How to Build a Log Porch Swing

What You'll Need
A large piece of timber ([L]60inches by [W]50inches by [D]1 3/4iches)
2 meters of chain or rope
Electric drill and drill bits
Wood finish
Wood saw
Precision saw
Metal loopholes
Assorted cloths
Sanding block

A log porch swing is one of the characteristic icons of relaxation and American summers. For centuries, we have used them outside our houses for comfort and for practicality. Now you can build your very own log porch swing with this very simple guide, saving money that would have been spent paying professionals.

Step 1 - Cutting the wood

To begin, use your pencil to mark out 3 separate sections that your large piece of wood must separate into. The first measures 60 inches by 20 inches (section 1) and the second will measure 60 inches by 25 inches (section 2). This will leave a 60 inches by 5 inches section (section 3) at the end of timber sheet. The first section will be used as our seat, the second will be our back and the remainder will make up the arms and other finishing touches. Once you have cut the wood accurately, use sandpaper to smooth all the edges and remove any splinters.

Step 2 - Building the body

Take section 1 and place it against section 2 so that the two 60inch lengths are aligned as if they had not been cut. We will be using dovetail joints for this project, a simple technique that will result in a very strong and long-lasting chair. Use the pencil to sketch out the two lengths of dovetail joints which will appear castellated when complete. Once happy, you must cut the two dovetail sections and place the two sections together to ensure that they fit. You now have a bench frame.

Step 3 - The arms and finish

Section 3 can be cut down the middle of its width, producing two 2 1/2 inch by 60 inch pieces. Now, cut one of these into two 2 inch by 21 inch pieces, discarding the excess. These are your arms and must be sanded down before being attached. To attach the arms, hold the base of the arm against the back of the bench and drill a screw in from behind. You must cut the other 2inch piece to the appropriate length depending on how high you placed the arms. These can now be attached with out-of-view screws for an aesthetically pleasing bench.

Now that you have completed the swing body, apply your selected wood finish to a clean cloth and apply generously. This will help maintain a rich color for longer as well as protect it from other outside hazards such as molds and weather.

Step 4 - Attaching the chains

Measure 60 inches on the underside of your porch roof and attach the two metal loopholes. Now, attach metal loopholes to the two edges of the back of the swing and to the point of the arms. You can use your desired material to hang the bench from the porch. You can test its strength by placing heavy objects on it and swinging it gently.

Step 5 - Final touches

Now that it is complete, why not sit back and relax on your log porch swing whilst you think of some finishing touches? How about wrapping the swing with cushion and fabric so that it is even more comfortable?