Not finding anything I liked as far as tree swings go, I decided to create and build my own for my grand daughter. It was a huge hit when I shared it on my Facebook profile and so I thought I would share it with you. If you are going to make it yourself, I am more than happy to help you along the way if you have questions! Thanks for looking!
Time: 5 Hours Cost: $60 Difficulty: Easy
my grand daughter was really excited about the flower tree swing! The one in this picture is 29" diameter. Although, it's a great size, I am making all the swings now at 36" diameter. Seems like the perfect size. Plenty of space for more than one rider or for laying down and watching the clouds go by!
I use a really heavy duty but soft 5/8" rope and carabiner, and metal rings to assemble. I'm not a huge fan of rope that is scratchy for small hands. I really like the strength and feel of this one. Available at the big box stores for about .70 /foot.
This was a custom order for a smiling face swing. My grand daughter was happy to model and try it out for me!
The latest design....I think I might call it 'dream spinner' reminds me of a orange dream popsicle and a dream catcher.... with an element of Dr.Seuss thrown in the mix.
I've got a lot of tools in the shop that make production faster and easier for me but all these tools are not necessary or needed to make one! First I like to cut sheet goods down to a manageable size. I cut a 3/4" piece of plywood to 37" x 37". I used an basic cabinet grade plywood...no need for expensive veneer finish as it will be painted but better made than A/C/X or chipboard or particle board.
I made a compass out of some scrap wood to make a 36" circle. You could also measure from the center of the board with LOTS of hash marks at 36" and connect the dots to get a circle.
I draw layout lines prior to cutting out the circle. These lines are for hole placement for the ropes and my center pin. It's also a good idea to have layout lines for a special design you are thinking about doing if needed. Easier to do on a square than a circle. You will not need a center pin if you are going to cut this out with a jig saw.
I use that center hole in the tree swing platform and a jig on the bandsaw to make perfect circles. I cut off the corners with a jig saw to have enough room on the bandsaw to make this cut but you could cut the entire thing out with the jigsaw. I use the bandsaw as it is quick and easy and makes perfect circles.
Top view of layout lines and holes. I use a forstner bit instead of a spade bit for cleaner holes but either will work and a spade bit is a little less expensive. Remember to place a piece of scrap wood under the plywood to avoid blow out from drilling...as you will see below where I forgot and I will show you how to fix this.
Cutting out the circle on the bandsaw. A jig saw will work also. Just cut to about 1/16th of an inch from the outside of the line and sand to the line for a nice smooth circle.
On this one, I will not be putting it on my 'spinner' so I get rid of the hole by gluing in a dowel that matches the hole size. The dowel can be cut flush easily with a Japanese hand saw or my favorite...Fein oscillating tool.
Love this filler. I would recommend it for any oops and also to fill in any scratches on the surface of the plywood or also to fill in voids in the edge of the plywood.
For a 3/4" thick seat, I use a 3/8" round over bit on both sides for a nice finish. Also sand really well so that little hands and fingers don't get splinters.
Me with one of my favorite tools! It is really used almost daily and for so many things. It's my 'go-to' tool for sure. To finish the swing, paint and COMPLETELY cover with an exterior urethane. I use a water base as it works nicely and cleans up easily. The oil based ones tend to want to 'soak' in more and take longer to dry. It your swing is painted, you want a urethane that is happy to sit on top and dry fast. Use at least 3 applications of sealer on top, bottom, and edges. Sand LIGHTLY with 320 grit sandpaper between coats. Insert 5' of rope in each hole and use tight knots underneath and fasten the other end of the rope to a heavy duty metal ring and then those to the carabiner. whew! Easy Peasy!
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