Step 1: Lay out and cut the parts

cutting wood to the sizes needed to build a tree swing
Photo: Wendell T. Webber
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Using a tape measure and a combination square, measure out the three pieces of the swing on the 1x8 board: two 14½-inch-long sections for the seat and one 12-inch-long support brace that goes underneath.

Clamp the wood tightly to a worktable. Using a jigsaw, cut the three pieces from the board.

To parents: A jigsaw can send dust and splinters flying. Be sure you and your children wear safety glasses. The helper should be sure to catch the wood, not lift it, so that the saw blade is not pinched.
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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