Rocking on a swing brings a feeling of unrivaled freedom. This summer, why not build your own wooden swing and enjoy this exhilarating family activity!
What you’ll need
– Wooden board, 5 cm x 20 cm x 60 cm (2 in x 8 in x 2 ft) (thickness x width x length) OR a 5 cm x 20 cm x 120 cm (2 in x 8 in x 4 ft) board sawed in two
– Durable rope (polyester, polypropylene, nylon, etc.) at least 1.25 cm (1/2 in) in diameter
(Note: always check the maximum weight supported by the rope, the best rope according to hanging method, uses, etc.)
– Exterior latex primer
– Exterior latex paint
– Exterior wood varnish, water-based
– Sandpaper (medium and fine)
– Drill and wood bits in various diameters (including a few of a smaller diameter than the rope)
– Recycled or unused wooden plank
– Stencil (optional)
1. At the renovation centre, have wooden board sawed into two seat boards of approximately 5 cm x 20 cm x 60 cm (2 in x 8 in x 2 ft) (the length may vary according to the desired seat size). You can also saw it yourself using a miter saw.
2. Mark the spots for rope holes at all four corners of the seat: plan them around 2.5 cm (1 in) away from the sides.
3. For greater stability when drilling and to reduce potential cracks, place seat (front side down) on an unused wooden plank and secure with clamps.
4. Drill 4 holes into the back of the seat, starting with a smaller diameter bit.
5. Gradually widen each hole using other bits, until you reach the required diameter.
6. With the medium sandpaper, then the fine one, sand the seat all over, paying special attention to the sides and rope holes.
7. Whether you wish to paint the whole seat or only decorate it with stripes and patterns (using masking tape or a stencil if needed), start by priming the painting surface. Dry according to the manufacturer’s directions, then apply paint.
8. If you choose to leave the seat bare (or only some sections), apply multiple, successive coats of water-based exterior varnish for wood (do not varnish painted areas) using a brush. Leave to dry completely between coats. Do not forget to carefully varnish inside all 4 holes.
9. Cut the rope into two lengths of approximately 76 cm (30 in) each. Thread the first rope through one of the holes, then make a simple or figure-of-eight knot under the seat to secure firmly in place. Thread the other end through the nearest hole (on the same side of the swing), then make another knot to firmly secure the resulting loop.
10. Using a double sheet bend or any other type of knot suited to the type of rope used, the hanging method and the intended use (ask for expert advice), attach each of the hoops to the rope to be tied to a tree or module.
11. Lightly burn the rope ends using a lighter or kitchen blowtorch to prevent unravelling (under adult supervision and in a well-ventilated area).
12. Attach the swing and… soar to the tree tops!
Note: Always check the maximum weight allowed by the rope and select the rope best suited to the hanging method and intended use (exterior, etc.). Regular inspections of the swing are recommended to ensure the equipment remains in good working order and to avoid breaks.
Recommendation: To prevent premature wear and tear, it is recommended to store the swing indoor during winter months and to reapply a coat of varnish on any bare wood twice a year.