Steel Tube DIY: Monkey Bars
September 26, 2017
How do I make monkey bars out of steel tubes?
- Dig four 30 inch holes; these should be on the corners of a 12×3 foot rectangle.
- Place 10 foot 4x4s on these holes. Level them out with rocks and sticks and fill it in with concrete.
- Attach two 12 foot 2x6s to the lengthwise posts.
- Add 3 steps on the posts of each end. The steps must be 1 foot apart from each other.
- Install the steel tubes on top of the horizontal run (the two 12 foot 2x6s); these must be 14.5 inches apart from each other.
- Sand everything out and add finishing.
In the Philippines, steel tubes are great for doing DIY repairs on cars. But it’s also great for DIY stuff, including skateboard grindrails and gym equipment. Among the easiest things to make with steel tubes are monkey bars – no not a cage for monkeys, but the kind that you find in playgrounds. They can also be found in some gyms. Here are some techniques for incorporating them in your workout regime.
Anyway, monkey bars are easy to create, as it’s just a frame with some bars hanging from the top of it. What better material to use than steel tubes? Philippine playgrounds and backyards will definitely benefit from sturdily built sets of monkey bars made from the strongest metal. Here’s how to do it:
Dig Holes for the Posts
Easier said than done, but it’s crucial that you do this right. The hole must be at least 30 inches deep. Insert the 4x4x10 ft posts here. Make sure it’s completely leveled and hold it in place with rocks and sticks. Fill the hole with aggregate and concrete to secure the posts and keep the monkey bars from collapsing from the weight. As for positioning, each pair of posts should be 3 feet apart, placed 12 ft away from each other. The end result should be 4 90-inch posts.
This will be the hardest part of the job since you have to be precise with the height, level, distance, and positioning. We recommend doing this early in the morning to avoid the early afternoon heat. You’ll need a lot of time to get the measurements just right.
Install the Horizontal Pieces
Once the posts are perfectly in place, it’s time to connect them. Think of this step as like creating a table frame for a giant. But since you won’t be able to put this “table” on its side – because it’s already embedded in the ground – you’ll have to create vertical supports. Create these vertical supports and place them in between the two posts. Then, get 2 pieces that are 2x6x12 feet. Place one of it on the vertical support, so you can clamp it to the two posts. Adjust until you get the perfect placement and secure them with 5 bolts on each side. Do the same for the other piece of horizontal wood.
Put in the Steps
The steps will also act as part of the table frame to keep the two arcs together. Simply mark out where you want the first step (minimum of 3 per side) to be in the parallel posts. Then mark another step 12 feet from the first; do the same for the third step. In these marks, measure the distance from post to post and cut up some 2×4’s in these lengths. Drill them into the post securely. These 2x4s should be strong enough, but be sure to still test the stability by jumping on them once they’re drilled in.
Steel Tubes as Monkey Bars
Finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for: adding in the steel tubes. The process to place these in is similar to the previous step. On top of the horizontal run, mark out points 14.5 inches apart from each other. This is where you will drill the steel tubes through.
As for the steel tubes themselves, choose a thin tubing and cut out multiple 3 foot lengths. Then hammer the sides to flatten them. This will make it easier to drill through the marked areas on the horizontal run. Test the monkey bars for yourself and reinforce it where it’s needed. Sand out any rough surfaces and sharp edges and add the finishing to prevent accidental scratches. You’re done!
A monkey bar set-up is one of the many DIY projects you can do with car parts. Be sure to keep reading our blogs for more “Steel Tube DIY!”