FAQ: Swings

What parts are needed for a playground swing?

The anatomy of a typical playground swing is as follows (from the swing beam down):

  1. Swing Hanger - Allows relatively friction-free motion through the use of a nylon or bronze bushing.
  2. Connector - Joins the Swing Hanger/s to the Chain or Rope. Commonly used connectors at this point are Clevis or Shackle, S-Hook, Spring Clip, or Quick Link.
  3. Chain or Rope - Chain is typically available in smooth-coat galvanized, plastisol-coated, or soft grip coated. Rope usually ends with a short length of chain or a metal O-ring for easy attachment to the Swing Hangers.
  4. Connector - Joins the Chain/s or Rope/s to the Swing Seat. Commonly used connectors at this point are Clevis or Shackle or S-Hook. It is not a good idea to use Spring Clips or Quick Links here since little fingers like to play and might get pinched!
  5. Swing Seat - The most common Swing Seat is the belt or sling seat, but there are many, many Swing Seats available including flat, disc, buoy ball, glider, tire, trapeze, etcetera.

Browse our vast selection of Playground Swings and Hardware right here!

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Can I attach chain to eyebolts?

No. We highly recommend against using eyebolts on your swing beam because this will allow for metal-on-metal wear, which is a very big safety concern with swings. We have seen cases of chain breaking as a result of being attached directly to an eyebolt. Swing hangers were designed for this reason, to allow for the relatively friction-free back and forth motion that swings require.

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How should I attach a swing to a tree branch?

Most of our products are designed exclusively for attaching to swing sets. Hanging swings from trees can be very dangerous and should always be approached with extreme caution. We highly recommend you consult with a qualified arborist before attaching swings to a tree to make sure the tree can support the weight and swinging motion.

If you do decide to hang a swing from your tree, here are a few considerations:

  • Single point swings, such as tire swings and disc swings are the ideal style for tree mounted swings.
  • Belt swings, flat swings and other styles that require mounting to multiple points will need to connect to a branch that is level. A multi-point mounted swing that is connected to an unlevel beam will not swing back and forth very well, and will swing quite catawampus. If necessary you can attach a beam to your tree branch that is shimmed or cut down to make the connection surface level.
  • If using a chained swing, it is very important to use a swing hanger to prevent damage from metal-on-metal wear.

For more detailed instructions for hanging a swing from a tree, we recommend reviewing this helpful guide provided by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors.

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How should I mount a rope swing to a swing beam?

There are several ways in which you can hang a rope swing on a swing beam. Here are the two primary ways we recommend:

Method A

Use a swing hanger with a large enough loop for the rope and attach the rope to the hanger with a load bearing knot such as a bowline knot.

Method B

Drill a hole in the swing beam, using a drill bit that is at least the same diameter as the rope. Next, feed the rope through the hole and secure with a knot on the top side of the beam. Using this method, you may want to use sandpaper to smooth the edge of the hole, or line it with some soft or smooth plastic, to prevent the rope from fraying.

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How is a glider swing mounted to a swing beam?

Most gliders mount in 4 separate points with swing hangers. To mount easily and provide even and stable swinging, we recommend using a glider mounting bracket, which is specifically designed for glider swings. A glider bracket attaches to the top of an L-Shaped beam with bolts. Once it is secured, the glider swings four chains or ropes can easily connect to the swing hangers on the glider bracket, but in some cases will require an additional fastener, such as a Quick Link, Spring Clip, or S-Hook.

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How much space should be between swings?

The answer to this question depends on the age range of the swing and whether it is for residential or commercial use. Here are the spacing recommendations given by the Consumer Product Safety Commission in their guides for playground safety.

Residential Swings

  • 8" minimum for swings with limited sideways motion
  • 24" minimum between swings with unlimited lateral motion (such as disk swings) and support poles when measured from the side of the swing perpendicular to the plane formed by the support poles
  • 8" minimum between the protective surfacing and the underside of a suspended unit

Residential Swing Spacing

Commercial Swings

  • Toddler Swings
    • 20" minimum between swing hangers
    • 20" minimum of clearance between other swings at 5' and down
    • 24" minimum between the protective surfacing and the underside of toddler swings
    • 30" minimum between swing and support poles when measured from the side of the swing perpendicular to the plane formed by the support poles
  • Preschool-age and School-age Swings
    • 20" minimum between swing hangers
    • 24" minimum of clearance between other swings at 5' and down
    • 12" minimum between the protective surfacing and the underside of preschool-age and school-age swings
    • 20" minimum between swing and support poles when measured from the side of the swing perpendicular to the plane formed by the support poles

 

Commercial Swing Spacing

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What are the differences between swing seats?

We offer a variety of swing seat styles available in commercial and residential grade quality. Here are the main types of swings you will find on our website.

Infant Swings

Typically designed for ages 12 months to 4 years old, these swings are great for kids who need back support and more of an enclosed swing for safety.

Belt Swings

A belt swing has a flexible rubber or plastic seat designed to wrap around the child. These are the most common types of swings that you will find in backyard or public playgrounds.

Flat Swings

Flat swings are modeled off of the traditional wooden swing seats of old, but are typically made of a hard and durable plastic or rubber. Some people prefer this style over the wrap-around style of the belt swings.

Disk Swings

Disk swings use a circular swing seat, typically with rope. The child can wrap their legs around the rope and sit on the disk seat and spin in any direction!

Multi-Child Swings

Another popular option for swing sets is to use swings that hold multiple children. The most common of these are tire swings and glider swings. Tire swings (unsurprisingly!) use a tire as the swing seat and usually accommodate up to three children. Hardware can be used to convert an old tire into a swing, or you can choose from a variety of molded tires that are designed specifically to be used as swings. Gliders are designed for two children in either a face-to-face or back-to-back style.

Trapeze Swings

Trapeze swings use a bar and often include rings that children can swing on with their hands. The bar can also be used for swinging upside down with your legs on the bar for those talented gymnasts!

You can find all of these styles of swings and more in our Swings category!

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How do I measure pipe diameter?

When ordering pipe beam swing hangers, it is very important to know with confidence what your pipe diameter for the top beam is. Unlike wood beam swing hangers that will fit a number of different beam widths, pipes are not as accommodating. The last thing you want is to end up with swing hangers that are too big or too small for your pipe beam, so we always encourage customers to measure twice, and order once!

Determining the pipe diameter is quite simple. Using a fabric tape*, first measure the circumference of the pipe. Once you have this measurement, get out your calculator and divide the circumference by Pi (3.142). This will give you the decimal amount for your pipe diameter.

The four pipe beam swing hanger sizes we carry and their measurements (± 1/8") are as follows:

Pipe Circumference Pipe Diameter
7-1/2" 2-3/8"
11" 3-1/2"
14-1/8" 4-1/2"
15-3/4" 5"

 

* If there is no fabric tape handy, you can also use a piece of string. Wrap the string around the pipe and mark where the ends meet. Then lay the string flat and use a tape measure to get the circumference amount.

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