You may have considered building an arbor in the yard to display climbing plants, but how about one that serves as the support for a backyard swing? You can sit with a good book and watch nature growing all around you. This project is easy to do even if you are more of a garden lover than a construction expert. Part 1 of this how-to focuses on building the frame.
You will need:
• 3 pieces of 1x4x8-foot lumber
• 9 pieces of 2x4x8-foot lumber
• 4 pieces of 3-foot long, ½-inch diameter rebar
• 4×8-foot sheet lattice
• 1 ¼-inch, 2-inch, and 2 ½-inch galvanized deck screws
• Sixteen 1/4×3 ½-inch carriage bolts, plus washers and nuts
• 2 screw hooks
• Jig saw
• Circular saw
• Miter saw (optional)
• Combination square
• Tape measure
• Drilling hammer
• Dust mask
• Ear protection
Step 1: Cut four 87-inch long pieces from the 2×4 to form the side uprights. Cut a notch measuring 3 1/2×1/2 inches in one end of each. Cut two 15-inch pieces from the 2×4 to create the top upright connector. Cut two 48-inch pieces from the 2×4 for the outside foot. Cut four 16 ½-inch pieces from the 2×4 to make the long inside foot pieces and cut two 8-inch pieces for the short inside foot pieces. Cut eight 27-inch pieces from the 1×4 board to make the brace. At each end of each piece, make a 45-degree angle. At the longest point, each brace should measure 27 inches. Cut three 87-inch pieces of 2×4 to make the side frame connector.
Step 2: Lay two of the side uprights parallel so the notches face away from each other. Place a top upright connector across these two boards. Make sure the top edge of this connector is flush with the notch bottom and the ends are flush with outside edges on the uprights. Make 3/8-inch diameter holes in the uprights and connector with the drill. Use the carriage bolts to attach all pieces.
Step 2: On each end of an outside foot measuring 48 inches, measure in 16 ½ inches. Mark this spot on the face of the foot. Lay out your assembly so your connector faces up and align each upright with your outside foot. The bottom end of the upright and the bottom edge on the foot should be flush. The outside edge on each upright must be flush with the mark you made on the face of the foot. Drill holes 3/8-inch in diameter through the foot and uprights. Use the carriage bolts to attach the pieces. Make sure the outside foot is located on the opposite face of uprights on the top upright connector.
Step 3: Screw two of the 16 ½-inch pieces representing the inside foot to the inside face on your outside foot. Make sure the inside foot pieces are flush with the outside foot edges and ends and butt against upright outside edges. Screw one of the 8-inch inside feet to the inside face of your outside foot. This piece should be flush with edges on the outside foot and butt against upright inside edges.
Step 4: Attach braces to inside faces of the foot and uprights with the 2-inch screws.
Step 5: Construct the frame for the other side in the same manner as above.