Overview

overview of how to build a porch swing
Illustration: Arthur Mount
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For this building project, we selected a 5-foot-long swing made from stout planks of solid teak, milled into elegant, comfortable curves as lovely to admire as they are inviting to the touch. No cutting is needed, so assembly takes only a few hours. And the effort is doubly repaid: in savings (this swing costs hundreds of dollars less than one put together in a factory) and in satisfaction. You've created an heirloom you can proudly say you built yourself.

Before tackling final assembly, first "dry-fit" all of the pieces without glue. This will be time well spent. You'll know in advance if the kit has all of its parts; you can sand down any tenon that isn't sliding into its mortise; and you'll lessen the chance of making a mistake that's harder to correct later.
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    Tools List

    • drill
      Drill/driver
    • bar clamp
      3-foot bar clamps
    • rawhide mallet
      Rawhide mallet
    • Phillips screwdriver
      Screwdriver

    Shopping List

    Swing kit. Similar to shown: Chandler 5' Swing from:
    Arthur Lauer

    Waterproof polyvinyl acetate (PVA) glue

    Thread-locking glue, such as Loctite

    80-grit sandpaper

    120-grit sandpaper

    Teak oilSteel chain or nylon rope to hang the swing. Make sure it's rated to hold the weight of the swing plus 600 pounds. Get enough to reach from the porch ceiling to the swing arms times 4, plus extra for knots.

    ½-inch galvanized eyebolt, 8 inches long, with locknut (for porches without a ceiling) Get two.

    ½-inch by 5½ inch galvanized eyescrew with a shoulder (for porches with a ceiling). Get two.

    S hooks to hang from the eyebolts and prevent squeaking