Sunday, September 27, 2015


Here's the train station out back from a previous post. The swing looked good then but not so much now. I was going to put a coat of paint on it Friday but after looking it over decided the best thing would be to make a new one. I don't know how old the one pictured is but probably close to 25 years. The guy who made it did a real nice job. It was hanging from the ceiling of my front porch before I moved to the farm and it was protected from the elements there. When I first moved down here I took it down and stored it every winter. If I had continued to do that I probably could have gotten another five years out of it. 

After deciding to make another one, I made a quick sketch of this one, a bill of materials and headed for the lumber yard. Forty-two dollars, about eight hours of labor and I've got a new swing. 

I still need to pick up some eye bolts and maybe some carriage bolts, depending on what I've got around here that I can find, and then slap a coat of paint on it. Pretty quick turn-around for me. 

The side rails and the middle piece are "L" shaped with the back of the swing leaning back at a 12 degree angle. They're held together with a lap joint I made using the router. Might have been a little faster with the table saw but it's still downstairs and everything else is upstairs. All the slats have the corners rounded over with the router, as do the arms. It's a straight forward copy of the old one with one exception. There are blocks in the front corner to give it some additional strength where the eye bolt goes through. I made the blocks longer in order to reach the uprights for the arms. I'm planning on putting some carriage bolts through the arm uprights instead of just screwing them into the "L" frame. They're glued in place right now. I don't know what a 5' swing would cost but if I paid myself $20.00/hr, I'd be a little over $200.00 with material and hardware but no finish. Not too bad a return on my time - not that I plan on making any more of these things. If it lasts as long as the old one, this is the last porch swing I'll ever make.

The 900 has these cast collars to hold the exhaust pipes in place on the cylinder head. They're heavy and kind of ugly. They made some aluminum replacements without the fins but I don't know what model or year. I talked to the machine shop professor the other day about making up some on the CNC mill and he was open to the idea. I measured up the stock part for bolt hole centers and diameters, then made up a quicky sketch. I'm planning on taking the part and the sketch to work this week and see what he thinks. If it's a go, I'll need to see about a better drawing to get accurate numbers where the arcs intersect on the profile - maybe hit Surly up for that. Since I've got all the numbers, probably only take him about ten minutes to knock out a drawing. I think you can load a DXF file directly into the one type of mill we have and it can convert it to a tool path. I'll find out more after talking to the prof. Be cool to actually make something in the lab.


Frankie Flood said...

let me know if you need these cut. I would love to cut these for you if you need me to do it.

Shop Teacher Bob said...

Thanks for the offer, I'll keep that in mind but I'd like to be able run them myself on one of our machines. I'm thinking about signing up for the CNC machining class that's being offered next spring. I checked on the CAD drawing classes offered and may take one of those as well. That's a long way to go for four exhaust collars but classes are free for faculty members and I'd like to stay somewhat current with today's technology. Every time I go to work in the lab, I think of something else I could make with access to those machines. Realistically, I should probably just retire to the farm and finish a few more projects.

Again, thanks for the offer.

Frankie Flood said...

no problem!