Introduction: Simple Pioneering - Build a Swing From Wood Poles!

About: Hi, I'm Tim. I work on the railways during the day, run a scout troop and have a blog (see above website link) where I discuss my allotment and projects!

In this simple pioneering project we are going to build a swing.  This particular swing is using 3.5 meter tanalised wooden poles.  I wouldn't recommend tanalised, but seasoned unstripped pine as this gives better grip and the tanalised poles can fracture with little warning when put under stress such as would be fine with seasoned pine poles.  Tanalised poles are much lighter as they've been pressure treated to remove moisture which is both a strength and a weakness as the water tends to give it more elasticity 

There are many different ways to build this sort of structure with different knots.  We've only used two knots and three types of lashings. 

The equipment you need is:

Six poles (3.5+) in length
Rope - we used seven x six foot lengths and various long bits to lash it to the tree and the metal fence post
Four large wooden tent pegs
A swing (though you could do with having a pre built one, you could also use a seventh short log.

Step 1: What You're Building

What you need, pioneering wise is two A-Frames.

A-Frames look like A's.

The top is joined by a Sheer Lashing and the bottom beam require two square lashings.  Both lashings are started off with a simple clove hitch.

Both lashing are simple.  I started off with demoing them, then let the scouts get in there.  This is the first time the scouts in the photos have probably tied them.  They're not perfect, but they held up and it's practice, practice, practice!

Step 2: A-Frames

Our A-Frames are now complete.  You need two, and they're the basis of many pioneering models.  The triangulation of the poles gives fantastic strength which you can build catapults, bridges, swings etc out of.

Step 3: Bring the A-Frames Together

Both A-frames should rest together at an angle.  The higher the angle, the less area available to swing.

The top needs to be lashed together and we used a figure of eight lashing.

Step 4: Guy Lines

we lashed both the a-frames to a tree and a fence post.  You could build a three-two-one or similar sort of anchor if you need to, alternatively if you're looking for quick and easy, choose a site with two trees nearby!

Step 5: Attaching the Swing

you could literally just have a single bit of thick rope with a knot on the end for kids to swing, or use a reclaimed swing like ours.  I'm afraid we didn't have pics of it going on, but it was kind of cobbled together.

Enjoy your swing!