Best tree swing hardware?
#11
  Re: (...)
Hello Guys,
I'm thinking of putting in a high tree swing in my back yard. I'm thinking that drilling a large hole through the branch is the strongest option - I've got high torque drilling options, a tall ladder, and even fall protection.

What do you guys suggest for hardware? I don't like the ideas of wrapping something around the branch and damaging the branch. I'm also leery of anything screwed in the tree, as it seems like it could fail.

Here was my idea:


with 3/4" stainless threaded rod, fender washers and nuts. I'm also thinking about a swivel. Thoughts? Better / cheaper ideas?
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#12
  Re: Best tree swing hardware? by JoethePro (Hello Guys,[br]I'm t...)
I wouldn't worry about properly installed lag hardware pulling out. We brace limbs weighing MUCH more than any swinger will weigh with lag bolts.

Drill the hole 1/16" smaller than the hardware (so use 7/16" bit for 1/2" hardware). (If you are using threaded rod, use 1/16" bigger).

My concern with the hardware you pictured would be that it could come unscrewed...unlikely, but could happen. Use lock washers. That is "normal" to use those in tree bracing, so it is not out of the question.

I'd rather use an eye bolt. Run a nut all the way to the eye, drop a lock washer on, drop a bigger washer (fender washer would be ideal), put it up through the limb then washer, lock washer, and tighten with another nut.

You could wrap a sling over the limb as long as you don't go all the way around. For example, these slings are ideal...but not cheap. If you like that idea, but want to spend a little less, you could go with these nylon loops. You don't have too, but it would be best to feed those through a sleeve...and at $0.75 per foot, why not?

If you can't find what you want locally, there are a few good places that sell hardware for tree bracing:
TreeStuff (use "TURKEY" at checkout for 15% off through Monday night. Spend over $100 for free shipping too...)
WesSpur - the first swing I hung, I called and discussed with them...they were very helpful. I ended up going non-invasive with the Tree Guard slings.
Midwest Arborist Supplies
Sherrill Tree
I have dealt with all of those companies on multiple occasions and have always been very pleased.
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#13
  Re: Best tree swing hardware? by JoethePro (Hello Guys,[br]I'm t...)
PS: you will notice ratings on the hardware I posted... 3/4" is WAY overkill.

PPS: PLEASE tie in!!! If you are leaning the ladder (not ideal...) on the tree, tie that to the tree too.
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#14
  Re: Best tree swing hardware? by JoethePro (Hello Guys,[br]I'm t...)
Keep it simple, what is wrong with a length of stout rope and one old tire?
Bill
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#15
  Re: Re: Best tree swing hardware? by Bill Bob (Keep it simple, what...)
LOL that is what I thought also. A good rope and an old tire is all we used. A couple wraps and a good knot. The rope usually died of old age before anything else failed. Well there was a time the limb broke.
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#16
  Re: Re: Best tree swing hardware? by Restorer (LOL that is what I t...)
I have thought of making a tree swing, after using one at a party. The rope was at least 50' long! What a great ride!

Not sure about attachment to limb, but, I think rope degrading from the sun is the biggest fear. I imagine it would take many years for a 1" rope to not be able to hold 2-300 #'s.
I would think of putting a pulley at the top, with a 3/4 - 1" rope thru it and back to a cleat. Attach a light messenger cord to the end of the rope. This way, it could be removed when not used for a while. (Think liability)
The one I was on, just had a board, with a hole in the center. It was easy, when on the steps, to put it between your legs.
Again, what a ride!
I long for the days when Coke was a soft drink, and Black and Decker was a quality tool.
Happiness is a snipe free planer
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#17
  Re: Re: Best tree swing hardware? by Pirate (I have thought of ma...)
Nylon ropes should last much longer in UV light...but your idea of removing it when not needed is still worth doing. Another option is a chain...but 50' is really long and probably will be too heavy to get a good swing.

To your point about how long it will last anyhow: climbing rope is rated for 5000-7000 lbs (depending on which rope you use), so if you lost 95% of the strength it will still hold 250 lbs. No need for 3/4" or 1"...just get good quality rope (see the links I provided earlier) - they all have rope. Wesspur even sells shorts (the end of the spool usually) for a discounted price. Some of the ropes are available by the foot too at the other places.
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#18
  Re: Re: Best tree swing hardware? by JosephP (Nylon ropes should l...)
JosephP said:


Nylon ropes should last much longer in UV light...but your idea of removing it when not needed is still worth doing. Another option is a chain...but 50' is really long and probably will be too heavy to get a good swing.

To your point about how long it will last anyhow: climbing rope is rated for 5000-7000 lbs (depending on which rope you use), so if you lost 95% of the strength it will still hold 250 lbs. No need for 3/4" or 1"...just get good quality rope (see the links I provided earlier) - they all have rope. Wesspur even sells shorts (the end of the spool usually) for a discounted price. Some of the ropes are available by the foot too at the other places.




Climbing rope is going to be too stretchy for this application. I recall taking a fall on a climbing rope and I must have bounced at least 5 or 6 feet on the 40 foot length of rope. All modern ropes are resilient but climbing ropes are designed to absorb the shock of a fall and are woven to increase that resilience. I would go with nylon rope. Black if you can find it. Black color enhances UV resistance.
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#19
  Re: Re: Best tree swing hardware? by Cooler ([blockquote]JosephP ...)
Cooler said:




Climbing rope is going to be too stretchy for this application. I recall taking a fall on a climbing rope and I must have bounced at least 5 or 6 feet on the 40 foot length of rope. All modern ropes are resilient but climbing ropes are designed to absorb the shock of a fall and are woven to increase that resilience.




That would be dynamic line. You can also get static line. Static line will not stretch.

Put me down for just tying a rope around the branch. The tire swing I grew up with was a heavy nylon strap (like 3/8" thick x 1 1/2" wide) tied around a branch of an oak tree. It is still there and still going strong. Figure it is about 40 years old now.
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#20
  Re: Re: Best tree swing hardware? by Cooler ([blockquote]JosephP ...)
Rock climbing ropes are dynamic and stretch. Tree climbing ropes are not.

The issue with wrapping a rope all the way around the branch is you can girdle and kill the limb. Doesn't always happen, but certainly does. There are other good options...
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