I wanted to design and construct a porch swing to create a welcoming feel to our family home. I was excited to create this project from scratch as it allowed me to incorporate all my desired design features.
I reviewed existing products and materials including other swings and deck chairs, handles, hinges, runners, catches and latches. Ergonomics was also important and I researched armrests, length and width of seats and angled backrests.
I did not want my costs to exceed $800 and the use of recycled timber helped keep the costs down, allowing me to spend more on chains and hinges. Recycled timber is sourced from demolition sites and using this for my project helps reduce the amount of timber that ends up in a landfill.
Instead of purchasing an expensive thick piece of timber for the side supports, I glued two pieces together. I spread a thick coat of Tightbond III on the face of a whole piece and then clamped it to the other piece of wood to obtain the correct thickness. After the glue had dried and the pieces were securely connected, I clamped the piece onto the table saw to cut off the sides.
After milling the side supports, I sketched the position for the mortise hole and clamped it to the mortise machine. Once the tenon and mortise holes were completed, I dry-assembled the bottom rails to ensure they fit correctly. After dry assembly was complete, I glued the pieces together. I used the largest sash clamps and quick-action clamps to secure the pieces.
To create a comfortable seat, I chamfered the edge of my rails to ensure that there was no risk of splinters and that the edge was not sharp.
I laser cut the Tree of Life design into the armrests on both sides and then drilled a hole through the side of the armrest into the seat for a 12mm dowel hole.
A strong piece of metal was cut to size and screwed to the bottom to create extra support. It was also used to even out the slats, as they were slightly twisted.
I connected the cup holder using butt hinges as they are small, can be easily concealed and therefore do not impact the external appearance of the project. A magnet catch was used to close and secure the cup holder, ensuring that it stays up while not in use.
I screwed on the supports and finished the timber with two coats of decking oil, sanding in between the application of each coat.
I am extremely happy with how this project turned out. I am proud of all the work I put into this project and I think it turned out better than I could have imagined.