Step 1: The Nuts and Bolts
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There's not much to it. If you want to copy my design, you'll need:
8'-foot 2x4s (x9)
6" long ½" bolts (x12) with nuts (x12) and washers (x24)
Simpson Strongtie End Post Cap LCE4 (x4)
Simpson Strongtie Tie Plate (x8)
Simpson Strongtie Shelf Bracket CF-R (x2)
Nails for Strongties
3" Wood screws
A hammer, drill, and saw.
Step 2: Build the End Posts
- 4ft-pieces of lumber (x2)
- 2ft pieces with 45-degree angled ends (x6)
- 3ft pieces (x4)
Take a look at the photos to see how it all fits together.
Step 3: Drill Holes and Assemble
I think the easiest way to drill the holes is to line up your lumber and clamp it together, then drill through multiple 2x4s at one time. Even if your measurements aren't perfect or the holes are askew, at least the bolt will fit through smoothly, which is what's important. I discovered this technique halfway through construction, so some of my beams did not line up perfectly.
When you're finished drilling, keep the clamps in place and insert the bolts. Be sure to use washers on both ends of the bolt. I used a mallet to pound the bolts in, which helped speed up the process.
If you need to take the bolts out, don't make my mistake of hammering them out from the threaded end - I ended up ruining several bolts by hammering the threads away, making it impossible to screw the nut on.
View the photos to see where I drilled the holes.
Step 4: Setup Your Slackline
Here's how I set up my line with just 3 carabiners and an O-ring:
Step 5: Improvement Ideas and Tips
- Reduce the cost of the project by finding a more efficient design. The Strongties ate up a lot of my budget! Buying many bolts is also costly, so using them more efficiently is worth thinking about. Salvaging or buying bargain lumber for the non-load-bearing elements will reduce the cost even further.
- You could try using three more 2x4s to make the structure 8' longer. I think the structure is strong enough to support a longer line, but the end posts will lift up off of the ground more. This could be solved simply by adding bigger feet to the end posts or weighing it down with sandbags.
- Make the end posts taller. When you're not using the slackline, it could be used as a clotheline, or you could hang a hammock from it.
- Paint the wood with a heavy duty exterior paint or outdoor finish.
- I undo the line at the end of each day after I'm finished slacklining. I believe this will increase the structure's longevity, and you'll also become a pro at setting up slacklines. The anchors and linelocker don't need to be undone each time the line is setup.
- Protect the structure from weather. Mine is kept in an area that receives only a few hours of direct sun, and when it rains I throw a couple of tarps over the whole thing.
- Don't move the structure while the line is under tension.
- If you're a beginner, learn to slackline over sand, grass, or padding. A beam of lumber and bolts isn't ideal :P