Do-It-Yourself Porch Swing

You can build this beautiful do-it-yourself porch swing that will be a perfect place to rest on a cool summer evening. It’s strong and durable, plus you can hang it on the porch or build a support frame so it can be used anywhere. The article gives step-by-step instructions for building both the swing and the support frame. Detailed plans are included.

| August/September 2008

Everyone needs a cozy spot to relax and sip some iced tea, and this do-it-yourself porch swing plan works even if you don’t have a porch

Do-It-Yourself Porch Swing

There’s nothing like enjoying a summer breeze while sitting in an outdoor swing you’ve built yourself. The design described here features a swing and matching support stand that are beautiful and easy to build. Most of the parts use standard construction-grade softwood and cedar lumber. For a complete list of parts, visit Outdoor Swing Materials List.

Some Tips Before You Start

Most joints in this project are glued and screwed together for strength and durability. But not all wood glue can last outdoors long term. The challenge is moisture, and that’s why this project requires an adhesive that’s specifically rated as weatherproof. Use wood glue carrying “type II” or “type III” water-resistance ratings, such as Gorilla wood glue.

This project includes a number of curved parts. For the best results, make full-size templates prior to cutting these items. One approach to templates involves enlarging the grid diagrams on quarter-inch plywood or hardboard, then cutting out the shapes and using them for tracing templates on your lumber. Download the full-size templates for the curved parts of this project. Print out the files, cut out the patterns and temporarily glue the outlines onto your wood as a guide for your jigsaw. After cutting the pieces, peel off the paper, sand away any glue residue and you’re ready to move on.

Start by studying the plans. Hidden components that must be especially strong are made of spruce or pine. More prominent parts are made of rot-resistant cedar.

Begin with the Porch Swing Seat

The first step is to build four L-shaped assemblies that support the seat and back of the swing, each made from one back support and one seat support. The two supports for the middle of the seat are shorter than the outside seat supports (see building diagram). Also, as you work, be sure to create two right-hand and two left-hand versions — carefully noting how the back supports overlap the seat supports. Use glue and four #10, 2 1/2 inch corrosion-resistant screws at each joint. The angled ends of these parts determine the angle of the back to the seat, and the recommended angle is included on the templates. A slight variation from the template would still work, but all four frames must be cut at the same angle.

11/8/2013 4:32:12 PM

I am still not able to access the "Building Plans", I expected more from Mother Earth News.

11/6/2013 12:29:35 PM

I've tried cleaning up my computer and the Building Plans still won't come up, instead the Templet page shows.

11/6/2013 7:42:17 AM

This has been a big waste of time. Every time I try to access the "Building Plans" it automatically goes to the "Templet" page.

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