Hi people! I'm Lauren, and I'm a student product design at Howest. They gave my the challange to built a swing from scratch. Mission: a swing you can use everywhere, without doing weird maneuvers. I chose for simplicity: it's not complicated to make and you don't have to spend a fortune on expensive materials. Follow the steps below, and you can built a swing too!
If you're interested in my complete experience, you can always visit my blog: http://deraedtlaurenswing.blogspot.be/
Step 1: Choose Good Material
It all starts with choosing the right material. To be sure my swing would be solid, I picked a wooden seating. Off course you're free to select whatever you want, some plastic materials can be strong enough too. For the rope, I bought a polyamid one in the nearby DIY-shop. The lenght was 15 meters, but I used only 9 meters of it. Also needed is a carabiner, I prefered a metal one with an additional closure to prevent it from clicking open. For everything togheter I paid less than 15 euros, which means this is significantly cheaper than buying a ready-to-go swing in the store.
Step 2: The Seating
The seating is the most difficult part, because you have to use some electrical machinery. To create a perfect circle, I used a sander (picture 2). It also ensures that the swing has no sharp edges. To make a hole in the middle, I used a drill of 10 mm (picture 3 and 4), just big enough for the rope to pull through. To finish, I made a heavy knot in the rope to make sure the seating doesn't slide.
Step 3: Loops in the Rope
Not every tree is the same size, so I searched for a technique to adapt the swing to the right height. Solution: a loop you can easily tie, and tie again if the height isn't quite good, but it still stays strong for a long time. Many climbers use it too, because you can tie it anywhere you want in a piece of rope. In dutch it's called 'middenmansknoop', same for Butterfly loop in English.
Step 4: Ending of the Rope
To make sure that you actually can swing, I choose a carabin to attach at the Butterfly loop I made earlier in the rope. If you lashed up the carabiner at the end of the rope, the only thing you need to do now is to throw the rope over the branch, and attach it to the Butterfly loop.
Step 5: Convenient to Carry
Because it's not always easy to take a swing to the parc, I made sure this swing fits just perfect in the average backpack. It also weighs less than 3,5 pounds (1,6 kilo). So if you go by bike or by foot, you can always take your swing with you!
Step 6: Final Test!
As I showed you guys, it's very easy to built a swing from scratch. But you can never be completely sure unless you try it! So I went to the parc nearby my school to test my swing: as you can see on the pictures, it works!
Step 7: Finishing Touch
Because not every rope is that beautiful, here is something you can do at home to give it a finishing touch. I bought an aerosol spray in light green to give you an example. Off course you can be again completely free here. Be creative and use your imagination!