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dsailer@paonline.com
science forum beginner

Joined: 08 Apr 2006
Posts: 4

Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 3:40 pm    Post subject: swingset design

I'm planning to build a post and beam swingset out of 6x6 pressure
treated lumber. I want to have 2 swings and one tire swing. The top
beam will be 16 feet, the posts 12 footers probably 4 feet into the
ground making it 8 feet high. The challenge is the tire swing. I have
two possible designs:

one
-----
cantilevered with the middle post centered somewhere around 8 feet. The
tire swing would mount at the end of the cantilever with the swings
inbetween the two beams. This allows both swings and the tire swing to
be used at one time. I prefer this design, but my concern is the amount
of force on the connection point with the middle post and beam.

two
-----
post and beam (not cantilevered). The tire swing would go in the middle
with a swing on each side. In this design, the two swings would need to
be set up on hooks while the tire swing is used. The advantage is the
elimination of the severe stress on the middle beam with the
cantilevered approach.

so, being the curious type, I snooped around a little and found some
momemt of intertia and modulus of rupture calculations, like this...

moment of inertia, l = (W x H^3)/12
and
strength, inch lbs = modulus of rupture x moment of intertia

so for me....
l = 5.5^4/12 = 76.3
strength = 76.3 X 8000 = 686,700 inch lbs

ok, so I'm a computer programmer, not an engineer. I have no idea what
this number means to me. Doesn't the modulus of rupture depend on the
span? Also this applies to the beam and I'm guessing my bigger concern
is the post with approach #1.

Also, I originally wanted to use mortis and tenon joints mainly because
I've always wanted to do that, but (especially with approach #1), I
thought it might be better to drill 4 holes straight down thru the beam
into the post and pound rebar or something similar down thru beam into
the post.

The real question here is how do I calculate whether the middle
post/beam connection will hold in design #1. I'm kinda assuming the
second approach won't be a problem.

Any help on this would be appreciated.
Herman Family
science forum Guru Wannabe

Joined: 14 Jun 2005
Posts: 173

Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 7:42 am    Post subject: Re: swingset design

<dsailer@paonline.com> wrote in message
 Quote: I'm planning to build a post and beam swingset out of 6x6 pressure treated lumber. I want to have 2 swings and one tire swing. The top beam will be 16 feet, the posts 12 footers probably 4 feet into the ground making it 8 feet high. The challenge is the tire swing. I have two possible designs: one ----- cantilevered with the middle post centered somewhere around 8 feet. The tire swing would mount at the end of the cantilever with the swings inbetween the two beams. This allows both swings and the tire swing to be used at one time. I prefer this design, but my concern is the amount of force on the connection point with the middle post and beam. two ----- post and beam (not cantilevered). The tire swing would go in the middle with a swing on each side. In this design, the two swings would need to be set up on hooks while the tire swing is used. The advantage is the elimination of the severe stress on the middle beam with the cantilevered approach. so, being the curious type, I snooped around a little and found some momemt of intertia and modulus of rupture calculations, like this... moment of inertia, l = (W x H^3)/12 and strength, inch lbs = modulus of rupture x moment of intertia so for me.... l = 5.5^4/12 = 76.3 strength = 76.3 X 8000 = 686,700 inch lbs ok, so I'm a computer programmer, not an engineer. I have no idea what this number means to me. Doesn't the modulus of rupture depend on the span? Also this applies to the beam and I'm guessing my bigger concern is the post with approach #1. Also, I originally wanted to use mortis and tenon joints mainly because I've always wanted to do that, but (especially with approach #1), I thought it might be better to drill 4 holes straight down thru the beam into the post and pound rebar or something similar down thru beam into the post. The real question here is how do I calculate whether the middle post/beam connection will hold in design #1. I'm kinda assuming the second approach won't be a problem. Any help on this would be appreciated.

Multiply the weight of you kid (in pounds) by the number of inches from the
end of the cantilevered beam to about the center of the first beam (lets say
96 inches) and you get the moment on that point. If your kid weighs any
more than about 6800 pounds, you have a problem. If your kid is the type to
really swing out a ways, then lets say that anything over about 3000 pounds
is going to be an issue. Most very active 3000 pound kids would recognize
the bending and take it a little easier on the equipment. The mortice and
tennon joints would be ok, though you may end up derating the wood a little.
The bolts would be ok. In general, it is better to put a hole in the
center of a beam than on the outside of it because the stiffness is
generated mostly from the outside edges.

Michael
Jim Y
science forum beginner

Joined: 07 Jul 2005
Posts: 21

Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 3:42 pm    Post subject: Re: swingset design

<dsailer@paonline.com> wrote in message
 Quote: I'm planning to build a post and beam swingset out of 6x6 pressure treated lumber. I want to have 2 swings and one tire swing. The top beam will be 16 feet, the posts 12 footers probably 4 feet into the ground making it 8 feet high. The challenge is the tire swing. I have two possible designs: For your design reference I suggest you check this text. It may be out of print, but it is an

exceptional reference for working with lumber.

"Timber Design and Construction Handbook", McGraw-Hill, Timber Engineering Company, 1956, ISBN
07-064606-6
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 56-10879

The Timber Engineering Company is (was) an affiliate of the National Lumber Manufacturers
Association if that is any help.

The text discusses joints, bolting, etc. In addition, it has the formulas for the beams that you
will be using.

Good luck,
Jim Y
Smitty

Joined: 21 Apr 2005
Posts: 51

Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 5:20 pm    Post subject: Re: swingset design

"dsailer@paonline.com" <dsailer@paonline.com> wrote:

 Quote: I'm planning to build a post and beam swingset out of 6x6 pressure treated lumber.

Check this article for a primer on the new lumber. The old stuff has
been banned by the EPA. According to this article, the new lumber is
*five times* as corrosive to some metals as the old stuff. No matter how
well your swingset is designed, it isn't going to last forever if the
brackets, screws, and nails holding it together disintegrate.

http://www.taunton.com/finehomebuilding/pages/h00127.asp
dsailer@paonline.com
science forum beginner

Joined: 08 Apr 2006
Posts: 4

 Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 9:16 pm    Post subject: Re: swingset design ah, that's good to know. Now I just need to find a place that sells 1/2 inch galvanized rebar!
dsailer@paonline.com
science forum beginner

Joined: 08 Apr 2006
Posts: 4

 Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 9:19 pm    Post subject: Re: swingset design did you write that without cracking a smile :) seriously, I like that center of wood idea. One big one right down the middle. But I think I need to go back and see if I can calculate a sheering force on the middle post. My kids an alot, but I doubt they'll get that big - I think the beam is safe.
dsailer@paonline.com
science forum beginner

Joined: 08 Apr 2006
Posts: 4

 Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 10:12 pm    Post subject: Re: swingset design "the MoE of wood perpendicular to grain is about 1/50 the value of MoE parallel to grain" so, looks like I'm still ok...

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