Cedar Porch Swing

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Project by Ryan Sandler posted 10-10-2018 12:03 AM 818 views 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Mostly to make conversation, at the beginning of the woodworking season, I asked my 7 year old daughter what I ought to make this year, she requested a “bench swing” like they have at her school playground. My first reaction was to say no, no, that’s not the kind of thing I had in mind, we don’t have a place for it, there’s no interesting joinery to practice…but then I got to thinking. Our porch didn’t have any furniture, and needed some since we cleared out the “stroller graveyard” that had accumulated as our kids outgrew them. While one could just screw a swing together, you could do some joinery… The wheels started to turn, and I was off to the races.

The swing is made entirely of cedar. The frame uses blind mortise and tenons, and the arms are set into the frame with a shallow dado. In my effort to avoid screws (and screws coming loose, rough holes, etc), the slats are attached using homemade 5/16” cedar dowels. I made a poor-man’s dowel-making jig by drilling a hole in a scrap of angle iron I had lying around and running slightly oversized pieces through it in my cordless drill. Finished with many thin wiped-on coats of Epifanes marine varnish.

The design is cobbled together from several places on the internet. The gas-pipe suspension is from this Family Handyman piece: The profile for the seat and back are taken from this post here:, with some slight modifications. The mortise and tenons for the frame and the rounded finger-joint arms are all me.

Took about 7 weeks of evenings and weekends to build, and I hung it just this past weekend with my dad’s help, as my parents happened to be in town.

5 comments so far

View AJ1104's profile


1103 posts in 2461 days

#1 posted 10-10-2018 12:58 AM

Ryan, I love the cedar. Very nice design and build. It looks real sturdy. Enjoy !

-- AJ

View Hazem's profile


254 posts in 2050 days

#2 posted 10-10-2018 01:41 AM

Looks great.

View doubleDD's profile


9528 posts in 2845 days

#3 posted 10-10-2018 02:27 AM

Well done on the swing. Great looking.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View pottz's profile


10278 posts in 1786 days

#4 posted 10-10-2018 06:13 PM

thats a beautiful swing,the cedar looks gorgeous and you you did a great job incorporating the different designs into the way you did the arm rests,nice look.should last until the kids bring there kids home.great job.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View ohwoodeye's profile


2460 posts in 3955 days

#5 posted 10-10-2018 07:55 PM

Really nice…....enjoy relaxing.
Well done.

-- "Fine Woodworking" is the name given to a project that takes 3 times longer than normal to finish because you used hand tools instead of power tools. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

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