Metal swing set frame - need advice with materials needed

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Bebop, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. Bebop

    Bebop Songster

    We just realized there is a metal single swing frame in our yard, just rusting away... We're going to use it as a frame after seeing all the ideas here! Seen mostly wooded frames and maybe one metal one but..

    How in the world are we going to attach any wood to it? We have a drill, probably just need the proper bit, but will that suffice? What kind of screws? bolts? Will it destroy our brand new drill?

    Also we have a lot of chain link fabric (just the chainlink) laying around, is it possible to just use that instead of hardware cloth? We're just really low on funds and want to use what's already here.

    Thanks for any advice!

  2. lamNervousNellie

    lamNervousNellie Chirping

    Mar 24, 2011
    Mishawaka, Indiana
    I don't know much about carpentry (that's my BFs department), but I might be able to help..

    When you say chain-link fabric, do you mean like chain link fencing or chicken wire? Either way, depending on the design you chose, you may want to also use some hardware cloth. Both chaink link fencing and chicken wire aren't very good at keeping predators out. I've heard (countless) stories of racoons simply reaching through the chicken wire and strangling a chicken to death, then trying to pull it out somehow. Chicken wire is made to keep chickens in, not predators out. I've heard that a coon can rip through chicken wire in seconds if it's motivated enough. The same would go for chain-link fence, a predator could easily reach through and grab one of your birds. Hardware cloth is nice because the space in between wires is usually very small. It would be good to layer on top of chicken wire or chain link fencing for some extra protection. I hope that helps! Best of luck.
  3. Bebop

    Bebop Songster

    Yup chain link, absolutely not chicken wire! haha Yeah I was just wondering because I've seen the dog kennel runs, but we don't have any of the poles or hardware, just the fencing.
    Thanks a bunch! I hope I get more hints!
  4. ozzchicken

    ozzchicken In the Brooder

    Mar 3, 2011
    They make screws to attach wood to metal, they have a self tapping tip.
    I wish I would have thought of that idea before I took the swingset for scrape. I did use the scrape money to buy some material for the coop Good luck,,
    ps post some pics on your progress!!!!
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Sheet-metal screws, or bolt all the way thru the pipe, depending on what you're doing. Predrill the hole first with an appropriate bit. No, it iwll not destroy your drill [​IMG]

    Also we have a lot of chain link fabric (just the chainlink) laying around, is it possible to just use that instead of hardware cloth? We're just really low on funds and want to use what's already here.

    Although using your metal swingset frame is more straightforward than you are thinking, THIS is LESS straightforward than you're thinking, I'm afraid.

    Chainlink, even if it is heavy gauge, is ONLY predatorproof IF it is installed very correctly (including, but not limited to, being very strongly tensioned). If it is installed in a wibbly way, animals can just pry holes in it, pretty easily, shoving apart the wires til they can get in. Even fairly big animals like dogs.

    I *suppose* if you really feel like messin' with the chainlink you could use it for the two long sides (which will be rectangular, tho 'lean-y'). The easiest thing would probably to make a separate metal-pipe or 2x4 frame, square and *strong*, and then stretch and attach the chainlink onto it. It is going to be real hard to get it tight and even enough *and* well-enough attached, but it can be done. Then you would simply attach those panels -- essentially they will be homemade chainlink kennel panels -- to your swingset frame.

    There is no good way to use the chainlink for the triangular ends though (not and have it be predatorproof) and I'd discourage you from even trying, honestly.

    Frankly I think your better bet would be to try to sell the chainlink on craigslist or wherever, and use the proceeds to buy some more appropriate welded wire fence mesh for the swingset. Or, just dig the pennies out of the sofa cushions and buy the welded wire mesh and keep the chainlink to use for a larger run for the chickens (although it still needs to be installed correctly, it is easier to install chainlink correctly in the context of installing a fence than it is in the context of making up a panel, IME).

    JMHO, good luck, have fun,


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