Thursday, 5 February 2015

A Complete Guide to Wooden Swings - Types, Accessories, Components

Types of Wooden Swings
A swing is a hanging seat, usually found at playgrounds for children, a circus for acrobats, or on a porch for relaxing, although they may also be items of indoor furniture, such as the Indian oonjal. The seat of a swing may be suspended from chains or ropes. Once a swing is in motion it continues to oscillate like a pendulum until external interference or drag brings it to a halt. Swing sets are very popular with children.
On playgrounds, several swings are often suspended from the same metal or wooden frame, known as a swing set, allowing more than one child to play at a time. Such swings come in a variety of sizes and shapes. For infants and toddlers, swings with leg holes support the child in an upright position while a parent or sibling pushes the child to get a swinging motion. Some swing sets include play items other than swings, such as a rope ladder or sliding pole.

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For older children, swings are sometimes made of a flexible canvas seat, of rubberized ventilated tire tread, of plastic, or of wood. A common backyard sight is a wooden plank suspended on both sides by ropes from a tree branch.
Swings should be unique and strong so that we or our children won't get hurt while having fun.

The 3 Best Types of Wood in a Swing Set

The 3 best types of woods used in today's swing sets. Each have their own pros and cons. I'll do my best to help you decide which is right for you.Here is the short version, taken from another blog post, with an infographic that sums everything up:

  • If you are looking for overall value, go with a solid Cedar swing set. It’s an excellent, all-around wood.
  • If you are looking for natural beauty and durability, go with a Redwood swing set. It will last you longer than a set made with Cedar wood, but it will also cost you more. It’s an absolutely beautiful wood and almost always comes with a lifetime warranty.
  • If you are looking for the most durable wood, go with a Pine swing set. Premium Preserved Pine will last longer than Cedar and Redwood without maintenance.  Its price typically falls between that of Redwood and Cedar and usually comes with a lifetime warranty.

Comparision of the 3 Best Types of Wood in a Swing Set

The agreed upon quality, ranging from best (5 stars) to worst (1 star), of the three woods would be as such:

1. Cedar
The majority of wooden swing sets today are made from Cedar. And rightfully so. Cedar is an awesome wood. It's naturally resistant to rot, decay and damage.
It is a highly durable wood, used on decks, playsets and other projects, and remains cost effective as well.
This affordable, but durable, wood will hold up well for years. Most Cedar sets come with a 10-15 year warranty. They are generally priced lower than their Redwood and Premium Preserved Pine counter parts.
Not to mention, new cedar sets smell terrific!
I would highly recommend Cedar. Similar to Redwood, it is resistant to insects and rot. If you can source it, Eastern White Cedar is a wonderful wood to make a play set out of, as it wont give splinters as easily as many woods will.
I went a bit overboard on the play set I built last summer. I went with rough cut western red cedar 4x4s, and jointed/planed them down to about 3 3/4" x 3 3/4". This allowed me to end up with very square members. This was necessary as I did everything using mortise and tenon joinery (yes, I went overboard).
The primary problem with cedar warping/twisting is when it is unsupported. Once supported properly (i.e.- assembled as a structure), the warping/twisting is minimal.

2. Redwood
Most top of the line swing sets are made from Redwood. There are different types of Redwood trees, however, the most common type of Redwood used in playsets these days is U.S-grown California Redwood.
Redwood, like Cedar, is naturally resistant to rot, decay and damage because it contains tannin, a natural chemical harmless to humans and animals, but toxic to fungi. Fungal disease causes decay in other woods. It is also naturally immune to insect damage.
The reddish-brown color of its bark has earned Redwood (by many people's opinion) the title of the most beautiful option for playsets, and it has less volumetric and tangential shrinkage, meaning it stays flat and straight with minimal, warping, cupping, or cracking. In other words, not only is Redwood easy on the eye but it also comes with a natural resistance to wear and tear, so you can enjoy it just as you purchased it for years to come.
Redwood is no doubt a beautiful and durable wood.  However, due to most Redwood lumber today not being "Heartwood Redwood," Redwood sets have slipped a notch in their durability factor.
Keep in mind that almost all swing set manufacturers who make Redwood sets will tout them as the best, when in fact, the quality of Redwood sets have declined in recent years due to the lack of Heartwood Redwood being used.
Nearly all Redwood sets come with a lifetime warranty.
3. Pine
If you are looking for the most durable swing set, I would recommend Premium Preserved Pine. (not regular pine) Contrary to popular belief, Premium Preserved Pine playsets, and NOT Redwood, are the most durable of all wood playsets used today because the pine is preshrunk and preserved.
These two processes minimize shrinking, warping, cracking, cupping, and fungal decay. Pine can withstand harsh weather conditions and can hold more moisture than Redwood and Cedar, which gives Premium Preserved Pine playsets a decades-long lifespan.
Pine is not the prettiest wood, however. Where as Cedar and Redwood have a darker color and warmth, pine lacks this darkness and warmth. It is by no means an "ugly" wood, though. because it fit my budget at the time. If I were to do it again I might have spent more and used redwood or cedar as some others have suggested. When I used to build decks we would always try and use redwood or trex, but both of those are more expensive.
One thing I did do that you should do no matter what kind of wood you use is to seal it. I used a really good protective paint that also contained sealant and some UV protective solution and the swing is still in pretty good shape after 8 years. However, this swing is pretty beefy (I used 6x6 posts and 6x10 beams) so warping wasn't really that much of an issue for me, just a little splintering here and there.
Another thing you can do is put some Boracare on it. It's perfect for keeping all wood-eating pests away from wooden outdoor structures, like swings.
One thing to note: Treated woods, such as Premium Preserved Pine, tend to be looked down upon by some playset dealers and manufacturers. The short reason for this is that - in the past - treated woods were treated by a chemical with trace amounts of arsenic - CCA - a chemical toxic to humans.
Playset manufacturers today that use pressure treated and preserved woods, such as Playnation, however, do NOT use chemicals containing arsenic. The new treatments are copper based, and are Greenguard Certified. They are 100% safe for playgrounds and children.
Nearly all Premium Preserved Pine playsets come with a lifetime warranty.
Swings and Accessories
We have varied collection of Swings and Accessories. We believe in making them as per your taste so they are handmade and you will not find any 2 products of similar design to be same. We make swings in various material types like:
1. Teak Wood Swings
2. Acrylic Swings
3. Rope Swings
We also provide with Swing Accessories most importantly links which are made from Stainless Steel, Brass and German silver. We vouch for the quality and cost of these Swing accessories along with the durability.
Components of Wooden Swing
Typical components of an outdoor playset include:
1. Towers
In a playset, a tower is a vertical structure with one or more decks placed at various levels. A deck is essentially a horizontal play surface contained within or attached to a tower.
2. Bridges
Towers may be connected to one another via fixed bridges or chain bridges for children to walk across.
3. Ladders
Rope ladders and fixed ladders are common accessories for play-sets.
4. Sandboxes
A sandbox often accompanies an outdoor play-set.
5. Slides
Playground slides may be covered or uncovered.
6. Swings
Swings are usually mounted on a free-standing swing-set.
7. Monkey bars
Towers may be connected by monkey bars as well as bridges.


Well, there you have it.
These are the 3 types of wood you will find when looking to purchase a new swing set. Which one is best for you is yours to decide.
In most cases, as long as you maintain the wooden furniture online Bangalore by staining/sealing each year, each of these woods will last you for many years to come.
Which wood would be best for swings according to you?

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