I would like to build the A-frame swing structure. One end of the beam attaches to the playhouse. The other end is the A-frame and I plan to use 4x8x12 treated lumber as the beam since I already bought one extra from previous project.

I have been researching for the mounting bracket but most would say to support 4x6 beam only like this

enter image description here

Source: http://www.swingworks.com/product-p/11-5010.htm

I rather not use multiple lumber pieces to build the horizontal support like this because we think it's somewhat "ugly":

enter image description here

OR this (using 4x8 instead):

enter image description here

My questions are:

  1. Is there some kind of bracket from home improvement store that I could use? I am thinking of using "4 in. x 8 in. Concealed Face Mount Joist Hanger" like below

enter image description here

..and then install it as in the "red" box in this picture:

enter image description here

  1. Could I use the 4x6 bracket for 4x8 lumber?

  2. Or best, is there one bracket purposely built for 4x8 lumber?

I could buy a new 4x6 for this but would rather use the existing 4x8 that already laying around in my backyard.

  • For this scenario, I don't see why you couldn't use the 4x6 bracket for a 4x8 beam. HOWEVER, don't use those brackets in the photo. They make swing-set brackets designed for this very purpose with additional lateral supports. Use those instead.
    – DA01
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 3:04
  • The swingworks bracket looks thick, like 1/8". Joist hangers tend to be around 1/16" (or less). Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 21:29

1 Answer 1


I would refrain from using that type of fastener. I believe it will allow a lot of movement. I made a sketch to show what I have made before, many years ago. It does not have any hangers just angled notches that allow the legs to fit tightly and notches that act as a setting for the beam to bear on. A single bolt will draw it all together, or two could be used.swing1 swing2

The legs are also splayed to help stabilize the swingset, and give more room for the swings.

7/12/2016 Edit

All it really takes is a circular saw set at 5 degrees or so. No set angle, just something that would draw tight as the bolt tightens. The notches on the beam are the same depth alll the way through. Just determine the angle you want the legs to splay at and make sure the overall width of the cut on the side is no wider than the leg material, otherwise the fit may be loose. The legs are what is cut at the angle. I added some sketches to help elaborate a little.

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

I hope it helps.

  • That notches in the 4x8 seem very complicated. What are the steps and tool to do that? What are the angles? It does look beautiful woodworking though.
    – HP.
    Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 19:00
  • That's a very nice solution, but do note they make brackets for this very purpose: swing-sets. Much easier than the nice joinery you have there.
    – DA01
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 3:04
  • 1
    @DA01, I have done any research myself, but the bracket the OP first pictured looked like an easy way to put everything together, but the strength was still in a thin, narrow metal plate. It appeared it would do a lot of moving around.
    – Jack
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 3:12
  • I just did some looking around and the same website offers a very nice strong alternative, swingworks.com/Free-Standing-A-Frame-Brackets-p/11-5009.htm That would work very well, but a $100+ investment. Me, being a tightwad would cut wood.
    – Jack
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 3:14
  • @Jack correct, the bracket shown is not designed for that but the one you linked to is. They do cost a bit. I'm one of the lazy people, though. :)
    – DA01
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 4:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.