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Old 03-07-2011, 12:55 AM   #1
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Porch Swing


This isn't really a roofing question but since I am hanging the swing from my porch ceiling's rafters I felt this was the best place to post this. I bought a swing a few weeks ago and so far its been nothing but problems. We got it hung up on time only to have to fall down on one side due to us not being in the center of the 2x6 rafter leading to it splitting and releasing the eye bolt. (we went in pretty much blind since the vinyl soffit was hiding the beams.) Anyway, after that we got smarter and took down a portion of the soffit and put in new longer eye bolts and screwed them down a good 5" into the 2x6 beam on both sides. All was good for a week but today I noticed it was making a squeaking sound on that one side again so I got up on the latter and sure enough the beam seems to be cracking again where the new eye bolt is. Apparently we weakened that rafter pretty good when we split it the first time on the edge.

Now, in order to fix this problem permanently I am assuming I will have to sister a new beam to the cracked one. My question is, should I sister a 4x4 with a 2x4 to make it even to the existing 2x6 and then use the 4x4/2x4 to support the swing? What is the most secure way to support this porch swing? I have looked online and found both the way I did it with the eye bolts, and using the even longer eye bolts and going all the way through the beam and securing it with a nut. Is there a better way? What should I do? Also, if I am using 3/8" eye bolts, how big of a pilot hole should I drill before screwing the eye bolts in? Maybe my pilots wern't big enough? Who knows...


Last edited by nikeman; 03-07-2011 at 01:01 AM.
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Old 03-07-2011, 08:13 AM   #2
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You are on the right track---add that 4x4--use a threaded eye bolt with a locking nut and washers top and bottom. A hole just a bit larger than the bolt is all you need--7/16?--Mike---

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Old 03-07-2011, 10:15 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
You are on the right track---add that 4x4--use a threaded eye bolt with a locking nut and washers top and bottom. A hole just a bit larger than the bolt is all you need--7/16?--Mike---
So its more supportive to put a bolt with nuts/washers all the way through than it is to just screw an eye bolt deep into the beam? For some reason I feel like if I put a nut all the way through, even with a locking nut and washer on both ends, would allow the bolt to sway back and forth with the swing within the beam. In this case should I just use a 4x4 with not 2x4 attached so that I wont need such a long eye nut? Also, if I were to sister in this 4x4 how long should I make the 4x6? I have limited space up in the porch ceiling area. And whats the most secure way to attach the 4x4 to the 2x6?

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Old 03-07-2011, 10:27 AM   #4
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A through bolt is the method used on all wood swing sets---It's tried and true.

A screw in eye bolt has only the wood to hold up the swing--wood expands and contracts--crushes easily with lateral pressure--and can get soft when exposed to humidity.

The old swing set I built in 1988 has moved its way around the neighborhood---through bolts---
still the original ones,last time I spotted it.---Mike---
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
A through bolt is the method used on all wood swing sets---It's tried and true.

A screw in eye bolt has only the wood to hold up the swing--wood expands and contracts--crushes easily with lateral pressure--and can get soft when exposed to humidity.

The old swing set I built in 1988 has moved its way around the neighborhood---through bolts---
still the original ones,last time I spotted it.---Mike---

Thanks! Would it be a good idea to get extra wide washers to go with these bolts or will what ever comes with them work?

EDIT: Upon looking at these Thru-Bolts I do not see a way to put a nut on both sides since the threads on those things are not very long (maybe a couple inches on the 6" long bolt). Would a nut and washer only on the top be ok for this porch swing?

Last edited by nikeman; 03-07-2011 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:11 AM   #6
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put a washer on the bottom---it will be stopped by the 'eye' and work just fine.
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:16 AM   #7
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put a washer on the bottom---it will be stopped by the 'eye' and work just fine.
One thing that might make that not work is the fact that there is a 1-1.5" gap between the beams and the vinyl soffit and the eye has to stick out below the soffit.
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:20 AM   #8
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I'll bet that you can figure out an extension---Perhaps a short piece of pipe or tubing???
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Old 03-07-2011, 12:23 PM   #9
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Whats the best way to sister the beams now? Is wood glue essential? Its going to be a really tight work space and I am just hoping I can get my drill between the 4x4 and the beam next to the one i'm sistering..
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Old 03-07-2011, 12:29 PM   #10
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I'd need to see a picture--glue is nice but not essential.

if the ends of your 4x4 are resting on a beam or top plate on both ends it will only need to be fastened well enough to keep it from shifting or rocking.
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Old 03-07-2011, 12:45 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
I'd need to see a picture--glue is nice but not essential.

if the ends of your 4x4 are resting on a beam or top plate on both ends it will only need to be fastened well enough to keep it from shifting or rocking.
I was just up there but did not take pictures. The beams are resting on other boards (the house side its resting on the top of the wall and the other side I guess its just the outer framing of the porch roof). The actual sloped roof rafters rest on the same board on the house side so I am sure that is well supported. The beam I am going to sister is 74" long, would 6 5" long screws be enough to hold it in place? Since the 2x6 is really 1.5X5.5 I am assuming 4x4s will be 3.5x3.5 thus meaning a 5" screw will go through the 2x6 and then almost all the way through the 4x4 right? lol

EDIT: Just for my own knowledge.. Since I am pretty sure my drill will not fit between the beams would it be best to drill at 45 degree angles and alternating between going up and down? Will this affect anything?

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Old 03-07-2011, 02:17 PM   #12
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Pre drill the 4x4--and use lag screws and a ratchet--that should take care of the clearance in the tight opening.
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Old 03-07-2011, 02:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
Pre drill the 4x4--and use lag screws and a ratchet--that should take care of the clearance in the tight opening.

good idea... Are 4x4s actually 4x4 or are they 3.5x3.5? I have not gone to the store yet but I was to know exactly what to get when i get there...
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Old 03-07-2011, 02:47 PM   #14
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4x4=3.5x3.5----4x6=3.5x5.5
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:40 PM   #15
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