Introduction: Your Personal Curved Swing
You'll certainly appreciate making this swing.
It's an object which will ensure joy in many occasions, when you're with friends, kids or family.
Making this swing is not a costly venture and you'll sharpen your skills by experiencing the many possibilities of wood.
By following these instructions you'll be able to make a lightweight swing. The swing weighs under 2.5kg and is designed so you can take it easily with you. The swing is elegant and the way to attach it to a beam or branch is simple.
This curved swing is ideal to take to the park and other places.
I hope you'll enjoy this instructable!
Step 1: Supplies
Here is a list of tools and materials you’ll certainly need during the proses.
(You will probably use more stuff than I mentioned in my list.)
- Plywood (a flexible wood species is preferable)
- Wood glue
- Polypropylene rope (6 or 8mm thick and 25m long)
- A mold (I made my mold from MFD boards)
- Copper tube ( 12mm thick and at least 60mm long)
- Epoxy adhesive
- A ruler
- A pencil
- A power drill (a 6mm and a 12mm drill)
- A buzz saw
- A circular saw
- Glue clamps
- Sanding paper
- Furniture wax and a rag
- High gloss lacquer
- Paper tape
- a cup drill (radius +- 32mm)
Make sure you always wear protective clothing and safety glasses if you are working with machinery.
Step 2: Cutting the Triplex Board
After collecting all of the materials and tools, you can start creating your swing.
First, you’ll have to think about the dimensions of your seat (my seat measures 25cm by 60cm, which is quite big). The width, the thickness and the length of the triplex board available to you will also be of importance. (my seat is 12mm thick, 3 layers of 4mm triplex).
Consider the fact that:
Afterwards you will still need to trim off some of the edges, because the boards will overlap each other after gluing.
Step 3: The Mold
When you have cut the triplex boards, you can begin making the mold.
Draw a curve on leftover pieces of wood and cut it out with a jigsaw. Repeat this action about 4 times. Than you to align those pieces on another board, as you can see on the image. Attach them to the board with glue or screws. Your mold should be complete now.
Step 4: Bending the Seat
Place the first board of plywood on the mold and grease it with wood glue. place the second piece on the first one and grease this piece as well. Repeat this action until the last piece, you don’t have to glue this one.
Now you’ll have to bend the plywood and secure it with screws or glue clamps. (If you don’t want to spill glue on you table, you could cover it up with plastic bags.)
Be patient, wait at least 24 hours before removing the screws or clamps.
The boards are now curved. The curve will increase the elegance of your swing and as well add strength to the seat.
Step 5: Trimming, Sanding, Polishing,...
If you want your swing to be perfectly finished, you have a lot of work. But it is completely worth it.
You start by trimming off the overlapping parts, with a circular saw.
Round up all the corners.
Then drill a hole in each corner of the seat. About 3cm from the edges and always at the same height! (otherwise your swing will look sloppy…)
Shed the entire seat with a fine sanding paper. (I used sanding paper with grain size 180p, wrap the paper around a sponge (or another soft objet) to make sure that you don’t damage the surface)
(if there are any impurities you can still fix them, do this before the polishing)
Eventually polish the surface several times. (always let the wax dry)
Now you can be satisfied with your seat.
Step 6: The System to Adjust the Height of the Seat.
This part of my swing is quite simple to use an to make. You need a
tough material to make this, but making it isn’t necessary.
(I used a piece of PE leftover, polyethylene) You can make this part out of various materials, but if you are not sure about it strength you should do a test (each of these parts will have to carry ¼ of the weight). The most convenient material to use is of course the triplex you have use to make your seat. So let’s get started.
Decide how width, long and thick you want to make this part. I recommend that you make this part 15cm high, 2cm thick and 4cm wide. Than cut enough pieces to obtain the wanted thickness and to make two of them (if you are cutting those pieces you can make more than needed, so you can choose the ones that are cut best). Glue them together as you did with the seat, put two glue clamps on the pieces and tighten gently. Make sure that the pieces don’t.
Now mark the spots you need to drill. You need to drill 4 holes: one to attach a rope permanently and 3 other holes for the second rope to slide trough.
Divide the length of the pieces plywood in 5 and the width in half. Mark them and start drilling. If you aren’t confident about drilling the holes, you should start drilling with a smaller drill. Afterwards you can drill with the right size.
ATTENTION: -1- You have to secure the parts to a table with clamps when you want to drill the holes! DO NOT HOLD IT IN YOUR HANDS! Thank you.
-2- You have to use the same size of drill as the thickness of you rope. Otherwise the rope won’t have enough friction and it will slide trough the holes when you use the swing!
Step 7: The Attachment System
The attachment system
Start by cutting out circles from the plywood board. (radius 3cm)
If you would do this with a jigsaw, you would have allot of work. I recommend using a cup drill.
The upper part of the system should be as tall as the palm of your hand.(10cm)
The lower part doesn’t need to be tall, it should just hold one copper tube. (3 to 5cm)
If you have cut out enough circles from the board to make two of the lower and the upper parts, you glue them together.
After gluing them together, you can smoothen the cylinders by sanding them down.
Drill two hole (as wide as the copper tube) in each of the 4 parts.
Make one notch in every cylinder towards a hole.
Cut the copper tubes as long as one lower and one upper part are together.
Glue a copper tube in the holes without a notch. (I used epoxy glue, two components)
At last you could give the attachment a color. I used high gloss lacquer, Signal yellow.
Step 8: Attaching the Ropes
last step is to attach the ropes.
Attach two short ropes to the seat, the length of those ropes vary. You should decide yourself how high you want the attachment system to hang.
Than slide the two parts attaching system into each other and put a long piece of rope in one of the hole and a short one in the other. Make a knot at the ends and attach the ‘height adjusting system’ to the start of the long and the short rope.
Your Curved Sing should now be ready to swing.
Thank you for reading!