Have you ever wanted to know how to make a frame yard swing for your yard? Now you can. Steps demonstrate the process through tons of real-life pictures and with printable instruction sheets. You will enjoy the swing in your yard for years. This project can be made in one day or you can take your time. Build the yard swing you always wanted!
How to Make a Frame Yard Swing
This yard swing has stood the test of time and will make a wonderful addition to your yard, as it did to mine. The easy instructions give step-by-step pictures and instructions for the process.
Who doesn’t love sitting in their yard in a swing, sipping ice tea and feeling the summer breezes blow? These directions show how to make a frame yard swing that will stand the test of time. It is strong, easy to build, and will last for years – as mine has.
Supplies You’ll Need
- 7 (4″x4″x10′) Pressure treated.
- 1 (4″x4″x6′) Pressure treated.
- 1 3 (1″x4″x6′) Pressure treated.
- 1 (2″x4″x5′) Pressure treated.
- 2 L brackets with screws.
- 10 large bolts.
- 10 nuts to fit the bolts.
- And 10 large washers to fit over the bolts tightly but extending past the bolt head a 1/4 of an inch to 1/2 inch. (These need to be larger in circumference than the bolts.)
- Approximately 75 self-starting small-medium sized screws. (preferably some that won’t rust.)
- 4 large S hooks
- 2 large heavy duty eye bolts.
- 4 large heavy duty hooks with only a slight opening.
- 20-25 ft of swing chain.
- 2 bags of cement.
- Drill bits to fit the bolts.
- Screwdriver or driver bit for your drill to match the screws you purchased.
- Wrench or pliers
Instructions, How to Make a Frame Yard Swing
This swing goes together very easily.
First, you need to cut a notch 4″ wide approximately 12″ down from each end of your top post and 12″ down from one end of both of your side posts.
This will be a notch and they will fit together like a “T”.
The legs span 60″ wide with the side two angled towards the middle post. Bury these approximately three feet deep and backfill the holes with cement. This provides a strong foundation. You get your angles after you place the center post in the ground. This will take several people to do. Do a mock leaning off the post, and mark the line to cut. This is the easiest way to get a true angle that fits with the holes that you dug.
If you are off by a small amount it will not affect your angle cuts negatively. Cut the angles before placing the bracing legs into the ground. Bring the angled legs to the main post, and screw it in place with several screws. Repeat this for the other side.
Having several people ensures the center post stays level and plum. Use your level to guarantee perfection. Let both sides harden in the ground before you place the top on.
- The center post will be approximately 8′ above ground and buried 2′ in the ground.
- The side posts are 5’4″ above ground and three feet in the ground, totaling 8′.4″
If you have several strong people to help you, you can place the top beam on before the cement dries. If not, you may want to wait until the cement hardens. Secure the top beam and side beam together by drilling a hole straight through them both.
Then place your bolt through the large washer (has a small hole), through both beams, and secure in place with a nut. Tighten with a wrench or pliers.
Next, you need to cut the angle braces. Either place them on the inside and screw them in or notch them out on the backside to give extra strength. If you plan to notch them out, the braces are approximately 28 3/4″ from tip to tip.
You will need to cut a 29″ piece and draw your angles using the outside of the structure to guide you. If you choose not to notch them, then draw your angles by the inside of the frame on the top and bottom.
Notching requires removing the same amount of thickness from both the pieces you plan to fit together. Keep the width the same as the width of each piece. Since these beams are all 4″ square, there are no odd sides to worry about.
Do not remove more than half the width of any single board as this will weaken the structure instead of reinforcing it.
Secure with bolts just like you did before when you attached the top to the sides.
Now frame the swing itself. Cut the top back frame board to 54″. Each side piece will be15 ” and the bottom piece is 52 3/4″. This is the back for the back framing.
The 15″ side pieces are tapered to 2 1/2 inches at the bottom. Start 4 inches up and draw a line to the end making it taper. This tilts the back to a comfortable angle. Cut both sides this way.
Place the top piece on a flat surface, standing up on end. Place the side pieces underneath the edges and screw down from the top. Then 6 1/2″ up from the bottom insert the bottom of the frame on the inside of the piece. Screw it together from the outside in. This makes the frame for your back.
Next, you will frame the bottom of the seat. Start by cutting the front edge board and the back bottom edge board 59″. The side pieces and middle brace are all 19″ cut out of 2x4s.
Screw these together by measuring from the edge the width of your 1×4 – which usually is not exactly 4″ but rather 3 3/4″ Use a piece of your wood to measure in from the edges of both the front and back seat pieces.
Make a mark on each end of both the front and back boards. Screw your side pieces, front and back to the outside 1×4’s. If you want a curve to the seat, cut that into the side pieces and middle brace before screwing it all together.
Keep the top flush as the seat boards need to have matching edges to keep it smooth. If you lower the side pieces and middle brace, then you will have an uneven surface to screw to and it will sag in places. The frame needs to fit flush.
Now you screw the bottom frame and back frame together using the L brackets. This gives you the angle you need and you now can screw your arm into place. The piece of the arm that goes down the front needs to be 12″ long, cut from the 1×4’s. The armrest is 26″ and the back piece of the arm is also 12″.
Bolt the front piece onto the bottom frame. Continue with the back piece. Bolt it to the back of the seat frame.
Now place the armrest on top and screw it to the front and back pieces. Drill a 1 1/2-2″ hole on the inside of the arm just inside the front panel. Do the same on the back panel. Keep these holes to the inside as this is where your chain will need to go through.
You can straight cut or round the edges. The swing is fully functional either way. The style is up to you.
Now it’s time to place the back slats and seat slats on the frame. Starting with the seat, you cut six 1″x4″‘s to a length of 54″ or 41/2 feet. Secure the seat slats with screws to the end boards and center brace.
Attach all of the back slats keeping the bottom edge flush to the bottom of the bottom of the back framing. The top will be rectangle shaped. If you want this curved, make a mark on each edge at 11 1/2″ from the bottom. then 7 slats in for your middle point.
Use a string and a pencil and have someone hold the string on the bottom center of the 7th board and draw a curve from the outer marking on the last slat of 11 1/2″ and it will gradually get taller finally merging with the 18 ” center. Repeat in the other direction to get the other half done the same way. Now that you have a curve drawn, use a jigsaw and cut the tops along that line. This is how you get that curve.
The finished swing will look something like this from the side.
Now it is time to install the hardware that will hold your swing above the ground and from the nice frame, you just built.
Trim any bolts so that they do not stick out and become a hazard to someone. You can do this with a hacksaw or any tool you find appropriate.
Install the hooks that will hold the chain at the bottom of the arms. Thread your chain through the holes you made in the top of the arm.
Attach these two chains to an S hook. Screw in the two eye bolts into the top of the frame. Attach your remaining connecting chain to an S hook at the top and the S hook holding the two chains together.
You now have a swing that will last you for years and years.
All that is left to do is paint or stain it. Since it is pressure treated, you can leave it if you wish. It is best to finish the wood, as the sun will damage the wood and moisture in shade can deteriorate the wood also.
Here are free printable drawings to guide you through the process and give you a closer view of what you need to do. Be sure to get Yard Swing Free Plans – Page 1 and Yard Swing Free Plans – Page 2 of the directions.
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