I am a first year student product design at the college university of West-Flanders in Belgium, the Howest. In the course Design & prototype we got the exersice to make a mobile swing. One you can take with you everywhere.
There was only one condition! There was a max weight of 5kg for the swing and all attributes I needed to swing. Mine was about 1.7kg.
My idea went to the bike rack, I thought what if you where mountainbiking and after an hour or 2 you wanted to rest but not on your bike or on the ground, so I thought it would be nice if you where able to swing on a branch of a tree.
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Step 1: All What You Need From Materials to Tools!
Materials!:- Obviously a bike with a matching rack
- Wooden plank big enough to be able to cut the size of a beer crate (handy if you need to buy some beer in the store!) the kind of wood is your own choice but keep in mind to take strong enough wood. I took multiplex from 12mm
- Strong rope and long enough, I like big trees so I used a rope of 20m
- ca. 10x Screws from 10mm
- ca. 10x roundels the innerØ has to be smaller than the screw diameter
- A metal stroke bought with holes for the screws
- Strong aluminium plate from at least 10x10mm
- 2 Butterfly nuts for the axle to connect the rack
- 1 carabiner
Tools!: - beltsaw > buzz saw > normale saw
- Drill with a bore of the Ø from the rope
- Sandpaper for the details
- Fire to burn the end of the rope so it won't go all fluffy!
- A ruler
- A small alcohol marker to make notes on the aluminium
- A pencil to make notes on the wood
Step 2: Making the Seat
First I searched for the format of a crate beer.
So I cutted a wooden plank out from the big one with a format of 30.5cm x 50cm.
Second I draw the leg spaces on it, for this I didn't used a ruler but measured it by sitting on the plank and draw a line under my leg to be sure it is on a comfortable place.
Cut it out but do it in hooks so you don't have to go in detail with your saw (kind of hard to get in detail with a saw), saw as close that you can against the drawn line.
After that you use the sander to get a smooth surface and use sandpaper to go in detail.
The last things for the seat are the holes needed to be make because of the rope who needs to fit in. Use diameter of your rope. Make the holes in the corners of the seat be sure they are at the same height right and left. Otherwise your swing will go wigglewiggle
Step 3: Strengthen the Connection Betwoon Rack and Bike (extra)
This is extra I'll be using. I wanted to be sure my rack could carry people when I'm riding the bike.
This L-profile seems to be weak in my eyes due it's made for only bagage and a max wait of 30kg zo I wanted to be able to carry much more weight. So with this triangle profile it looked much stronger.
I used a aluminium plate and measured how big it has to be and where the holes had to come. I put the plate above the L-profile and drawed a stip in the holes on the plate. I measured the Ø of the bolts and made a hole of this Ø in the plate.
Step 4: Combining the Seat With the Rack!
First we gonna draw at the underside the place where the rack has to come. To be sure the rack will be in the middle of the plank we're gonna use the ruler. Measure it carefully to be sure it's in the middle of the plank.
Now we're going to place the seat on the rack. For that you can have different options, if the upper part of the rack is flat without an "going up" at the and like I have you can make the plank stick out a bit at the rear end. If you do have an "going up" at the end of the rack you have to place it just before the going up. But if that's the situation you'll have to cut a small stroke out of the middle at the beginning of the plank, this has to go aside the saddle bar. Also be sure to put 2 extra small planks at the bottom of the plank so it woudn't lose it's stability. Or you can choose to adjust the length of your plank => the crate beer won't fit anymore :'(
To attach the rack to the plank I used this metal stroke you can see in the pictures. One on the left side, one on the right side and one on the top. Warning!! if you used wood that is a little pliable then the screws will probably beign torn out of the wood, so be sure to use strong wood
Step 5: Adding the Rope and Use the Swing Properly
To add the rope to the swing we need 1 carabiner
Make a loop at the end of the rope by making a knot like you can see on the picture, this loop is to attach the carabiner. Then make another loop a little bit hight than the first loop.
Now how to hang the swing in the tree: I used 2 carabiners at the end of the rope to make some weight and be sure I'll be able to throw the rope high enough. (I used a tree from 6 to 7 meters high)
Now, when the rope is over the branch pull the carabiner through the first loop you made and attach the carabiner to the second loop
Now the other end of the rope, untill now there's nothing happend with it, so take the rope and tie it to the other loop from the seat (on the other side of the carabiner). The height of your swing is being decided by the height of the branch and how high you want to be haging above the ground.
Adjust the seat so you'll have a straight hanging swing!