A porch swing is a comfortable option to sit down and relax. It serves as a good option in spring as well as winter, if properly placed. In springs, a porch swing is placed under the shade, where it can be used by people to get respite from the heat of the sun. In winters, the swing is placed at such a place where it receives ample sunlight. This way one can easily bask in the shining sun and ward off that winter chill. If the idea of a porch swing has clicked to you, then why wait to start building one for yourself. Yes, you read that right! A porch swing can be very well made at home, if you are good at handling power tools. To know how to make a porch swing, read on.
How to Build a Porch Swing
- Before you start building a porch swing, determine its approximate size. This includes the overall width, which requires locating the centers of porch ceiling joists, to give optimum anchoring locations. At the same time, you also need to consider how deep the seat will be and how tall you prefer the back.
- Choose the materials required for building your swing. You can build it with treated southern yellow pine, but cedar, fir, cypress, juniper, or even birch can be used. However, the thickness of the components should be adjusted, so that they are strong enough to support the weight the swing will carry.
- Collect all the tools, fasteners and lumber you need. The list should include tools, such as circular saw, jigsaw, hammer, tape measure, square, and drill with bits; fasteners such as wood screws, eye bolts; lumber measuring 2X4 (50 × 100 mm) by eight foot (2.4m) boards.
- Measure seven 2X4 boards. Cut these boards lengthwise, keeping them square in shape (90 degrees).
- Now, rip the blocks widthwise. The seat slats should be 3/4 inch (1.9 cm) thick, while the back slats should be 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) thick. For the seat to be 20 inches (51cm) deep, take about 17 slats and for a back 18 inches (45 cm) tall, take 15 slats.
- After this, drill through each strip, one inch (2.5 cm) from each end, with a 3/16 drill. Drilling for the center support is optional.
- Mark a pattern to give the strips a curved edge, rounded over, then curving back out of a 2X6 board.
- Cut three identical pieces of the curved back and seat boards, keeping the narrow end a bit long for trimming to fit the joints together.
- Cut a miter at the ends of the back and the seat board, to decide the amount of slant you want your seat to have. You can cut a 45 degree angle on either piece and then, lay it on top of the opposite piece, to judge the amount of angle you want.
- Drill pilot holes for the screws, to join the seat and back boards together. After this, fasten them with 3 1/2 inch, 12 galvanized wood screws. Remember the screws are the only support for this joint, which will bear a good pressure. So, depending on the length of the joint, use two to three screws, set at opposing angles, to tighten it securely.
- Place the completed frame pieces on a table and lay the ripped strips of wood over it. Screw the ends of the strips to the outside frames, then center the middle one and fasten it as well.
- With the help of a framing square, check the angle of the back and seat, to make sure it is square and shift sideways, if needed. Make sure you use thicker (3/4 inch) strips for the seat and the 1/2 inch strips for the back.
- Determine the position and height of your swing and install eyebolts or eye screws for the overhead connection. Also measure the length for the chains to hang your swing.