backyard swing project

I have two big trees in my backyard that happen to be about 5 feet apart. I wanted to rig up about an 8' high swing between these two trees using a 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" horizontal beam (in a vertical position for better strength) and then hang the swing from that using two swing hooks with lucite in the middle that are made for this purpose.
I've already constructed the seat part, 3' wide by 11" deep, using four planks. Now I'm ready to hang the swing and I was wondering what would be the best way to anchor the supports for the beam into the trees.
I was thinking about using two 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" supports for the beam, about 9 inches long. Drill a hole in each of them, then nailing them into the tree with about a 5 or 6 inch spike. Then put two braces on either side of the horizontal beam so it wouldn't come off the bottom support.
Does this sound workable? I want to make sure I get the beam up securely, because if it fell down on my head it would probably kill me, lol.
Oh yeah - the ridges of the bark on these trees are pretty deep, so I need something that will go pretty deep into the trees.
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On 7/1/2016 7:38 PM, super70s wrote:

The one thing I'd suggest would be using stainless lag bolts and washers. Ratchet wrench to put em in. Clear holes for the lags, and pilot holes (and grease) for the tree.
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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I think I have seen those kind of lag bolts at the local Tractor Supply Co. I may have to pay a pretty penny for them but I guess it would be a better solution than nails.
My only concern is drilling the pilot holes, I've never tried to drill holes into a big tree with my drill which is a lowly Black & Decker portable that runs on an 18 volt battery (not sure if it would have enough torque).
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On 7/1/2016 10:34 PM, super70s wrote:

One way to find out..... more seriously, it should work fine.
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The problem with attaching a structure to trees is that trees move. If you lag bolt a beam between the two trees, there's a real risk of the bolts splitting the beam at each end as the trees sway in the wind. It won't happen immediately, but over time it could be a dangerous situation. If you do it, you should check the beam at each end periodically.
One alternative would be to drive large eye hooks into the side of each tree, then just attach your swing ropes/chains to the hooks in each tree. You wouldn't need the beam, and the trees could sway back and forth as needed without hurting anything.
Alternatively, make some kind of bracket (preferably steel) that you could lag bolt into each tree and hang your swing from the brackets. Again, not tying the two trees together with a beam.
If you still want to use the beam approach, I would use a pressure treated 4x4 to minimize rot. A 2x4 mounted vertically wouldn't leave much wood by the time you drill a hole for the swing hardware. It could potentially crack as the wood ages and weight is hanging from the beam.
Use a single galvanized (to minimize rust) 1/2"x10" lag bolts at each tree with a washer between the tree and the beam, and another washer under the head of the lag bolt (washer on each side of the beam).
Extend the beam at least 6-12 inches past each of the lag bolt holes to minimize splitting near the end of the beam.
Center the lag bolt vertically in the 4x4 beam, but elongate the holes in the beam horizontally. Center the lag bolt in the elongated hole, snugging it up to the beam, but don't cinch it down tight. Allow the bolts to move a little in the elongated holes as the trees sway in the wind.
An impact driver would make quick work of driving the lag bolts, but you could do it with a large ratchet too (using a cheater pipe for more leverage if needed).
Good luck!
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
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HerHusband posted for all of us...

+1 Do not use nails. Do not use deck screws. Perhaps use chains to attach your seat supports as the frees will move and if want you could washer out from the tree to the chain to provide clearance for the chain.
--
Tekkie

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Yes I had considered the chain approach for the reason you mention as a matter of fact.
The problem is I looked for some eye hooks that were long enough to go deep into the trees and I couldn't seem to find any (even online).
I'm thinking the screw area of the eye hooks would need to be at least three inches long, so the total length would need to be at least five or six inches. I could not find any eye hooks that long.
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On 7/3/16 2:53 PM, super70s wrote:

Have you looked at gate screw hooks or bolts? <https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=gate+screw+hook&qs=AS&sk=&FORM=QBIR&pq=gate%20screw&sc=4-10&sp=1&qs=AS&sk=
or http://preview.alturl.com/ydt34
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Or just a big screw hook I noticed on that page would be good, it would help the chain from slipping off.
I was thinking how in the world I was going to attach a heavy chain to a thick eye hook unless it was with a small Master padlock, lol.
I guess you could use one of those "carabiners" like the mountain climbers use but that would be another big expense.
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On 7/3/16 11:05 PM, super70s wrote:

Have you looked at the load limits of the hooks and such? Even a 7/8" has a "safe" working load limit of 240 lbs. I don't know how they rate those things. The limit doesn't make sense compared to bolt ratings. Misprint? This one is on Amazon: http://preview.alturl.com/iygyv Kids ain't skinny these days.
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On 7/4/2016 12:05 AM, super70s wrote:

Properly sized S hook?
https://trampolinepartsandsupply.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/800x800/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/s/_/s_hook.jpg
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Christopher A. Young
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super70s wrote: ...

get a good sturdy mat of some kind, wrap it around the trunk and then use rope to secure it in place. then you can use these mats as an anchor to string a good rope across (with some slack in it so the trees can move with the winds and storms) and then hang the swing from that rope.
no damage to the tree (the mat and ropes if wound right will distribute the weight so that the tree bark isn't damaged). at the end of the season you can take it down again. next year put it back up in a different location.
songbird
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Home Depot carries 3/8 x 8" screw hooks:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-3-8-in-x-8-in-Zinc-Plated-Lag-Thread- Screw-Eye-09716/100133542
You could use a quick link to connect your swing chain to the eye hook:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Lehigh-3-16-in-Zinc-Plated-Quick-Link-7034S- 24/100192336
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
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Excellent! The price is right on both items too.
There's a Home Depot in a town that's just about 20 minutes from me (we have a Lowe's here instead).
Maybe Home Depot has a better selection of screws and hooks because I didn't notice anything like those at Lowe's.
Thanks to you and everyone else for their input.
(P.S. - nice little DIY website you got there)
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