I have wanted to build a swinging bench for many years, having always loved the feeling of the gentle movement. I had even already contemplated many different designs for a bench with a little roof over it.
This year I finally got a commission from a client to build a swinging bench and throughly enjoyed the challenge of it. We decided to do a hand split cedar shake roof with a slightly curved shed style slope to the back of the bench, with the front cantilevered out over the bench. To accomodate the roof system, I had to come up with a way to get two beams over the bench to hold the roof, with the main beam also holding up the bench. The rear beam could be smaller, but would hold the back of the roof and allow the cantilever. So I came up with a design using the posts in an ‘A’ fashion to hold the main beam, but adding a third arm that angled off to hold up the rear beam. This worked very well, and made a sturdy and stylish frame for the bench with the addition of braces. The bench was made similarly to the regular benches I have made, excluding the legs, and hung from the frame with chains for best strength. It swings very nicely, and I tilted it back a bit so it is very comfortable to sit and swing in.
All the wood is salvaged old growth red cedar split by hand. The bench is finished with an exterior oil coating from OSMO products of Germany. I highly recommend this company and am really enjoying working with them. The clients are very happy with the swinging bench and tell me they sit in it everyday. It is located in their beautiful garden near the green house, a great spot for resting and admiring all their hard work. I hope to do more of these in the near future, if you are interested please give me a call!