Wednesday, 6 June 2012

How to make a Tree Swing

Our Bank Holiday weekend project was to make and put up a big tree swing in our garden- big enough for two or three. After doing a lot of research I've come up with a design which I think will be strong enough and won't damage the apple tree by having any fixings into the branch. We also wanted to make a swing where the swing could be removed and lengthened easily for when our little ones grow.

Below are my sketch ideas, details about the construction and knots and also my delivery boy who helped me bring the free bit of old scaffolding plank back from the reclamation yard.

What I used:
  • 1 scaffolding plank 800 x 220mm x 40mm sanded and oiled
  • 4 pieces of scrap timber for supports 160 x 120mm x 10mm
  • 16m sisal rope 1/2" dia 35p/m
  • 2no quick clips £2.50 ea
  • twine for binding knots £2
  • 1 3/8" approx spade drill bit
  • wood screws
  • sandpaper
  • furniture oil
  • knots used: bowline, Beckett and double overhand (15)

  • Cut wood to size, sand and oil
  • Fix supports to underside of seat
  • Drill through with spade bit
  • Thread rope through on both sides from top to underside- leave a loop of approx. 600mm
  • Tie overhand double knot, wrap twine around both ends (19)
  • Nail ends of rope to seat supports (8)
  • Repeat on both sides

Rope top section:
  • Take approx 2.5m or rope and knot both ends with a bowline knot, twine the ends (13, 14)
  • Loop the rope 2-3 times around the branch leaving approx 600mm hanging down both sides (15, 16)
  • Make sure that the loops are wider than the width of the swing so it is more stable

Rope mid section: (x2)
  • Repeat a bowline knot and twine to one end of the rope (11, 12)
  • Attach this end to the top section with a quick clip (20)
  • Hang the rope down and then loop through the seat loop to get the right length for the seat height
  • Do a Beckett knot through the hanging rope and the seat loop (18)
  • Wrap twine around knot and below the knot to stop little fingers getting caught (10)

And that's it! Was actually easier and quicker than I thought it'd be. And it cost about £15... a bargain. Hope these instructions make sense- do email me if you have any questions though and I'll try to help.

Thanks to
Prairie Rose House Blog
A Site About Nothing