Introduction: Porch-Swing Fire Pit

Picture of Porch-Swing Fire Pit

When I first saw one of these hanging fire pits, sometimes called a porch-swing fire-pit, I just knew I had to build one. I had a large level area in my lower back yard that was a perfect spot. My kids are a little older now and like to spend time outside with friends, so I knew it would get plenty of use. It does.

A gentleman that goes by the name of Chenango Dave on provides a basic tutorial, but I wanted to build a structure that was a little larger. I'm sharing the details here for anyone else who wants to build one. I might not include every last detail, but I'll try to include all of the important bits and throw in as many tips as I can think of.

Step 1: Picking the Site

Picture of Picking the Site

You will want to start with a level area that is maybe 5 feet larger than the structure you intend to build in every direction, or about 25 feet across if you stay close to the dimensions here. If it isn't perfectly level, that is OK, but you will want to level it AFTER you build the structure. It makes no sense to level first only to have to dig deeper holes for the posts.

In my case, I had a giant old swing set that I built about 14 years ago when my youngest daughter was born. Thanks to Craig's list, it was gone in 3 days and I got a little cash to use towards this project.

Keep in mind that, depending on where you put it, this structure can be used year round and it will only be used with a fire for a fraction of that time. My teenage kids wander down to sit on the benches during the day with their friends and sometimes even go down there just to study or read. Fortunately, we have trees to create both morning and afternoon shade, but no trees immediately over the fire pit.

So if possible pick a spot that gets shade for much of the day but it cannot have tree branches directly overhead.

Step 2: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools
  • Here is a basic list of materials and tools that you will need.


  • 6"x6"x10' pressure treated boards for the posts. Qty 6.
  • 6"x6"x8' pressure treated boards for the beams. Qty 6.
  • Note: You can safely go as long as 10-12 feet with 6x6 beams but prices go up quickly and dramatically for benches over 5 feet long.
  • 2'x6"x8' pressure treated lumber for the top braces. Qty 6.
  • 1/2x8" galvanized lag bolts to attach the beams to the posts. Qty 24
  • 1/2" galvanized washers. Qty 24.
  • 4" deck screws to attach the beams to each other. Qty 24
  • 3" deck screws to attach the braces to the beams Qty 24
  • Some additional 3" deck or drywall screws to use for temporarily attaching braces. Qty....a bunch
  • 2"x2"x8' white pine boards to use as braces, layout posts and anchors. Qty: 10-14.
  • 50-60 pound bags of concrete. Qty: 6-8
  • Paver base for drainage under the posts. Qty: 6
  • A 4 foot long steel re-bar to mark the center point.
  • Stain or water seal of your choice for the structure
  • Material of your choice for the fire pit
  • Landscape adhesive to glue the fire pit together.
  • I used slate and pea gravel for a surround. Others have used pea gravel all the way out to the posts.
  • Topsoil to level the area as needed.

    Grass seed or sod to cover any remaining bare dirt.

You will also need:

  1. The swings. I bought mine from Louisiana Cypress Swings and Things on-line. Great selection. I bought 5 footers. They are made to order so order them SEVERAL WEEKS in advance. Mine took about a month to deliver. Worth the wait. I only bought 4 as I want to build something custom for the empty spot....some day. That was dumb. Go ahead and get 5.
  2. Galvanized or stainless eye bolts or swing hangers with locking nuts and washers, 7 inches. Mine have nylon glides, purchased from a swing parts supply place on-line. The swings above come with lag eye-bolts but I wanted to go through the beams for extra strength. Note: all of the galvanized items and hanger hardware is much cheaper on-line than it is at the local big-box. Shop around. I saved about $50 on hardware that way.


  • A couple of decent A-frame ladders
  • Power miter saw, ideally a 12" sliding compound miter saw.
  • Post hole digger
  • Shovel
  • Sledge hammer to drive stakes into the ground
  • A rock-breaking rod (heavy steel rod with one sharp and one hammer end) if you have a rocky yard.
  • Post level
  • Line level
  • Box beam level, preferably a 6 footer or longer
  • Tape measure
  • Layout string
  • A speed square to mark boards
  • A carpenters pencil
  • Marking paint to mark the layout on the ground
  • A large plastic mixing bin and hoe for the concrete
  • Cordless drill and bits for the deck screws
  • 12 inch long 3/8 in drill bit to drill holes for the lag bolts.
  • 12 inch long bit to drill holes for the swing hangers, diameter of the bolts or slightly larger.
  • 1 1/4 Forstner or similar bit to countersink the lag bolts/washers.
  • #8 pilot bit for the deck screws
  • Socket and socket wrench for the lag bolts
  • Brushes for the stain.
  • Optional: A router and round-over bit to round over the edges of your 6x6 boards.
  • Also Optional: a belt sander to smooth down the rough spots in the 6x6 posts and beams before staining.
  • Gloves and goggles
  • Optional: One or more 6x6 tarps to auger through if you want to keep your grass intact.

You will also need to rent a 2-man power auger and an 8 or 10 inch auger bit with an extension. Ask a friend to help with the auger. I used a 1 man auger and it practically killed me. Not recommended. Oh, and DO NOT ask your wife to help with the auger. Trust me on this.

Step 3: Measurements, Angles and Markings

Picture of Measurements, Angles and Markings

I am a pretty experienced DIY builder but had never tackled anything that didn't have square sides. This is a hexagon. 6 sides. Plumbing and trueing a hexagon can be a little daunting, so here's how I tackled it. I measured everything from a center point using OUTSIDE dimensions. The only time I used on-center (O.C.) measurements was when measuring the distance between posts along the outside.

With hexagons, the distance from the center point to the outside edge of each post will be a little less than the length of each beam. My beams were 8 feet long, and the distance from the center point to the outside edge of each post was 7' 11". So the beams opposite each other were 15' 10" apart. Don't dwell on this too much as the easiest way to measure your hexagon, regardless of the beam length you choose, is below.

The other thing you need is the angle of the cuts for your beams. 360 degrees divided by 6 is 60 degrees, split between the two ends of each beam is 30 degrees. So your cuts will be 30 degrees on the end of each beam.

To make the dimensions as easy as possible, I went ahead and cut the beams and laid them out on a flat surface so I could take all the measurements directly from the beams. You have to be a little more exact when digging holes and sinking the posts, but cutting the beams first ensures that your structure is symmetrical. Just make sure that your beams are perfectly parallel on the ground before you start taking measurements. All corner to corner measurements should be the same and all beam-to-beam measurements should be the same. While you have the beams on the ground, mark the center point of each beam so you will have a reference for the cross-braces. Number both sides of each joint 1 through 6. And save some of the 6x6 scrap pieces for later.

Now, making your hexagon square and level is going to be a challenge and you do NOT want to have to lug these 6x6 beams around any more than necessary. So, I cheated. Once I was satisfied with the beams, I cut the 2x6 boards that I would eventually use for cross braces to be exactly the same dimensions as the 6x6 beams. Now you have much lighter boards to work with as surrogate beams. When you are done with them, you will cut about a foot off of them and use them as cross braces. Nothing wasted.

While you have the saw out, cut one of the 2x2 boards into 1 foot stakes with a 45 degree angle at one end. These will be used as anchors later.

Step 4: Laying Out for the Posts

Picture of Laying Out for the Posts

To create a grid for my layout, I put a steel rod in the center of the space, measured out the length of my beams (8 feet in my case) and painted a circle. That was a good starting point. The posts will end up just inside the circle.

Start with the "front" of the hexagon and either lay down one of your 2x6 mock-up beams or measure out the dimensions and paint the ground where the posts will go. If you saved any 6x6 scraps, place one where each post will go just for the visual and to help with measurements.

When you are done marking out for the six posts, the marking for each post should be exactly the same distance from the center rod and exactly the same distance apart. I used a field tape-measure with a large hook on it so I could walk to each post location without having it unhook from the center rod. Don't forget to make sure the corners are all the same distance apart (measure the post markings across from each other and make sure the beams will be parallel). This may sound complicated, but once you start laying things out, it isn't. If you painted a circle at the beginning of this process, all of your post marks should be the same distance from the circle as well.

Step 5: Setting the Posts

Picture of Setting the Posts

OK, time to go get that power auger.

You will want to auger the holes exactly above your marked locations for each post. Make sure the hole is straight. Start without the extension and drill all 6 holes. Then attach the extension and go back around and dig down to just over 3 feet. 3 feet is building code frost-line depth where I live. It is also deep enough to ensure that the structure is rock solid.

Here is a hint. If you have really nice grass that you don't want to destroy AND your yard is perfectly level, use a couple of sacrificial tarps over the auger hole. Cut a hole in it and let all the dirt from the auger fall onto the tarp. This keeps the dirt out of the grass and allows you to haul any that you don't use away.

Note: If your location is not perfectly level, you will want to dig to 3 feet on the HIGH side. Use the string and line level to determine how many inches shallower each hole on the low side will need to be. You will end up with all posts at three feet deep into the ground once you level the area with additional dirt.

Take one of your 2x2 braces and mark it at 2 and 3 feet. This will be your depth gauge as you auger.

Mark each 6x6 post at the three foot mark. I also marked each post at the 6 foot mark to make leveling a little easier.

Now, there are a couple of ways to set and level posts. You could set them and then cut off the tops to make each level, but I wanted to use all 10 feet of my posts, so I actually leveled each post before setting it in concrete. It isn't as hard as it sounds.

Start with the depth gauge and dig each hole so it is maybe 3 feet two inches deep. Don't be lazy here. When we get to the leveling step, it will be a lot easier to fill a hole in a little than it will be take things apart, pull a post out and dig more. Pour some paver base into the hole and flatten out the bottom so the hole is at or just over 3 feet deep.

Drop a post into each hole and check to see where that 3 foot pencil mark you made is. It should be at or slightly below grade or where you expect it to be if the area is not perfectly level. Be careful when placing or removing the post so you don't collapse the sides of the hole. These posts are heavy, really heavy, so either have a friend help you or pretend you are a Scottish pole thrower and be prepared for back pain later.

Get the posts as close as you can to level. One good way to do this is to tie a string to one of the posts at the 6 foot mark that you made earlier (This will be 3 feet from the ground now...). Attach the string level to the string and walk to the 6-foot mark on each of the other posts. We will get them perfectly true and level in the next step.

Step 6: Trueing and Leveling the Posts

Picture of Trueing and Leveling the Posts

Leveling and trueing the structure will take a little time and patience. There will probably also be head scratching.

Again, there are several ways to do this. My technique might not be the absolute easiest, but it turned out pretty well.

Remember those "cheater" beams we made out of the 2x6 boards? Get those out and set them on top of each post. Screw each side into the top of the posts with two deck screws. The position of the cheater beams should be consistent across the center on all posts. In my case, the ends of the cheater beams (points) just stuck over the outside of the posts by about 1/2 inch.

Now take the 2x2 braces and screw one to the top of each post. Hammer in the anchors next to where the brace touches the ground but do not attach them yet. You have some extra braces to use if you need to anchor a couple of posts from two directions.

Time to measure everything again. Make sure that the cheater beams have exactly the same dimensions that you recorded for the beams you cut and laid out on the ground. They should be completely true but do not yet need to be perfectly level.

Once the hexagon is true, screw the bases of the braces into the anchors. You might need to anchor one brace, check dimensions, then anchor the next. The goal here is to make the hexagon perfectly symmetrical a tthe top. The poles themselves can be a little crooked.

Ok, now that the top of your structure is symmetrical, you can use the post level or box beam level to ensure that each post is perfectly straight. You may need a little leverage to move the bottom of a post an inch or two. Use a shovel or a rock-breaking rod. Do not forget to check the beam measurements each time you move a post to make sure it is all still true.

Once the posts are straight, you can level. I did this by setting my 8 foot box-beam level on top of each of the cheater beams. For low posts, pour in a little paver base and lift up the post to allow the paver base to flow under it. You may need to disconnect the brace so you can lift the post.

Keep leveling all the way around the structure until all of the cheater beams are level. I ended up with one that was about an inch high and decided not to pull the beam out to dig more. Only I notice.

Once you have the post-tops level, measure all of the beam dimensions again. Chance are good that something moved slightly. Adjust and reattach the braces as needed.

Once everything is true and level, pour a little gravel or paver base into each hole to ensure that there is drainage at the bottom of each post and that the post isn't going to move as you pour concrete.

Mix and pour the concrete one bag at a time. Pour it in evenly, then jam the concrete in around the post with the iron re-bar you used as the center marker. The concrete should stop at or just a little below grade. Angle the top edge of the concrete so it will channel water away from the post. Let it dry overnight.

Step 7: Setting the Beams

Picture of Setting the Beams

Once the concrete is dry, you can take down the braces and the cheater beams. If you are going to stain the wood, you might want to hold off on grading until after you've stained.


Sidebar: If you have to grade the whole area to make it level, here's an easy way to figure out how much dirt you need. Since your posts are level, there should be a "3-foot" mark a few inches above the ground on the lowest side of the grade. Measure how high that is from the ground. Take the distance between two beams across in inches and multiply that by two. That is roughly how many cubic inches of dirt you would need to cover the area with one inch of dirt. Now multiply that times the number of inches above the ground that the 3-foot mark is. Since this is a slope, divide that number by 2. That's how many cubic inches of dirt you need. To convert that to cubic yards, divide it by 36, 36 again and 36 again. Round up. If it is already close to a rounded number, add a yard. Example: 10 inches from ground to "3-foot: mark. 16 feet across. 192 inches. 192x192=36,864 ..x 10 inches = 368640 divide by 2 = 184320 divide by 36 = 5120 divided by 36 again = 142.2 divide by 36 again = 3.95 yards. Get 5 yards.

Wait until after you've stained (step 6) to grade the area.


OK, now is the time to look at your posts and clean them up a little if you want. Sand down any pencil lines, splinters or rough areas. I decided to use a router and a round over bit to radius all of the edges of the posts and the beams before they were installed.

The cheater beams you used before are perfect templates for the real beams in terms of where the lag bolts are going to go. Use the screw holes on the cheater beams as a template for the countersunk lag bolt holes on the actual beams. I countersunk my lag bolts about 1/2 inch. Drill holes in the beams that are the same diameter as the lag bolts but just drill a pilot hole down into the posts or use the hole made by the screws holding the cheater beams.

Set the beams on the posts in the order we numbered them before and place the lag bolts with washers into each of your drilled holes. Using the socket set, start cranking one side of the first beam into the post. Once it is in there a bit but before it is tight. Drill pilot holes for the 4" deck screws that will hold the beams together tight. Then screw in the deck screws. If your angles and posts are true, there will be no gaps between beams. Now finish ratcheting down the lag bolts, repeat this for each beam.

Step 8: Adding the Cross Beams

Picture of Adding the Cross Beams

Remember when I said to mark the center line of the beams when you first cut them? Here is where that comes in handy. Set each 2x6 board so that it lays over the center line on two beams. Use a speed square or straight edge to mark the cut on each end of the board. The cut on the board should match the centerline on the beam. Number these boards on top so you can keep them in order. I suggest you cut each board one at a time and then place them on the structure to make sure they fit properly. That way, if you cut one board too short, you can cheat a little by cutting the next a little longer. You will also want to trim the outside edge of each board so it does not poke over the beam. That gives a much cleaner look.

Oh, and these boards have the same cut angle as the beams. 30 degrees.

For my structure, once all of the boards were cut and set on the structure for fit, I rounded over the ends with a router so there were no points or places to splinter.

When you are happy with the way these boards look, screw them in with 2 4-inch deck screws on each board end. The structure should now be rock solid and should not move at all.

Step 9: Staining, Leveling and Setting the Fire Pit

Picture of Staining, Leveling and Setting the Fire Pit

Now that the structure is all assembled, it is time to stain and level if your yard is sloped at all. Give every board another look to make sure there are no pencil marks left. Once stained, a pencil mark will never go away. To stain the structure, I used a quality deck stain and gave it two coats.

Once the stain is dry, grade around the base of each post and level the area as needed. (See the sidebar in step 4) I was on a gentle slope and needed to bring about 5 yards of dirt in to level.

I suggest that you place your fire pit as you level the area. This way you can level the fire pit first and ensure that the foundation for the pit is exactly at or a little below grade. If it is below grade, the foundation blocks will be completely hidden, giving the pit a nice clean look. Once you are happy with the layout of the fire pit, use landscape block adhesive to secure at least the top two rows of blocks to the rows underneath them.

I used large concrete pavers for the foundation and concrete landscape blocks from Lowe's for the fire pit. I wanted grass under the benches and a small gravel area around the pit. I also ended up using slate that I shaped to fit. To finish it off, I purchased sod rather then having to wait for weeks for grass to grow in from seed.

Step 10: Installing the Benches

Picture of Installing the Benches

If you ordered the benches from Louisiana Cypress Swings and Things, they will come in flat boxes and some assembly will be required. They are easy to assemble, though. Just follow the instructions and let them know immediately if anything is broken or missing.

To hang the swings, measure the distance between the chains on an assembled swing. Now go down to the structure and measure out from the center of each beam (where the cross brace sits) one half of the distance between chains. Mark those spots. Assuming you purchased through-bolts with lock nuts, you will want to drill through the beam in these locations with a bit equal to the diameter of the bolts. Insert the hanger bolts from the bottom, drop a galvanized washer on top and tighten down the lock-nut. (If you choose to use the lag eye-bolts provided with the swings, just drill pilot holes into the bottom of the beams at the correct locations and twist the bolts into palce with a large screwdriver or other tool that will give you some leverage. Repeat for all 5 beams where you want to hang benches.

To hang the swings, I used screw-down snap hooks and eventually added swing springs. Once you are sure the height is correct, cut off the excess chain so it does not rattle.

The cypress swings can be sealed, but will weather to a soft grey if you don't finish them. I've had no problem with splinters

Step 11: Wrap It All Up and Enjoy!

Picture of Wrap It All Up and Enjoy!

Once everything is complete and cleaned up, find some dry firewood and light it up!

We placed Tiki torches just outside 4 of the posts to provide light. It is almost too much light.

Grab a beer or glass of wine, light a fire and congratulate yourself on a job well done!

I hope you find this Instructable useful! This project was a lot of fun and this unusual fire pit is both a terrific place to hang out and a great conversation piece!

Step 12: Update: 3 Years Later.....

Picture of Update: 3 Years Later.....

I thought I would add a brief update to this instructables for anyone who is interested. Last year, I added a bar-height table to the back of the fire pit structure and added some solar powered LED holiday lights around the beams. The table was made using typical park-bench construction and is perfect for setting food, drinks or a tray full of ingredients for S'mores. It is wedge shaped, of course, and does not interfere with any of the swings.

The table was made from 4 pressure treated 8 foot long 2x6 boards. One board was used to make the cleats, which were attached to the posts using lag bolts. The boards were then cut to fit on the cleats and the remaining lumber was used to create ties to connect and level the boards under the table. Except for the cleats, the table is held together using stainless deck screws, which were pre-drilled and countersunk. Note the angled cuts to help prevent bruised body parts. In hindsight, I should have angle cut the cleats also. The table is sturdy enough for people to sit on, although I placed it high enough to discourage people from doing that.

The structure has held up very well. The natural cypress swings have grayed a little but they have not splintered or become unusable in any way even though we leave them out year-round.

The fire pit has seen the most use in the fall and spring and is still a gathering place for my kids and their friends.

Thank you to all who have commented. I hope this served and continues to serve as inspiration for your back yard fire pit project.


BrianF211 (author)2017-08-01

Do you have any pictures in the daytime with the three year improvements you listed? I can't see much in your nighttime photo.

hodgepodgerama (author)BrianF2112017-08-08

Hi Brian, The addition I made was just the a small table. I'll try to shoot another image or two and post it soon. Thank you for your interest!

I updated the update and included a couple of pictures of the table along with some details about construction. I hope that helps!

BillF93 (author)2017-06-27

First off great project...looks awesome...think I will do this one....second...why is it every time some one posts a project or recipe for people to see or do...always a bunch of Debbt Downers chiming did this wrong, you did that wrong, you're not doing like i would...someone else did it like this....WHO GIVES A CRAP....Whoever posted this took time out of their day to post what they did...not to listen to a bunch of clods grip about. Whoever built this and posted thank you

1014537 made it! (author)2017-04-17

This was amazing. It was quick easy and my family loved it! Thank you!

1014537 (author)10145372017-04-17

Wow. Congrats

Tachyon (author)2016-09-22

This is just what I've been looking for!!

For a while now I've been trying to figure out the perfect fire-pit with seating setup. This combined with ideas I've already had is perfect!

Let me share my idea.

First, I'd take this project in it's entirety. Then I'd add a roof / rain-shelter as follows.

Look at the frame from the top view. It's a hexagon. Now imagine building a smaller wooden hexagon shaped frame. Say 25cm in diameter. Now use some 2x4's to connect the corners of the main frame the the corners of the small frame. These 2x4 rafters will be of a length to form a 60 degree angle from vertical and support the small hexagon like the peak of a roof. The rafters will also be long enough to extend past the corners of the larger hexagon of the frame like eaves of a house. Roughly 20-30 cm out from the vertical 'wall' created by the frame. Next get 6 heavy duty waterproof tarps, poly or canvas, your choice as long as it's waterproof. Personally I'd choose poly as it will shed snow and water better. These tarps should be slightly wider than the width between the bottom ends of the rafters and slightly longer than the length of the rafters. Next take the tarps and lay them on the rafter/roof one at a time and draw a cut line with a marker on the bottom side on the outside edges of the rafter set they will cover. Once you've got them all marked, use that mark to mark another line a few cm outside the original line. You'll use this line to cut the tarps. Then fold over the cut edges to the original line and either stitch them or use appropriate tarp glue to glue them down. Now take these folded edges and sew them together with heavy waxed poly thread where the folded edge stops, so you're oversewing the seam of the folded edge. Then seal the edge with tarp glue on the top side and glue the two downward folded tarp edges together on the bottom side. Do all six pieces until you have what looks like a hexagonal Tepee. Get a friend(s) to help you slide the Teepee over the rafters. You now have a four season, covered fire-pit with a draft hole for the smoke to exit. If wind is an issue, you can put rings in the corners of the tarp Teepee bottoms and hooks at the ends of the rafter bottoms to hold the Teepee in place.

I hope this makes sense without a drawing. It's actually pretty simple design wise and shouldn't be that hard to build.

JimboFarns (author)2016-09-04

Awesome build - well done!

However, I see very green grass meaning, lots of water? Are you not worried placing the posts direct into the ground are going to rot in the near future?

The posts are set in concrete which ends right below grade. There is 2b cut granite stone under the posts so any water should drain off with a minimum of contact. The concrete is sloped away from the posts to promote runoff. We have a very clay-like soil here and there is still some direct contact with the ground, so it is always possible that there will be some rot. The alternative would be to pour footers and anchor the posts above ground, but that would probably have a negative impact on the rigidity of the structure, requiring braces on each post. It's been 2 years now and the thing has held up very well, so rot is not something I'm going to worry about too much. For comparison, the swing set pictured in the project was 14 years old and several of the base timbers from that were just buried in the dirt.. When I disassembled it, all the timbers looked pretty good and nothing had to be replaced.

Awesome! Good thinking all round! :)

I am in the process of building a patio / pergola (will be my first project post on Instructables!) and was just thinking of all the issues raised my side!

kandrplus6 (author)2016-04-26


Middletown (author)kandrplus62016-05-09

Its ok. Some people are able to think for themselves and do not need any aspect of the govt involved in common sense decisions. but thanks.

JamesS149 (author)Middletown2016-09-04

Some people don't have the convenience of living so far in the sticks the news is a few months old and don't have to worry about local concordances . Last thing any one wants is a letter from the local government telling you to pay a large fine and then face criminal charges (it's a misdemeanor in most places to violate building/zoning/fire codes). Nobody wants to waste 300+ dollars in wood and the days it too to build it when ordered to remove it and then have pay more in fines. Make a phone call, spend the hour getting the paperwork and know your safe from pesky court summons.

I know this because I found out the hard way with a small shed I built. I needed a zoning clearance permit, and didn't know about it. The Violation notice, the threat of several hundreds in fine and a court summons if I didn't get it fix was a little wake up. Having to remove the $800+ I had invested would have sucked.

The permit was a 20 minute ordeal, cost me nothing. Plus side is I got approval for a second shed I'll be building next year with the same permit.

Middletown (author)JamesS1492016-09-05

kinda my point, this is a great small project, not a community center or event location whereas you encounter undue risks to your community. the threats from your local ordinances is ridiculous. Especially if you consider we as citizens have (had) property rights.

Regardless, this is a great project, glad you got your aspect of it cleared.

Bigwee (author)Middletown2016-06-11

I see you've recovered from your recent trip to Oregon.......

Middletown (author)Bigwee2016-09-05

Never been to Oregon, is it a nice place to visit?

MIKEY1776 (author)kandrplus62016-09-04

It has nothing to do with Govt. intervention, even though I totally agree with you on the ever expanding Big Brother. I'm glad kandr put that in there. Can you imagine a loved one or anybody especially a child getting hurt or blinded by a common oversight?

nutley (author)MIKEY17762016-09-04

Backyard burning isn't an anti-Big Brother, freedom thing, it's a smoke nuisance for others. If you want to cook a hamburger in the daylight that's okay, but when the sun goes down, burning is alcoholism.

Webuildwaterfalls (author)2016-09-04

Thats Nice!

Bowtie41 (author)2014-09-21

I'm not trying to name drop,but when it comes to augers,for what it costs to rent one,you can just about buy one from Harbor Freight(Sometimes cheaper thana rental !).And if you do like I did,and wait until it's on sale,and use a 20-25% coupon available nearly all the time,you will have it to use for other projects.I also got a different arbor that HF didn't carry on sale at Rural King.Hope this helps someone save some $$ :)

hodgepodgerama (author)Bowtie412014-09-21

Very good point. I spent way too much money renting an auger and probably could have bought one. I have bought tools in the past with the ideal of selling them on Craig's list when I'm done but most of those tools are in my attic or garage instead.

cfire (author)hodgepodgerama2014-09-22

buying tools as you need them (within reason) is a great way to build up a large tool inventory over time. My dad always said to buy cheap tools, and then replace the ones that break with quality tools. Saves money on tools you hardly ever use, gets you good tools for the ones you use a lot.

SeattleDeeVee (author)cfire2016-09-04

Watch Craigslist or Offer Up to look for tools!

Bowtie41 (author)hodgepodgerama2014-09-22

I guess I'm not that smart,lol.I was raised to never charge my friends and family to let them borrow stuff as long as they return them or help pay if they damage them.I've gotten stung a couple times,but then they get moved to the "naughty" list,and get cut off(kinda like Santa),lol.I'm definately not rich(disabled,and fixed income),but sleep better at night.I have 1 aquaintance(notice I didn't say "friend")who has actually charged(I found out after the fact), an old lady,something like $30 just to go out to her house and change a light bulb and fuse!Don't understand how he does it.He has lot's of money and brags about it constantly.Oh,well,if there is an afterlife,bet I'll be richer in the long run :-)

Bowtie41 (author)hodgepodgerama2014-09-21

Me too,but I'm a tool/equipment hoarder(6 car garage,4car garage,a 12x24,8x10 and (2)10x14 sheds,full,lol),so I didn't worry when I bought mine.How close are you to St. Louis,MO area?I'd be more than happy to clean your attic ;-) ?Just kidding.Showed wife the project awhile ago,I'm in trouble now,lol.Also,went to that swing site.Loved the bed swings!But at $475 a pop,Gonna make my own.Have a stack of white oak slabs stored in barn,so now I'm scanning Craigslist for a used thickness planer.Thank You again for sharing a wonderful project!

audreyobscura (author)Bowtie412014-09-21

a guy in my neighborhood was like you! he turned himself into a tool rental service for the rest of the hood - pretty smart.

cfuse (author)hodgepodgerama2014-09-21

There's no such thing as having too many tools.

SeattleDeeVee (author)2016-09-04

I want to make 2 or 3 sides with cinderblock benches, and attach the planks for the back of the benches to the posts.
Use boards for benchs but put batting on one side and staple a durable fabric over the batting to the underside.
Then attach to my fire pit hex, a rectangle area with picnic benches and partial latticed enclosure.
Somehow i want to make a slate or decorative edge around the fire pit for a "coffee table".
Put the round potted climbing plants on outside of the hex beams and dont plant in ground. Also hang sm string light around top of the hex.

Alexaluvu (author)2016-09-04

This is such an amazing DIY project! Thak you!

TexasGuy2003 (author)2016-07-01

Anyone know where to get the pre-bent steel connection plates? The steel plates so I can bolt the girders to the posts? I'd rather have these plates than just using deck screws to secure the girders.

The beams are secured to the posts using 1/2 inch x 8 inch lag bolts. The deck screws are only for pulling the beams tight and securing the crossbraces.

kev who (author)2016-01-20


buck2217 (author)2015-06-24

That is great-- pass the marshmallows

KRISTINLOGANREALTOR (author)2015-05-05

Would you mind listing the firepit dimensions or distance from the beams to the center and outter edges of the firepit? I plan to start this project this week. Thanks.

michelle.wolfe.946 (author)2015-04-09

Could you provide me with instructions on how to do this with hammocks?? How wide would each section be?? I would like to ve able to switch between swings and hammocks...thanks for any help!! Love the idea :)

MeganK2 (author)2015-03-23

I priced this whole project out online with the home depot (minus the chairs) and am sitting at $700, which is awesome. After looking at the site that was mentioned for the chairs - if you purchase 5 chairs w/ water seal you are looking at $950, 4 chairs = $760, 3 chairs = $570, 2 chairs = $380, 1 chair = $190. That is shipping to Virginia. If you do not want the water seal subtract $20 per chair!

mnmama (author)2014-09-19

Great idea, and beautifully done. The only thing I would add is climbing vines at each post, wisteria, rose, clematis, something nice and fragrant. Because your braces are still outside of the heat circle, they'll stay out of range of the heat, providing a little more shade, ambiance and fragrance to your lounge.

I want an invite! I'll bring cheese..... :)

hodgepodgerama (author)mnmama2014-09-20

That is an excellent idea! The only possible problem is that we are partially under the canopy of a black walnut tree. Black walnut roots secrete a toxin that kills off most other trees and bushes (which explains why the row of lilacs withers under the tree). Might not be an issue for shallow vines, though. I'll talk to my wife about it. Thanks!

slkidder (author)hodgepodgerama2015-03-20

We have black walnut trees all around our yard, one actually has a trumpet vine growing right up it, so I would say trumpet vines might be your best bet, plus the humming birds go nuts for them.

mnmama (author)hodgepodgerama2014-09-22

Yes, black walnut trees are tough on other plants, but they are pretty trees, and if you can deal with the mess, the nut meats are great eating!

DDW_OR (author)mnmama2014-09-21

Vines will build up dead layers after a few years. The house i purchased In AZ had Cat Claw Vines on the block fence 2 feet thick with dead and dry vines, only the outer part had life. if a passing car had tossed a lit cigarette butt into it...........

mnmama (author)DDW_OR2014-09-22

Something to consider. Here in Minnesota, most of the vines get cut back to new growth each year, some all the way to the ground, so build up isn't an issue.

Bowtie41 (author)mnmama2014-09-21

Great idea yourself!Perhaps add a say,12"(or more if headroom permits)ring of lattice around the top perimter.Already planning on adding to my build when I get a "''round tuit",lol

jcrawley (author)2014-09-22

You mentioned that you bought your hardware online, what site did you use? Did you order your lumber as well or did you get that locally? How much did you spend?

hodgepodgerama (author)jcrawley2014-09-22

I think I ordered the hangers from swing set mall online. They are 6" galvanized shaft-style hangers. I got all the lumber locally at Home Depot. I bought the springs locally as well as I wanted to be able to return them if I did not like them. By the time I was done, including the swings, I think I spent about $1200-$1300. I did not tally everything, though....

I am very interested in doing this bit I only want two swings and I will put my chairs and my own fire pit in there but I really want to know how much this cost? Is the any other way to make it budget friendly? Thank you and you did an amazing job!

bigtjd4 (author)2015-03-19

Does anyone know about how much this project costs.

jtjones73 (author)2014-09-19

Oh WOW!!! That is awesome, the only bad part about it is now I want one.

petejc (author)jtjones732015-03-14

You said that right. My kids used their swing set twice last year. Highly considering this!

marjoycek (author)2014-09-28

Beautiful! Great instructions. I can certainly see where you would use it year round.

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