choosing between rope or chain to hang your own porch swing
Illustration: Arthur Mount

Step 10: The Right Way to Hang It: Rope or Chain?

Steel chain is easy to adjust and lasts a long time, as long as it's galvanized. Rope is warm to the touch and won't rust or react with wood. A good nylon rope won't deteriorate and even has some "give" for added comfort. To make sure your rope is strong enough, add the weight of the swing to the maximum weight you expect it to hold at one time (600 pounds is a reasonable estimate). That total should be less than or equal to the rope's safe working load printed on the package.

Swing room
While most porch swingers are relatively sedate, you should allow at least 2 feet of clearance at the ends and 30 inches front and back to avoid colliding with the house, the porch railings, or people.
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    Tools List

    • drill
    • bar clamp
      3-foot bar clamps
    • rawhide mallet
      Rawhide mallet
    • Phillips 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