There’s nothing like getting lost in a great book (or taking a nap, for all you non-readers out there 😉) while relaxing on a swinging bed in your backyard on a beautiful, sunny day. What? You don’t have a swinging bed in your backyard?? Well that’s a shame… Please read on to solve this problem immediately!
First, let me start by explaining that we built our swing stand out of cedar trees that we cut down in our back yard. I’m going to go ahead and assume that you don’t have 5 or 6 appropriately sized cedar trees growing in your backyard just waiting to be cut down, so I’ll show you how to build your swing stand out of regular lumber from the hardware store.
Here’s your shopping list:
- Four 10 foot long 4×4’s (legs)
- One 8 foot long 4×4 (stretcher)
- Two 10 foot long 2×4 (this will be cut to make the crosses on your A’s and your corner supports)
- One 6 foot long 2×6 (this will be cut to make the stretcher supports)
- Two 12 inch carriage bolts with a nut and washer (1/2 inch in diameter)
- Four 8 inch long carriage bolts with a nut and washer (1/2 inch in diameter)
- Eight 6 inch long carriage bolts with a nut and a washer (1/2 inch in diameter)
I have already factored about two feet of waste into your shopping list, so you don’t need to do that. It may take you a couple cuts to get it right, so I wanted to make sure you have room to mess up a little bit 😉. This list will build you an A Frame swing stand this is about 10 feet tall by 8 feet across. It is big! Big enough to hold a twin size swinging bed. You can easily adjust the size of your frame by using shorter legs and stretcher. I’m going to break it down using easy to follow pictures, and you can tweak it to fit your space.
Step One: Lay out both your A’s (legs). My picture only shows one set of legs, but please lay out both sets so you can make sure they are exactly the same.
Measure and make sure all 4 posts are exactly the same length. Make sure the angle at the top of both A’s is the same, and make sure the spread of the bottom of each A is the same. If it’s not, your stand won’t be level.
Step Two: Prepare the top of your A’s to hold the stretcher. This is the only hard-ish part. You need a square hole to set the stretcher into. Here’s a little trick to help you determine how to cut the top of your legs to hold the stretcher.
Use a little piece of wasted 4×4 as a stencil. Trace around it, and that is where you will need to make your cuts. You want the top of your stencil to be even with the top of your legs, and you want your top support to sit neatly below your stretcher. Pay attention that you don’t alter your angle while you’re figuring all this out.
We would use our Dewalt Circular saw to make this cut. You will likely have to cut once, turn the 4×4 over, then cut again since it is a thick piece of wood.
Step Three: Cut and fasten the top, middle, and lower supports on your A’s (legs).
Here’s a few pictures of our goal…
So now let’s walk through it… everyone’s lengths and angles will differ based on the size swing you chose to build… but that’s okay cause all you have to do is lay your supports across your legs and mark your cuts with a pen or pencil.
Use your 2×4’s for your middle and lower supports. Use your 2×6 for your very top stretcher supports. Let’s talk about how to prepare the very top stretcher support.
Trace the space you need to cut, then make a bunch of little vertical cuts with your circular saw and knock them all out with a hammer and chisel. Easy peasy!!
Once you have prepared your very top stretcher supports (4 in total) use your 8 inch carriage bolts to attach them to each side of the legs (4×4’s) like a sandwich. Again, be sure to check your angle to make sure it hasn’t changed. I can’t stress the importance of this enough. It should look like this…
And your bolts should go here where you see the silver spots.
But don’t cut the ends of your bolts off. Just attach the nut and washer and let it stick out like this…
Now that we’ve finished your very top stretcher support, lets cut and attach you middle and lower supports using your 6 inch carriage bolts. Your lower support should be on the outside of your A and your middle support should be on the inside of your A. The middle support should be about a foot below the top support. See the picture below.
The lower support should actually be just a little lower than the middle of your A. See picture below.
Use one 6 inch carriage bolt for each end of each support. There should be a total of 8 bolts.
Now your legs are finished!! Yay!! This brings us to step 4.
Step Four: Assemble your stand.
So now it’s time to ask about 4 friends to help you hold it all up while you assemble your swing stand. One person to hold each A (leg) up, and two people (one on each end) to put up the stretcher. It should look like this once you have it all standing up…
You want each end of the stretcher to sit nicely into your square holes. Once you have each end resting in the holes, you want to drive a 12 inch carriage bolt through all three of the 4×4’s. Like this…
See the circle there, and how it’s going straight through from the front to the back.
Step Five: Attach corner supports.
Just for a little added support, we’re going to attach one more 2×4 to each corner. This board will stretch from your middle support to your stretcher. Like this… (I don’t have a picture of this step, so I found this great one on line! Credit to Howtospecialist! Thank you!)
You can ignore the measurement in the picture because yours will probably be different. Please be sure to measure for your specific project.
There you have it! A completed swing stand! That was the hard part! Now all you have to do is make and hang your pallet bed. This part will be a breeze!
Just go find yourself two standard pallets. You can usually find them outside your local plant nursery or hardware store. Be sure to ask permission before you take them. Attach the pallets together using a couple 2×4’s. One on each side.
That’s it for building the actual bed part! Ours is all wet cause we just had a huge rain storm.
To attach the swing to to stand, we simply tied a rope to the corners on one side of the bed, threw them over the stretcher, used a level to make sure the bed was level, then tied the rope to the other two corners.
This is NOT the safest method! If you put too much weight on one side of the swing it will tip! It would be best to secure the top of the rope with some sort of hardware, like heavy duty staples, or use 4 separate ropes so they can’t slide. But I have faith that you can come up with your own plan there 👍🏼
We found a twin sized futon mattress that fits perfectly at K-Mart for less than $50 and bought a plastic cover to protect it from the rain.
Thanks so much for reading, guys! And as always, if you have any questions at all, please feel free to comment or message me! I always love to hear from you!