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Thread: First Big Project - Yard Swing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Lima Ohio
    Posts
    11

    First Big Project - Yard Swing

    My grandpa's old flimsy swing had snapped in half while he was using it a a few months ago (not good!) and he had asked me to make him a new one. I agreed and roughly a month later I went to the sawmill for some Ash, which ended up being sold out so I went with Hard Maple. He's a bigger man so I had my doubts on sufficient support.. Talk about a challenge! I learned many... many... new things along the way start to finish, please give me your opinions on how I did and what I could improve on. I used a combination of 2 pictures of existing swings and combined them to make my own design. Thanks!!
    MVIMG_20190829_212640.jpg MVIMG_20190829_212645.jpg IMG_20190823_203922.jpg IMG_20190822_202144.jpg MVIMG_20190902_201915.jpg

  2. #2
    First and foremost, welcome Bennie! Glad you've joined us and happy to see your project posted! We love pics! Also, you should know that if grandpa likes the swing and is comfortable in it, that's really the thing that counts the most IMO.

    I think it looks good. Looks like you used deck screws? If they aren't rust proofed or coated appropriately, it would be a good idea to give them a good coat of finish. That wont prevent all possibility of rust, but it will help reduce it. I like to use marine varnish on outdoor furniture because it usually includes UV protection. It's pricey, but for me it's been worth it. You can get it at boat stores and other places.

    How does the size and orientation of the bolts to which the chains are attached compare to the original? Same size? Oriented the same way?

    I think I might glue some corner blocks into the frame, just to add a little rigidity, but that's just me. I'd use a waterproof glue to do that.

    I like it. I hope grandpa does too!

    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  3. #3
    It looks like it works.... Be aware that maple is not going to hold up well outdoors. Stainless screws would avoid the iron staining that yo may get from steel screws. I would insure that the swing gets stored indoors in the winter months.

    Flat seats tend to be the norm for yard swings, but I find that a curved swing seat and back is much more comfortable. Here is one I made for my sister that matches the one I made for my wife's parents. This one is made of treated lumber, the original one was made of western red cedar.
    IMG_2739.jpg
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    1,704
    Great project, enjoy!

    Some of the first projects I did were hard maple. Because I really like the wood. But I have to say, there are MUCH easier woods to learn on...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Lima Ohio
    Posts
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Skelly View Post
    First and foremost, welcome Bennie! Glad you've joined us and happy to see your project posted! We love pics! Also, you should know that if grandpa likes the swing and is comfortable in it, that's really the thing that counts the most IMO.

    I think it looks good. Looks like you used deck screws? If they aren't rust proofed or coated appropriately, it would be a good idea to give them a good coat of finish. That wont prevent all possibility of rust, but it will help reduce it. I like to use marine varnish on outdoor furniture because it usually includes UV protection. It's pricey, but for me it's been worth it. You can get it at boat stores and other places. I gotta replace one of the clips but besides that all hardware is rated for outdoor use.



    How does the size and orientation of the bolts to which the chains are attached compare to the original? Same size? Oriented the same way?

    I think I might glue some corner blocks into the frame, just to add a little rigidity, but that's just me. I'd use a waterproof glue to do that.

    I like it. I hope grandpa does too!

    Fred
    Thanks Fred! I used the GripFast outdoor cabinet screws from Menards. Since I was working with a hard wood, I tried to get a screw with good coating and a fine(er) thread. For the finish I just used a clearcoat of Helmsman Exterior Satin, 2 coats. The bolts are all positioned the same, on the bottom of the outside points, I tossed some stainless steel supports to support the distributed weight. One of the clips are a different size, but I plan on fixing that soon. All hardware is rated for outdoor use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Schierer View Post
    It looks like it works.... Be aware that maple is not going to hold up well outdoors. Stainless screws would avoid the iron staining that yo may get from steel screws. I would insure that the swing gets stored indoors in the winter months.

    Flat seats tend to be the norm for yard swings, but I find that a curved swing seat and back is much more comfortable. Here is one I made for my sister that matches the one I made for my wife's parents. This one is made of treated lumber, the original one was made of western red cedar.
    I plan on taking it indoors after second frost, every year or two I'll sand some off and throw another coat on. I have planned making my next swing out of pine or some other cheaper wood... This inclined me to make more!


    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Beckett View Post
    Great project, enjoy!

    Some of the first projects I did were hard maple. Because I really like the wood. But I have to say, there are MUCH easier woods to learn on...
    Thanks Carl. Majority of my experience has been with maple and oak, with a little bit of walnut, cherry, and hickory. I had a bad experience with hickory so I'm putting that one on the backburner for a while. I havenít tried Birch or poplar yet, probably next project's materials!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Posts
    27,037
    Nicely done Bennie! Welcome aboard!
    Ken

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    788
    Very nice, but if you make another one you could add a little contour to the seat and back. Not hard to do with that design.

    If those springs are overloaded (due to the weight of the Maple) you could use two of them on each end.

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