I would like to build a simple A-frame style swing set, which obviously has to be safe while also accommodating up to two swings.
Where can I find plans for building such a swing set?
I will show how to build a simple A-frame swingset from pressure-treated four-by-fours and scraps, with minimal cutting.
From a six-inch-wide pressure-treated board (e.g., a 5/4-inch by 6 inch deck board), cut four isosceles trapezoids with bases that are 11 and 16 inches.
Take two legs (8-foot-long 4x4s) and align them with the legs of one of the trapezoid while touching each other on the top. Draw a line across the 4x4 legs along the short base (top) of the trapezoid. These lines are for alignment, not for cutting.
Center a scrap block of 4x4 above the trapezoid and draw lines on the legs along the sides of the block. Cut the legs along these lines.
Attach the trapezoid with screws. Attach a second trapezoid on the other side of the legs.
About six inches below the trapezoid, attach a crossbar made from another piece of 5/4x6 board. You could also use a 2x4.
Make a brace from 2x4 or 4x4. (Measure from the top of the trapezoid to the bottom of the crossbar and apply the pythagorean theorem to get the length of the brace.) Cut at 45-degree angles and attach to the crossbar.
Repeat steps 1–6 for the other A.
Assemble. Here's how to do it by yourself:
Hang swings and enjoy!
Your big-box hardware store sells kits for this. It's a box with the proper hardware (so it's safe) and the plans along with a list of the wood you need to purchase to build it.