The Anatomy Of A Swing Set

Not sure what’s in a swing set? This graphic should help you. Read the explanations under it for more information:

  • The cushion is used to cover the swing set and protect you from sunlight and rain. Not all swings have cushions. It’s used most often in canopy swing sets.
  • A top beam is very important for every wooden swing set. It supports the swinging seat and should be very robust and well fixed.
  • The swing set on this picture is based on the popular construction called A-Frame. There are other frame types too but most of them are more complex.
  • The support brace fixes the A frame and ensures stability of the entire swing set.
  • Thick and robust ropes or chains connect the swing seat to the beam at the top.
  • The swing seats┬ácan be of many types. Some swings have canopies, other just simple wooden or metal bench, or single seats.
  • Having armrest is completely ooptional, but most swing seats do have backs for safety.
  • Most swing sets are installed right on the ground but if the soil is too soft you may need to build a concrete foundation. Otherwise see how to anchor a swing set.
The picture shows a basic swing set without accessories. There are many things that you can add to your outdoor swing and many different types of swing set. The anatomy of most should be fairly close to the one on this drawing.

How To Build a Metal Swing Set

I know the introductory article on building a swing set was a bit too general so you are unlikely to go much further without additional resources. Well, here is one – in this tutorial we’ll see how you can build a metal swing set.

This is a bit unusual, as most DIY fans would build a wooden one. But metal swing sets have their advantages, and best of all, this one can be built really cheap – perhaps $20 or $30 can do the work for you.

So What Kind Of Metal Swing Are We Building Here?

This will be a swing that’s most appropriate for indoor usage. It will have an upper support bolt, a center leg with support bolt, and tripod support bar.

Here’s what you will need for it:

  • 3 1-inch thick, 8 feet long steel or aluminum conduit pipes
  • 1 long bolt (for upper support, so it should be long enough to go through 3 pipes) and 3 other bolts.
  • Eye bolts
  • Nuts

Snow And Swing
Well, our metal swing is more appropriate for indoor usage, but who knows

Let’s Work

You will need to cut these pipes. Here are some ways to do it.

1. Cut 3 2-ft pieces for braces and upper support. File the ends where the pipes are cut to ensure there will be no sharp places. The rest (longer) parts of the 3 pipes will be your outer and center legs (perhaps they will be around 8 feet long each)

2. Now you’ll need a pipe-bender. The 3 cut pipes need to be bended at 30 degrees to form the top of the swing set where will be the support bolts and the tripod.

3. You will have to connect the 3 pipes with a bolt.

The first outer leg should be drilled in the center of the pipe, half-way before the bend, which means about 1.5″ from the end of the pipe. Make the drill also at 30 degrees.

The center leg should also be drilled 1.5″ from the end of the pipe but drill it on the side instead of the curved area.

The second outer leg should be drilled similarly to the first, at 30 degrees.

4. Raise the swing set frame – it should look a bit like a pyramid. The outer legs should be 6-7 feet apart from the center leg.

5. Put the upper support bar. With three bolts attach it between the 3 legs right under the bends. Make sure it’s well centered and will be parallel to the ground. The support bar should be a piece pf the pipe long about 1.5″ feet.

6. Attach swing set hangers on the upper support bar. Two hangers should be on the both sides, near the ends, and one near the center of the ceter support bar.

7. If you are going to use the swing set indoor, you may need to add caps at the bottom of the legs.

Then you need to attach the swings and that’s it! Below is a GREAT video that explains the same thing:

Please do not allow little kids swing without your supervision! Use any DIY guides and even ready swing sets with caution and at your own risk.


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