How to build a wooden swing

Written by jonah morrissey
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How to build a wooden swing
There are many varieties of wooden tree swings. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Wooden swings are classic projects for homeowners with children. A wooden swing can have a rectangular or a circular seat. It's up to the preferences of the builder and the child. The principles are the same, no matter the seat shape. A wooden swing is mounted to a tree or other sturdy overhead structure. Traditionally, these swings are mounted to a large tree limb.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Hardwood plywood panel, 3/4-by-16-by-16-inch
  • Compass
  • Jigsaw
  • Router
  • 1/4-inch round-over bit
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • 1-inch drill bit
  • Drill
  • Wood finish
  • Paintbrush
  • 3/8-inch drill bit
  • 3/8-inch eye bolt, washer and nut
  • Adjustable wrench
  • 3/4-inch braided rope
  • Swivel eye bolt snap

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  1. 1

    Place a 16-by-16-inch plywood panel flat on a work surface. Draw a 16-inch diameter circle with a compass onto the plywood.

  2. 2

    Cut the circle out using a jigsaw. This is the swing's seat.

  3. 3

    Rout around the outside edge of the seat using a 1/4-inch round-over bit. Rout both the top and bottom edges of the seat. This creates smooth, rounded edges for children to sit on.

  4. 4

    Drill a 1-inch hole through the centre of the seat. This is for the rope.

  5. 5

    Sand around the seat's outside edge and centre hole with fine grit sandpaper until the seat is completely smooth.

  6. 6

    Apply a wood finish to the seat. Allow the finish to dry before you continue.

  7. 7

    Drill a 3/8-inch hole through the tree limb so the hole is perpendicular to the ground. This is the hole for the eye bolt.

  8. 8

    Slide the eye bolt through the bottom of the hole in the limb. Place the washer over the bolt. Tighten the nut in place.

  9. 9

    Tie one end of the rope to the swivel eye bolt snap. Clip the snap to the eye bolt. Thread the opposite end of the rope through the hole in the top of the seat. Pull the rope through, and hold the swing seat at the level you'd like it positioned above the ground. Tie a knot in the rope at the bottom of the seat.

Tips and warnings

  • Add wood chips below the swing to provide a cushioned area.
  • Wear eye protection when working with wood.
  • Apply wood finish in a well-ventilated area.

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