Project: Building A Swingset

Project: Building A Swingset

I am on a project binge at the house right now trying to make it a more interesting place for my two sons to live in. Right now we’re more than half way through the transition period from DINK (dual incomes, no kids) to straight on family zone. Before our sons blessed our home, our house was a perfect place for an adult couple to spend their lives in. We each had our own individual space where we could leave our hobby materials out in the open. Camera equipment, computers, fly fishing and hunting gear, knitting needles and sewing machines were easily accessible. However, those days are over. Our personal work-spaces are long gone, stuffed away downstairs in the basement until we can get around getting that space upgraded. Right now I need options for my boys to burn off energy more than I need a spot to toy with one of my side interests. First up? A swing set.

For my swing set build, I decided to make something that matched the black/white/grey theme of our porch. I also wanted something that wouldn’t rot in a few years, chains that wouldn’t rust, and seats that wouldn’t fade and look all beat up. If I’m going to put the time and money in it, I want it to rock!

The first obstacle was finding a way to join the legs with the main beam. Luckily, Eastern Jungle Gym makes quality swing set accessories. I chose an a-frame style bracket that came with all of the hardware. The main beam ended up requiring a kiln dried 10 foot 4X6 which I found at Home Depot. Kiln dried is important here because otherwise you’d have to shave the beam down to fit into the bracket, and since I have no idea how to do that, I wanted an exact fit. The legs ended up being 8 foot 4X4s. Believe it or not, they were perfect fits too.

The next step was to assemble the lumber and brackets together. Since I was by myself, I assembled the entire swing set in the driveway next to my tools. I used ladders to hold everything even while I drilled in the bolts. Honestly this was a mistake since I had to drag this whole apparatus to the backyard once completed, and this feat took just about every ounce of muscle I could muster. In hindsight, I just should have brought all my tools to the backyard and assembled it there. But, that’s life.

Before dragging this behemoth to the back yard, I set to installing the swing hangers which I purchased from Squirrel Products. I didn’t want old rusty eye bolts so I bought 3 nice sets with snap hooks. I measured them out with enough space so the chains on the seats wouldn’t be too snug for a rider, but was dismayed to find that they did not ship the fasteners with the product. So I took off to Ace Hardware to get the right type of bolts since I didn’t have any at the house.

The next step after installing the swing snaps was to tape off the hardware and paint everything. I chose an outdoor paint from Ace Hardware. Their generic products are actually pretty good, and the paint laid out a nice matte finish. It took me roughly two cans of spray paint for each beam but it was so much easier and less messy than rolling it on. Lastly I clipped in the swings. I wanted something similar to what you’d find at a park so I bought two swing seats and a toddler seat from Jungle Gym Kingdom. They came with rubber coated chains to help protect little fingers. I am really happy with these.

Now that it’s complete I just have to cut off the excess chain and stake the ends to the ground. Next step will be to start work on the accompanying playhouse!


swingset a frame


swingset swivels


swingset saddles