Building an Outdoor Swinging Daybed
Is there any better way to relax than on a swinging daybed in your yard or garden? Follow these instructions to improve your summer nights with this rewarding project.
Step 1—Select a Mattress
Either buy a new twin mattress or use one that you have. Start by measuring the mattress, as the actual size can vary by manufacturer. The standard of a twin mattress is 39x75 inches, but if you mattress size is different, make a note of it so that you can adjust the swing plans to account for the difference.
Step 2—Pick out Wood
Select high quality wood in 2x2, 2x4 and 2x6 sizes. Select defect-free pieces that are straight and have no knots. Also inspect the wood to ensure that it is not warped.
Step 3—Construct the Sides
Make four 2x4 legs, cutting each 2x4 to 26 inches long. Next cut four 2x6 boards each to 31 inches long. These pieces will be used for horizontal beams on the sides.
Step 4—Attach Legs to Aprons
Next you will be attaching 2 of the horizontal beams to the legs. The top horitonzal beam attaches 2 inches down from the top of the legs, while the lower horizontal beam attaches 2 inches above the bottom of the legs. Drill starter holes in the wood where the screws will go to prevent splitting.
Secure the legs with wood glue and lag screws. When you have the legs on, use a carpenter's square to check the angles.
Countersink the screws and plug, ensuring that both ends match each other. Let the glue dry.
Step 5—Connect the Rails
Cut three 2x6 rails to 75 inches long. Attach the first rail to the front using lag screws and glue, making sure that it is in line with the horizontal beams. Attach the two back rails to line up with the upper and lower horizontal beams.
Be sure to stagger the screws to avoid running into other lag screws. Let the glue dry.
Step 6—Attach Pickets
Cut 2x2 pickets to 15 inches long so that they fit between the upper and lower horizontal beams. Space them evenly across, placing 8 on each end and the remaining pickets across the back.
Apply glue and finishing nails to secure the pickets. Countersink and fill all nail holes.
Step 7—Attach Seat Supports
Cut your seat supports. Cut two 2x2 ledgers to 75 inches long. Attach these ¾-inch from the top of the horizontal beams using glue and nails. Cut six 1x6 slats to 31 inches long. Place and secure these on top of the ledgers with nails.
Step 8—Sand and Stain
Use your sander to smooth the entire bench. Once it is smooth, stain the bench and let it dry thoroughly.
Step 9—Hang the Bench
Place 4 eye bolts on the horizontal side beams a few inches in from the legs. Make sure the bolts do not hit the pickets. Bring the swing on the porch where you will be placing it.
Install 4 more eye bolts to ceiling joists directly above the swing eye bolts. If there are no ceiling joists or they're not correctly positioned where you want the swing, you will need to install a brace. Do this by placing 2x6 braces over the existing joists and run eye bolts through the ceiling and into the braces. The swing will be quite heavy and you will not want to use paneling or drywall for support.
Divide the chain into 4 equal lengths and attach the swing to the bed. Generally a swinging bed like this will be about 3 inches from the ground. Place the mattress on the frame and enjoy!