How to build Ninja Warrior Course for kids: Monkey Bars & Cargo Net
How to Build Monkey Bars
With a little elbow grease and ingenuity, you can make your own set of monkey bars using some 2x4 planks of wood, screws, and bars that you can purchase online or at a hardware store. First, you'll have to cut the boards to size and assemble the support structure. From there, all you have to do is attach the bars. If you follow the steps and use the right tools, you can create your own monkey bars in no time!
Cutting Boards for the Support Structure
Gather the materials for the monkey bars.To build the monkey bars, you'll need at least 13 8 ft (2.4 m) long 2x4 boards. Get a couple of extra 2x4s in the event that you make a mistake while you're cutting. You'll also need to purchase metal monkey bars that have screw holes in each end, measuring tape, miter saw, handsaw/circular saw, 2.5 in (6.4 cm) wood screws, and a power drill. These materials can be found at most hardware stores or online.
Wear the proper safety gear when sawing and drilling into wood.Whenever you are using electric saws or drills it's important you wear the proper safety gear to prevent injury. Purchase and wear a respirator, goggles, gloves, and earplugs when you are sawing or drilling into the wood.
Cut 4 2x4 boards so they are 88 inches (220 cm) long.These 4 posts will act as your vertical support beams and will hold up the monkey bars. Measure 88 inches (220 cm) down the length of one of the boards. Draw a straight line across the board and use a handsaw or circular saw to cut the board to the right length. Repeat this process on 4 2x4s.
- Line a level up against the line you drew to keep your cuts straight.
- Use a straightedge to help you keep your saw straight as you cut.
Cut 2 2x4s so they are 57 inches (140 cm) long.Use the same technique that you used on the longer boards to cut these boards to size. These smaller boards will attach to the bottom of the longer planks and will rest against the ground and act as a stand for your monkey bar set.
Cut 4 25.5 in (65 cm) long cross braces out of 2x4s.Lay a 2x4 on a flat surface and use a handsaw or circular saw to cut the plank so that it’s 25.5 inches (65 cm) long. These braces will be used to support the stand that you're creating.
Cut a 45-degree angle on each end of the 25.5 in (65 cm) braces.Draw a 45-degree angle on each corner of the 25.5 in (65 cm) braces using a carpenter's triangle. Adjust a miter saw so it cuts on a 45-degree angle and then uses it to cut these planks of wood on each side.
- These braces will attach to the left and right sides of each of your vertical support posts.
Determine how long you want your monkey bar set to be.The length of the monkey bars will be determined by how many bars you have and how far you want to set them apart. Most sets have 6-10 bars. To calculate how long your set should be, you can count how many bars you have, then multiply that by 10 inches (25 cm). This will make the set long enough to set the bars 10 inches (25 cm) apart.
Cut boards that run the length of your monkey bar set.Once you get the measurement for how long you want your set to be, you'll have to cut 2 2x4 boards to the length of your set. This will connect both portions of the monkey bar set together.
Measure the length of your bars.Purchase bars that have screw holes or a place to mount the bars. Then, measure from screw hole to screw hole, so that you know how far apart your horizontal supports need to be. Most bars that you can purchase online or at a hardware store will be between 1.5–2 feet (0.46–0.61 m) long. Write the measurement on a piece of paper.
- Search online or at hardware stores for bars made specifically for a monkey bar set.
Cut 6 2x4s 4 inches (10 cm) longer than the length of your bars.These boards will act like the steps or ladder rungs of your monkey bars. Take the measurement of your bars, and cut the boards so that they are 4 inches (10 cm) longer than your bars.
Assembling the Monkey Bars
Lay 2 of the 88 in (220 cm) long posts on the ground.Position the posts down so they lay vertically on the ground. The posts should be laying down on their thin side. Take the measurement that you calculated for the length of your bars and use a tape measure to lay the posts apart at the same distance.
- For instance, if your bars are 10 inches (25 cm) long, you'd position each post 10 inches (25 cm) apart.
- Laying the posts on the ground first will make it easier to attach the bottom part of the support posts.
Screw the 57 in (140 cm) post into the bottom of the longer posts.Place the 57-inch (140 cm) long post on the bottom ends of the posts. Use a power drill to drive 2.5 in (6.4 cm) screws through the bottom plank and into the larger posts. Place a total of 4 screws into each side of the base plank to attach it to the support posts.
Stand the support up.Ask a friend help you stand the support up. You should now have a base plank with two longer, vertical planks standing up in the air.
Screw the 25.5 in (65 cm) braces onto the sides of the vertical posts.Position one of the angled braces on the left side of the support post and the other brace to the right side of the support post. Use 2.5 in (6.4 cm) screws and a power drill to secure them to the vertical support posts and the bottom support post. Repeat this process on the other vertical support post. Both vertical support posts should now have braces attached to the sides of it.
Screw the steps into the vertical support posts.Position the planks you cut 4 inches (10 cm) longer than your bars in between the vertical support posts. Use a power drill to drive screws through the side of the vertical support posts to secure the steps in the middle of both posts. Drive 2 2.5 in (6.4 cm) screws into each side of the support posts to secure them. Continue screwing the steps in, 12 inches (30 cm) apart until you've added 3 steps.
Repeat the process to create the other end of the support structure.If you followed the directions correctly, you should already have the wood you need for the other end of the support posts. Repeat the steps and create another support setup for the other end of your monkey bar set.
Attach a board to both sides of the support structure to connect them.Use a power drill to screw the posts that you cut to the length of your monkey bar set to the side of each support structure to connect them together. Use 2.5 in (6.4 cm) screws to attach the horizontal posts on the other side of the monkey bar set. You should now have a completed monkey bar structure without bars.
Screw the bars in between the horizontal support posts.Each bar should be about 10 inches (25 cm) apart. If you measure mark where the bars should go before you attach them, it will make it easier. Slide the bars in between the horizontal posts and drive 2.5 in (6.4 cm) screws through the small holes on each end of the bar with a power drill. Once you're done screwing in all the bars, test it by hanging on a bar to see if it's structurally sound.
- If the set sways or dips, make sure that the monkey bars and support structure are properly screwed in.
Video: DIY Monkey Bars
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