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So you're not satisfied with a skinny rope, a granny-knot, and a branch that wouldn't hold a squirrel? Learn to do it the right way.

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

For about $15 at Home Depot or Lowes, you can get:
  • 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
If you don't already have a rope, get one while you're at the hardware store.
  • 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.
<p>How can you drill a hole in a living tree? There are so many ways to do otherwise without damaging the tree! Unconscious and ridiculous !</p>
A double figure 8 knot would be even more secure, easier on the rope and even easier to take apart should the need arise. Either way, it's awesome!
thanks!
<p>This tree in style with many of the tree huggers that have tatoos of piercings. Maybe this fellow in in tune with what his tree requested, get off the anthropomorphic idiocy and enjoy. How many trees and other <strong>plants</strong> had to die for each of you to have lived this long </p>
<p>Great job selecting a forged eye bolt instead of a bent one! One thing to consider is the addition of what we refer to in the theatrical industry as &quot;mousing&quot;. Essentially running a zip tie or bailing wire through the shackle pin to prevent it from loosening over time. </p><p>Don't worry about all the complaints about the tree. You did nothing to harm it. </p>
Thanks (and good suggestion on the &quot;mousing&quot;)!
*sigh*. Guys, its just a tree! Also, it doesnt damage the tree. If you had just tied it the tree would have grown around the rope. Trees don't have a nervous system or a brain. So they cant feel pain
<p>There is no excuse to show such disrespect for a living thing, even if &quot;it's just a tree.&quot;</p><p>....and even less excuse to disrespect something that help make the very thing that you need to live.</p><p>As I said, a good Instructable on how to make a thing...not so good as to how to put it to use, there are better ways.</p>
<p>Stop trying to justify a dumb approach You can attach to the tree with an expandable system which makes little if any imposition on the tree. You stuff up own up and fix up</p>
<p>Nice instructble on how to make a knot and an even one on how to damage a tree. If you think this doesn't damage the tree limb then spend the rest of your life with a thick steel rod sticking out either side of your leg. </p>
I think it would damage me to spend the rest of my life half buried in the ground, too. Fortunately, I'm not a tree :)
<p>Galvanized metals are dangerous for plants. If you're going to do this, spend the money on stainless steel so you don't inadvertantly kill your tree or make it very sick.</p>
3 years later: so far so good. The tree and branch are both super healthy.
How dare you damage a tree in this way, that is really really unnecessary. I am, it would appear others are too, shocked by this vandalism.
<p>Ah'm shocked and I insist the EPA be brought into this...how dare a pvt citizen drill a hole through his own tree w/o gummint permit ?! Seriously, a good job and post.</p>
Thanks!
Bravo for scathing this unworthy scalawag. It's going to confuse all the poor squirrels too.
Yes they will get confused about the nuts!
<p>geesh..... bravo to all who came to the rescue of Solobo. </p><p>I know it's 3 years old, but : Nice instructable! The monkey fist is a beautiful knot, the swing is awesome and well executed!</p><p>Anyone prone to a coronary about drilling a hole in a live tree should take a moment to just swing on your creation and lower their blood pressure. I 'fixed' a young Japanese Maple similarly after an overzealous 8 year old vigorously climbed it and split the narrow crotch almost 2 feet down to the root ball. I drilled the trunk, screwed it together with-3- 3 inch brass screws and never thought of it again. To this day the tree is healed, healthy, much larger, beautiful, and there is no sign of the repair visible. And oh.... almost forgot - the overzealous 8 year old is now working on his Master's degree.</p>
Thanks!
<p>hello,</p><p>heartbroken to see a such good idea hurting the tree. :(</p>
There are only a few cases where a tree is damaged to repair it. Drilling cables through a split branch to repair it is mostly used for aesthetic reasons and when you're on a tight budget. In a few exceptions it can help keep the branch alive for a little longer. Drilling through a branch is a serious injury and will weaken it. <br>The 'swallowing' or growing around a farmers fence is an entirely different thing. At least to the tree. Like growing skin over a wound, it takes ages. That's the speed of trees from ahuman perspective. <br> <br>Old bike tires help prevent ropes wearing into a branch. You can either pull the rope through the tube or you can unfold the tire mantle and wrap it around the branch where you want to strap the rope over it.
No matter how hard I try I can't do it right
That was an amazingly written article! I am extremely excited to make this myself. <br>Thank you! <br>:D
you did a good job the eye bolt is a excellent idea,that's the way the tree people cable branches that are weak till the tree grows more.it doesn't hurt the branch much less damage the tree.the one thing I would do is put a tie wire through the hole in the clevis pin to the u part they have a way of coming lose
good idea
Well done sir, how did you get up into the tree... Climb or Ladder?
I climbed, just because I didn't have a ladder.
I don't have a convenient tree, but was able to put the monkey knot to good use on a light fixture string. Thanks!!
A tree will &quot;skin&quot; over a wound almost immediately. This bold will have no effect on it's health. Anyone who has seen an old farmer fence with a tree grown right over it knows this.
I used to work for a tree company and the way they would reinforce two branches from splitting apart is by drilling through the branches and attaching cables to pull it together. Very similar to how it's done here. He would also cut the bark away under the washer so it would be directly on wood.. Anyways my point is they were certified arborists.
I just love swings! You did an awesome job with yours! I love that you also did so much research before even attaching it to the tree. Nicely done :)

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