For some reason, this weekend just seems like a weekend for swings…
I got my new 3Doodler pen yesterday, and “drew” a swing. Today, I’m sitting at Maui Makers admiring my swing and thinking about making a bigger one. On my way to grab the pen, my eyes spotted the Box of Strawbees from Instructables. My first attempt had been making standard geometric shapes, and that quite frankly didn’t last very long. But the swing was on my mind. Hmm...swing. How would you make a swing out of Strawbees? Let’s give it a try…
Step 1: Assemble Your Materials
8 inch drinking straws:
Actually, more like approximately 8 inch drinking straws. Apparently these are not a precision building material. If it matters, get your scissors out…
Strawbees Crazy Scientist Kit:
You don’t really need this many, but you know you like the name! Now that you’ve gone overkill and assembled enough building materials to build a life-size swing, we’re going to build a small one, so take out the following parts:
- 5 Eight inch straws
- 2 Four inch straws
- Strawbees shown in photo.
Note: Four inch straws make a pretty low swing, you might want to try something shorter. Experiment to get the right height.
Step 2: Assemble the Legs
A quick search indicates that these might be called “swing beam legs”. Whatever you call them, these are the triangles on the end that hold the “swing bar” that holds the “swing”. Nice, uncomplicated naming conventions…
Grab the 8" Straws. Insert the Strawbee with the hole on the end into the straws as shown.
Step 3: Attach the 2 Legs Together
Note: I find that if you tilt the Strawbee as shown, it goes in easier. If it’s too hard to push through both holes, seperate the pieces and push through one hole at a time. You will end up with a swiveling triangle as shown.
Build another Swing Beam Leg exactly the same way.
Step 4: Assemble the Crossbars
I wanted my Cross Bars to be moveable and for the structure to be easy to disassemble, so this part only uses Strawbees, no straws.
Attach the round Lock piece to one end of the Strawbee as shown. Not only is this a useful building part, it also looks like a cowboy with sunglasses, or maybe I’m just imagining things…
Push another Strawbee through the Lock piece, and finally, put a lock on the other end. Make another set. You should now have two since one plus one equals two.
Step 5: Assemble the Swing Frame
Slide the Cross Bar from Step 3 up the bottom of one set of Legs from Step 2, as shown. Now you’re ready to finish the frame. Your remaining 8 inch straw will be the “Swing Beam”. Take it and push it through the hole in the center of the cross bar as shown. Make sure it goes in between the Legs (it should have a straw on either side).
Attach the remaining pair of legs to create a complete frame as shown.
Now for an important technique, squeeze each end of the Swing Beam straw as shown.
Pinch really hard until you bend the straw flat. This will keep the legs on...otherwise they’ll slide right off. Also, keep in mind that you still have to put the swing on, so you will be taking the frame apart to do that. The other thing that you want to do is angle the top of the legs towards the center of the beam and angle the legs away from the center as shown. (Do not bend the straws when you do this!) This will make the structure more stable. Slide the Cross Bars up and down until you get a stable structure. This is the frame.
Step 6: Assemble the Swing and Finish
Now, grab the 4" straws and these Strawbees. Push a Strawbee into the end of Important step if you want the swing to be straight. Pinch the non-Strawbee end of the straw flat to match the Strawbee end as shown. This will make it easier to align the Strawbee when you push it in the other end. The push the Strawbee in to make the “swingy” part of the Your double-ended Strawbee will make the Seat of the swing. Assemble these parts like this.
Now take off one of the legs and slide the Seat assembly on as shown. Adjust the Swing Frame to make it stable. Happy Swinging.
Step 7: Thank You!
Maui Makers would like to thank Instructables and Strawbees for providing this fun toy! The grown-ups and kids alike really enjoyed the May Build Nights - and we look forward to many more. Our thanks also goes to Laura Ulibarri for designing and modeling the Strawbees Swing!