Introduction: Wooden Indoor Swing
Made from cherry, hard maple and bloodwood this wooden indoor swing adds a bit of fun to a casual sitting room!
I love the way the swing came out, and the rope splice as well! So far everyone in our house has had a turn on the new addition to our rec room.
Step 1: Preparing Your Stock
The wood I chose for this project was cherry, that was reclaimed from some old furniture, maple that I had from another project and some bloodwood for a splash of color.
I love the way bloodwood looks, but it is an extremely hard wood to work with. It is very dense and dulls blades and bits fairly quickly.
Each piece of lumber was planed down to 3/4" thick and then ripped to 3 1/2" wide on the table saw. After that I crosscut each piece down to 12" in length.
Step 2: Design Choices
I played with the layout on these boards for some time, but finally came up with a pattern I liked. Now the total width of the swing will be about 25" and it will measure 12" deep. It is comfortable for all members of the family and since the boards are quite wide there is no "pinching" effect.
Once that decision was made, I could continue with the woodworking.
I used a 1/2" brad point bit to drill out a hole 7/8" from the outside edge. This leaves 1/4" walls and is more that secure for the swing.
Next, I rounded over all the edges (except by the hole) with a 1/8" round over bit in my router table. I adds a nice finished edge to the pieces and further help with any possible rumpus pinching.
Last thing to do was a few coats of spray lacquer for protection. There are three coats here and I sanded lightly between each coat with 400 grit paper.
Step 3: Assembly and Back Splicing
The rope I chose was 1/2 braided rope rated for a 500lb load. It seemed more than up to the task at hand.
I used a piece of duct tape wrapped around the end to act as my pull for threading the rope. I had toyed with the idea of adding spacers between each plank but think I'm much happier with the solid look.
After all the planks were assembled, I just needed a way to secure the rope to the ceiling.
I decided on a back splice. This would end up making my rope into a solid loop. The idea is simple enough:
- Determine to rope length you need
- Unwind the end or each end exposing the 3 separate braids
- Weave those ends back into the oppose side of the rope
The process was fairly simple after I found a video online demonstrating the technique. I've been told 3-5 weaves is more than sufficient. I went with 7 as I believe in overkill. The rope splice is quite strong and I no worries about it coming loose.
Step 4: Hanging and Use
For hanging, I have exposed rafters in my glassed in patio room. I bought heavy duty eye bolts and quick links. The eye bolts are rated for 350lbs and the quick links are rated for over 1700lbs. Since each side is only holding up half the load this seems more than sufficient for me.
I'm sure there are better methods, and I might have to explore them in the future. As for right now it seems strong and my swing is holding up well.
And my kids have been fighting over who gets to swing next. Sigh, I suppose I can take that as a compliment....