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I want to hang a yoga swing from the ceiling (last floor, ceiling is insulated with some loose substance, if it makes a difference). The yoga swing needs two bolts, one to two meters apart.

I'd rather not make holes in the existing structure so, I'm wondering if the plan below is sensible:

enter image description here

The grey part are existing joists. The green part would be a new 4x4. I guess I would need some sort of strong-ties to prevent it from moving/sliding. I guess the best way to get bolts would be some sort of lag bolts. There could be mild acrobatics happening, but the load should not go above 400 lbs / 200 Kg.

The ceiling joist are 2x6. I'll go check their distance and length.

  • What sort or strong-ties should I used?
  • Are there any faults in this plan?
  • Any special lag bolts I should get?

enter image description here enter image description here

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  • 3
    Size of ceiling joists and the span they cover. Ceiling joists might be weaker/smaller than floor joists. Usually don't have a person jumping on them.
    – crip659
    Oct 25, 2022 at 0:24
  • 2
    I might extend the green cross piece so that it rests on the next two joists and the eyebolts were supported on both sides.
    – gnicko
    Oct 25, 2022 at 0:28
  • Google “Simpson Strong Tie”. Metal crossties designed for attics and decks. Whatever lumber sizes you settle on, they make one. Most home improvement stores carry a wide selection, internet has the rest. Oct 25, 2022 at 0:34
  • not sensible ... the eyebolts will swing and make elongated holes in the ceiling ... place the eyebolts next to the joists and attach them to the side of the joists
    – jsotola
    Oct 25, 2022 at 2:32
  • While you (or your spouse/significant other) may weigh less than 400lbs, movement - even the somewhat gentle movements of yoga - will create significantly greater stress. Simply "plopping" into the swing instead of sitting gently could probably come close to doubling your weight being loaded on this contraption. Not telling you not to do it, but cautioning you to over build. It'll be far cheaper than medical bills and reconstruction of the ceiling.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 25, 2022 at 17:01

4 Answers 4

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Extending the green beam so that the ends rest on joists will more than double its strength.

Also it's not enough. You're going to need blocking above the plaster of the ceiling to prevent the bolts from flexing and tearing holes.

4" nails should be sufficient to attach the beam to the joists. Ties are only needed to prevent uplift, and if both beam ends are resting on joists there won't be uplift.

It might be easier to just sister the joists with 3x2 or 4x2, or angle steel, at the bottom of the side, using structural screws or lag bolts and bolt the hanging eyes through that.

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  • Metal brackets make it much easier (especially for rookies) to attach lumber at perpendicular angles and will help resist the cross-beam's desire to move.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 25, 2022 at 16:57
  • The blocking at the bottom will take the lateral forces the nails are just to keep in in place while your'e drilling holes etc. that said angle brakets can be used with shorter nails, so, yeah, if there's not enough room to easily swing a hammer that might be a good idea.
    – Jasen
    Oct 26, 2022 at 1:29
  • Also brackets are good if if they actually use a 4x4 up there - a 2x4 flat-ways should be plenty.
    – Jasen
    Oct 26, 2022 at 1:39
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As was stated in a comment, the suspended eye bolts will flex severely, tearing at your ceiling. They may even fail after a time. You need anchorage at the ceiling level, not above the joists.

I would put a flat 2x6 or 2x8 against the ceiling, mounted with two 3/8" x 5" lag screws (properly piloted, giving 2½" net penetration) at each of at least four ceiling joists. This board can be stained or painted to suit. Bullnose edges would look nice.

I would then screw two-by blocks above the drywall, to the first board, sandwiching the drywall. Nut the eye bolts above the upper block. If the upper blocks are large enough and screwed through the ceiling joists the drywall won't disintegrate.

ELEVATION (SIDE) VIEW

             :
    |  | ____=___________  |  |
    |: ||    :  block     ||: | <-- ceiling joist
____|:_||____:____________||:_|_____
_____:_______:______________:______ <-- drywall
  |  :       :              :      
  |__:_______:______________:______ <-- mounting board
     ^       () <-- eye bolt
    lag   
    screws

If you really want a blind solution, consider using 2x4 joist hangers to support blocks between ceiling joists, below and screwed to your spreader bar. Your spreader bar might more conveniently be a 2x6 or 2x8 so you can screw through it more easily. This would provide lateral stability to your eye bolts at ceiling level.

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I can give you some good advice on how to do this because I have installed a few heavy bags in houses but my main advice is don't. Joists do not deal with horizontal loads well and when there is an issue it effects many things. So hitting a heavy bag has messed up some joists, can't imagine acrobatics of an adult on a swing...

  1. The biggest issue is the cord opening. You will have to find a "ring gasket" with some sort of flexible rubber center to get your cord through the ceiling. This has to be pretty big or it won't swing. Also it has to be reinforced or when you swing to much it will tear the ring and ceiling apart. This is a big shopping question... I know these exist but are really specific and usually for commercial use.

  2. Your beam carrying the eyebolts should be at least 2 joists past the holes. To carry the inflection load.

  3. You need some sort of buffer between the cross beam and the joists. You cannot lay that thing on the joists directly. You need a significant gasket - 1/2" rubber? This gasket will displace some of the side movement and keep the wood from bouncing which loosens connections and fails over time - especially when people are getting on and off or being jerky on the swing.

  4. You need significant bridging between all joists. I would say bridging under the beam (close to under) and then bridging a few feet away on each side and then across all joists the beam would rest on... Be like 18 bridges. This is crucial so that your joists don't roll at all. They will roll for sure if the swing is used a lot over time. This is the main issue I had with the heavy bags.

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  • The swing operates in the direction perpendicular to that support beam, so any horizontal load gets applied along the length of the joists. Joists deal with that horizontal load just fine.
    – popham
    Jan 17 at 21:05
0

Your cross bar should be 4x4 inches.

Do not install the hooks at cantilevered ends. Install them between the joists.

The cross bar and the ceiling joists are there to carry the weight.

I recommend going to a hardware store and look for Simpson framing profiles to connect the 4x4 with the 2x6.

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  • 2
    The mild acrobatics could be a problem. It is not a simple 400 pound hanging weight. A moving weight in different directions adds a lot more stress.
    – crip659
    Oct 25, 2022 at 0:58
  • @crip659, for weight W with its center of gravity swinging along radius R and for motion that stops distance H above the low point, max vertical load is W(1+2H/R). Potential E at top of motion equals Kinetic E at bottom, so WH = (1/2)mv², and F = mv²/R is the centripetal force. Dividing both sides of the E expression => WH/R = (1/2)mv²/R, substituting F into the right hand side yields WH/R = (1/2)F, and solve for F yields F = 2WH/R. Load is W+F = W+2WH/R = W(1+2WH/R), where adding W+F for load is actually a non-trivial thing.
    – popham
    Jan 17 at 21:52
  • @popham 45 plus years years ago I probably could understand that. Simple question I am right or do not know what I am talking about? No harm if I am stupid now.
    – crip659
    Jan 17 at 22:08
  • @crip659, yeah, you're right. And I screwed up my final expression with an extra "W." The extra load depends on the geometry, though. I have no idea how all a yoga swing gets used, and I'm afraid to ask the internet.
    – popham
    Jan 17 at 22:16

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