw
- Speed Square
- Drill bit set
- Spade bit set or Forstner bits
- Socket wrench set
- 4 8-foot exterior grade four-by-fours
- 2 8-foot exterior grade two-by-sixes
- 2 3-3/8-inch adjustable L-angle, 18-gauge
- 8 1/2-inch by 7-inch zinc plated or galvanized bolts
- 8 1/2-inch zinc plated or galvanized lock washers
- 8 1/2-inch zinc plated or galvanized washers
- 8 1/2-inch nuts
- 2 3/8-inch by 3-inch galvanized screw eyes
- 4 4-15/16-inch by 6-inch 16-gauge concrete form angles
- 24 1/4-inch by 2-inch heavy-duty connector screws.
Cut the lumber with an electric miter saw.
Lumber Cut Length Part # Function Four-by-four Do not cut A Base Four-by-four 6 feet (x1) B Upright Four-by-four 6 feet (x1) C Upright Four-by-four 4 feet (x2) D, E Footers Two-by-six 4 feet (x2) F, G Diagonal braces Two-by-six 4 feet (x2) H, I Diagonal braces
Miter Upright Piece (B)
The two upright pieces (B, C) will rest at each end on top of the base (A). Instead of vertical, the upright pieces will rest at a 112.5-degree angle off of the base (in other words, 90 degrees of vertical plus another 22.5 degrees to produce a swept U-shape).
Change the stop on the miter saw to 22.5 degrees. Miter cut an end of one of the uprights (B). Try to take off as little of the end as possible—just the angle itself. Cut the other end of the piece also at 22.5 degrees.
Miter Other Upright Piece (C)
Repeat the miter cut process from the previous upright with the other upright (C).
Dry-Fit Base and Uprights
Find a flat, smooth area such as a garage floor or patio. Dry-fit the base (A) with the two uprights (B, C), with the hammock stand resting on its side. The uprights should start on top of the base at its ends and extend outward at an angle. Be precise; make sure that the uprights perfectly meet the base.
Mark Diagonal Brace (F) Cut Line
Place one of the diagonal braces across one of the uprights and the base, so that it forms a 45-degree angle against the base. Use the Speed Square to help determine the angle.
When you are satisfied with the position, mark underneath the diagonal brace with a pencil at both of the cut points. Leave the dry-fit base and uprights in place as you will use them again.
Cut Diagonal Braces (F, G, H, I)
Cut diagonal brace (F) on the miter saw. Duplicate the cut by placing another brace (G) underneath and cutting both at the same time.
Use the original diagonal brace (F) as a template to mark the last two braces (H, I). Cut those last two braces together on the miter saw.
Tack Diagonal Braces (F, G) to Base
Use screws to temporarily attach (or tack) two of the diagonal braces (F, G) to one side of the base and upright. Drill pilot holes, then add two 3-inch deck screws at each attachment point, for a total of four screws per brace.
Tack Diagonal Braces (H, I) to Base
With help from an assistant, carefully turn the base/uprights assembly onto its other side. As with the other diagonal braces, temporarily screw the last two braces (H, I) onto the base.
Add L-Angles to Base and Uprights
Tilt the hammock stand up so it is upright. For the time being, it will have a tendency to tip over, so be sure to brace it between a couple of heavy items like garbage cans.
By hand, bend the 3-3/8-inch adjustable L-angle until it is the same inside angle formed by the base and the upright (112.5-degrees). Screw the angle into place with six screws. Repeat on the other side.
Add Bolts to Diagonal Braces
Replace the temporary screws holding the diagonal braces to the uprights and base.
Remove a pair of screws at a time (screws on opposite sides). After removing a pair, drill a hole all the way through a brace, upright, and brace on the other side (6-1/2 inches). Add a 1/2-inch-deep countersink hole on each side with a spade bit or Forstner bit. Then, slip a washer on a 7-inch bolt and slide the bolt into the hole. On the other side, add a washer, lock washer, and a nut. Tighten with the socket wrench set.
Install the rest of the bolts to replace each pair of temporary screws on the base and the uprights, tightening them as you go. (8 bolts total).
Add Screw Eyes
Mark a spot 3 inches down from the top of one of the uprights. Center the spot. Drill a 1/4-inch pilot hole, then follow by turning in one of the 3/8-inch by 3-inch galvanized screw eyes. Start by hand, then slip a screwdriver into the eye's loop as a lever to sink the screw the rest of the way into the board. Repeat on the other upright.
Dry-Fit Metal Angles and Footers (D, E)
The two 4-foot footers (D, E) should be installed under and positioned perpendicular to the base. The metal concrete form angles extend from the footer up to the diagonal brace, for a total of four (two on each side).
Slide the footer and the angle around to find the position where all surfaces meet. The form angle's 6-inch side should be vertical. Attach with 1/4-inch by 2-inch heavy-duty connector screws, using six screws per metal angle.
For safety and strength, it's critical to use the specified metal form angles or an equivalent substitute. Galvanized angles of different sizes or made with thinner 18-gauge steel should not be used.
Paint or Coat DIY Hammock Stand
Stain or paint the hammock stack both for appearance and maintenance. Pressure-treated wood does not need to be coated unless you'd like to do so. Metal parts do not take stain, so make sure to cover them with painter's tape.