If you’ve been rocking an aluminum swinging tower, you might be tempted to replace it with something lighter, but you should also look for ways to keep it looking its best.
“Aluminum swingers tend to be the most popular,” says Alton Jones, a mechanical engineer at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
“They have this beautiful, smooth, glossy surface.”
It’s a design flaw that can make it hard for people to tell whether an aluminum swing is a good choice or not.
The first thing you need to know is how much the swing should weigh.
A typical swing is made up of about 5,000 pounds of material, or about 2.5 tons.
The weight varies depending on the size of the swing, but it generally goes between 10 and 20 percent higher than a steel swing.
Jones recommends a swing with a center load of 20 percent or higher, because that weight tends to add a lot of rigidity to the metal.
“The heavier the swing is, the more likely the metal will absorb vibrations from the ground,” Jones says.
Another problem with aluminum swingers is that they don’t have an easy way to adjust the weight.
“If you’ve got a heavy swing, it might not work out so well,” Jones adds.
“You might be able to swing it more, but the weight will increase and you’ll end up swinging it harder.”
A better option is to purchase an aluminum sliding or sliding-tower kit, which includes a small metal plate that attaches to the bottom of the tower.
The plate attaches to a metal bar that sits on top of the metal tower, so it can be rotated freely and easily adjusted.
“There are different ways to go about this,” Jones explains.
“For example, if you have a heavy base with a little plate, you could use a plastic bar to hold it in place.”
You can also use a metal rod or screw to hold the plate in place.
The plates also need to be large enough to support the weight of the swinging tower when swinging.
Alton adds that you could also use two metal bars that are approximately equal in size to the swinging base.
You can buy this kind of kit from online catalogs, but if you’re looking for a new aluminum swing, Jones says it can take a few hours to build.
“We don’t know how long it takes for this type of assembly to be made, so the only real way to know if it’s going to work is to try it yourself,” Jones concludes.
Aluminum swinger repair and maintenance are often overlooked or underestimated.
“Many people who are trying to build a new swing have never heard of a metal plate or metal rod,” Jones admits.
“When they start, they’re not sure what to expect.”
To make sure that your aluminum swinging will be sturdy and perform well, you should start by making sure the base isn’t too thick or too thin.
“To get the best results, we recommend having a good base with an adequate thickness,” Jones recommends.
If you’re planning to replace your swinging tower because it has a lot going on, consider replacing the base with one that is thinner or wider.
“A thinner base will have a harder time keeping the weight from being too heavy,” Jones notes.
Jones also recommends that you use a stronger piece of metal.
If the metal is too heavy, the weight could easily be transferred to the base.
“It can be hard to remove the weight if you use too much force,” Jones suggests.
If your aluminum swing isn’t strong enough to handle the weight, you’ll need to add more force.
“Using heavier weights will cause more damage to the swing,” Jones warns.
Jones suggests you buy a small, thin steel plate and replace it every six months, unless the swing itself has already been in use for a long time.
“Because of the heavy weight, the metal has to be stronger,” Jones continues.
“This increases the risk of breaking.”
You should also replace the metal bar every six to eight months, and replace the swing if it starts to get too thin, or if it doesn’t seem to be keeping the load in check.
Jones says you should do this as often as you can.
“As soon as you replace the bar, replace the base,” he says.
If a swing’s weight seems to be causing damage, you may want to consider replacing it with a stronger material, like aluminum.