HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN SWING?
The swing is one of the most popular pieces of play equipment on playgrounds as well as in your own garden. But not only children like to swing, many adults don't miss it when they have the opportunity to swing - to go back to childhood for a few minutes.
If you have your own garden and want to set up such a scaffold, the easiest option is to buy a ready-made one. But it is much nicer to build a swing and the scaffolding for the children yourself. However, this is not always the best option. In part, it is dangerous and involves a high level of risk.
That is needed
With a step-by-step guide you can easily build a swing yourself. It is beautiful in every garden and a great play opportunity, especially for the little ones. But in order to be able to start with the construction, a few materials are required.
Basically eye bolts, nuts, washers, snap hooks, ropes and round wood are required. How much of what you need always depends on the size of the swing.
ropes and fasteners
It is particularly important with such play equipment to pay attention to whether there are ropes and how they have to be attached. The classic wooden board has two rope suspensions on each side, the ropes can run parallel to each other or the suspension first forms a triangle and then merges into a middle rope.
A middle rope is not burdened by the pressure of holding and finding balance from the direction. A height adjustment is a lot easier with a rope construction with a triangle than with the parallel ropes.
However, the elastic swing board is an exception here, because it has only one suspension point and therefore only one rope. The stability comes from the flexible seat and the associated higher contact area.
Different swing boards
Wooden rocking board
Wooden swing boards are the classic when it comes to swings. Wood has its advantages and disadvantages. The main disadvantage is the vulnerability in terms of weather conditions. Snow, rain and frost in particular damage the board. So it is recommended, if you don't swing in winter, to store the board in a dry place and hang it back on the frame in spring.
The wood, on the other hand, has a great advantage on hot summer days. When the blazing sun shines on the board all day, the seats heat up quickly. The wood, on the other hand, keeps a comfortable temperature and you can sit down with short clothes without getting burned.
Wooden boards can also be loaded with a higher weight than other variants.
Plastic rocking board
If you buy a complete swing for the garden, in most cases the swing seat is made of plastic. These are robust and maintenance-free. They are also weather-resistant and do not need to be maintained or replaced.
The biggest disadvantage of plastic swing boards is the exposure to the sun. However, they are insensitive to storms and low temperatures. The color of the boards can fade over the years and they become porous over time.
Elastic swing boards
A resilient swing seat is a relatively common sight. These are made of flexible plastic and sometimes rubber. This type of swing seat adapts to the shape of the body and is characterized by its high load capacity.
Choose a suitable location
Before you start building such a device, you should find a suitable place for it. In contrast to other equipment, such as a sandbox or a gymnastics bar, a swing frame requires a lot of space.
Because in addition to the standing area, widths to the front and back for swinging must also be taken into account. The ground should be as soft as possible so that serious injuries do not occur in the event of a fall.
If you want, you can sow a lawn under the swing, but you won't enjoy it for long. Because when you brake with your feet on the ground, the earth is repeatedly stirred up and the lawn has no chance to grow in peace.
Here’s how it works – the individual steps
Build the frame:
For the swing frame, two of the round beams are now laid flat on the ground. Then the round bars are arranged one above the other in such a way that they cross each other. At the point where the two beams cross, they are connected to each other with a continuous threaded bolt.
The threaded bolt is secured on both sides with a washer and a nut. In order to additionally stabilize the V-shaped construction, a round beam is now placed on the two vertical pieces of wood and fastened with continuous threaded bolts, washers and nuts as before. The second side of the swing frame is now made in the same way.
Then it is the turn of the round beam that forms the crossbar. The suspension for the swing seat is attached here first. The distance between the two suspensions depends on the width of the seat.
As a rule of thumb, the distance should correspond to the width of the seat plus ten percent of the suspension height. However, the distance between the two suspension points must never be less than the width of the swing seat.
For a garden swing, a suspension should always be used that runs through the entire beam using threaded bolts and is screwed on the opposite side. Swing hooks that are only attached to the underside are not suitable for outdoor use.
When the hangers are mounted, the round beam is inserted into the upper crosses of the two side parts, mediated and screwed back to each vertical beam using bolts, washers and nuts.
The greatest danger that exists is that the scaffolding will not withstand the weight and forces. This is measured not only by the weight of the children but also by the thrust and centrifugal force when the weight is moved back and forth.
In addition, the whole thing should not only be measured for the weight of the little ones, but also in such a way that adults could also swing on the swing due to their weight. If you save on the scaffolding and the foundation, you have to expect that the entire scaffolding will collapse.
The putting up
To be on the safe side, the wooden feet are wrapped in steel mesh to protect them from rot. The holes are filled with precast concrete below the surface. Only now do you erect the entire frame and place it in the holes. A spirit level should be used to check whether the construction is standing straight in the concrete. The remaining height is later filled with loose gravel or sand.
The concrete has to harden for at least 24 hours - depending on the amount of sand, it can be much longer. Enough time to devote to the seat. Ready-made seats are available at hardware stores. The advantage: They are also TÜV-tested and only have to be attached to the chains or ropes.
A strong board that you drill through at its four corners is recommended for self-construction. Then you turn the key screws with steel ring ends in the holes and counter them from below with nuts. Next, connect the chains or ropes to the appropriate hooks on the seat.
You should calculate with costs of 40-60 euros for the round beam. A solid, ready-made swing board costs around €40 to €60. For the threaded bolts, washers and nuts you can expect costs of 40-50€. In addition, there are the costs for the gravel and the concrete, which can be estimated at around 60-120 euros, depending on the quantity required. For the wood protection paint you can calculate with costs of approx. 20-30€. Tear-resistant swing ropes cost about 15-20 euros in specialist shops. Alternatively, swing chains made of V2A stainless steel can also be used, which we deliver as standard with our swings.
In addition to the swing itself, a play tower or sand box can be added to make the scaffolding more diverse and to offer the children more play options.
The swing frame can also be anchored to the ground with special ground sockets that are concreted in. Anchoring with ground sockets has the advantage that the log does not have direct contact with the ground. Thus, the wood is not exposed to soil moisture.
If you want to build a swing yourself, you should also paint it with a suitable wood protection paint so that the posts are protected from rot. With the wood protection paint, it is advisable to ensure that it does not contain any toxic substances and is suitable for children's outdoor play equipment.
Larch is particularly suitable as a post, because it can be bought everywhere and does not have to be impregnated.