It took a while for the local lobster gear supplier to get my special order made up, but I finally picked up my lobster trap wire panels on Saturday morning. By barbeque time on Sunday, I had new hakas built and tested (on land). They seem quite comfortable and solid. Now I need a hiking stick.
The price was right - $22 per 2x7 foot panel. Including the j-clips to fasten the seams, 8 feet of 1 inch poly pipe for hooks to attach them to the akas, and plastic zip-ties to attach the hooks, the price was $62.23 total for the pair.
They support my 240 pounds with 1 ½ inches of deflection in the center over a 58 inch span. I don’t think I’ll be spending a lot of time sitting there – it’s too springy. Closer to the aka, and cantilevered behind it, they are solid.
Here’s the raw material – 10 gauge welded steel in a 1 ½ inch grid pattern, galvanized and vinyl coated to withstand years of rough treatment and total submersion in salt water. I had the pipe bender left over from a previous project, so I tried to use it to shape the panels.
Here’s the bent panel, before I closed the seam.
I found the pipe bender harder to use than a hammer used as a lever. I had to bend it in small increments, wire by wire. It took a couple of hours and a lot of sweat to get it shaped, and I broke a few welds before I figured out how hard I could push the material.
These are the fasteners – aluminum j-clips I bought from the same lobster-trap supply store. I used a crimping tool that I had left-over from yet another project.
Zip-ties held the seam temporarily while I applied the j-clips. I felt the finished product was not stiff enough, so I changed the shape to put more of a right angle at the seam, and applied a j-clip to each cell. I had initially put one every second cell, thinking to save weight. The clips are so light, that it makes little difference to the total weight.
I flattened the poly pipe by heating it in a toaster oven, then clamping the pipe between a couple of boards. The pipe self-adheres shortly after it becomes pliable. I’m not sure what it’s made of, but it is not as neat to work with as PVC. These are the finished hooks. The rounded one goes in the front and the right-angle goes in the rear. Two of each per haka:
Each haka weighs 13.2 pounds.
Here is the unloaded haka spanning 58 inches:
And here it is with me sitting on it in the center, feet off the ground. It’s a very awkward measurement holding the camera in one hand, while balancing with your feet in the air, and trying to hold steady while taking a selfie of your private area. I could have tried setting up the camera on a support, and using a timer, but I was getting self-conscious.
The finished product has the look I wanted. I’ll let you know how they work after I get my new hiking stick and some wind.