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DIY Swing Set Tutorial

Swing set construction might seem daunting at first glance, but thankfully Black and Decker's tutorial will break it down for you in these easy-to-follow steps. So grab your tools and get ready because in a few minutes you'll be a swing set pro! Read on for more!

Learn to make a Swing Set and Playground

The first thing you'll need is your swing set package or kit. These can be found in many hardware stores but if all else fails Amazon certainly won't. There are tons of different options to choose from, they range in color, size and features so choose one that will work best for your little ones. And the size of your backyard is an integral factor in choosing a swing set as well.

Tools

  • Stakes Mason's string
  • Line level
  • Clamps
  • Ladders
  • Spacers
  • Lag screws
  • Anchor screws
  • Playset kit
  • 2 x 6 or 2 x 8 Brackets Bolts
  • 11/2″ panhead screws
  • Landscape fabric
  • Mulch
  • Screw-in anchors

 Prepare the Installation area

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Once you've decided where your swing will stand, outline the area using stakes and strings. Make sure that the area is level.

Assemble the tower

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The tower is the main structure that supports all the accessories for the swing set. For the kit shown here, assemble the framework of the tower one side at a time, and then join the sides together on top of flat pieces of 2 × 6 or 2 × 8. Use the drilling template included in the kit as a guide for driving countersunk screws. Locate screws carefully—metal brackets that cover the screwheads are often added later, so the screws have to be positioned carefully. Once your done, raise the tower.

Screw the Brackets

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Its now time to screw the brackets to the corners of the tower frame. Ensure that the bolt hole on the long side of the bracket lines up with the centers of the 2 × 4s behind it. Use the large holes in the brackets as guides, and drill the necessary holes for the bolts, and then install them and ensure they are properly tightened. Install the center joists that connect the platform frames, fastening them with countersunk 21⁄2″ deck screws. Make certain all screwheads are fully seated beneath the wood surface,

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Install Deckboards

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Install the deckboards with 11⁄2″ deck screws driven into countersunk pilot holes, starting with the 2 outside pieces. Try to make sure the ends of the deck boards are aligned during installation—clamping a stop block or spacer block to the deck-board support will help align your workpieces. The drainage gaps between the deck boards must be less than 1⁄4″.

Extend

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Extend the tower walls to the full height with additional 2 × 4 pieces. Use the drill guide or template (if provided with your kit) to ensure regular alignment of all screws.

Install Outer Frame

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Install the outer framework of 2 × 4s to support the roof of the playground structure, using corner brackets provided by the kit manufacturer.

Additional Framing

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Add additional framing to strengthen the sides of the tower. The framing on the right will help support the swingset and the climbing bar and climbing wall; the 2 × 4s on the left are used to support the slide.

Install Bottom Railings

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Install the bottom railings and the top back and side railings for the tower structure. Clamp a straight piece of wood on top of (or underneath) the railing at the 1″ point to create the setback and to make installation easier. Cut spacers to make the gap even, but check the gap before screwing in the last few boards, just in case, and adjust if necessary.

Railings, Siding and Trim

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Attach railings, siding, and trim. Install the front railing first, using a 3⁄16″ spacer. Then, add the trim pieces. This step is easier if you tilt the structure backwards to the ground—but don’t try this without a helper.

Roof Frame

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Install the rest of the roof frame. Use clamps to hold pieces in position before attaching them. Check the center vertical pieces with a carpenter’s level to make sure they are plumb.

Start Building the Swing Set

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The swing structure shown here is supported by a pair of angled posts in an A-frame configuration on the end farther from the tower, and a single angled leg on the tower end. Fasten the 3 legs of the swingset together (they are made with doubled 2 × 4s), and then bolt on the triangular bracket for each leg. Construct the assembly by bolting the triangular brackets together and then screwing on the crosspiece. Add the small brackets to the inside of the crosspiece, with the short legs against the crosspiece (inset). Trim the leg bottoms so they will lie flat on the ground.

Join the Beams and Legs

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Screw the 2 × 6 beam pieces to the brackets, making sure the legs are exactly parallel and square to the beam. Drill the 3⁄8″ holes for the bolts using the brackets as a guide. Then screw the second layer of 2 × 6s to the first with 21⁄2″ screws.

Attach the Swing Hardware

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First, turn the swing assembly over and place it on sawhorses. Drill guide holes and fasten the sides together with bolts. Drill guide holes for the swing hangers and lag screws and install them so that the moving hanger swings perpendicular to the beam.

Add Swing set to the Tower

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Lift the swingset into place and fasten it to the tower with a bolt through the swing beam and a 2 × 4 crosspiece near the base fastened with metal angles and bolts.

Install the Climbing Wall

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Attach the climbing wall supports to the tower frame with the provided brackets. The ends of the supports are angle-cut at the top and the bottom. Attach the top and bottom crossboards to the outer supports and then center the middle support board and attach it by driving deck screws through the crossboards and into the support.

Add Remaining Crossboards

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Add the remaining crossboards in the climbing wall, working down from the top and making sure the boards are fitted tightly together.

Build the Climbing Bar Assembly

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The climbing bars function as a ladder that is mounted to the tower on the side opposite from the climbing wall. Assemble the climbing bar standards with four triangular metal brackets included with the kit. The stops on the sides of the brackets that contact the standard will set the correct angle for the standards if the boards are tight against the stops.

Attach Climbing Bars

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Attach the climbing bars to the standards, making sure the standards are parallel and oriented correctly. Use 11⁄4″ panhead screws to attach the bars at 12″ intervals on the bottom leg and at 103⁄4″ intervals along the top (or as directed by the instructions for your kit).

Connect Climbing Bar to Tower

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First, dig holes into the play surface at the correct locations for the legs of the climbing bar standards. Set the legs into the 2″-deep holes (inset), and then fasten the tp ends of the standards to the tower with brackets and lag screws.Playground 20 inset

Anchor all Sides of the Swing Set

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Anchor all sides of the swingset, along with the climbing bar and climbing wall, using screw-in anchors (see page 48). If the anchors don’t work properly in your soil type, dig a 2-ft.-deep posthole, fill it with concrete, and set the anchor in that. Bolt the anchor to the structure with 3⁄8 × 11⁄2″ lag screws.First, position the slide (top photo) and then attach it to the tower at the top with fasteners as provided (or recommended) by the manufacturer. Then, bolt the slide at the base to a screw-in anchor. Tip: Attach the bottom of the slide to a 4 × 4 spacer and then attach the spacer to a screw-in anchor (bottom photo). This provides a solid footing for the slide while raising it so the bottom is not completely covered by groundcover or mulch.

Attach the Slide

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Add other accessories, including swings, the roof, and the climbing rope. You’ll need to drill access holes for the climbing rope in the climbing wall. Add approved groundcover and that's it. You've installed your very first swing!

 

Let us know if were able to successfully follow the instructions for this swinf set, in the comment section below. We love hearing from you.

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