Showing posts with label Tree Swings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tree Swings. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring Break Tree Swing Project

Hi Everyone! I hope you are enjoying the nice spring weather. We are on Spring Break and decided to take on a fun project...
T  R  E  E   *   S  W  I  N  G  S 
OUTDOOR * FUN
Disclaimer: We are not professional builders, the following should be used only as a guideline, not detailed instructions for building a tree swing. 
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Look for two trees spaced 12' - 16' apart. Anything larger then 16' will require a custom beam that you won't find at your local hardware store, you will have to order. The tree trunks should be at least 12" in diameter. Make sure the ground is safe, look for large rocks, slopes, etc... 
Supplies include: 3 16' 2x6 pressure treated beams, 12" 1/2" bolts, (6) large washers, swings with chains (we got ours from Home Depot), heavy duty eye screws, wood glue, 3" outdoor screws. Tools include: drill, saw, 2 ladders, or in our case, 1 ladder and a tractor front loader, vices, wrench set 1/2" long drill bit.
Measure your beam to go at least 12" on center from both trees. Our 16' beams were perfect, the trees were about 14' on center. You will use (2) beams that you will glue (we used gorilla wood glue) and screw together to create a 4" think beam x 6" wide.
Cut (4) 36" 2x6 beams for your support beams. You will glue and screw (2) of the support beams. Trim the corners for a decorative touch (looks a little tuscan to me).
After glueing the beams in a S shape from end to end, we put the beams together and screwed them about every 18" on two sides of the beam.
You can sand the cuts to make the edges smooth.
You should now have (2) 36" 4x6 support beams and (1) 16' 4x6 swing beam. Careful with the large beam it will take two people to lift. We used an 8' height to the bottom of the swing beam. Measure a couple times to make sure you have it correct.
You will now pre-drill the top bolt using a 1/2" long drill bit. Place your first support beam on the tree, and partially screw in your top bolt along with a washer. Use a level to ensure beam is correctly placed, then drill your second bottom hole and screw your second bolt in along with a washer. Ensuring you keep it level. 
Use a string level to place your 2nd support beam. We measured from the top center of the support beams. Once you have located the 2nd beam, repeat the above steps to install the 2nd support beam.
Next with two people, carefully lift your large swing beam on one side and find a way to hold it in place, while you lift the other side of the beam. We used the front loader of the tractor, so we knew it wouldn't go anywhere.
Double check everything is level and secured.
Drill 1st hole on one side, and screw in your bolt loosely.
On the opposite side drill your 2nd hole. We chose to drill a couple holes on one side opening the hole up creating a space for the bolt to slide a few inches in case the trees sway a lot. 
Our new family member, Bentley, watched on as we built the tree swings.
I can't remember if I mentioned this or not, but our new home sits just under 5 acres. We definitely needed a tractor, and it was a lifesaver in this project.
Add your swing hardware, we left plenty of space between the swings, so the kids wouldn't hit each other swinging. 
The kids LOVE their new swings.
We may add another beam on the opposite side, purely for decorative reasons. Hmm, it could end up looking like the top of a pergola.

I have always wanted a swing set for my kids, so a big thank you to my husband for helping me make my vision come true. 
Thanks for visiting! xo, Liz
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Linking Up With:
Wow Us Wednesday
Swing Into Spring Party
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