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The Perfect Porch Swing - Part 2

•Allow a 4 foot (1.2 m) arc for the swing to move freely.
•Use galvanized or stainless steel chain or marine-grade braided nylon or polyester rope, and eye-bolts or S-hooks with 4-6 inch (10 cm-15) shafts. Using S-hooks allows easier removal of the swing for winter storage but is not as secure as using eye-bolts.
•ALWAYS hang the swing from a roof joist, not the roofing material itself. If the joists on your porch roof are not exposed, cut away a section of roofing to find them. Otherwise, don't hang the swing from the ceiling -- use a frame instead.
;Drill a pilot hole slightly smaller than the shaft of the eye-ring or S-ring. This will ensure a snug fit to the shaft of the ring. Tighten the ring securely, using pliers or a screw-driver for the last turn.
•Measure the required chain. As an example, seven foot (2.1 m) chains hung from a beam 8 feet (2.4 m) above the floor will lift a swing about 18 inches (45 cm) off the ground. If you have a measurement, your hardware dealer can cut the exact length of chain you need and you won't have to cut it with a hacksaw.
•Use four chains to hang your swing -- two chains from each hook, one to the front of the swing and one to the back. It's easier to hang swings with holes in the arms, but swings with chains attached to the seat or to the bottom supports give a more comfortable ride without as much twisting and wearing of the chains or the ropes.
•Check your swing each spring and replace any rusted chain or bolts. Also maintain the finish of the wood because weathered wood eventually will loosen fasteners and produce splinters.
No porch?
Don't despair if you don't have a covered porch.
•Some swings come suspended in their own frames or can be installed on decks on a wooden A-frame.
•Put one in your garden, hanging from an arbor. Train vines up the sides and soon you'll have a leafy hide-away nook.
•Hang a board with rope from a sturdy, level tree branch
•If you need something that takes up less space, consider a glider -- a bench that gently moves forward and back on a mechanized base. There are even kits available that will turn a wooden garden bench into a glider.
So don't just sit there this summer -- swing away and make some memories!

Debbie Rodgers, the haven maven, owns and operates Paradise Porch, and is dedicated to helping people create outdoor living spaces that nurture and enrich them. Her latest how-to guide “Attracting Butterflies to Your Home and Garden” is now available on her web site.

Debbie Rodgers



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