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How to build a wooden A-Frame swing set

Children love swing sets and can spend hours playing on them at parks and playgrounds. While metal sets can rust, get hot and cause burns, or even tip over, wooden sets can last for years and are considered safer. Having a wooden A-frame swing set in your backyard keeps your children active and lets them enjoy the outdoors without having to leave your house. With some basic tools, you can build your own beautiful wooden swing set in your backyard for your children to enjoy.

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  1. Clear a level, rectangular area in your backyard that will be big enough to fit the swing set.

  2. Cut the 50 mm by 100 mm by 300 mm (2 inch by 4 inch by 12 inch) board in half crosswise; you will use the halves later as support beams for the swing set's A-frame. Begin constructing the A-frame by cutting the 50 mm by 100 mm (2 inch by 4 inch) boards into two 900 mm (36 inch) long side braces and four 300 mm (12 inch) long top support braces with your hand saw.

  3. Cut the 2400 mm (8 foot) board into four pieces: two 900 mm (3 foot) pieces and two 300 mm (1 foot) pieces. The 900 mm (3 foot) pieces will form the angle braces that connect the A-frame to its crossbeam, and the 300 mm (1 foot) pieces will brace the top of the A-frame.

  4. Arrange the four 100 mm by 100 mm by 2400 mm (4 inch by 4 inch by 8 foot) boards into two A shapes, and use the lag bolts to join them together. Drill one of the 900 mm (3 foot) boards lengthwise at the bottom of the A-frame, so that it crosses the two legs and gives support. Drill one of the 300 mm (1 foot) boards lengthwise onto middle of the A-frame for support as well. Repeat on the other side.

  5. Have someone help you raise the frames so they are nine feet apart. Raise the 100 mm by 100 mm 4800 mm (4 inch by 4 inch by 16 foot) board up so that rests on top of the two A-frames and forms the crossbeam. Secure the board to the frames using metal A-frame brackets.

  6. Attach the braces using metal angle brackets positioned on the opposite side of the crossbeam and angled downwards so they connect with the top brace of the A-frame.

  7. Drill a hole 50 mm (2 inches) from the end of the crossbeam and a second hole 450 mm (18 inches) from that hole for the trapeze bars. Drill another hole 150 mm (6 inches) from each angle brace, and drill another two holes 450 mm (18 inches) from those. Finally, drill two holes 450 mm (18 inches) apart in the centre of the other two.

  8. Install the eye bolts and attach the trapeze bar and plastic swings to the crossbeam. You can adjust the height of the swings if desired. You can also apply wood varnish to protect your swing set from water damage.

  9. Tip

    Old tires can be bolted to the legs of the swing set to anchor it more securely to the ground.


    Remember to use safety equipment like gloves and eye protection when working with tools. NB All measurements in mm are approximate.

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Things You'll Need

  • 1x 50 mm by 100 mm by 300 mm (2 inch by 4 inch by 12 inch) pressure-treated board
  • 1x 50 mm by 100 mm 2400 mm (2 inch by 4 inch by 8 foot) pressure-treated board
  • 4x 100 mm by 100 mm by 2400 mm (4 inch by 4 inch by 8 foot) pressure-treated boards
  • 1x 100 mm by 100mm 4800 mm (4 inch by 4 inch by 16 foot) pressure-treated board
  • Hand saw
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • 8x 150 mm (6 inch) lag bolts with washers and nuts
  • 4x 200 mm (8 inch) lag bolts with washers and nuts
  • 6x 125 mm (5 inch) eye bolts with washers and nuts
  • 4x metal A-frame brackets
  • 2x metal angle brackets
  • 3x plastic swing seats and chains
  • 2x trapeze bars
  • Step ladder
  • Tape measure

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Dana Maris Buckley has recently begun her journalism career, pursing a master's degree in specialized arts journalism from the University of Southern California. She writes for "Neon Tommy," the online news publication of USC's Annenberg School of Journalism.

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