An eye bolt will keep your rope from rubbing the bark off of the tree and/or wearing through. It'll also make the swing much smoother.
A monkey's fist will give you a place to sit (or stand) while your swing. And, let's face it, it will look awesome.
Step 1: Step 1: Get your hardware
- 1x clevis shackle (a nice big one; mine was rated for something like 2000 lb)
- 1x eye bolt (long enough to go through the branch you've chosen)
- 1x regular nut
- 1x lock nut
- 2x washers
- My rope is nylon, about 30 feet long and about 1.5 inches thick. It cost me somewhere around $20.
- You need 10-15 feet of rope for the monkey's fist knot
- Thicker is better: no one wants to cut their hands on a thin rope, even if it's strong enough.
Step 2: Tie the Monkey's Fist
You can't judge exactly how long the rope will be once this knot is tied. If the rope is already hung, you'll probably end up with a knot that is too high or dragging the ground.
The concept is pretty simple. This link shows all you really need to know.
The execution is more difficult, especially with a big rope. The images above show my method.
Step 3: Get ready to attach to the tree
- washers and nuts on the eye bolt threads
- clevis shackle on the eye of the eye bolt
- rope looped through clevis shackle and tied in a knot (an overhand loop is easy and strong)