Fun Labor Day DIY: How to Hang a Tire Swing



play equipment,swing sets,swings,yard games

It may seem counterintuitive to celebrate Labor Day with additional labor, but there’s really no better time to hang a tire swing than the beautiful days that come between summer and fall.

The weather is starting to cool off, which makes working outside more bearable, and if you follow these instructions you’ll have it installed with plenty of time to swing into that first pile of fall leaves.

1. Get your tire.

This is easy enough. You can visit a salvage yard for a tire if you want to save some money, or you can buy one at a used tire shop. The “right” size is up to you, but you must keep in mind the size of the branch you’ll be using.

Make sure you clean it and drill some holes in the “bottom” loop so it doesn’t collect water.

2.  Chain vs. Rope

Rope is the best choice for using at the contact point with the branch, because it won’t bite into the wood as much as chain, but chain is more durable. You can also use padding around the branch if you decide to use chain (be sure to buy galvanized). It's your call, but our instructions assume you'll be using rope.

Before you buy, measure the distance between your branch and the ground, then subtract about four feet – accounting for the size of the tire and the amount the branch will bow with added weight.

Whether you buy rope or chain, be sure to check the load limit. If it’s not labeled, ask a store clerk for detailed information.

3. Horizontal vs. Vertical Tire Swing

We’re going to provide instructions for a vertically hanging tire swing, but you may prefer to hang it horizontally, which will require more tools, more rope (or chain) and attaching said rope to at least three different areas of the tire.

4. Picking Your Tree

Pick one with stout branches. After you’ve bought your rope, test your branch before you set to work by getting a couple people to hang from it.

Plan on hanging your swing a fair distance from the trunk to avoid injury, but not so far that the branch won't support it. Your test will help you determine the sweet spot.

To Hang Your Tire Swing:

There are two ways to hang a tire swing: out on the limb, as it were, or on the ground with a loop or hitch knot. The former is much harder and exponentially more dangerous, so let’s focus on the latter.

Throw your rope over the branch and gather the ends. Now, tie a slip knot or bowline knot and pull the long end until the knot cinches on the branch.

Test your rope again to make sure it’s sturdy. Then, you can attach your tire using one of the knots already described, or any number of other knots you may prefer. And, if you find you need a helping hand, you can always find a local handyman at Porch.com.

That’s all there is to it! Now you’re ready to enjoy your Labor Day tire swing on this holiday and many more to come.

For those who already have a tire swing, you can always go the traditional route with this swing set from Gorilla Playsets

If you're thinking of upgrading, the fun can't get much bigger than PlayStar's "Great Escape" play set, complete with tube slide, water cannon, climbing rope, swings and more.

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