Porch Swing Stepbystep

PHOTO B: Set the cutting angle of the dado-blade set to 7° and cut l-in.-deep notches for the seat supports into the bottom edges of the seat supports.

Make the support assembly

The structural members of this porch swing consist of three L-shaped, two-part supports that are fitted over a thick horizontal cross support in front. To simplify the layout and construction of the two-part, supports, we joined the parts together with half-lap joints before any of the contoured profiles were cut.

© Start by making a full-size template of the back support and seat supports shapes, using the Grid patterns on page 356 as references. Either enlarge the pat-terns on a photocopier or draw a grid on the template paper and plot out the shapes.

© Cut 2x6 cedar blanks for the seat supports and back supports to the lengths listed in the Cutting lint on page 354. Lay the blanks next to one another in pairs, in an "I" shape, on a flat surface. Overlap the seat support and back support templates so they join together at the half-lap joint lines indicated on the pattern. Lay thé templates onto each pair of 2 x 6 blanks and mark the positions of the half-lap cuts onto the blanks.

© Cut the half-laps into tiie 2 x 6 blanks. Install a dado-blade set, set for its maximum cutting width, in the table saw. Raise the dado-blade seL to a M-in. cutting depth. Set the angle of the miter gauge to 65° (the angle of the half-laps). Keeping the wood pressed flat on the table and held firmly against the miter gauge fencc, run the appropriate end of

PHOTO A: Cut the ha if-laps in the seat supports and back supports with a dado-blade set, making multiple overlapping passes.He final pass on each board should be right along the marked cutting line. Set the miter gauge to 65°. Making the half-lap joints prior to cutting the contours of the parts simplifies the layout of the contours.

PHOTO B: Set the cutting angle of the dado-blade set to 7° and cut l-in.-deep notches for the seat supports into the bottom edges of the seat supports.

PHOTO C: Glue am! damp the half-laps of the seat supports and the back supports together to create ¡.-shaped blanks for the three support structures. Use weatherproof glue.
PHOTO D: Use a template to transfer the patterns of the back supports and seat supports onto the glued-up blanks, and cut out the shapes with a band saw or jig saw.

each blank over the dado blades to remove tin1 wood in the half-lap area (See Photo A). Make multiple passes. The final pass should be right to the cutting line. Cut the half-laps in all three pairs of blanks.

O Use tlie same dado set to cut notches in the bottoms of the seat supports. Angle the blades to 7% and reset the miter gauge to 90°. Raise the blades to give a Tin. depth of cut at its highest point (use some scrap stock to make practice cuts in order to get the notch correct). Make two passes to cut the notch in each seat, support, (See Photo B). Clean out any roughness in the notches with a chisel if necessary.

© Spread exterior, weather-proof glue evenly across the face of the half-lap on one seat support and on the half-lap of a back support. Join the faces, aligning the joint shoulder of each member up tight against the other. Clamp the hoards together in position until the glue is dry (See Photo C). Glue up all three assemblies.

© Use the joined seat support and back support templates to trace an outline of the contours onto the three assembled support structure blanks.

© Cut out the support structures with a band saw or a jig saw. Cut carefully along the waste side; of the lines (See Photo »), File or sand the sawn edges smooth.

© Rip-cut a piece of 2 x 6 cedar to 3 in. wide on the table saw and c:ross-c:ut it to 58V6 in. to make tlie cross support.

©Enlarge the pattern for the cross support to full size, and transfer it to the workpiece. This will give you the shape of each end and the location of the notches and the eyebolt holes.

© Cut the seat support notches into the top of the cross support, using your table saw and dado-blade set. Start the end notches 5Vl in. in from each end, and center the middle notch. All notches should be IV2 in. wide and 1 in. deep. Cut the notches in at least two passes, using the miter gauge to feed the work-pieces (See Photo E).

© With a drill press or a portable drill and a drilling guide, bore a hole through each end of the cross support, for the 4-in. eye-bolts. Drill from the underside and center the holes 1 in. in from the ends of the board, hirst, use a ?/S-m. Forstner or brad-point hit to drill VS-in.-deep counter-bore holes for the nut and washer. Then drill a 7/i6-in.-dta. guide hole all the way through, locating the drill bit in the cen-terpoint recess left by the previous bit. To minimize tearout, use scrap wood to back up the exit side (top) when drilling clear through the cross support.

© Cut the rounded ends of the cross support to shape with a .jig saw or coping saw. Smooth the cuts with a sanding block.

© Set the three L-shaped support structures seat-side down on a flat work surface, so the back support components point toward the floor. Set the cross supports on top of them, matching up the notches. Drill a countersunk pilot hole at each joint (through the cross support and into each seat support). Attach the parts with, waterproof glue

PHOTO E: Cut IVi-in.-wlde notches on the top edge of the cross support The notches fit together With the notches cut Into the bottoms of the seat supports.
PHOTO F: Attach the support structures to the cross support with weatherproof glue and 3-ln. galvanized deck screws.The notches match up to create lap joints.

find 3-in. galvanized deck screws (See Photo F).

Install the seat slats

© Rip-cut and cross-cut 16, 2Yi x 48-in. slats from cedar stock. We used 1 x 6 in. x 8-ft. boards (§4 in. thick actual).

©Drill three countersunk screw holes into each slat. Clamp two scrap boards (a long and a short) in a right angle to create a reference fence in order to place the holes quickly and consistently (See Photo C). Measure from the corner, where the end of each slat will be, and mark off the distances of the three holes. The holes in the slats should be centered on the support structures, so you can get your distances by measuring the support assembly. Place each slat into the fence setup. Hold it tightly against the side and end fences and drill centered holes aligned with the marks on the fences.

© Round over the top edges of each slat with a router and a V-i-in. piloted roundover hit.

© Beginning at the front of the seat support, attach the shits with 2-in., galvanized deck screws. Butt the first three slats up against one another. From there, use a V4-in. spacers between the slats (See Photo H). The ends of the seat slats should be flush with the sides of the supports.

Make; & attach the arms

© From 2x8 cedar stock, rip-cut and cross-cut two arm blanks to 3 x 24Yi in., and cut two arm supports to 3 in, x 12% in.

© Make full-size templates for the arms and arm s upports, using the Grid drawings on page 356 as a reference. Use the templates to trace the appropriate; shapes onto the corresponding workpieces. Mark tlie center-points for screw holes and the locations for the bolt holes nn tlie aims.

© Cut the parts out with a band saw or jig saw and smooth the edges and surfaces.

© Drill %6-in. -dia. guide hoies with % in. dia. x Yi in. deep counterbores into the back, outside edge of each arm. The edge of each counterbore should be 1 in, back from the end of the arm (See Photo I).

©Set the table saw blade to T and use the miter gauge to cut a

PHOTO G: Drill countersunk screw holes into the seat slats. Use a fence setup with measured guide marks for quick and consistent drilling.
PHOTO H: Screw the slats to the back-and-seat support structures. Butt the first three slats together, then use a Va-in.-thick spacer between the rest of the slats for consistent gaps. Keep the ends of the slats fiush with the sides of the supports.

PHOTO I: Use a drill press with a Forstner or brad-point bit to drill counterbored guide holes In edges of the arms for the eyeboits.

PHOTO J: Extend the %6-in. eyebolt guide holes in the arms through the back supports, then attach the eyeboits with washers and nuts.

bevel on the top (wide) end of each arm support.

© Position the arm supports against the faces of the cross supports, flush with the bottom of the cross supports and with the 7° bevels sloping from front to back. Clamp the arm supports in tliis position. Attach the arm supports with 2i^-in. galvanized deck screws driven through countersunk pilot holes in the arm supports, and into the cross support.

© Attach the arms: Rest each arm on the arm support so the screw hole centerpoints in the top of the arm are centered on the top of the arm support. Hold each arm against the outer back support, and extend the T/ie-in.-dia. guide hole through the back support (See Photo J).

© Drill %-in.-dia., Vii-in.-deep counterbores on the inside faces of the back supports. Insert a in.-dia. x 4-in.-long eyebolt into each arm and through the back support. Thread a nut and washer onto the other end and snug with a wrench. Attach the arms to the arms supports with two 3-in. deck screws driven at the centerpoint locations.

Finishing touches

© Insert 4-in. eyeboits into the counterbored holes in the cross support. Thread nuts and washers onto them and tighten them with a wrench.

© Apply a finish, then hang the swing with heavy rope or chain attached to the eyeboits. Be sure to anchor the ropes or chains with eyeboits into a ceiling joist that can bear the overall weight.

Screw locations

PHOTO I: Use a drill press with a Forstner or brad-point bit to drill counterbored guide holes In edges of the arms for the eyeboits.

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