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 Fri, 01 Jul 2016 18:38:00 -0500, super70s

Post a photo of it when it's all done. John T
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What about putting slots in the horizontal member so that the trees could m ove back and forth. I would think a 5 inch slot at each end would allow as much horizontal motion as would be likely to occur. Center the mounting b olts/screw/whatever in the middle of the slot. Or, you could fasten one en d permanently and just have a slot on the second tree. But that means the bracket will move up and down slightly at the slotted end if it is total se curely fastened at the non-slot end.
What about some sort of telescoping rod assembly, maybe a pipe within a sec ond pipe, one end of each pipe fastened to a tree, and well lubricated so t he pipes can slide horizontally one inside the other as the trees move. A 1-inch pipe inside a 2-inch pipe would probably be more than strong enough for several hundred pounds of swinger.
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On Friday, July 1, 2016 at 8:57:58 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@ccanoemail.ca wrote:

my neighbor had a swing like the OP proposes. it did last a lot of years, till a storm came thru the area.
turned out the tree was weakened by the swing attachment. the tree came to rest on the homes roof and did a lot of damage. the home owners insurance refused to pay any of the claim, clean up downed tree, replace roof damaged... etc..
the homeowner ended up suig the insurance company and the whole mess ended up in court.....
the homeowner died of old age. and the buyer of the home, and este seller had litigation.
at this point i lost track of the mess.
why not just get a swing thats frame sits on the ground?
it was sad the fully grown tree had grown into its other matching tree. eventually they both had to be cut down
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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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On Friday, July 1, 2016 at 8:13:24 PM UTC-5, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Did you ever price SS lags? Ratchet is a no brainer...and wax is a better choice than grease.
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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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You don't need stainless steel - the cheaper plated steel lag bolts will do fine - they will certainly outlast the 2 x 4 main beam ... John T.
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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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Christopher A. Young
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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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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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