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How-To Projects | September 30, 2020

Fall-Ready DIY Porch Swing

Wanting to get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air while still relaxing at home? Kristen Lowery (@LoweryHouseToHome) created an easy DIY porch swing how-to guide perfect for just that! Build your new favorite space for some needed “me-time” or a place to snuggle your loved ones to watch the leaves change.

THINGS YOU'LL NEED

Materials
  • 2" x 4" x 8' Board
  • 1" x 4" x 6' Board
  • 1" x 6" x 6' Board
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood Filler
  • 80g, 120g, 220g Sandpaper
  • #10 - 2-1/2 in. Flathead Exterior Wood Screws
  • 5/16 in. Drill Bit
  • 3/8 x 4 in. Eye Hook with Nut
  • 1-1/4 in. 16-Gauge Brad Nails -or- #10 1-1/2 in. Exterior Wood Screws

LUMBER CUT LIST

(4) - 2”x 4”x 8’ Boards
  • Take one board and cut (1) 60” piece for the front/back of seat frame, (1) 19-3/4” piece for the seat frame middle brace, and (2)-1/4” pieces for the arm front
  • Follow the same cuts for board #2
  • Cut board #3 into (4) 23-1/4" pieces for the swing back supports
  • Use board # 4 to cut (2) 24-1/2" pieces for the arm rests and (2) 19-3/4" pieces for the seat frame middle braces
(1) - 1” x 4” x 6’ Board
  • Cut (1) 60” piece for the top of the backrest
 
(1) - 1” x 6” x 6’ Board
  • Cut (6) 60” pieces for the seat bottom and middle and bottom back rest

ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS

Step 1

Cut all boards using the Lumber & Cut Sheet Layout Guide using a miter saw or circular saw. 
Step 1

Step 2

Take the (2) 60” 2x 4 seat frame pieces and mark where the countersink holes go on both boards. All holes should be marked 1” from the edge. The first mark should be 3/4" from the side and the remaining are 19-1/2” apart. Follow the same measurements to mark the top and bottom of each board.
Step 2

Step 3

Take the (2) 23-1/2" back support pieces and mark for the countersink holes. These two pieces will be the middle back supports. All marks will be placed 1" from the edge.

Take the (2) remaining 23-1/4" back support piece and place your marks according to the diagram below.  Notice the right back support hole placement is  flipped. This will allow you to avoid hitting the seat frame screws during assembly. All marks are placed 1" from the edge. 

Step 4

Take your (2) 11-1/4" arm front pieces mark where your countersink holes will go. (1) piece will have the two holes on the left and (1) piece will have the two holes on the right. This will allow you to avoid hitting the seat frame screws during assembly.

Step 5

Take the (2) 24-1/4" armrest pieces and mark where the countersink holes will go. The marks will be placed 1” from the edge on both sides at 3/4".

Step 6

Using the countersink bit to drill the holes on all marked boards. Drill 3/16” deep on all locations. All holes will be covered or filled at a later step.
Step 6

Step 7

Lay out your seat frame pieces on a level surface. Place the (2) 60” pieces parallel to one another with the countersink holes facing out. Place the (4) 19-3/4" middle braces on the inside of the 60" pieces. Align the two outer braces with the ends of the parallel boards to form a rectangle. Place the (2) middle boards inside the frame leaving 18” between each board.

Apply wood glue to the end of each middle brace and attach the outer boards using  #10- 2-1/2" exterior wood screws. All attachments using 2"x 4" pieces will be made with these screws and wood glue.

PRO-TIP: If assembling by yourself, use a clamp to hold the boards in place while attaching.

Step 8

Before attaching any other pieces, sand down the outside perimeter and top of the seat frame. Also sand all remaining 2”x4” pieces as well as the 1”x 4” board and the 1”x6” board.

PRO-TIP: For sanding the 2x4 pieces start with 80g then work your way to 120g and finish with 220g.For the 1x4s and 1x6s, start with 120g and finish with 220g.
Step 8

Step 9

Turn the seat frame on its side with the back of the frame facing up. Align and attach the (2) outer back supports using wood glue, then screws. Ensuring the left support and right supports are on the correct end to avoid hitting the seat frame screws when attaching. 
 
Measure in 15-3/8" from each side and attach the middle supports. 

Step 10

Place the swing back in an upright position. Lay out and align the 1"x 6" pieces over the seat frame. Leave a 1/4" gap between each board. Nail the boards into the seat frame using 1-1/4" brad nails, placing two nails into each brace.

PRO-TIP: If you don't have a nail gun, you can drill countersink holes 3/16" deep and attach with the #10-1/2" exterior wood screws.
Step 10

Step 11

Align and attach the front of the armrests, ensuring each piece is on the current side based on screw placement. 
 
Then, align and attach the armrest tops to the armrest fronts. Use a level to ensure the armrest top is level and attach it from the back of the swing.

Step 12

Lay the swing on its back. Align the 1"x4" piece with the top of the backrest and nail in place. 
 
Place (1) 1"x6" board on the top of the arm rests. Align and check for even spacing from the top trim. Nail in place.
 
Place the remaining 1"x6" board directly underneath the arm rest. Align and check for equal spacing from the seat frame. Nail in place.
Step 12

Step 13

Fill all nail holes and countersink holes with wood filler and let dry thoroughly. The countersink holes may need a second coat of wood filler. Once dry, sand the areas where you placed the wood filler.

Step 14

Now you are ready to paint or stain the swing the color of your choice! 

Step 15

Lastly, drill (4) pilot holes for the eyebolts with a 5/16" drill bit. Measure 1" in and 1-3/4" up on both sides of the middle brace of the seat frame. After painting or staining is complete, Screw each eye bolt it in and secure each with a 3/8" nut.

Your porch swing is complete! Now all that is left to do is hang your swing by the method of your choosing!
Step 15

KICK BACK AND RELAX

Now that the hard work is done, you have the perfect place to relax with your family or friends and enjoy the fall weather!
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