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Making your own Tree Swing: Part One

October 17, 2012

Summer days are winding down as stores begin stocking school supplies, you can make it just a little more memorable however, with this simple do-it-yourself weekend project that  you can do with your kids. This simple tree swing can be hung in your garden or backyard and can offer good memories for years to come.

Tree Swing

Tools and Hardware

The swing itself will need  redwood or cedar for the swing seat, as they hold up well in the outdoors.  You can buy or use an existing piece you already have that measures about 17″ long, 1″ thick and 8″ wide.

A second piece will be required, and will needed to be cut into two 4″ wide strips that are about 6″ long.

The hardware for the swing will be a braided nylon rope at 3/8″, and it should be long enough to reach from the arch of where it will be hung, back to the ground twice, with roughly an additional 10′ of twine remaining. Required for this is two lag screw eye bolts about 4.5″ in length, two 5/16″ quick link connectors or “S” links, some wood screws, and finally 1.5″ long decking screws would also be great for this part.

Double Tree Swing

The size of the swing that you will be able to build with these supplies is suitable for children, if you would like to though you could make it a bit bigger, or even better, a two seater. Check to make sure that it is braced well,  as well as check to ensure the maximum load capacity for all parts is not exceeded.

Step One

Cut the braces into  a 17″ long, 1″ thick and 8″ wide, as well as cut two 4″ wide strips about 6″ long.

You need to use a hand planer to round off  the swing corners, and once this is done go ahead and sand down everything using 60 grit paper.

If you find one side to be too rough, finish it and flip the wood piece, then sand the other side. Obviously, the smoothest side should be used for the swings seat.

Now glue the two braces to the bottom of the seat, clamping them in place and then countersinking in the screws.

Once the braces are secure, drill out holes for the rope you purchased, using a small bit (1/8″) from the bottom, and a 1/2″ bit from the top. The smaller holes will serve as pilots to guide you ensuring that any  splintering wood will occur on the swings seat bottom rather than on the top, obscuring any ugly imperfections that may result.

Step Two

Now grab your rope and cut two 4′ lengths.

Arrow HT65

Use a lighter to melt the ends of the nylon rope, this will proven the rope from fraying later on. Thread each end through the seat, granny knot it and secure the loose end underneath the swing seat with a large staple gun. Measure to find the middle of each side, then loop and secure by “whipping” a 2′ piece of twine.

The point of this exercise is to form the connecting point between the swing’s seat with the main ropes, while keeping  the swing seat more stable for smaller children.

Making your own Tree Swing: Part two will finish up the tree swing tutorial.






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