Introduction: How to DIY a Simple Tree Swing

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A tree swing has never appeared in my childhood nostalgia. And I've never thought of building one until my wife and I moved into a house with a chiku tree in the garden. It has a strong branch which is just nice to tie a swing to it. We're very excited about the idea but unfortunately I'd never have free time to work it out until 5 months later. Haha...what a delay!

Okay, this is a simple tree swing which is really easy to build, even if you don't have any hardware tool at home like me.

Step 1: What's the Plan?

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I drew the tree swing I have in mind on the whiteboard.

Step 2: Get the Materials

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I got all I need to build this tree swing at a hardware shop near my house. The boss recommended the braided manila rope and surface finished chengal wood as the base.

Manila rope is very durable and is usually used for fishing net and scouting rope. Chengal is a kind of hardwood tree found in Southeast Asia, especially in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. This is the wikipedia entry about chengal tree in Malay. Can't find one in English. May be you can use Google Translate if you wish to read it.

Besides helping me to cut the chengal plank into the size I want (Dimension = 24" x 10" x 1 5/8"), they also helped me to drill the 4 holes (Diameter = 6/8") at the corners of the wood for the rope to pass through.

So at the end of my hardware shopping trip, I got these:
1. chengal wood = 24" x 10" x 1 5/8" (which is surface finished & drilled)
2. braided manila rope = 1kg (for 8 ft. tall branch)

Step 3: Put on the Seat

Picture of Put on the Seat

The branch is less than 8 ft. tall so I can reach it even without stepping on a stool. I make the rope round two laps on the branch. Since the wood (seat) will be hung at 20 inch above the ground. So make sure both ends of the rope touch the ground so that there's enough length to tie the knots later.

When the length is confirmed, cut the manila rope using a pen-knife. I'm surprised by how easy it is to cut it.

Then do the same to the other side of the swing rope.

Step 4: Put on the Seat (wood)

Picture of Put on the Seat (wood)

To prevent the ends of the rope from fraying, wrap the ends with tape. It makes it much easier to be pushed through the holes at the corners of the wood. 

Tie knots at all the ends of the rope at the desired height - mine is 20" above the ground.

Step 5: Enjoy Your Tree Swing!

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tigerbomb8 (author)2011-05-18

i used olive 550 paracord instead of rope.
it is water and UV resistant

kiate (author)tigerbomb82011-05-18

Ooo..never know there's such thing. Thanks for your info!

tigerbomb8 (author)kiate2011-05-18

FYI with the 550 paracord the 550 is it's breaking strength (in pounds)

kiate (author)tigerbomb82011-05-18

550 pounds! That's more than 4X of my weight...Haha

tigerbomb8 (author)kiate2011-05-18

that is why it is used for parachutes

Kiteman (author)2011-05-15

That's a nice swing, and such a helpful hardware store!

kiate (author)Kiteman2011-05-15

Yup! I don't need to do anything other than to tie the swing to the branch, which can be done in less than half an hour.

splazem (author)2011-05-15

Very cool.

kiate (author)splazem2011-05-15

Thanks man!

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