Posted by Landscaping Ideas on 06th February 2012
Tire swings are an American tradition. They have been a fun addition to yards for decades and kids still love them. They are also one of the easiest ways to add another fun dimension to the yard. However, there is more to building a tire swing than tying your spare to a tree limb with a rope. Of course, it all starts with locating an appropriately sized and sufficiently strong tree limb. Now, let’s look at what you will need to do after finding that perfect branch in order to construct a great tire swing.
There are two things about which to be concerned when selecting your swing’s tire. First, you need to think about the cleanliness of the tire. Unless you make an effort to clean the tire completely, you can expect to have filthy kids smelling like rubber gathered around your dining room table. Wash the tire at high pressure at the car wash and then scrub it down by hand using a high-powered cleaner containing bleach. You’ll never make a tire swing totally “clean,” but you can cut down on the filth tremendously.
Second, you need to think about safety. When tire swings were first built, they used the same tires that used to be on car. These were old bias tires with an internal balloon. They were made out of rubber. Today’s radial tires are stronger, firmer, and are “steel belted.” A well-worn radial will feature exposed (and incredibly sharp wires). Make sure you choose a tire that won’t result in scratches, cuts and sharp pain! If you can find a used “old school” tire, use it.
Don’t forget to drill a few sizeable holes through the portion of the tire that will form the bottom of the swing. You don’t want water to gather within the tire after every rain.
You want to use a rope with a large diameter. Smaller ropes may seem adequate, but they will give way when tension increases as your child swings higher and higher. Select a fat rope that is obviously stronger than what you will probably need. This will increase both safety and durability.
Protect the rope by using a piece of rubber hose at the area where it will loop around the tree limb. Find a piece of hose slightly bigger than the rope and make sure the protected area will be the portion that rests on the tree. This will protect the most critical part of the rope from the elements.
Make sure your purchase enough rope. If you get too little, you will either have to skimp on your knots or have a swing that sits too high. Neither of those options is acceptable. Determine the length needed by adding about ten feet to the distance from the limb to where the tire will hang.
When you knot the rope, you won’t need to pull out a nautical manual. You can make do with a common square knot. There is no reason to get too exotic with your tie-off strategy. The most important thing to remember are to make sure the knot is incredibly strong and is doubled up. Never rely upon a single know.
When tying your knot at the tree limb, make sure the rubber protective hose is at the point of contact. It won’t do much good elsewhere.
Don’t neglect the bottom knot. Take the knot the fastens the tire just as seriously as the high not. Double it up and make it snug. Test it as much as possible and insure its strength before allowing a child to play on the swing. Besides, if the swing won’t support you, it’s probably not safe enough for the kids.
By following a few simple recommendations, you can make a rope swing the kids will love. It’s a traditional favorite and is one of the quickest and easiest way to add some fun to your property.
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