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Wood Playset

  • Swings for Your Backyard Swing Set

    Whether you’re dreaming up a terrific DIY swing set to build for the little ones or you’re simply looking to surprise the kids with a new accessory for their jungle gym, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different swings and accessories available. We have outlined the details of the different types of swings you can add to your swing set.

    High Back Full Bucket Swing 

    The high back full bucket swing is your child’s first swing. Designed to securely and safely hold an infant, this swing encloses the child 360-degrees and provides plenty of back support. You will get many years out of this swing, as it is suitable for infants and toddlers. We recommend children from 6 months to about 4 years old use this swing, depending on the size of the child.

    High Back Half Bucket Swing with Chain

    The half bucket swing with chain is a great transitional swing for your kids. It offers the same support of the full bucket swing in terms of a high back, but this time with a safety chain in front. This safety chain helps children get the feel of a real swing, while providing an added safety precaution. The recommended age range for this swing is about 2 to 6 years old.

    Sling Swing 

    The classic sling swing is what you and the kids see most often on your trips to the public park. A sturdy, high quality sling swing can support children and even most adults.

    Horse Glider Swing

    Unlike the swings described so far, which accommodate a single child at a time, the horse glider swing is designed for two. The kids sit back-to-back on the seat. There are handle bars for holding on and spaces for the children to place their feet. The kids love that the horse glider allows them to rock back and forth with a friend. With this swing, we suggest children be no younger than 2 years of age. The weight limit is typically about 200 pounds.

    Tire Swing

    The tire swing is always a hit with the kids. It can accommodate anywhere from one to three children, and is usually made with a rubber tire that has three or four chains attached. The tire swing will allow the children to swing around 360-degrees, so it requires a bit more space than any of the other swings listed here. The tire swing is a great activity for kids ages 2 and up.

    Three chain tire swing A three-chain tire swing makes a great addition to any backyard playground.

    Gym Ring/Trapeze Bar Combination Swing

    The gym ring/trapeze bar combo allows a child to swing and hang, and maybe even flip or perform a chin up. It’s constructed of a trapeze bar—ideally made of steel and coated in a soft plastic—with a grab handle on each side. The grab handles and the bar are attached to chains, which attach to a swing beam. Kids who use this swing can be anywhere from 3 years of age to 15.

    Swing Safety, Information, and DIY Details

    For maximum safety, we recommend that all plastic swings be made of a durable polymer plastic. All swings should include triangle hardware and S-hooks that attach to the seats. To ensure the safety of your little ones, we recommend heavy duty straight-coil chains with a soft coating (we always prefer you to use chains over rope). Look for swing chains that are coated in plastisol for a soft grip which will protect tiny fingers from getting pinched. These little extras can add up, but quality accessories are worth the investment.

    Don’t forget to take additional hardware into account. The first three swings mentioned in this piece would attach to a swing beam with ductile swing hangers and mountain clips. Whereas the tire swing uses a special swivel and the horse glider uses specific brackets. More often than not this type of hardware is not included with the swing. That will add to the price of the swing. The cost of the swings described here typically range from about $35 to about $120.

    No matter what type of swings you have in mind for your backyard play set, it is always a good idea to do your homework. Do consider what the product is made of, as it should be rust resistant and UV-protected. Also read up on reviews left by other customers. Remember, not all swings are made equal. Pay close attention to what type of chains or rope are used, how long they are, and how they are connected.

    Lastly, keep in mind that the ages we have listed here serve as a general guide. Some form of adult supervision is always recommended. If you are looking for more information on swings, watch our video to learn about the three swings for a wooden swing set.

  • 9 Tips for Assembling a Wood Playset

    Building a wood playset for the kids should be nothing short of a memorable experience that involves the whole family. But sometimes this is easier said than done.

    Most of us have been in a situation where a project that should be an enjoyable opportunity for bonding and productivity slowly turns into a slightly frustrating situation because of minor mishaps. Usually this can be attributed to underestimating the scope of the project, or hitting some other sort of speed bumps -- missing a tool, stripping a screw, assembling components in the wrong direction, etc. -- along the way.

    That's why we are excited to use our 24-plus years of experience manufacturing, assembling and installing swing sets to offer some advice. Here are nine tips to help you build your family's wood playset with as few hiccups as possible!

    1. Read through product specs, features and assembly instructions, thoroughly and carefully, paying attention to any notices about the type of lumber needed for the product and the list of items included with the product. When you receive the product, lay out the pieces and compare them to the list of parts. This will save you from starting the project and then having to pause after realizing that you need a different type of lumber (for example, Eastern Jungle Gym swing sets are designed to fit kiln-dried wood) or are missing an important component (perhaps you would like to purchase stakes because the children using the set are a bit older), either because it was not part of the purchase or maybe because it was omitted in error.

    2. Pick the right location. This should be a fairly level area, away from concrete, asphalt and other hard surfaces. A rubber mulch play area is ideal. We also recommend keeping stationary components at least 6 feet from any obstructions (trees, fences, storage sheds, etc.).

    3. Give yourself enough time. We advise setting aside at least one full day for the construction of your wood playset, depending on the size of the unit, your experience with assembling wooden structures and so on. It is highly recommended that you have at least one adult there to lend assistance.

    4. Gather the required tools. For a traditional A-frame swing set, you'll need the following: 1/2" standard socket, 3/4" standard socket, standard socket wrench, electric drill, 1/4" pilot drill bit, tape measure, level, claw hammer, step ladder. Additional tools may be necessary depending on the wood playset model you have selected, but this information should be included in the instructions that come with the product.

    5. Begin the assembly on the ground. Your wood swing set will likely involve some sort of brackets. We recommend keeping these brackets on the ground as you slide in the lumber and secure the beam and posts.

    6. If you purchased a wood swing set kit, keep the boxes nearby. They could come in handy for keeping hardware organized, or for sliding the swing set into place (as this couple did in a time-lapse video showing the construction of our A-frame Cedar Bench Swing).

    7. Remember the basicsWear safety glasses; be sure to tighten and secure all lag bolts and nuts; pilot recessed holes as instructed to help maintain the integrity of the wood, etc.

    8. Keep in mind, checks (which are often mistakenly referred to as "cracks") and knot holes are normal characteristics of timbers. Do not worry if you come across these natural imperfections during setup. Checks are inevitable, as they result from the wood absorbing and releasing moisture. Typically, they do not impact the structure.

    9. Have fun! Remember, you're creating childhood memories by building your kids a beautiful backyard swing set. Make the memory a good one!

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