How To: Building A Custom A-Frame Children's Swing Set
Steve Watson helps a homeowner build a heavy-duty wooden swing set for the backyard.
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Materials and Tools:
six 12-foot long 4x4 pressure-treated post
one 12-foot long 4x6 pressure-treated post
children's swing set toys
four metal post brackets for swing set
hardware for swing set post brackets
cordless drill with battery and magnetic screw tip
post hole diggers
power miter box
1. Check for proper clearances between swings and plan the set around these. Be sure there is no more than 10 feet between posts or it may sag.
2. After laying out the swing set, dig a 12-inch diameter hole 18-inches deep for each post. The posts will be set directly into the concrete.
3. Draw lines on the ends of four of the 4x4s and cut notches to accept the 4x6 top rail. Set the circular saw to a 12-degree angle to cut out the notches.
4. Assemble the A-frames for the swing set. Set the power miter saw to 12-degrees and cut cross braces from the other two 4x4s. Clamp the A-frames together and secure with the nailer.
5. Smooth the edges of the A-frame posts using a power router. Mark the holes for swings and toys in the top rail and drill out holes. Follow the instructions that come with each toy to ensure proper spacing, alignment and safety.
4. Set the posts into the holes and brace them temporarily, but don?t pour concrete yet, as you may need to adjust spacing later.
5. Using an A-bar swing set bracket, bolt the legs together and set the top rail in the bracket, then bolt the top bracket to the top rail. Add diagonal corner bracing if necessary.
6. Once everything is set, pour concrete mix in the holes, then add water and mix it right in the hole. Using fast-drying post-setting cement eliminates the hassle of mixing it in a separate container.
7. Drill holes through the sides of the A-frame posts into the cross braces and secure with screws.