How to Build a 2×4 Porch Swing

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About: Build instead of buy....most of the time.

I have always wanted to turn my sitting bench design into some type of swing. Recently I was asked to make a swing so I figured now would be a great time to do so. The swing that I came up with is made from eight 2x4x8’s and four 3/8″ eye bolts. My cost was around $40 with a build time of 5 hours. I wish I had a place to hang one of these because this has turned out to be one of my favorite projects in a long time. I hope you enjoy and can build one of your own. When you get to the end of this tutorial don’t forget to download the free plan!

Step 1: Cut

Cut all of your parts to length and width according to the cutting diagram. The width (3″) needs to be cut first with the arm components. Typically I like to have all my parts cut before assembly but there are a few parts that need to be measured after some assembly is done (pink)

Step 2: Half Laps

Half lap joints can be cut with various tools. In this project I used my table saw with a dado blade. It is the quickest and easiest method for me. However, if you do not have a table saw you can either cut these with a hand saw and chisel or a circular saw and chisel. For a good explanation of cutting precise half laps please refer to the video at the end of this article.

Step 3: Glue Up

With all of the arm components cut and fitting together nicely you can glue all of the pieces into place.

Step 4: Trim the Arms

The front of both arm assemblies needs to be trimmed slightly (red/bright green). A cut perpendicular to the bottom needs to be made where the half laps intersect. This point is where the seat slats will start.

Step 5: Add Slat Supports

The slat supports (pink) can now be measured and put in place. I used glue and 4 or 5 screws to secure them to the arm.

Step 6: Install Slats

Starting from the front install the seat slats. Each slat is secured with two screws on both sides from below. Make sure you pre-drill for all of your screws so that you do not split the slat support. The space between slats is 1/8″. I used the solid end of a 1/8″ drill bit for this. After the seat slats, install the back slats working from the top down.

Step 7: Eye Bolts

I used 3/8″x4″ eye bolts on my build as they were the shortest I could find. 3-1/2″ eye bolts would be ideal. I drilled holes so that they went through both the arm and the slat supports.

Step 8: Final Thoughts

So that’s it. This was a very fun build. Like I said in the video I don’t have anywhere to hang this from. I sure wish I did because I really want one of these for myself! As always, if you decided to build one of these I would love to see your finished product! If you would like a PDF copy of the full plan as well as the SketchUp file download the .zip file here.

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