Need help hanging porch swing!

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Old 08-07-14, 06:36 AM
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Need help hanging porch swing!

Hello, I have a dilemma with the 5 ft porch swing I've order, namely trying to hang from our porch ceiling. I have gone over the ceiling with a magnetic stud finder and step ladder and can only seem to find two joists (I'm guessing they are joists?), 40 inches apart running the length of the porch. I've been searching the forums and have found a possible solution of staining and attaching a 2x6 beam flat perpendicular across the 2 joists, across the width of the ceiling there, then hanging the swing from this beam but wonder if this is a good idea. If I use long wood screws to attach the 2x6 to the 2 joists, I still don't have any great place to securely attach the ends of the beam, as there doesn't seem to be any other structure over the ceiling. I guess my concern is that these 2 joists run the entire length of the porch (27 ft), and they may not be sound enough to carry the weight of the swing. Is it possible they are the only 2 joists, or should I be trying to find other cross beams? If so, any suggestions how to find them? I've gone over the ceiling carefully with the stud finder, and nothing. I don't have any attic access, and don't really have the know-how to fix a big hole in the beadboard (which seems to be tougue and groove, as there are no nail holes) to take a peak. I am attaching a photo (sorry if it's sideways!), the porch swing is sitting on the ground positioned where I'd generally like to hang it and I've marked with tape where the joists seem to be (according to the stud finder). I am at a complete loss here as to how to proceed and would really appreciate any help or suggestions. I love the swing and think it would look great, but maybe I should just return it?
 
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Old 08-07-14, 07:50 AM
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I never had any luck with stud finders. Open the ceiling so you can see what's in there.
 
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Old 08-07-14, 08:22 AM
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I thought magnetic stud finders were all but dead. They are almost completely useless as they only find nails and screws. Try a modern capacitance style finder. They are the most common type that's been made for the last 20 years. Cheaper models may not be able to "see" through a tongue and groove wood ceiling but better models can.

Or, there is the old fashioned "tap" method where you just tap on the ceiling. Move along the length of the area (parallel to the house wall) where you want to put the swing. Tap every couple inches listening for a change in the pitch from a hollow to more solid sound. Most commonly the joists will be 16" center to center. Then when you've found a possible location drill a small hole. If you missed the joist the drill should break through after only about an inch. If you hit the stud there will be resistance for the drills length.
 
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Old 08-07-14, 08:32 AM
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It is not likely that joists would run lengthwise 27 feet. Your stud finder may be locating nailers installed to hold the bead board. You will need to open the ceiling to be sure. Start at the end nearest where you want to hang the swing.
 
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Old 08-07-14, 08:33 AM
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What is above the ceiling? Sometimes roof/ceiling structures are on 24" centers, it's also possible strapping was installed to change the direction of the ceiling boards. The strapping might not be stout enough to keep the swing secured, best to secure it to the joists as mentioned above.

almost forgot welcome to the forums Sharon!
 
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Old 08-14-14, 10:58 AM
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Thanks for all the responses! I've tried tapping and some test holes with the drill, but without luck. I'm going to open up the ceiling and take a look as some of you suggested. I'll let you know how it turns out.
 
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Old 08-14-14, 02:21 PM
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Build an A-Frame to hang it from.
 
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Old 08-14-14, 02:31 PM
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Why? When the customer wants a swing from the ceiling.
 
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Old 09-15-14, 11:03 AM
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Got the swing up! When I went to open up the ceiling, I quickly found a joist. Missed it by a millimeter on either side when drilling test holes. It took some work getting the bolts attached, but it seems secure. Thanks again all, I LOVE my swing!!
 
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Old 09-15-14, 01:07 PM
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Thanks for the update glad you got it worked out!
 
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