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A Hanging Porch to Share with Family

I recently decided to build a hanging porch swing. I admit that this is probably not something everyone should attempt. I have the tools and the interest so I felt like I could tackle it. It started out as a pretty simple idea really. I'd seen these sorts of swings before and had fond memories of my Grandma's swing back in the 70's. So, when I realized that my parent's 45th wedding anniversary was coming up I decided it was time to head to the wood shop.First I took a good long look at their current hanging porch swing. It was three feet wide and hung from an A frame that was about 5' tall and 4' wide at the base. This seemed okay but I decided to build one that was just a little longer and with a different hanging setup. I opted for redwood because I like the way it looks and holds up to weather conditions. Plus, I thought my Mom would approve. I don't care who you are or how old you get, you always want your Mom to approve.Once I had my basic idea of the changes I wanted to make from their old hanging porch swing I headed to the home improvement store with my material list and bought about $200 worth of goodies. Lots of bolts, washers and nuts, as well as the lumber. Building the stand took a couple days and it came out pretty nice. The timbers are heavy enough that the swing should feel real secure hanging from the overhead cross piece. Of course, this step could have been left out and the swing could just be hung from rafters, but I wanted them to have the option of being able to situate the swing either on the porch or out in the yard or garden.The swing itself took a bit more woodworking skill. I settled on a design where the slats would rest on seat and back support pieces that are bolted together in the back where they come together. The top of the back rest is made out of wider board and made slightly elliptical across the top. This adds a nice little softening affect without getting crazy. The slats themselves are just cut down from the larger 2x lumber. A hanging porch swing can, of course, be made out of almost anything. Pine is cheap and can be painted or weather sealed in other ways. Oak, cyprus, mahogany, teak, and cedar were other materials I considered. But, in the end, redwood won out.A hanging porch swing has to be something that is comfortable and instills confidence, especially if your family has big people in it like mine. Nobody wants to try to relax on the swing while wondering if it is going to come crashing down. Because of this concern I opted for some pretty heavy duty chain to suspend the swing from.Smiles all around when the hanging porch swing was given. No more tired old broken down metal swing to contend with. Now there is a beautiful swing and stand out in my parent's garden. Who knows if they'll ever use it on the porch. Maybe not. And that's okay with me. As long as they enjoy it, I'll be happy. Even if you aren't the type to try to build this sort of thing, I highly recommend you get a hanging porch swing for yourself or someone you love. There is just something special about the time spent relaxing on a swing with a loved one.

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