Intro: Swing - Development and Prototyping
In this instructable I will show you how to make a swing.
There are a few things we need to conciser while making a swing.
- It has to be lightweighted (max 5kg)
- It needs to be portable
- It has to be easy to put on and take down
- It needs to fit on every branch.
Step 1: Make a Design
First of all we need a design for our swing.
How does it have to look like?
How many cords will it have?
How will you hold it up?
I chose for a normal multiplex plate. The only thing I did was adding some first generation curves. So no sharp corners on the swing.
The whole swing stays up because of two cords. They are attached to the wooden plate by splicing (more about that later) and a clamp.
Step 2: Find Your Materials and Tools
So making a swing looks easy, but it gets annoying if you need to run to the store 5 times for materials.
So here is a list of everything I used.
- mdf plate - 12mm
- multiplex plate: 12mm
=> my swing is 30x50mm
- 4 bolts (M6x50)
- 2 plastic clamps ( you can find it in sailing stores)
- 2 x 20m cord
- a router, with a bit of 4mm (so you can push the cord in it)
- drilling machine
- sanding paper
Step 3: Fit Up the Wooden Plate
Now that we have all our materials and tools we can start working.
The plate that I used is 30cm on 50cm.
1. I made the drawing on the wood. You can see a paper version in the pictures.
2. I drilled the holes for the cord to go around - but under - the plate.
3. Because the cords can still move, I made a slot at the bottom of the plate. It goes from one drilling hole to another and has the depth of the cord. By doing this the cord 'dissapears'. Just pay attention that you don't go to deep with the machine!
4. I marked the first two of 4 holes for the clamp. First drill one hole. Fix the clamp (temporary) and sign of where the second hole for the clamp has to come. In my first try the clamp moved a bit and the holes didn't fit.
5. Fix the clamps with the M6x50 bolts.
Step 4: Splicing the Cord
We have arrived at the most difficult part of the swing: splicing the cord.
Before you start doing this you need to figure out, out of how many strings your cord exists.
You have cords that have 3 - 4 - 5 lines. And that makes splicing more easy or difficult. I took 6mm cord with four strings.
Since this part is quite difficult, I'd recommend you to google it and look at the drawings there. Study them for a long time and try it out on a leftover of cord.
A tip to make it nicer in the end.
Burn the ends of your cord (if possible) so that they melt together. Not just to itself, but also to others.
Like that there is less chance that the splice will loosen at the top.
Next you can also add some fine cords around it to hide the burnmarks and to add fixation.
In my pictures it's the yellow cord.
Step 5: Adjusting the Cord to the Clamp
Once you got the cord over the branch you can adjust the hight of the swing.
It's pretty easy. You try out the knots that you want to use. You can turn it around the clamp or make one big knot through the hole in the clamp.
- just use a loop to connect the cord to the clamp and add some half hitches
- bowline (also with half hitches)
- use a fine cord to finish the splice
You can use one of the sailing knots.
The thing you do is making an 8 around the clamp. And once you reach the end, you turn the cord so that the end of the cord gets under the rest of the cord.
It goes fast, but you can see it in de video.
Step 6: Swing!
The last step is to swing and have fun!
Step 7: Transportation
Easy way to transport:
- roll up the cords in two piles
- twirl the cords around the wood