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Make a Charming Wooden Porch Swing

Make a Charming Wooden Porch Swing

Transforming a Neglected Porch Swing into a Showstopper

When I first laid eyes on the backyard of my investment house, I pictured a porch swing hanging from the giant tree in the back. That image never left my mind, and I knew I’d have to build a porch swing soon so I could enjoy sitting on the swing in between copious amounts of demolition labor. Being on a tight budget, I didn’t want to buy a new swing. I challenged myself to use as much free wood as I could get my hands on.

Then Krazy Glue, who is sponsoring this post, threw on an additional challenge. They dared me to give up my conventional nail fasteners and use Krazy Glue to secure all the slats to the swing frame. Apparently, Krazy Glue is one fast-drying glue that creates an instant bond when applied and can hold up to 2000 pounds. Big claims meant I was anxious to put Krazy Glue to the test.

To start, I harvested the slats off of three pallets. There are several ways to harvest pallet wood, a few of which I explain in this post. When all was said and done, I had enough pallet wood to create all the slats on the swing. And luckily, I had a few scrap 2 x 4s to build the swing frame, so my lumber costs were minimal. I developed a plan to utilize and feature the varying widths of pallet wood but used Ana White’s basic porch swing plan for inspiration and overall dimensions.

Assembling the Porch Swing Frame

Ready to learn how to build your own Striped Porch Swing using Pallet Wood? Let’s do this before the weather gets too cold to enjoy it!

Lumber Cut List

Item Quantity Size
Seat Slats 10 1 x 4 x 48
Seat Side Supports 2 2 x 4 x 18
Seat Center Support 1 2 x 2 x 45
Back Upright Supports 2 2 x 4 x 19 3/4
Arm Rest Supports 2 2 x 4 x 22 1/2
Arm Rest Connectors 2 2 x 4 x 11 1/4

To assemble the seat frame, I laid out the 48″ boards as shown below. I turned the two middle boards on their sides to create a more substantial frame.

Porch Swing Seat Frame Assembly

I then secured the seat frame by gluing each end of the 18″ boards with Krazy Glue. Next, I pre-drilled and drove 3 wood screws through the front and back 48″ boards into the 18″ sides and support boards. Using a carpenter’s square helped me keep my corners square.

I found it easier to clamp the frame together while drilling and driving the screws. Then, I centered my 2 x 2 x 45″ board on top of the center supports in the seat frame, applied Krazy Glue to each end, pre-drilled, and secured the center support with one 2 1/2″ wood screw on each end.

Building the Porch Swing Back

For the swing back, I laid out the 19 3/4″ boards with the two center supports on the seat frame assembly. I drilled two pocket holes into one end of each 2 x 4 x 19 3/4″ board, added Krazy Glue to the ends, and drove 2 1/2″ pocket screws into the pocket holes to attach the upright supports to the 48″ board.

I then lifted the back assembly and clamped it to the seat frame, checking that the back assembly lined up with each side of the seat. After removing the clamp, I squeezed Krazy Glue onto the inside edge of the upright supports, clamped them in place, pre-drilled holes through the uprights into the seat frame, and secured them with 2 1/2″ wood screws.

Adding the Arm Rests

To attach the arm rests, I first drilled pocket holes into one end of each 2 x 4 x 22 1/2″ and the 2 x 4 x 11 1/4″ boards. I applied Krazy Glue into the elbow joint where the arm pieces overlapped each other.

Starting by making sure the porch swing seat was level, I set the arm in place and leveled the arm rest. I clamped the arm rest to the frame and secured it to the back assembly using 2 1/2″ pocket screws. Then, I pre-drilled and secured the front of the arm rest to the seat frame with 2 1/2″ wood screws, taking care to avoid the screws holding the seat frame together.

Finishing Touches

Now was the perfect time to fill all the holes with wood putty. After allowing the putty to dry, I sanded it smooth and wiped off the porch swing with a damp rag to remove any sawdust.

I didn’t prime or paint the back of the slats or the frame pieces that would be glued, as the Krazy Glue needed to bond with raw wood. I cut the slats or pallet wood to the lengths in the cut list, arranged them on the seat and back of the swing, and created a spacer with two shims to help with even spacing (about 1/2″ between slats).

Putting Krazy Glue to the Test

Time to put the Krazy Glue to the test! I made a quick video to show you how I used the Krazy Glue to adhere the slats and to test the strength of the bond. I added a small bead of Krazy Glue to the seat frame assembly underneath each slat or to the underside of the slats, pressed the slat in place, and held it for about 30 seconds. If a slat didn’t sit flat or rocked slightly, I used a small nail to secure it.

After allowing at least 10 minutes for the Krazy Glue to set, I attached the hanging hardware. I drilled a 3/8″ hole through the outer upright supports of the back, inserted a 6″ screw eye through the hole, and threaded a washer and nut onto the end. I repeated the process, drilling into the front edge of the side supports.

Finally, I primed and painted my porch swing in a variety of Magnolia Home Interior Paint colors, including Shiplap, Texas Summer, Amber Water, and Magnolia Green. I sealed the porch swing with a varnish for added weather protection and hung it from a ceiling joist in my backyard.

The Finished Product

I have to say, I was thoroughly impressed with the strength of the Krazy Glue bond. The swing has held up beautifully, even with the elements, and it’s become a charming and inviting spot for me to enjoy in my backyard. If you’re looking to add a touch of rustic farmhouse style to your outdoor living space, I highly recommend giving this DIY porch swing a try.

You can visit Timber Building to find all the tools and materials you need to create your own custom porch swing. Happy building!

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