How to Install a Tire Swing
Endlessly entertaining, all but indestructible and virtually cost-free: the tire swing is all three. If one doesn't already hang in your backyard, the situation is easily corrected, though keep in mind these safety tips from playground builder and National Playground Safety Inspector Barry Segal.
- The best tire is a used, belt-less, light truck tire (ask for one at a tire store or junkyard). Avoid steel-belted tires, which have sharp cords that might work to the surface.
- Hang the swing from a hardwood tree such as sugar maple, oak, ash, cherry or beech. Avoid soft-limbed evergreens and fast-growing species such as silver maple, box elder, willow or poplar.
- Choose a healthy branch that's at least 8 inches in diameter at the attachment point. The higher the branch, the longer the swing's arc.
- Suspend the tire with rot-proof nylon rope or, better yet, 3/16-inch playground chain. To attach a 3/16-inch playground chain, drill a 1/2-inch hole through the center of the branch and insert a 1/2-inch eyebolt, fastening it on top with a washer and two nuts. Drill a 1/2-inch hole through the top center of the tire. Thread a nut, washer and 3-inch fender washer on a second eyebolt, send it through the hole and secure with another fender washer, washer and nut. Attach the chain to the eyebolts with 1/4-inch quick links or similar hardware.
- Drill drainage holes in the bottom of the tire.
- Put wood chips, pine bark or some other soft material beneath and around the swing to cushion falls.
Originally published in Family Fun magazine.