Swing - Make a Simple Wooden Swing

How to Make a Wood Swing

Surprisingly it isn't super easy to make a swing.  Ya, for the most part it is, but what size to you make the seat itself?  What is a good size for kids and adults?
homemade wood swing

I found that 18" long by 8" wide is a good size for everyone, kids and adults.
plans for wood swing

Also i doubled up on the plywood to make it extra thick.
swing size, dimensions, wood, holes, knots, rope

The rope was rated at 350lb breaking strength.  I tried burning the ends, but it didn't behave like the yellow plastic rope.
rope swing, knot, tie

After several coats of polyurethane it was ready to hang.
how to make wood swing, wooden, size, thickness

The holes are 3/4" and 1" from the corners.
cool swing

All the materials ready to go.
swing size for kids, rope swing, tire swing

We picked a hardwood tree in our yard with a good branch.
how to tie a swing, swing to tree

I used some felt on the top of the branch, just in case.  I didn't want the rope rubbing on the bark and break.
knot for swing, rope to tree, tie to tree

Also i used 1 continuous piece of rope.  I didn't cut it at the top.  It was tied, then crossed over to the other side and went down.
best knot for swing, rope, tree, branch

For the knots on the bottom there's several options.  I decided to loop it through the holes and tie it on itself.
cool idea, wood tree swing, kids, adults

You can see there are 2 knots per rope.  I had issues with the swing slipping down because the rope was very slippery.
how to make a swing

But overall it's worked great.
swing for kids

Transcript from Video:
So earlier this year my son and I
wanted to build a swing in the yard and
we had the same questions most people
have one what size to cut the board what
would you use what rope to get and what
tree to pick so here's the swing we made
and a good size I found is 18 by 8 you
could go a little wider but 18 by 8
seems to work an adult can sit on it a
kid can sit on it everybody is able to
fit on this side so an inch and a half
and cut the holes 3/4 inch falls and I
rounded the edges so the rope won't have
any pinch points and good morning so the
ropes holding up nicely on the rounded
edges now as far as wood to use I had a
ton of scrap wood I could have done two
options one is I could have used a piece
of two by eight or two by ten pieing
and that's a soft wood but it's pretty
thick and I couldn't just use that cut
it to length drilled a couple of halls
been done but what I decided to do was
make it a little bit thicker and I glued
together two pieces of plywood and it
made it about an inch and a half thick
plenty strong
there's no bend at all Ryan you know a
piece of pine would have been fine too I
think even one piece of reasonably good
plywood would have worked too but I
decided to double up and glue it
together another option would have been
if you don't want it thick the whole way
we could just put a strip of wood right
under where the Rope meets and that
would strengthen it at the end but I
decided to just make the whole thing
nice and wide now as far as rope I just
went on Amazon and bought some 3
breaking strength rope it's 716 inch and
it's braided it's worked fine
and you could use wood glue or you could
even use liquid nails construction
adhesive since it's going to be outside
and speaking of being outside you need
to treat this I put five coats of
polyurethane on this
and I could even see that it's getting a
little bit worn on the top but you're
gonna definitely need something to
protect it from the rain and the snow so
five coats of polyurethane or something
else that's gonna really seal it and
keep it protected while it's outside or
else it's gonna work as far as the knots
that you can see I came down from the
tree I looped it under the swing and
then I tied knots here and here you want
nuts that aren't gonna slide down so I
did a couple of hitches where I wrapped
around the rope and then I brought it up
to here and I actually used some tape
and some rope to secure it so it
wouldn't slide down I originally wanted
to do that technique we can braid the
rope inside the the rope so it cinches
on itself but I didn't have the tool and
this really wasn't good enough rope to
do that now as far as how to tied the
knots up at the top of the tree there's
a couple different things you can do and
I actually recorded a video in that back
when I tied it in the spring alright
Here I am up on top of the tree and I
wanted to point out the knots I used
this is the first night I tied and they
did a round turn and two half hitches
and the theory was on it that the Rope
coming down is basically going straight
up and over the Rope wrapping around is
this one here so there's no real pinch
points in this rope I'm not kicking it
or bending it anywhere where it's gonna
be pulling and at a right angle it's
coming straight down this rope wrapped
around twice and then it comes over to
this side where I have it wrapped around
twice again and I just wrapped it
through the line so as it pulls pull
it's tightening on itself and again
there's no pinch points in the rope the
force coming down
I use two carpet padding on the top just
so if it does rub or where hopefully it
doesn't it won't be rubbing on the tree
and rub through the rope but that was
the theory I had on no pinch points on
the knot sometimes some people said do a
bowline or something like that I needed
it to be tight to the tree which a
bowline wouldn't really do it I would
say sag down that works if you have an
eyelet through the tree or something
like that
I want it tight to the branch and these
are both tight to the branch
now as far as what trees to use we have
a lot of trees on our property but not a
lot of good trees for swings we have
pine trees which don't work and some big
cottonwoods and now cottonwoods are soft
wood and ideally you don't want to use a
soft wood because those branches can
just snap and break I would much rather
trust an oak or maple over a cottonwood
so we had to go with this one I think
it's a type of locust the seat that
leaves are nice and small like a honey
locust and it seemed like a really
strong tree and we have a good branch
sticking out at the top and the last
little thing I did was I took a wood
burner and I burned my son's name on the
front of the swing and the year on the
back just I think the personalized a
little bit more hopefully it stays here
for a bunch of years 

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