Introduction

Child swinging on handmade, old-fashioned tree swing
Photo: Wendell T. Webber
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All kids want to fly, and every time they ride on a swing they get closer to that Peter Pan moment. But you don’t need a whole playground to feel the spring breezes swoosh by. All you need is a seat, a rope, and a sturdy tree.

Making this swing requires few tools, and all the hardware needed to hang it can be found at your local home center. The seat is inexpensive—you can even make it out of scrap wood. Quality hardware and rope increase the cost but are important for safe swinging. In one morning you can put the parts together, get the rope in place, and start your magic ride!
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    Tools List

    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape Measure
    • combination square
      Combination square
    • bar clamps
      Bar clamps
    • jigsaw
      Jigsaw
    • drill
      Drill/driver fitted with 3/16-inch drill bit, 1-inch spade bit, and long -inch spade bit
    • pencil compass
      Compass
    • random orbit sander
      Random-orbit sander
    • paintbrush
      2-inch paintbrush
    • artist paintbrush
      Small artist's paintbrush
    • Phillips screwdriver
      Screwdriver
    • adjustable wrench
      Wrench

    Shopping List

    1. 1x8 oak, maple, or other hardwood board, 4 feet long

    2. ¾-inch polypropylene rope

    3. 120-grit sandpaper

    4. Exterior-grade wood glue

    5. 1¼-inch deck screws6. Exterior latex paint

    7. Carabiner or spring clip

    8. -inch-thick, 10-inch-long stainless-steel or galvanized eyebolt with washer and two nuts

    9. ¾-inch rope thimble