Seven years ago, this project was prompted by the fact that the kids were old enough to want to play on the swings, but not old enough to cross the street and walk the two blocks to the school playground by themselves. The obvious solution was to build one in the back yard.
Construction was straightforward, using 2X4, 4X4 and 4X8 lumber and galvanized bolts, in addition to swing hardware. I had only a circular saw and drill as tools. The end pieces are equilateral triangles, using 4X4 legs and a 2X4 middle and bottom brace. The angled top brace rests in a kerf cut into the top beam and is notched to fit the middle brace.
To ensure that the swing was stable and could not possibly tip over, the swing set was positioned over pre-dug post holes with the ends of the legs resting on paver blocks to raise the bottom brace off of the ground. 2X4 posts were cut to length, placed in the post holes and fastened to the bottom brace. Care was taken to make sure that the ends of these posts were not in contact with the bottom of the holes. The holes were then filled with concrete to 3" below ground level. The idea was for the posts to act as hold-downs, but to be non-load bearing.
The idea worked well, since I was able to move the swing set to our new house, leaving only the posts behind to be dug out, or cut off below ground level.
The swings get heavy use, and I have also added a rope swing from a large tree next to it, which is also quite popular. The next step is to add a treehouse! If you have any great plans for a treehouse/play house, or if you are interested in plans of the swing or any other projects, contact me about any of the projects you see on this page.
This page was last updated on December 5, 2001.