How to Build a Foldable Hammock Stand

Build a sturdy, foldable hammock stand for minimal cost in one afternoon. Here's how.

Time

A half day

Complexity

Intermediate

Cost

$101–250

Introduction

There is still enough of summer and plenty of fall left to enjoy some horizontal relaxation in the yard. This foldable hammock stand will allow you to enjoy the outdoors and, when you're done, pack everything up and transport or store it.

Tools Required

  • 2 inch Forstner Bit
  • Adjustable Square
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Circular saw
  • Drill
  • Drill bit set
  • Hacksaw
  • Hearing protection
  • Impact driver
  • Miter saw
  • Safety glasses
  • Speed square
  • Tape measure

Materials Required

  • 1-1/2 in Galvanized Tee (2)
  • 1-1/2 in x 10-ft Galvanized pipe
  • 1-1/2 in x 6 in Nipples (2)
  • 1/2 in Nuts & washers (4)
  • 1/2 in x 12 in Carriage bolts (4)
  • 1/4 in x 3-1/2 in Lag Screws (12)
  • 10-ft 2x6 (1)
  • 3-in. deck screws
  • 3/8 in Eye bolts (2)
  • 8-ft 2x6 (2)
  • 8-ft 2x8 (1)
  • Carabiners (4)
  • Chain (3-ft)

Project step-by-step (21)

Step 1
  • Cut two eight-foot 2x6s to seven feet.

Step 2

Inside Rail Layout

  • On both seven-foot 2x6s, make a mark eight inches in from the end and cross the mark at 1-5/8-in. up from the bottom.
  • Make another mark on the end of the board 2-3/4-in. from the bottom, and draw a line at a 45 degree angle.
  • Make a reference line for where the top ends at 6-3/16-in.

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Step 3

Cut 45s

  • Cut the 45 degree angles with a miter saw.

Step 4

Two-Inch Holes

  • Drill two 3/4-in. deep holes on the inside of each board at the eight-inch mark, using a two-inch Forstner bit.

Step 5

Cut 2x8 Top

  • Cut a 45 degree angle on the end of the 2x8, using a circular saw.
  • Measure from the long point of the 45 degree angle and make a mark at 71-9/16-in.
  • Cut the board to length at the long point of the 45 degree angle.
    • Pro Tip: Use a speed square to guide the circular saw.

Step 6

Cut the Pipe

  • Cut the 10 ft pipe in half at five feet using a hack saw or reciprocating saw. A heavy-duty pipe cutter works well, also.
  • Cut the two 6-in. nipples to 4-1/4-in., leaving you with two 1-3/4-in. and two 4-1/4-in. pieces.
    • Pro Tip: Clamp the pipe to a sturdy surface or sawhorse before cutting.
      • Alternative option: Use two 4-in. and two 2-in. nipples. They will be slightly undersized for the two-inch hole because of the threads and will cost more.

Step 7

Assemble the Tees

  • Screw the 4-1/4-in. and 1-3/4-in. pieces into the two ends of the tee.
  • The outside dimension of the tee assembly should be no more than 8-3/4-in.

Step 8

Attach Top to Rail

  • Lay the top upside down and place the inside of the rail to the edge of the top at the 6-3/16-in. reference marks.
  • Attach the rail to the top using #10 x 3-1/2-in. deck screws every 12 inches.

Step 9

Install Tees and Rail

  • Lay the top and rail assembly on its side with the top pointing up.
  • Install the two tee assemblies in the two-inch holes in the opposite orientation of each other.
  • Place the other rail on the top edge guiding the tees into the two-inch holes.
  • Attach the rail using #10 x 3-3/4-in. deck screws.

Step 10

Outside Rail Layout & 1/2 Inch Holes

  • Measuring from the end, make a mark at 7-1/8-in., then cross the mark at 4-1/4-in. from the bottom.
  • Make another mark eight inches from the end and cross the mark 1-5/8-in. from the bottom.
  • Repeat this on each end of the two rail boards.
  • On each rail board, drill four 1/2-in. holes at the marks you made.
    • Pro Tip: You may want to drill a 3/16-in. pilot hole before drilling the 1/2-in. hole, or use a 1/2-in. spade bit or brad point bit.

Step 11

Install Carriage Bolts

  • Insert four 1/2x12-in. carriage bolts into the 1/2-in. holes on the rail through to the other rail.
  • Install flat washers and 1/2-in. nuts, tighten with a 3/4-in. wrench.

Step 12

Install Pipe Arms

  • Rotate the tees so they face each other, then tip them up a bit.
  • Thread the two five-foot pipe arms into the tees.
  • Tighten with a pipe wrench or plumber's pliers.

Step 13

Drill Pipe for Eye Bolts

  • Drill a 3/8-in. hole one inch from the end of each pipe.

Step 14

Install Eye Bolts

  • Insert an eye bolt into the 3/8-in. hole. Secure it with a lock washer and nut.
    • Optional: Cap the ends of the pipes with a 1-1/2-in. PVC cap.

Step 15

Rail Bottom Holes

  • On the rail closest to you, measure from the left and make marks at 9-1/2, 12-3/4 and 26 inches.
  • On the same rail measure from the right and make marks at 9-1/2, 22-3/4 and 26 inches.
  • On the other rail farthest from you, measure from the left and make marks at 9-1/2, 22-3/4 and 26 inches.
  • On the same rail measure from the right and make marks at 9-1/2, 12-3/4 and 26 inches.
  • Using an adjustable square set at 3/4-in., mark the center of the board at each mark you made.
  • Drill twelve 3/16-in. pilot holes two inches deep at the marks you made.

 

Step 16

Feet Layout and Drill

  • From your 10-foot 2x6, cut four 30-inch boards.
  • Set your adjustable square at 3/4-in. and draw lines on the face at one end of each of the 30-inch boards.
  • Set your adjustable square at one inch and make marks from the sides crossing the 3/4-in. lines.
  • Make the third mark at 9-1/2-in. from the end and one inch from the side.
  • Drill a 1/4-in. hole at each mark.
  • Repeat on all four feet.
    • Optional: Cut a 45 degree angle on the outside ends facing up, on each foot.

 

Step 17

Install the Feet

  • Attach all four feet to the bottom rails at the holes you drilled in step 14, using a #16 x 3-1/2-in. Power lag screws through the holes you drilled at 9-1/2-in. on the foot.

Step 18

Feet Closed

  • Swivel the feet closed and move the hammock stand to where you want to set it up.

Step 19

Hammock Stand Set-Up

  • Swivel the feet to their open position.
  • Lift the pipe arms out.
  • Swivel the feet so the two 1/4-in. holes at the end of each foot line up with the 3/16-in. pilot holes on the bottom of the opposite rail.
  • Attach each foot to the rail with two #16 x 3-1/2-in. Power lag screws.

Step 20

Attach the Hammock

  • With a helper, flip the hammock stand onto its feet.
  • Attach the hammock with carabiners and chain to the eye-bolts on each pipe arm.

Step 21

Finish

  • It's a good idea to preserve the wood with a coat of deck stain or marine varnish.

Options 

  • Add a removable carriage bolt to the underside of each pipe arm through the rails to keep the pipe arms up in the air when the hammock is not attached.
  • You can easily remove the pipe arms by screwing them out of the tees when the hammock stand is not in use.