What in the world is a porch bed swing?  Well, it’s pretty much what the name implies – it’s a porch swing that is made with a twin bed mattress.  Kind of nifty, but not super popular; only a handful of companies actually make sure swings, so we knew if we wanted one, it was going to be tough to get.

(Gentlemen, you probably want your significant other to not read the next paragraph.)

When we got pregnant, Lynne informed me of the timeless tradition of the “push present.”  Yes, it is just what it sounds like: a present for giving birth, but not just any present; according to Lynne, it should be small, sparkly, and expensive!  Apparently this isn’t completely made up (which was my hypothesis) because Wikipedia says it exists: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Push_present.  So in the hopefully amicable debates that ensued, I negotiated her away from the jewelry store and toward the hardware store: I agreed to build her a porch bed swing!

Had I ever built a porch swing, a bed, or really any real piece of furniture?  Heck no!  But I wasn’t about to let a minor detail like that stop me.

After doing a ton of research on DIY porch swings, I realized the porch bed swing’s relative lack of popularity would prove troublesome, and I would have to improvise.  Eventually I found two sites that, when combined, would get us to the finish line.  Here are the two sites I used plus the material list I snatched from each:

 

Ana White’s – Outdoor Hanging Bed

(Incidentally, Ana White has  TON of cool DIY projects!)

This proved to be the perfect base because it is very structurally sound and is the right dimensions for a twin bed mattress, but the problem is it doesn’t have a back or arms.  It is just a hanging bed, as advertised.

I decided to make the support frame a cleats slightly smaller than the specs mostly out of convenience and because the How To site below uses small width boards.

3 – 2 x 4 x 8 –support frame (originally 2 x 6)
2 – 2 x 3 x 8 –cleats (originally 2 x 4)
6 – 1 x 3 x 8 –support slats

I borrowed the concept for the back and arms to complete our swing to Lynne’s specs!

In the original instructions, however, there was a lot of cutting to very slight angles (7 degrees) to accomplish a slight tilt to the back of the swing. I have neither the expertise or patience to mess this up repeatedly, so I just left my cuts square 😀

1 – 2 x 3 x 8 –arm rests (4x 12″ supports and 2X 24″ arm rest)
2 – 2 x 3 x 8 –top three pieces of back frame
1 – 2 x 4 x 8 –bottom piece of back frame

1 – 2 x 6 x 10 –back slats of back frame (Lowes didn’t have any 8 footers)

(Note: originally, I planned to make the back slats out of 1 x 2.25’s, but by the end of it, I didn’t quite have the patience to do all of that cutting or use a pocket jig.)

I decided to get 4 x 6′ of steel chain to attach the swing to the ceiling, 4 x heavy duty test eye screws and 4 x anchor shackles to attach the swing to the chain, and 2x anchor rings and 4x quick links

To bring the whole thing together, I predrilled all holes and used 2.5″ galvanized screws with some wood glue.

Tool list included a drill, circular saw, clamps, a power sander, and a framing square.  (Note: a mitre saw would be better than a circular saw, but we are poor and didn’t want to buy one!)

Here is a quick tour of the journey from lumber to swing:

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2014-09-07 17.16.25

 

As for the final product…well there’s quite more to the saga of the porch bed swing than just this!