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Backyard Zip Line D.I.Y. Brake Block (info only)

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Build Your Own Backyard Zip Line Brake Block (D.I.Y. on a budget)

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1. Build Your own D.I.Y. Backyard Brake Block

This information is provided for those individuals who may be on a bit of a tight budget but still wish to have a go at building their own backyard zip line brake block.**

The first step to installing your own bungee brake block on your flying fox kit will be for you to cut (or chisel) a small groove on one side of each of a couple of wooden blocks. We’ve found the best material to be a couple of 200 x 90 x 45mm (or larger) pine blocks, but any other type of wood will do. You simply cut a small groove down one side of each block and drill 4 x holes, one in each corner as pictured. Bolt the blocks around your cable and make sure it can slide up and down with ease.

Tip:  Don’t drill your holes too close to the edge. Clamp the wooden blocks together to drill your holes through both blocks at the same time. Place the eye bolt on the side closest to your attachment point (eg. a tree or pole). We highly recommend that you also seal your wooden blocks with either a 'Rain Coat' product, or a decking oil, or even a marine grade varnish to protect the wood for maximum long-term service.  

2. Protect Your Flying Fox Pulley

For ‘best results,’ we screw a rubber bump strip into one end of the wooden blocks (or both) to protect the pulley on impact. We experimented with several materials, but our final choice was a square section of 90 x 90mm high density rubber (we can also supply you with a replacement pack of 4 if you can't get hold of any locally) which is screwed into the wooden blocks.

Tip:  Drill 4 x small holes in each corner of the section of your rubber strip. Mark-up each hole by placing the rubber strip where you want it, then poke a pen or fine texta through the holes (that you have already drilled in the rubber) to mark the wood. Screw it into the front of the block, securing it down flat on both sides. Repeat the process for second piece of rubber if you want one on the back end also.

3. Anchor Your Bungee Cord

Your final step is to attach the 20’ bungee cord (and get some appropriate fittings) and anchor it up 'high' to either a nearby tree or a pole. Our 12mm bungee cord stretches to about 175%–200% of its original length under maximum stress, so make sure your anchor is about 35’–40’ in a straight line from the end of your cable (using our 20’ cord). If you have purchased a custom length, simply double your cord length to determine a minimum distance between your anchor point and the end of the flying fox line. We have found that a zinc or gal eye screw can be screwed into a nearby tree or a post up high to provide a permanent anchor point for the bungee stop.  Replacement bungee cord (12mm) is also available for purchase on this website in various size lengths: 20', 30' & 35' lengths. We would always recommend that you either 'back-up' your bungee cord with a second piece, or alternatively a section of dynamic climbing rope - to ensure your brake block does come to a stop should your primary anchor bungee fail. This ensures a fail-safe system of stopping.

Safety Tip: Position the screw bolt at 90˚ to the cable, and NOT facing the end of the cable run – as you don’t want the eye screw pulling out when at maximum load! (Imagine that).

WARNING:  We HIGHLY recommend that you use two (2) lengths of bungee cord attachments. In addition, you MUST ALWAYS incorporate a safety 'Back-Up' for your bungee stop system with an additional length of 'dynamic' rope (eg. like a climbing rope with 4% stretch, etc.) to absorb any shock load - should your bungee cord system fail. This is a MUST, just as you would ALWAYS incorporate a safety 'Back-Up' system for all your rigging systems.

 (**NOTE: you will need to drill holes, cut groove & attach bump stops**)

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DISCLAIMER: No information provided by Outdoor Gear Australia shall be viewed as professional instruction or advice. These steps (above) are simply opinions expressed by our own ropes course builders, that have worked well in our specific situations. Specifications are estimates only; all written (or spoken) material is purely opinion and carries no guarantee whatsoever of safety. All individuals are wholly responsible for their own personal safety and this includes the safe selection, installation, construction and operation of their own backyard play equipment.

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