When you are looking at buying and fitting a zip wire, one of the first things that you need to consider is how you are going to fix the zip wire in place. Normally if possible you would try and install the zip wire run between two trees however this is not always possible. The best alternative way if you cannot put up between two trees, is to build a couple of support frames.
This page is here to offer you some advice on wood and to show you a number of different support frame designs that can be built very simply for use with your zip wire. The easiest way to build a support frame is the simple A-frame support which can be easily built using Kiln dried machined finished (150mm) round wood with Tanalith 'E' treatment
. This is an old style wood that was used and now with progress in wood technologies the cost of this wood is more expensive than a much stronger an more ecomonical wood called Glulam. Glulam Wood
is a very clever invention using modern day processes to create a much stronger wood at a cheaper price than machined rounds and is now the wood that we would recommend for building your supports. These Kiln dried laminate Redwood poles not only offer that special finish to your poles that you would find in any playground, but they are also super strong in construction.
When constructing your Support frames - please make sure that the legs of the support are concreted into the ground. Ideally this needs to be in a m3 of concrete.
Depending on what length of run you are putting in, it might also be a good idea to put some bracing (guy) wires from the frames to an anchor point in the ground behind the support frame (as in pictures 2,3 and 4).
Pictures 2, 3 and 4 below was built by one of our customers for a run that was just over 60m long. They have been very inventive here and because of the design - will grow as the children in the family get older.
Although the receiving end frame is fixed (picture 4) the real clever bit is at the sending end (picture 3). You will notice that the back leg is made from two posts, one being longer than the other. The idea behind this is that the longer of the two legs can be adjusted up the shorter leg and then bolted through the shorter leg when at the desired height. As your children grow up, you can then un bolt the back leg and raise the height.
We have put on this page a number of pictures of different supports with one picture showing the dimensions of an example of a zip wire end A-frame support structure with launch ramp. These dimensions are in inches except for the 12ft high measurement.
Can you suggest where I can buy any supports from?:
You will not be able to buy readymade supports but you will be able to buy the wood needed to make them. We suggest that you look for a good wood / timber merchant or fencing specialist. Below are some of our suggestions for places to contact for posts.Glulam Posts:
We strongly recommend taking a look HERE
For more information about Glulam wood and the details of a very good supplier of Glulam Posts - speak to Leslie in the sales office. They will deliver to anywhere within the UK.Machined Round and treated Posts:
A very good company that do 150mm (finished)machined round treated wood posts in lengths of up to 3.6m (in stock) or 7.2m (to order) and can deliver across the UK is CJ Timber - (Ruthin)
or take a look at this helpful company M&M Timber - (Kidderminster)
who have a great range of wood.Other companies to look at: Railway Sleeper.com - Nottingham Total Poles - North Kent
As far as we are aware all of these companies offer a delivery service across the UK.
As you can see a launch ramp is quiet common either as part of the structure or as a separate structure from the main structure. If installing a zip wire run on a slope of any description, quite often a ramp will not be required but this depends on the height of the crossbar support at the receiving end.