Tying a rope to wood beam.

I’m in the process of expanding a self designed/built play structure and have a 4x6 beam cantilevered out 6 feet that I want to hang a disc swing off the end of.
I’ve got plenty of rope and am going over ways to attach it to the beam but have no idea what would be best.
-Drill a hole top to bottom of the beam, run the rope up through the hole and knot at top?
-Drill a hole top to bottom, run the rope over the top of the beam down through the hole and knot at bottom?
-No hole, just a shallow notch around the beam and tie the rope to itself around the beam?
-Multiple holes?
-Horizontal holes?

Here’s what I would do:

Vertical hole (does not compromise the integrity/strength of the wood as much as a horizontal hole would), plus shallow notch around the outside of the beam, to keep the rope from slipping front to back. Loop once around the shallow notch then through the hole from the top, tie at the bottom. Secure rope to wood with hammered-in staples (wide enough to not hit the rope at all).

No, I don’t wear both belt and suspenders, why do you ask?

Curious question: what value does having the rope through a hole add? If it were me, I’d cut a groove in the beam, wrap the rope around and tie a knot that pulls tighter with stress and call it good enough, but I’m no engineer.

Eye bolt and loop clamp.

Option #1, with a plastic sleeve for the rope as it goes through beam, (plastic tube, much like you see on the chain on those swings). The plastic sleeve should extend down about 2" under wood beam.

At big hardware stores, in the plumbing section, are roles of plastic tubing you get cut to size. They come various diameters. < 5 bucks. You buy.

Even old garden hose do it.

Actually, you decide to go round beam, cover rope with old garden hose or see suggestion on big hardware store I just made above.

Swing from rope make me talk like Tarzan. Rope fun.


You don’t want your rope touching the wood. Where the rope touches, the rope will wear out.

Think like a gymnast. Run a lag bolt with a loop through the bolt, and use a rope with an eye fitting that fits onto the loop.

Here’s just one site out of millions that give you the general idea.


n/m Enright3 didn’t see my post and his is more detailed.

Drill hole vertically and use a an eye bolt (one inch longer than your hole) and secure with a wide and thick washer and nut. Tie rope to eye bolt OR attach a weight bearing swivel assembly for easy attachment/unattachment.

If you want to get really fancy, use an eye splice.

The eye splice is what I would do, but that’s largely because I’m always looking for ways to use the things I learned in Boy Scouts. I can still do every knot, lashing, whipping, and splice in the handbook.

I’d suggest a method that doesn’t use a hole. The hole will collect water, and bugs, and rot the rope and the beam where it’s unseen. But then again, I tend to overthink things like this.

Thanks for the replies. I think I’ll go with the loop end lag bolt, a thimble eye, and some type of loop clamp.
Another thought… If this is for a disc swing how do I keep the lag bolt from unscrewing out of the top nut?

I wouldn’t worry about it much, but Loctite

Put two nuts up there. Lock them against each other.