I am trying to make a monkey bar for my daughter with Bamboo stakes I got from craiglist. I have a design like this in my mind.

enter image description here

There are two parts of this design,

  • 4 Vertical support beams.
  • 2 parallel beams with smaller sticks between them (like a ladder). In attached photo this made of metal.

When both of the pieces are ready we need to fix the parallel beams on fixed 4 vertical beams.

Thats where I am not able to think of a very reliable way to do this. Outcome needs be a safe joint as kids will use it. Please advise me on the same.

I am not an expert in wood working. I have some basic tools (A drill, few saws etc). If needed I can spend around $30 on this project.

Any other suggestion/tips related to this project is welcome.

  • 1
    I would strongly recommend you do not make this with a material that's an unknown quantity, the risk is just too great. While bamboo is immensely strong and resilient you don't know what this bamboo is really like do you? Ignoring available materials, cost etc. this is the type of thing that is just not safe for the average guy to make entirely from wood IMO, I think what's metal in the picture needs to be metal and even at that you want to be sure the welds are pretty damn good. – Graphus Jul 3 at 15:17
  • @Graphus thanks for feedback. I agree with you on risk factor and the bamboo(s) I have are used ones. I will think more on this aspect and update the question. – vikrant Jul 5 at 21:44
  • What size are these bamboo? Garden canes in the UK are usually no more than 20mm across - that's not nearly strong enough. Of course if you have bamboo scaffolding poles 150mm diameter, that's a different matter (but would be hard to grip). – Martin Bonner Aug 3 at 11:47
  • In fact, thinking about it some more, I think making the cross bars a) strong enough to hold the dynamic loads of an active child bouncing on them; b) small enough to grip easily, means they pretty much have to be of metal. – Martin Bonner Aug 3 at 11:50

Large (1/4" x 2" or bigger - personally I'd probably go 3/8" x 3") lag bolts with washers. You'll definitely want to drill pilot holes and will probably need an impact driver to get them in.

Or drill clearance holes and use a bolt, washer, washer, and nut.

Since it's outside make sure all hardware is galvanized or stainless.

Also, you'll probably want to set the legs in concrete or, better yet, cast post bases into concrete and bolt the posts to them.

  • If you use post bases, they need to have bolted connections so that the posts cannot lift up and the entire assembly overturn. – Ashlar Jul 3 at 16:23
  • @Ashlar Yes, that's what I meant by "attach". I will edit my answer to clarify. – SaSSafraS1232 Jul 3 at 20:23
  • Actually, I'd worry a lot about bolting the posts to bases. These have relatively low racking resistance, and the geometry of the posts makes this a problem. In part the problem is due to the small bolting dimensions, leading to a long lever arm applying force to a small area. Embedding the posts in concrete, while reducing longevity, seems much the better approach. – WhatRoughBeast Dec 1 at 5:38
  • You could prevent racking by adding diagonal braces to the bar attachments at the top. – SaSSafraS1232 Dec 3 at 16:31

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