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I'd like to hang a hammock in a small garden. There is one wall that can carry it, but on the other side it would have to be a stand-alone pillar.

What's the most efficient technique to erect a pillar that would not be toppled by the lateral pull just so in the ground?

I thought about a metal rod with a large-enough flat foot that would be buried under the ground, but the garden is small, so I think it might not fit or disrupt the whole place. The other thought I had was a metal rod standing in a hole filled with concrete, but I fear the hole and concrete would have to be huge.

Is there an elegant, light-weight way how to have a strong enough stand-alone pillar in the ground?

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  • What sort of soil are you dealing with, both at the surface and down a foot? – isherwood Sep 18 '16 at 0:41
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Any freestanding hammock post without lateral binding will eventually work loose.

The standard configuration is to use a 6x6x9 wooden beam and sink it three feet into the ground with a footing made from an 80-pound bag of cement. Where I live the only place to get a wooden beam of that size is a sawmill over 50 miles away.

Alternatively you could use a 3" Lally column as a substitute for the beam.

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  • I agree, but a 4x4 post is plenty. I'm currently hanging my hammock on a cedar 4x4 that's just dropped in the soil as a bird feeder post. I plan on adding concrete because the soil is giving somewhat, but the post is plenty stiff and strong enough. – isherwood Sep 18 '16 at 0:38
  • "giving way somewhat" is the key phrase in that sentence. A 6x6 presents 50% more surface area to the ground. – Tyler Durden Sep 18 '16 at 1:13
  • I don't suggest using any post without concrete, which more or less makes the issue moot. – isherwood Sep 19 '16 at 13:05
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Ought to be able to get a free length of 2" galvy pipe off craigslist, or a 4x4 post. Either ought to be stiff enough.

Don't use cement.

Dig a hole as deep as possible. 36" sounds pretty good. 24" might do it.

Widen the hole at the bottom on side away from the house wide enough to position a craigslist scrap length of 2x8 or 2x10 or 2x12, the wider and longer the better. 12" min, 24" enough.

Widen the hole at the top on the side near the house wide enough and deep enough to position a craigslist scrap length of 2x8 or 2x10 or 2x12, the wider and longer the better. 36" min, 60" enough. The widening will look like a trench that is perpendicular to the line of the hammock. Dig it deep enough so that the top edge of the 2x will be a couple inches below ground.

Securely attach the post/pipe to the two 2xs, using opposite sides. Fill with dirt, 1/4-minus better, pack as you go by ramming the fill with length of 2x4 or 4x4.

Rather than a single post, it'd be better to use two posts in an a-frame because there will also be lateral forces. Use the same 2x scrap technique as above.

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  • This sounds like a clever idea, but is it worth all the effort over a $5 bag of concrete? – isherwood Sep 19 '16 at 13:06

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