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Project Information

I built this porch swing about 12 years ago when I was living in Hawaii. It was a gift for my Lovely Bride and it has followed us through a number of moves, the last one being to our current home in Forestville, California. It again graces our deck, overlooking the yard. I made mine out of Hawaiian Koa. The frame pieces are African mahogany, but all the slats are Koa. I drilled and counterbored the screw holes and filled them with grain-matching Koa plugs, glued in with waterproof glue. The finish is Sikkens Cetol, a bulletproof finish that all us folks who lived right on the ocean used on anything wood that was to live outdoors. This swing spent most of its live right in the salt air directly from the ocean, plus Hawaii's humidity and daily rain squalls. The finish started to show some stress about a year ago, so before packing it up for the move to CA, I sanded it down and refinished it with more Cetol. Now it'll be good for at least another 15 years or so, not having to withstand any more salt air.

I got the plans for the swing through Wood Magazine. The plans are Better Homes and Gardens Wood Plans, "The Lazy Days Porch Swing, " Item number OFS-#1002. The Web address is: www.woodstore.net/porchswing.html. Great, detailed plans with full-size templates for each piece.

Gallery

Comments

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226 Posts
Mine is identical, from the same plan, but in white oak. We don't see too many projects in koa here but this one is drop dead gorgeous. You've inspired me to take mine down and give it some TLC over the winter. Mahalo!
 

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118,619 Posts
A fine looking porch swing with amazing wood.
 

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A real beauty! Love it and so cool to see how great it looks after 12 yrs! Well done.
 

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Very beautiful project. I would hate to see what that much Koa would cost on this side of the ocean.
 

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696 Posts
very nice!! I love the koa! koa is the bacon of woods, it makes everything better! welcome to california! you're in my neck of the woods. I just built a house in Forrestville and Ive done some windows for a local church involving stained glass a few years back!!
 

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Very handsome !
 

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The swing is beautiful. Glad that it is proving the test of time. Nice build and comfortable looking. Great job and thanks for the link.
 

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This just changed my mood! Nicely and incredibly done.
 

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Hey thanks for all the compliments! About that Koa, when I was living in Hawaii, I had a friend who had a deal going with one of the few mills licensed to harvest Koa. The deal was that he got to buy the trimmings, which were the outer pieces, with bark, that were the falls from when they milled logs into lumber. Not the best grade of Koa, but I paid $100 for a pickup load of it, and by selectively going through the load I managed to end up with lots of beautiful pieces of highly figured curly Koa. Since most of my work requires fairly small stuff, the pieces I ended up with, like up to 6/4×6 x 48's on a good day, worked fine. I'm down in my inventory now to the point where i no longer make things out of Koa, but rather veneer things with Koa! I carefully resaw what I have left now!

Koa is a great wood to work with. As with most woods, though, there's fine curly Koa and then there's average boring koa, some of which looks amazingly like African mahogany. In Hawaii, most galleries want proof of where you got your Koa, since there's alot of illegal cutting and selling goring on.
 

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So, So, Much Beauty!
Just Wonderful!
 

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676 Posts
Beatiful bench swing.
Job well done.

I had built but had never hang it up.
My wife had bugging me about an arbor swing…...
 

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hhhopks, would you like my wife to give your wife some lessons in effective "bugging?" My wife's porch swing was up and running in short order! :)
 

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I love working with Koa, but in my neck of the woods, it is EXPENSIVE. A pen blank size piece of curly Koa runs me about 8.00. I am super jealous. that 's an awesome bench.
 

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Very nice looking swing. Made from Koa I can understand why it has lasted so long. Glad to hear you are happy in Calif, but sorry to loose another person form the Islands. I also love working with Koa and would say it's the most popular wood asked for when I am making boxes, trivets etc. I also have a logger friend that sells mill ends and split boards to me at wholesale prices…need to pick up more tomorrow in fact.
 

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Aloha, Hawaiilad! A few years ago nobody could have convinced me that I'd be back in CA after a wonderful 19 years on the BI. But I'm 75 and hardly ever got to see my too-fast-growing-up grandkids, so here I am, freezing my haole butt off, but the happy warmth of those little ones make up for it. I know I'm gonna miss that traditional dip in the ocean on Christmas and New Years day . . .

Mele Kalikimaka!
 

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Mele Kalikimaka right back to you. I know what you mean about the Grandkids living far away. We area always hoping kids will visit here more often, but they do have their lives there in Calif and Wa. I also have some of my handywork in a few of the galleries here on the BI and you are so correct, we will be spending Christmas day with many friends on the warm sandy beach..

Aloha
 

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Beautiful! Call the Guinness book of records, I bet your swing would qualify for the most expensive porch swing in the world! And it's outside on your porch… I've got just enough Koa to say I have some. It's a tiny stick about 2" X 3" X 8" and so far too pretty to use it.
 

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Hey Hal! That Koa in my porch swing is the "common" variety, distinguishing it from the Curly Koa, which sells by the Troy ounce! I milled the slats from bark-covered lumber-mill falls that are still reasonable if you can find the right connections in Hawaii. I do value what little I have left now and only use the primo stuff as veneer. I used to make picture frames out of solid Koa. No more!

You might be amazed to walk into any number of older buildings in Hawaii, like banks and government offices. You'll find entire walls, doors and furniture built of beautiful, solid Koa. They don't do that anymore, either!
 

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Just built one myself but yours looks better. I like the way the slats curve down around your knees. Love it! Mine is a cedar frame with teak slats and arm rest. Very similar tho.
 
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