Arts & Crafts Period Porch Swing

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This is no ordinary porch swing. It was fabricated from American white oak in our woodworking shop, and is a testament to our design philosophy of "elegant simplicity," as well as our craftsmanship in executing intricate & precision joinery.

Scope of Project

Elements of the design were drawn from several sources, notably the porch swings of the early 20th century. The swing was to be reminiscent of the Norman Rockwell era depiction of life in the American heartland. Seating comfort was a specific objective, and the swing back design was inspired by the Arts & Crafts period interior designer and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh - specifically his chair designs for the Willow Tea House.

There are sixty-three (63) individual wood pieces that make up the swing assembly, and the joinery is mortise-and-tenon throughout. The swing was stained and finished with tung oil and polyurethane varnish, then polished with paste wax. American white oak was chosen for it's strength and tolerance to wet weather conditions. Shown in the photos below are sections of the shop drawings and several images taken during assembly and finishing. The final product is suspended from the ceiling of a front porch with a kevlar rope product used in the marine industry. All hardware is 316 stainless steel.

Click on each image to view larger images and to reveal more specific information about the swing construction.


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This is drawing conveys the overall design of the swing with various parts color coded to detail assembly.


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This drawing illustrates the components of the swing back and the assembly ordering of the various wood parts.


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This is the swing back during assembly.


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This is the completed back assembly - ready to be integrated with the structural members of the seat frame.


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This drawing illustrates the swing's arm-rest assembly and the seat components.


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In this photograph you can see the second arm-rest assembly being installed.


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The entire swing is constructed using mortise and floating tenon joinery combined with waterproof glue and extensive clamping during assembly.


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Notice the contour of the seat. This contour, combined with the angle of the back, makes for a very comfortable swing.


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Completed assembly, ready for final sanding and finishing.


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Detail showing the arm-rest assembly and contoured seat.


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Stainless steel hangers are fitted, then removed during the final finishing steps.


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This is the swing after the first coat of stain and wood sealer.


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And the final product as installed on the porch.


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The stain color was chosen to coordinate with the color of the window sashes of the home.


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A close-up of the swing after final finishing and installation.
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