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Old 05-19-2017, 10:01 PM
CheeseSteak1's Avatar
CheeseSteak1 CheeseSteak1 is offline
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Backyard Zipline

As I mentioned on "what'd brown do for you today" thread I'm building a 250' zipline for my kids. I figured I'd post my progress on here in case anyone has interest in doing the same or has recommendation on mine. My parts list is below and the construction begins this weekend if the weather allows it. Cost at this point is just shy of $200. Let the fun begin!

250' of 5/16" galvinized aircraft cable
18 - galvinized Wire clamps
2 - 1/2" x 12" galvinized turnbuckles
6 - 5/16" galvinized heavy duty thimbles
1 - Zipline Trolley
1 - Carabiner
1 - Seat
1 - Handle
25' - shock cord for braking
1 - Poly block for braking
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  #2  
Old 05-19-2017, 10:13 PM
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Hell yes!!

Someone hold my beer and watch this!!!
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:16 PM
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I can't wait to see this in action.
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  #4  
Old 05-19-2017, 10:26 PM
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I'll be sure to get the initial test runs on video. Very well could be a watch this moment. My wife didn't think much of the idea until she watched me open the box of goodies. Needless to say she thinks I'm nuts.
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:59 PM
Nono Nono is offline
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I have built a few zip lines they are awesome fun. My suggestion is to have 6' of fall for every 100' of run. The block with a bungee is my favorite inexpensive brake system.
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:11 PM
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We have a 200' zipline in the backyard as of Christmas. The kids love it (and adults)! You are on the right track with parts for sure. I learned a lot and have redone several parts as well as ordering new stuff as we found what we liked and didn't.

A few tips if you want to use them....sorry if this is elementary to you. I don't know your experience and just want to provide any help I can. Make sure every piece is high quality and rated for plenty of weight. Remember it's only as strong as the weakest link. If you have questions or need pics, please let me know.
Create a loop of the cable for your tree. Mine were about 12' for the trees I used as anchors. I assume this is your plan as you have two turnbuckles. I used 1/2 x 24" turnbuckles. The extra adjustment really helps! The line will sag after some use and need to be tightened.
I used shackles to attach the turnbuckle to the thimbled cable tree loop.
Use 2x4 blocks with a grove cut in them for the cable. This helps save the tree.
A cable puller is a must! Along with a come along. To get the cable tight.
I created a loop at the start with cable and wire clamps to have a safety cord so you don't go down the zipline before you're ready. My older daughter was hooked up and slipped coming down the line fast and hard right into me. Luckily it was me, not another kid and I was able to deflect her slightly. It still hurt.
When you use the wire clamps make sure you "don't saddle a dead horse(line)". The saddle goes on the loaded side of the line.
I created an extra loop at each end that goes around the tree and thru the zipline cable as a safety in case the turnbuckle were to fail. Highly unlikely it'd ever be needed.

What are you planning for brakes? I used 1/2 bungee cord. Again creating loops around separate trees and now we use caribeaners to quickly set the brake up. At first I had these tied/stay around the tree, but the sun starts to deteriorate the cord. We also use between one and three bungee cords depending on the weight of the rider. They hook to the plastic/poly brake block on the line. I looked at the spring stops, but I did not like how harsh they stopped.


We have 5 trolleys and 5 harnesses. It really helps to not have to take off the harness each time. Our zipline is kind of high and fast so I preferred a harness over the seat and handle.
The petzl tandem trolley is the fastest we've found. We also have two different fusion models.
The fusion harness with quick disconnects are our favorites.
We use lanyards to connect the trolley and harness.
We use a bunch of caribeaners. All high quality auto locking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CheeseSteak1 View Post
As I mentioned on "what'd brown do for you today" thread I'm building a 250' zipline for my kids. I figured I'd post my progress on here in case anyone has interest in doing the same or has recommendation on mine. My parts list is below and the construction begins this weekend if the weather allows it. Cost at this point is just shy of $200. Let the fun begin!

250' of 5/16" galvinized aircraft cable
18 - galvinized Wire clamps
2 - 1/2" x 12" galvinized turnbuckles
6 - 5/16" galvinized heavy duty thimbles
1 - Zipline Trolley
1 - Carabiner
1 - Seat
1 - Handle
25' - shock cord for braking
1 - Poly block for braking
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  #7  
Old 05-19-2017, 11:12 PM
CheeseSteak1's Avatar
CheeseSteak1 CheeseSteak1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nono View Post
I have built a few zip lines they are awesome fun. My suggestion is to have 6' of fall for every 100' of run. The block with a bungee is my favorite inexpensive brake system.
Thanks for advise! I was wondering if this brake system really worked. Also, how did you determine your fall on a sloped run? I don't own a transit to shoot for level. Thanks again
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  #8  
Old 05-19-2017, 11:21 PM
CheeseSteak1's Avatar
CheeseSteak1 CheeseSteak1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cc4me View Post
We have a 200' zipline in the backyard as of Christmas. The kids love it (and adults)! You are on the right track with parts for sure. I learned a lot and have redone several parts as well as ordering new stuff as we found what we liked and didn't.

A few tips if you want to use them....sorry if this is elementary to you. I don't know your experience and just want to provide any help I can. Make sure every piece is high quality and rated for plenty of weight. Remember it's only as strong as the weakest link. If you have questions or need pics, please let me know.
Create a loop of the cable for your tree. Mine were about 12' for the trees I used as anchors. I assume this is your plan as you have two turnbuckles. I used 1/2 x 24" turnbuckles. The extra adjustment really helps! The line will sag after some use and need to be tightened.
I used shackles to attach the turnbuckle to the thimbled cable tree loop.
Use 2x4 blocks with a grove cut in them for the cable. This helps save the tree.
A cable puller is a must! Along with a come along. To get the cable tight.
I created a loop at the start with cable and wire clamps to have a safety cord so you don't go down the zipline before you're ready. My older daughter was hooked up and slipped coming down the line fast and hard right into me. Luckily it was me, not another kid and I was able to deflect her slightly. It still hurt.
When you use the wire clamps make sure you "don't saddle a dead horse(line)". The saddle goes on the loaded side of the line.
I created an extra loop at each end that goes around the tree and thru the zipline cable as a safety in case the turnbuckle were to fail. Highly unlikely it'd ever be needed.

What are you planning for brakes? I used 1/2 bungee cord. Again creating loops around separate trees and now we use caribeaners to quickly set the brake up. At first I had these tied/stay around the tree, but the sun starts to deteriorate the cord. We also use between one and three bungee cords depending on the weight of the rider. They hook to the plastic/poly brake block on the line. I looked at the spring stops, but I did not like how harsh they stopped.


We have 5 trolleys and 5 harnesses. It really helps to not have to take off the harness each time. Our zipline is kind of high and fast so I preferred a harness over the seat and handle.
The petzl tandem trolley is the fastest we've found. We also have two different fusion models.
The fusion harness with quick disconnects are our favorites.
We use lanyards to connect the trolley and harness.
We use a bunch of caribeaners. All high quality auto locking.
Thanks! Most of this I knew but picked up a few good tips. Proper wire clamping method along with an extra safety loop incase turnbuckle failure I didn't know. Thanks again
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  #9  
Old 05-19-2017, 11:32 PM
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MC25 MC25 is offline
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100% going to build one of these for my future kids. "For my kids" lol
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  #10  
Old 05-19-2017, 11:32 PM
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MC197indy MC197indy is online now
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HEy CheeseSteak,

Thats awesome, I built one for my kids about 2 years ago, very similar to how you are doing yours. I bought a come along to help pull it tight to the turn buckles and then use the turn buckles to tighten it. (Pretty sure i used 230 ft of 3/8 inch cable) but it was not tight enough. Not as easy as I thought it would be.

My suggestion to save you some trouble is to buy a Havens Grip and use the come a long with it, will save you lots of time, its the right tool for the job.
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