How to Take Apart a Cedar Swing Set

Taking apart a cedar swing set might be necessary when you move to a new house, want to move the swing to a different location, or need to get rid of the set completely. Be ready to set aside an afternoon for dismantling the pieces from the hardware, which may have rusted from the weather. Cedar swing sets should come apart using common tools and readily available lubricants.

Make a visual inspection of the cedar swing set so you will see how all the parts fit together and where the fasteners are located. If you assembled the set, it's probably been awhile since you put everything together. Quickly refreshing your memory will help you plan what must be done.

Spray bolts, nuts, eye screws and all other metal parts with lubricant spray, blasting the threaded parts liberally with corossion treatment spray. Let the corossion treatment penetrate the metal for at least an hour, then repeat the spraying and leave it for another hour. This will save time during disassembly if you let the rust remover do some of the hard work for you.

Reach and remove the swing chains from the eyebolts at the top of the swing set, as well as any other moving parts that could swing around and hit you while you do your disassembly.

Remove the bolts that are securing the top crossbeam from the cedar side supports, using socket wrenches to turn the nuts counterclockwise while holding the bolt heads with open wrenches or pliers.

Have someone hold up the crossbeam while you remove the bolts from one end. This will prevent the beam from swinging toward the ground and cracking at the point of attachment, on the opposite end from where you are working.

Tap the ends of threaded bolts with a hammer after removing the nuts. This will loosen each bolt and make it easier to remove from the cedar.

Remove the eyebolts that secure the swings to the underside of the top crossbeam.

Using socket wrenches and open wrenches, unscrew the nuts from the bolts, holding the triangular support beams to the base of the swing set.

Store all hardware in resealable plastic bags to keep the parts together.

Things You Will Need

  • Freestanding ladder
  • Lubricant spray such as WD-40
  • Corrosion treatment spray such as Rust Doctor
  • Socket wrenches
  • Open wrenches
  • Pliers
  • Screwdrivers
  • Hammer
  • Resealable plastic bags


  • When turning bolts and removing screws, take care not to pull or twist in any direction except straight out to prevent cracking the cedar.

About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.