How to Build a Wood Swing


A wooden swing is a nice thing to have in the back yard. Kids will play on it, and adults will occasionally take a swing as well. A wooden swing is easy build, particularly if you have a large tree in the yard with a long, clear trunk and high branches. Attaching the swing as far out on the branch as possible decreases the risk of active kids bashing themselves into the trunk on the swing.

Things You'll Need

  • Piece of wood, 2 inches thick by 6 inches wide by 18 inches long
  • Block plane
  • 2 pieces heavy rope, a few feet longer than the distance from the ground to the branch where you will be attaching the swing
  • Drill
  • Ladder
  • 7 4x4 beams, 8 feet long

Build a Swing on a Tree

  • Plane all of the sharp edges off the piece of wood using a block plane.

  • Attach the ropes to the branch, about 2 feet apart. You can do this by climbing a ladder and tying them, or by throwing a rope over the branch, making a loop in the end, feeding the other end of the rope through the loop, and cinching the loop tight against the branch.

  • Drill a hole in each end of the piece of wood, about 2 inches from the end and centered in the middle of the width (3 inches from each side).

  • Feed one of the ropes through one of the holes.

  • Feed the other rope through the other hole.

  • Secure the ropes in the swing either by tying a large knot on the bottom of each one or by tying the two ropes together under the swing. Make the knots so that the swing is suspended about 2 feet off the ground.

  • Adjust the height of the swing as needed by untying the knots, moving the piece of wood up or down the ropes, and retying the knots in the new location.

Build a Swing Frame

  • Cut a 30-degree angle on the ends of 6 4x4s.

  • Bolt the ends of two of the 4x4s together to form a pointed arch.

  • Stand the arch up and place another of the 4x4s against it and bolt the three together to form a modified tripod, with two of the legs (the two that made the original pointed arch) forming a flat plane.

  • Make a similar tripod with three other 4x4s and place it about 6 feet away from the first one, with their two flat faces facing each other.

  • Install a 4x4 between the two tripods and bolt it firmly into place.

  • Attach the swing to the central 4x4.

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  • Photo Credit swing image by Christopher Hall from
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