Porch Glider Stepbystep

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16.000 Woodworking Plans by Ted McGrath

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PHOTO A: Cut the profile on Hie upper back rait to shape on the hand saw. Save Hie curved cutoff pieces to use as cauls When you clamp the bade rails and slats together later.

PHOTO 6: A right-angle Jig will make the Job of drilling dowei hoies in the slats quicker and more precise. Tip the drlii press tabie vertically and clamp the jig in place so the bit aligns with the dowei locations on each slat. Flip the siats edgewise and endwise to drfli all four holes.

This porch glider is made up of two distinct structures joined together with glider arms and pivot hinges. The htnges we used are available from the Rockier Companies. You'll start by building the bench, then the glider stand. After both parts are constructed, you'll join them together, All the face screws in this piece are countersunk lA in. and concealed with 3/8-in,-dia. matching oak plugs. Building the glider will require you to make many angled cuts. Assembly will go much more smoothly if you take the time to make these angled cuts precisely.

Build the back assembly

O Make the upper and lower back rails. Cut workpie^os for both parts to length from 1 V'2-in.-thick stock. Mark the arched profile on the upper back rail, using the Upper Back Bail drawing, page 343, as a layout guide. Cut the profile on your band saw (See Photo A). Sand the profile smooth, and save the curved waste pieces to use later as clamping cauls.

© Drill dowel holes for the back slats in the upper and lower rails. Clamp the rails together, face to face, holding the ends and dowel edges flush. Mark center-lines for drilling the dowel holes by measuring IV2 in. from one end of the rails to the center of the first hole, 1 in. from that mark to the center of the second hole and 2l/4 in. from the second mark to the third hole. From that point on, alternate 1-, and 2V']-m. spaces. The final measurement at the other end should be 11/2 in. Unclamp the rails and

PHOTO A: Cut the profile on Hie upper back rait to shape on the hand saw. Save Hie curved cutoff pieces to use as cauls When you clamp the bade rails and slats together later.

PHOTO 6: A right-angle Jig will make the Job of drilling dowei hoies in the slats quicker and more precise. Tip the drlii press tabie vertically and clamp the jig in place so the bit aligns with the dowei locations on each slat. Flip the siats edgewise and endwise to drfli all four holes.

PHOTO C: Assembie the upper and iower back rails and back siats with glue and dowels. Clamp the assembly together, using the waste pieces from Step 1 to make damping the top raii easier. Alternate the clamps above and below the assembly to distribute damping pressure evenly.

PHOTO D: Complete the back assembly by attaching the stiles to the back rails. Fasten the stiies to the ends of the raiis with pairs of doweis and moisture-resistant wood giue.

drill the dowel holes, using a doweling jig as a guide. Each hole should be 5/8 in. deep, to allow clearspace at the bottom of the holes for glue.

© Make the back slats. Cut the 14 slats to length, then make a right-angle jig for your drill press to drill the dowel holes in the slat ends. The centerlines of the holes should be 3/4 in. from each edge, leaving a 1-in. space between them. Tip your drill press table into the vertical position. Clamp the right-angle jig to the table with a slat in place, and adjust the jig position to achieve the correct hole position. Once the jig is set up, four dowel holes can be drilled in each back slat without changing the jig setting. Flip the slats edge-for-edge and end-for-end to drill the holes (See Photo B).

© Assemble the back rails and slats. Glue and insert two fluted dowels into one end of each of the back slats, then put a spot of glue in the holes in the lower back rail and on the mating surfaces of these joints. Tap the back slats into place against the rail with a wooden mallet. Insert glued dowels into the top ends of the slats, spread a thin layer of glue on the mating surfaces of the slats and the top back rail, and install this rail. Use the curved cutoffs from the upper rail as clamping cauls, and clamp up the back assembly (See Photo C).

© Make the back stiles. Cut the stiles to length, then bevel-cut the bottom ends of the stiles to 15°, using a power miter saw. Mark the arcs on the upper ends of the stiles and cut them with a jig saw.

©Drill pairs of matching dowel holes in the stiles and rails to join

PHOTO C: Assembie the upper and iower back rails and back siats with glue and dowels. Clamp the assembly together, using the waste pieces from Step 1 to make damping the top raii easier. Alternate the clamps above and below the assembly to distribute damping pressure evenly.

PHOTO E: Buiid the bench frame by Installing tour shuts between the front and back bench rails with giue and screws, in this photo, the bench frame is upside down. Notice that the beveled edge of the back rail lines up with the edges of the struts, leaving an offset on the other edge.
PHOTO F: Fasten the back assembly to the bench frame by driving countersunk screws through the stiles and into the back bench rail. Be sure the bottom beveied ends of the stiles are parallel with the bottom edges of the bench.

the rails to the back assembly. On your worksurface, lay the stiles in position against the ends of the upper and lower rails. The top corners of the top back rail should be l3A in. down from the tops of the stiles. Mark the dowel hole locations and use a doweling jig as a guide to drill the :i/H-in.-dia. dowel holes, two dowels per joint.

©Attach tho back stiles. Insert glued dowels into the holes, spread a thin coat of glue on the mating surfaces of the rails and stiles, and clamp the parts together (See Photo D). Pr otect the wood from clamp marks by using wooden cauls between the clamp jaws.

© Ease the outer edges of the back frame assembly with your router and a '/-t-in. roundover bit.

Build & attach the bench frame

© Make the bench struts. Cut the struts to length. Thon cut one; end of each strut at a 75" angle across the width of the strut.

© Cut both bench rails to length, and rip one edge of the back bench rail at a 15° angle on the table saw (See Bench Side View, page 343).

© Build the bench frame. Mark the locations of the struts on the inner faces of the bench rails— two flush with the ends of the rails and the other two struts spaced 14;i/i in. from the end struts. The beveled edgo of the back bench rail should be flush with tho tops of the stmts when tho bench is right-sido-up. Drill pairs of countersunk pilot holes in the rails, and fasten the rails to tho struts with wood glue and 21/2-in. flathead wood screws (Sec Photo E).

© Attach the back assembly to the bench frame. When attached, the bottom edge of the bench frame is parallel to the angled cut at the bottom end of the stiles and 5l/2 in. above it. Clamp the back in position against the bench, drill countersunk pilot holes, and screw the stiles to the back rail (See Photo F).

Build & attach the arm assemblies

The arm assemblies consist of the bench legs and ami supports, joined together with dowels. When you attach the assemblies to the bench frame and back, be sure that the bottoms of the legs are even with the bottoms of the back stiles. Otherwise, the bench will not hang evenly later on when attached to the glider stand.

CD Cut the bench legs and arm supports to size, with their ends angled to 80°, as shown in the Bench Side View drawing, page 343.

(J) Mark and drill dowel holes for connecting the arm supports and legs together. Lay out two dowels per joint. As before, butt the two mating parts together, draw a single line across the joint for each dowel, and drill straight holes for the dowels with a doweling jig (See Photo G),

© Connect the arm supports and legs. Insert glued dowels into the holes and spread glue on the mating surfaces. Use wooden cauls to protect the finished surfaces of the parts, and join the arm supports to the legs with clamps.

(I) Fasten the arm assemblies to the bench. Use a square to make a mark 5l/2 in. up from the bottom of both legs. Clamp the arm assemblies in position, so your

PHOTO G: Join the bench iegs to the arm supports with pairs of 2-in. fiuted doweis. Use a doweling jig when you driii the hoies to be sure that the dowel hoies are driiied straight across the joints. Wrap a piece of tape around the driii bit to serve as a temporary depth stop.
PHOTO H: Fasten the arm assemblies to the bench by driving screws through the back stiles and Into the arm supports. Screw from inside the bench to attach the end bench stmts to the legs as weii. Ciamp the arm assemblies in piace first, to make installing the assemblies easier.

PHOTO I: Cut the arm rests to shape, ease the edges with a router and roundover bit, then clamp them on top of the arm supports. Attach the rests to the supports with countersunk scrcws.

PHOTO J: Buiid the glider stand ends by attaching the top and bottom end raiis to the stand iegs with doweis and giue.lhe bottom rails fit between the iegs, whiie the rop rails overiap the top ends of the legs.

leg marks align with the bottom edges of the bench frame, and the backs of the arm supports rest against the back stiles. Drill countersunk pilot holes through the back stiles into the arm supports, and fasten the st iles to the supports with 2V2-in. screws. Then drill pilot holes and drive screws from inside the bench through the outer bench struts and into the bench legs (See Photo H).

Complete the bench

(H Cut and position the bench slats. Cut the bench slats and the front bench slat to length. Ease the edges and ends on the top face of each slat with a router and V4-in. roundover bit. Lay the slats in place on the bench frame so the back edge of the front slat is even with the back edge of the legs. Allow for Va-in. spaces between the slats. Mark the rear slat so it will notch around the back stiles. Cut out the notches on this slat with your jig saw.

© Fasten the slats to the bench struts. Use two screws per strut location on the slats, centering the screws on the thickness of the struts. Drill countersunk pilot holes and fasten the slats in place with 1 V2-in. flathead wood screws.

© Cut and attach the arm rests. Refer to the Arm Rests drawing, page 343, to lay out the shape of the parts. Cut the arm rests to size and shape with radiused ends and notched back corners. Note: The easiest way to determine the 15° notch angle is to simply set each arm rest in position on the arm supports and mark the angle where the arm rests cross the back stiles. Ease all the arm rest edges except the notched portion with a router and a Vt-in. roundover bit. Clamp the arm rests in place, drill countersunk pilot holes, and las-ten them to the arm supports with 2 •/¿-in. flathead wood screws (See Photo I).

© Cut and attach the blocking pieces for the legs and stiles. Cut blanks to size for the four blocking pieces, hold them in place against the legs and stiles and mark the angle cuts. Cut the angles on a band saw. Apply an even coating of glue on the mating surfaces, clamp firmly and let dry completely. Note: Since these parts are fastened with glue alone, it is important to build the best glue joints possible. Be sure the mating surfaces are flat and clean before gluing the joints. Sand the edges flush and, if desired, ease the sharp edges with your router and a V^-in. roundover bit.

PHOTO K: Cut the four glider arms to shape on the band saw. Both ends of the arms receive 7/s in.-radius curves. Sand the cut edges smooth and round them over with a router if you wish.

Build the stand ends

©Cut out the stand legs, top and bottom rails, liefer to the Stand Side. View drawing, page 343, for details on determining the angled ends of these parts.

© Drill pairs of dowel holes to attach the stand legs to the rails. Butt mating surfaces together, positioning the bottom rails 6 in. up from the bottoms of the tegs. Mark the dowel locations and drill the holes with a doweling jig.

© Assemble the stand ends. Insert glued dowels into the ends of the bottom rails, apply glue to the mating surfaces, and slide the legs into place over the dowels and against the bottom rails. Attach the top rails to the ends of the legs similarly. Clamp up the end assemblies (See Photo J).

PHOTO K: Cut the four glider arms to shape on the band saw. Both ends of the arms receive 7/s in.-radius curves. Sand the cut edges smooth and round them over with a router if you wish.

PHOTO L: Bote 5/i6-itL-deep, l-ln.-tBa. counterbores on both ends of the glider arms. Notice that the counterbores are on opposite faces of the arms. Then drill a Vs-rn.-dia. hole through the center of the counterbores all the way through the arms, to accommodate the phot hinges.
PHOTO M: Install phrot hinges to connect the gilder arms to the blocking pieces on the bench, The hardware is essentiaily a shaft that slides inside a plastic bushing in the glider arms. The hinges press into holes in the blocking and hold the arms in place with washers and nuts.
PHOTO N: Set the bench on your worksurface so the gJider arms hang freely. Attach the glider arms to the blocking pieces on the gilder stand end assemblies with pivot hinges.

Install the spacers. Cut the spacers to size and shape, and fasten them to the insido faces of the end assembly top rails with glue. The bottom edges of the spacers should be flush with the bottom edges of the end top rails.

Make the glider arms

© Cut four blanks for the glider arms to length and width. Mark the 7/f5-in.-radius arc on the ends, and cut the arcs on your band saw (See Photo K). Sand the cut edges smooth.

© Drill the counterbored pivot hinge-mounting holes. Each of the hinge holes needs a 5/\6-m.~ deep by l-in.-dia. counter bore to recess the pivot hinge washer and nut. Drill the 1-in. counter bores first, then drill Vti-in.-dia. through holes at the center of the coun-terbores (See Photo L). Note in the photo that the two holes in each arm are counterbored from opposite sides of the arms.

© Attach the glider arms to the bench. Locate and drill the V2-India. x V2-in.-deep hinge holes in the blocking pieces at the ends of the bench. The holes should be centered across the width of the blocking pieces and V'8 in. up from the bottom of the blocking. Install the lower pivot, hinges and connect the glider arms to the bench, according to the manufacturer's instructions (See Photo M).

Install the bench in the glider stand

© Attach the stand end assemblies to the glider arms. Locate and drill the Vfe-in.-dia. x Vs-in.-deep hinge holes in the spacers attached to the end top rails. The Stand Side Vieiu drawing, page 343, identities the exact location of the hinges on the glider st and spacers. Support the bench structure on a platform so the stand ends can rotate freely, and install the upper pivot hinges and glider arms {See Photo N).

© Install the stand stretchers. Cut the stretchers to lengt h, and round over the edges. Mark the position of the stretchers tin the glider stand ends—one stretcher is centered on the bottom rails, and the other stretcher lines up with the back edge of the back legs. Clamp the stretchers in place between the stand ends, and drive 2V2-in. screws through oounterbored pilot holes to attach the parts {See Photo O).

Finishing touches

© Plug all the visible screw holes. Cut %-in.-dia. oak plugs with a plug cutter mounted in .your d rill press. Spread glue on the plugs and tap them into the screw counterborcs with a wooden mallet (See Photo P). Trim the plugs flush with the surrounding wood and sand smooth.

© Sand the completed project thoroughly. Finish the glider with two coats of UV protectant sealer.

Shelter the glider

If you build this project from red oak, place the glider in an area sheltered from direct contact with moisture. Red oak, though durable, is not as weather-resistant as other woods. Should you desire to build the glider for an exposed location, use white oak, cedar, teak or Honduras mahogany Instead. And be sure to use galvanized or stainless-steel screws as fasteners.

PHOTO 0: Install stretchers between the end assemblies of the glider stand with 2V2-in. countersunk flathead wood screws. Clamp the stand's ends to hold them stationary as you fasten the stretchers In place.

PHOTO P: Conceal all exposed screw heads with oak plugs. You could use oak dowel for making the plugs, but the preferred method Is to cut the plugs from the face grain of a piece of oak stock. This way, the plugs will match the wood grain direction of the bench slats.

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