Monday, June 20, 2011


 Anyone care to guess what Braxton got for Father's Day?  Anyone?

When he mentioned a few days ago that he would like to replace the old rotten rope hammock from years gone by, I'm pretty sure Braxton thought it would be as easy as....snap, unscrew, screw, pop a cold one, enjoy.  But no.  Come along I'll show ya....

The old maple tree had grown around the original metal loop for hanging the hammock, making it completely unusable.  It also made me feel sorry for the tree. 

The post that had held up the other end of the hammock had rotted....meaning a father's day afternoon trip to Lowes.  Bummer.
 BTW:  The hammock we chose is a Pauley's Island rope hammock.  I don't know if these are as popular everywhere, but they definitely are the hammock of choice here on the east coast.  If you bring your hammock inside during the winter months, a classic cotton rope hammock should last you about five years.
These are still made in the United States.  Sweet.
 Back to the story:  Braxton purchased a treated post that measured 4x4x8 - which is slightly narrower than the last post, but this should do the trick.

All the tools we will need.  A drill, hammer, screw driver, tape measure, chain (for hanging the hammock), post hole digger, tamper, and of course the new post.
 Braxton decided to remove the old metal hanger from the rotten post.  He'll keep this in his tool shed for later use.
 He used his screw driver for leverage - making the removal much easier.
 Such a clever man.

Using the new post as leverage, he was able to stab the old post with the sharp end of his tamper. When that failed he then wiggled the post back and forth until the rotten end broke off. 
 Again, the rotten end of the old post.
 On to measuring the new post.  Braxton figured the end of the new post needed to be 30 inches (approx. 1/3 of the 8') in the ground, which allowed him to figure where he would drill the hole for the new metal hanger.

Using the screw end of the hook to determine what size drill bit is needed. Make the drill bit smaller than the diameter of the screw, so the screw will bite into the wood

 Now it's time to dig a new hole for the new post.
 Using the post hole digger with the ends splayed, Braxton jams it into the earth.
 Then he splays the handle which forces the digging end to close around the dirt so he can lift the dirt thereby digging a hole.  (Wow - men's tools really are clever).

Because of the dry weather - the ground is really hard.  Braxton uses the sharp end of the tamper to soften the dirt as he digs.
 More digging.  And then even more.....
 That should just about do it.  Whew. (Watching Braxton sweat like this is really hard work!)

Placing the new post in the hole.

Tamping the dirt around the pole for a tight fit.
 Braxton purposely angled the pole a little to counter the pull of the hammock.
 Once the pole is set - tamp down the dirt with your feet. (It's perfectly okay to do a little dance here if you like, after all it's not like anyone is taking pictures or anything!)
 Time to screw the new hardware into the hole you drilled earlier. (Tell me you didn't put the wrong end of the pole into the ground!!).
 Again, use your screw driver as leverage, you'll need that wrist later to unscrew the beer bottle.
 Find the perfect spot in the old maple tree for the new hardware.
 Using a large nail to make a hole in the tree for the large screw .
 We're half way there. Nail and wriggle back and forth to start hole and repeat until a nice hole starter is created for the screw. You could also drill a hole as he did with the post, but this works, and eliminates the whole extension cord hassle. One day he'll get a cordless drill...
 Hanging the other half of the hammock on the pole.  BTW; when you screw in the new hook, make certain the end of the hook is pointed up, so you have a place to attach the chain for the hammock.
 Attach the hammock to the chain.
 The chain/hook enables you to adjust the tautness of the hammock.

A very tired Braxton.  This man definitely deserves a beer.
Bonus:  On Saturday we went for a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I never get used to how beautiful Virginia is, or how lucky I am to live here.
I hope the post was helpful to all the Dad's out there who got a hammock for Father's Day.
Have a Beautiful day.

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