Arbor Arch With Dual Swings

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In this Instructable, I will walk you through the process of building this Arbor Arch with Dual Swings. This project can be constructed over a couple of weekends by yourself. It would be easier with some extra hands but can totally be accomplished with just one person.

I guess you could call me a DIY-er. If I think I can learn to do something myself, I usually will make an attempt. Sometimes, two or three attempts before I will concede and hire a professional. I like getting to work with my hands, create, design and learn new skills. To me, there is something very satisfying and rewarding about learning to do something yourself. Even when sometimes, it means learning what not to do the hard way.

I would consider myself a hands-on / visual learner. I tried to take enough pictures that you can hopefully look at them and practically be able to build it without having to read/understand the written directions. It was certainly a challenge trying to take descent pictures while building it by myself. I tried to really break it down which means there are a lot of steps. Please don't let this overwhelm you. It was really pretty simple to build and didn't take all that long.

For full disclosure- I am simply a DIY and crafting enthusiast. I am not a builder and I don't work in any kind of construction. I am not an engineer or electrician, as such please build at your own risk. If you happen to have a good amount of knowledge and experience in this arena, reading this Instructable may be a slow painful torture for you or possibly a really good laugh. Can't say I didn't warn you.

I hope you find this Instructable useful and if you have any questions or advice, it is more than welcome.

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Step 1: Determine Your Design

I happen to love swings and saw these individual ones on Hayneedle. I went out to the deck and did a few quick measurements. I was like "yep, I can figure something out" and ordered two of them on the spot.

Once I have my mind set on something, I am a feet first all in kind of person. I started figuring out a rough draft of what I wanted and the supplies I thought I would need. I started building it the next weekend. I think it would be pretty simple to adapt these plans to fit your space and needs. Perhaps you don't need the middle arch and want to hang a third swing or you want to extend it further out and have full sized bench swings. You may not have the ability or desire to add electrical lights and want it plain. Perhaps you would rather install solar lights or a chandelier in the archway. Once you see the basic construction, the possibilities are really pretty endless. I had a basic idea of what I was going for and then just made it up as I went.

Helpful Hints:

When figuring out your design and dimensions, you will want to consider the size of lumber you can purchase to try and minimize both waste and cost.

Step 2: Supplies and Tools

Supplies / Building Material:

6 4x6x12

4 2x8x8

1 2x8x10

2 2x6x10

5 2x4x8

7 Cedar Balusters 2x2x36

24 1/2”Galvanized 8" Carriage Bolt

56 1/2”Galvanized Washer

24 1/2” Galvanized Hex Nut

4 Galvanized Eye Bolt

4 3"x3" Bearing Plate

2 Single Seat Swing

3 Concrete Tube 10”

9 Concrete 60lb Bag

2 44 in. x 1/2 in. Matte Black Single-Basket Metal Baluster

2 44 in. x 1/2 in. Matte Black Metal Double Basket Baluster

16 1/2 in. x 44 in. Matte Black Metal Double-Twist Baluster

32 1/2 in. Matte Black Flat Metal Shoe

8 1/2 in. Oil Rubbed Bronze Metal Baluster Knuckle

4 Decorative Shelf Bracket

1 Black Satin Rust-Oleum Spray Paint

2 Light Fixtures

2 RACO 1-Gang Gray Metal Interior New Work Shallow Ceiling Pans Ceiling Electrical Box

1 Roll 50' 12/2 UF Wire

1 Roll 25' 12/2 UF Wire

1 Roll 1/2" x 25' Non-Metallic Liquidtight Conduit

2 1-Gang PVC Weatherproof Interior/Exterior New Work/Old Work Standard Switch/Outlet Wall Electrical Box

1 2-Gang PVC Weatherproof Exterior/Interior New Work/Old Work Standard Switch/Outlet Wall Electrical Box

2 Single Blank Cover Wet Location

1 Double Blank Cover Wet Location

1 Bag 1/2" 2 hole Strap

1 Roll Electrical Tape

1 Bag Wire Connectors

1 Old World Standard Electrical Box

1 Steel Fish Tape

1 All Purpose 100% Silicone

1/2" and/or 5/8" Drill Bit

1" Drill Bit

1 1lb Box 1 5/8" Screws

1 Box #9 2 1/2" Screws

1 Light Switch

1 Light Switch Cover

Tools:

Many of these tools can substitute for one another or there are other tools which you my have that will work in their place.

Tape Measure

Level

Chalk Line

Shovel

Post Hole Digger

Wheel Barrow

Clamps

Hand Saw

Miter Saw

Jigsaw with Wood Scroll Blade

Oscillating Multi-Tool

Reciprocating Saw

Dremel

Router

Drill

Compact Driver

Hammer

Rubber Mallet

Screwdriver Set

Pen or Pencil

Speed Square

Flash Light

Wire Strippers

Southwire Strippers

Box Cutter

Scissors

Stud Finder

Branch Clippers

Scrape Cardboard

Other:

Safety Glasses / Goggles

Ear Protection

Work Gloves

Mask

Helpful Hint: If you are clumsy or accident prone like myself, make sure you have plenty of Band-Aids and a first aid kit handy and ready to go before starting this project. As you may notice in the pictures, I used a few of them.

Note: A few friends recently asked if I have some kind of sponsorship or affiliation with DeWALT. Nope, I do not. I sure wish I did because that would be awesome. I love tools! I just happen to really like matching tools and I like their brand. I got divorced this last year and didn't get/take any of the tools. I moved in with my parents during the divorce and finally got a new place of my own. It needed a fair amount of updating and remodeling. I don't think anything was updated since it was built and looked like it was trapped 1980. I got some quotes for replacing some of the flooring. I crunched the numbers; I could pay someone to do the work or I could buy a bunch of awesome tools and do it myself. I elected to buy the tools and learn how to do it myself. Not only did I get to learn new skills, I got some great tools out of it too.

Step 3: Digging the Holes

What you need:

Measuring Tape

Shovel and/or Post Hole Digger

Pruning Sheers

Measure and double check where your first row of 4 holes will be. I just used a rock with a leaf to mark where the holes were going. You will want to make sure that you will have enough space between your posts for your swing to hang with a little extra space to each side. Once you are satisfied with your measurements, start digging.

I used a combination of a standard shovel, a small shovel and a post hole digger. Luckily, the first four holes went in pretty easy. Periodically measure the depth of the hole. Make sure it will be wide enough for the 10" concrete tube. You will be putting some gravel as a base in the hole so remember to dig it a little deeper to account for the gravel.

Important Reminder:

Don'f forget to call 811 before you dig. You will want to do this days before starting your project so they have time to come out and mark your under ground utilities.

Helpful Hints:

Keep a pair of pruning sheers / clippers near by if you are in an area with roots. An oscillating or reciprocating saw is also helpful as the hole gets deeper or for thicker roots.

Step 4: Preparing the Holes

What you need:

2 10' Form Tubes

Pen or Pencil

Measuring Tape

Cutting Tool

Gravel

You will want to take two of your 10" form tubes and cut them in half (approximately 24 inches). It doesn't have to be real exact, as it is not going to be seen down in the hole once filled with concrete. You can use a cutting device of your choice. I used an oscillating saw because it is what I had handy at the time. A reciprocating saw, hand saw or box cutter should work great.

Place a 24" section of 10" tube in each of the holes as far down as you can get it. If need be, remove a little more soil from the edges of your holes to get them to fit to the bottom. When in place, add a few inches of gravel at the bottom of each of the four holes.

If you have any gap between the outside of your hole and the outer edge of your form tube, you can fill that gap with soil removed from the hole.

If you have concerns with your soil or location, you can upgrade to a larger diameter form tube for a more sturdy base. If you do this, you will also need more bags of concrete to fill the holes. If you go with larger posts, you will want to up the diameter of your form tube as well.

Money Saving Option:

The 10" form tube is optional. It is just my personal preference. I like it neat and clean for if I ever have to remove it. You can just dig the holes and put a gravel base at the bottom if you choose.

Step 5: Setting the Posts

What you need:

4 4x6x12

Level

Miter Saw

Wheel Barrow

Shovel

Garden Hose

Concrete

Mask

Remove about 14" from two of the 4x6x12s. These two posts will go in the outer holes. Place a 4x6x12 in each of the inner holes. The outside holes can have shorter 4x6's because of how it steps down in its design. Save the scrap for a much later step. Double check that all of them are an acceptable height once placed in the holes. You can add a little more gravel in the bottom if one is a little to short. It is fine if they are different heights so long as they are taller then what you want, as you can cut any extra off later on.

I suggest wearing a mask for mixing the concrete as the powder is not good to inhale.

Follow the directions for the brand of concrete you purchased. The directions are usually written on the back of your concrete bag. Generally speaking, mix well with water until the appropriate consistency for the application is reached. Make sure you don't have any dry clumps remaining.

Shovel the concrete around each posts. While shoveling the concrete in, constantly be checking the post for levelness and make any adjustments as necessary. The concrete should go all the way around the posts evenly. It took 6 batches of concrete to fill the holes (approximately 1.5 bags a hole).

My posts did a great job of staying put and level. Depending on your situation (concrete, weather, location, etc), you may need to add braces to keep your posts level as the concrete cures. You can make them out of some 2x4 or scrap wood. Attach angled 2 x 4 braces to two adjacent sides of the post using a screw for each of the braces. Drive a stake into the ground near the lower end of each brace. Use a level to position the post plumb, checking on two adjacent sides with the level, then fasten the braces to the stakes.

If you are not running yours along a deck or another straight line, it is advisable you run a string line to make sure they are lined up perfectly.


Helpful Hint: When mixing your concrete, its best to remember you can always add more water.......but...if you make it too runny, you can't always thicken it back up. Add a little at a time or measure to your mixes requirements.

Step 6: Arch Arbor Front Board Design

What you need:

2 2x8x8's

Pen or Pencil

Scissors

Cardboard

Tape Measure

Cut a piece of cardboard to the same width as your 2x8x8. With your pen or pencil, sketch out your design. You can find all kinds of end cut designs and patterns online for ideas. If you don't feel comfortable sketching it yourself, I believe you can order templates online. When you are happy with your design, cut it out with a pair of scissors.

Place the design at one end of your 2x8x8 and trace it with a pen or pencil.

Measure from the tip of your design across the 2x8x8 to determine where to trace the opposite end cut. I planned mine to be 7 feet wide. Mark and trace the opposite end.

Step 7: Arch Arbor Front Board Cutting

What you need:

Jig Saw

Wood Scroll Blades

Clamps

2 2x8x8

I clamped the 2x8x8 to my crafting table to help hold it for making the curved end cuts. Use a jig saw with a blade specific for doing wood scroll cuts. Carefully follow your outline. Be careful when you make the final cut through; you don't want the end waste piece falling on your toes.

You will want to keep one of the end waste scraps for a later step.

Step 8: Arch Arbor Front Board Installation Part 1

What you need:

Ladder

Clamps

Measuring Tape

Pen or Pencil

Level

Rubber Mallet

Measure the distance between the outer-side of your two middle posts. Measure the bottom of the arch arbor front board. Deduct the length of the bottom of the arch arbor front board from the distance between the outer-sides of the two middle posts. Take that length and divide it by 2. Use that measurement to make a mark on the bottom of both ends of both the arch arbor front boards.

Use the marks you just made to center the two boards on both sides of the posts. Clamp in place.

Use a level to make sure both the arch arbor front boards are level across individually and level together. Check in a few spots and both ends. If it is a little off, tape the board with a rubber mallet to get it level.

Once level, check that they are still centered.

Helpful Hints:

If you have someone that can help you will this step, the extra hands would be very useful. The boards, if fresh from the store, will likely be "wet" which will make them heavy. I found it to be tricky trying to get them clamped in place by myself. If you have someone to help, you will want a ladder for them as well.

Step 9: Arch Arbor Front Board Installation Part 2

What you need:

Drill

5/8" or 1/2" Drill Bit

Measuring Tape

Pen or Pencil

4 1/2" Galvanized Carriage Bolts 8" Length

8 1/2" Galvanized Washers

4 1/2" Galvanized Hex Nut

Ladder

Measure and mark your drill holes. You will want to be mindful that you angle both sides correctly. I did the inside of the post high and the outside of the post low. You can angle them either way though. You just do not want one post with the inside high and the outside lower and the opposite post being inside low and the outside high (or vice versa) or it will will look like / / instead of / \ and not appear balanced.

Drill all four holes all the way through the front arch arbor front board, post and back arch arbor front board.

Slide a washer on the bolt and slide the end of the bolt through the freshly drilled hole. If you used a 1/2" drill bit you may need to tap the end of the bolt with hammer or mallet to get it all the way through. Once through, place a washer on the end, followed by the hex nut and hand tighten. Do this for all four holes.


Other Options:

Typically you would not put a washer on the front of a carriage bolt as I did. You do not have to do this. I did it so that I could tighten or loosen the bolts at any time. The square shape behind the head of the bolt, in theory, should get sucked into the drill hole when you tighten the hex nut, preventing the bolt from spinning. I didn't want to count on that and wanted to be able to put a wrench on both sides and tighten and loosen at will.

Step 10: Swing Arbor Design Preparations

What you need:

Miter Saw

Measuring Tape

Pen or Pencil

2x6x10 Board

Measure your 2x6x10 to make sure it is in fact at least 10' long. If it is a little short, halve that measurement to mark the board for cutting. If it is at least 10' long, make a mark at 5' and cut the board in half with the miter saw.

Helpful Hint:

The board and measurement requirements may be different if you are altering the plans to make it work for your personal space or desires. You will just want to be sure you have two boards that exceed the length of the inner side of the arch post to the outer side of the outside post. You will want to also add some length to account for the overhang for your decorative cut.

Step 11: Swing Arbor Design

What you need:

2 2x6x5

Measuring Tape

Cardboard

Scissors or Box Cutter

Pen or Pencil

Cut a piece of cardboard to the width of your 2x6x5.

Sketch your decorative end cut with a pen or pencil. When satisfied with the design, cut it out with scissors or a box cutter.

Measure the distance from the inner side of the arch post to the outside of the outer swing post. Mine was approximately 52". Measure 52" inches from the end of one side of your 2x6x5. I didn't want the decorative cut to end at the post so I added an additional 1.5" to the 52" mark.

Place the bottom of your decorative cardboard cutout shape on the mark you last made. Use a pen or pencil to trace around your decorative curve.

You will want to do this for both 2x6x5

Step 12: Swing Arbor Board Cutting

What you need:

Jig Saw

Wood Scroll Blades

Clamps

2 2x6x5

Clamp one of the 2x6x5's to a suitable and stable surface. Use a jig saw with a wood scroll blade to cut along your marked decorative line.

Remove clamps and put your freshly cut board over the other 2x5x6. Make sure the straight cut ends and sides are lined up. Trace the decorative cut end onto the 2x6x5.

Clamp the second 2x6x5 onto your work space. Use the jig saw to trace around the decorative marked line.

Stack the two boards together to double check the accuracy of your cuts.

Step 13: Swing Arbor Board Installation Part 1

What you need:

2 2x6x5 with Decorative Cut

Pen or Pencil

Clamps

Level

Rubber Mallet

Ladder

Scrap from the Arch Arbor Front Board Cutting Step

Place the scrap saved in the Arch Arbor Front Board Cutting step to measure where the top of the swing arbor board will be installed. Hold the scrap piece of wood on the outer or inner side of the arch post beneath and perpendicular to the arch arbor front boards. Make a mark with a pen or pencil.

Clamp the swing arbor boards to both sides of the posts.

Level the front and back swing arbor boards.

Use the level to make sure the font and back board are at the same height and level.

Use a rubber mallet to tap on the boards to make adjustments until level.

Step 14: Swing Arbor Board Installation Part 2

What you need:

Ladder

Measuring Tape

Pen or Pencil

Drill

5/8" or 1/2" Drill Bit

Measure and mark your drill hole locations.

Drill all the way though the front swing arbor board, post and back swing arbor board.

Helpful Hint:

Don't forget to think about which way you want your bolts to angle and mark your holes accordingly.

Step 15: Swing Arbor Board Installation Part 3

What you need:

4 1/2" Galvanized Carriage Bolts 8" Length

8 1/2" Galvanized Washers

4 1/2" Galvanized Hex Nut

Ladder

Slide a washer on the bolt and slide the end of the bolt through the freshly drilled hole. If you used a 1/2" drill bit you may need to tap the end of the bolt with hammer or mallet to get it all the way through. Once through, place a washer on the end, followed by the hex nut and hand tighten. Do this for all four holes.

Step 16: Swing Arbor Board Installation Part 4

Repeat the Swing Arbor Design Preparations, Cutting & Installations Part 1-3 for the opposite side, using the same design pattern.

Helpful Hint:

Be sure to measure the distance from the inner side of the arch post to the outer side of the outside post as it could vary slightly from the opposite side based on how precise you were when initially setting your posts. Adjust your measurements as needed.

Step 17: Arch Rear Posts Holes

What you need:

Shovel and/or Post Hole Digger

Measuring Tape

10" Concrete Tube

Gravel

Pruning Sheers

2 4x6x12

Measure and mark where you want your back posts to go. I measure mine to be 24 inches.

I used a combination of a standard shovel, a small shovel and a post hole digger for the holes. Unfortunately, the back two holes did not go as easily as the front four holes did. There were a lot more roots to get through.

Periodically measure the depth of the hole. Make sure it will be wide enough for the 10" concrete tube. You will be putting some gravel at the base of the hole, so remember to dig it a little deeper to account for the gravel.

Cut the 10" concrete tube in half so that you have two 24" sections of tube. Place a section of tube all the way to the bottom of each hole or as far as you can get it.

Dump gravel down the tube to the bottom of the hole. You will want it to be at least a few inches thick at the bottom.

Place a 4x6x12 in each of the holes but do not set them in concrete yet.

Step 18: Arch Arbor Side Cross Boards Part 1

What you need:

2x8x10

Miter Saw

JIg Saw

Measuring Tape

Pen or Pencil

Start by cutting the 2x8x10 into two equal sections. Use the stencil you made for the Arbor Arch Front Boards. Cut around the stenciled lines with the jig saw. When your first Arch Arbor Side Cross Board is complete, place it on top of the second one and stencil around the end cuts. Use the jig saw again to cut along the stenciled lines.

Step 19: Arch Arbor Side Cross Boards Part 2

What you need:

2 Arch Arbor Side Cross Boards

Measuring Tape

Pen or Pencil

Clamp

Ladder

Level

Drill

Screws

Measure the distance between the outside of your front to rear arch posts. You will need to hold the rear post level when you take this measurement since it is not set in concrete yet. Measure the bottom side of your arch arbor side cross boards and then deduct the front to rear arch post measurement. Take the number you get and divide it by two. This will be the amount of over hang for your arch arbor side cross boards. Mark that measurement on both bottom sides of both arch arbor side cross boards.

Position the board in place. Use a level to make sure it is not tipping to the back side. Clamps are handy to help keep it just where you want it. Use two screws through the arbor arch side cross boards and into the post.

Repeat this for both the right and left side of the arch.

With the rear posts in a leveled position, attach it to the back posts making sure the top of the arch arbor cross board is also still level.

Step 20: Arch Arbor Back Boards

What you need:

2 Arch Arbor Back Boards

4 1/2" Galvanized Carriage Bolts 8"

8 1"2 Galvanized Washers

4 1/2" Galvanized Hex Nuts

Drill

1/2" or 5/8" Drill Bit

Pen or Pencil

Measuring Tape

Level

Ladder

Make two arch arbor back boards by following the directions for the arbor arch front boards. Once made, place one on each side of the rear posts resting on the arbor arch side cross boards. Once centered and leveled, clamp in place.

Use a measuring tape and writing utensil to mark where the drill holes are going. You will want to be sure that you angle them the same as the ones on the front arbor arch front boards. Drill the holes.

Use the bolts, washers and nut as in previous steps to fasten the arbor arch front boards in place.

Step 21: Set the Rear Posts Part 1

What you need:

Wheel Barrow

Shovel

Garden Hose

Concrete

Mask

I suggest wearing a mask as the powder is not good to inhale.

Follow the directions for the brand of concrete you purchased. The directions are usually written on the back of your concrete bag. Generally speaking, mix well with water until the appropriate consistency for the application is reached. Make sure you don't have any dry clumps remaining.

Helpful Hint: You can always add more water but if you make it too runny you can't always thicken it back up unless you have extra mix sitting around. Add a little at a time or measure to your mixes requirements.

Step 22: Set the Rear Posts Part 2

What you need:

Mixed Concrete

Shovel

Hose

Shovel the concrete around the rear arch posts. Make sure it goes all the way around the posts evenly. It took 3 batches of concrete to fill the holes (approximately 1.5 bags a hole).

When done, show your wheel barrow and shovel some love and rinse it well with water.

Step 23: Running Electrical-Determine How, Where and What You Need

You should check with your local agencies to see what permits will be required for the work. If you do not feel comfortable working with electricity, hire a local electrician to do the work. If you contract with someone, they should get any necessary permits for you.

Working with electricity is a serious matter. If it is not hooked up property and rules aren't followed, you can seriously injure yourself or burn your house down. Attached are two pictures of an outlet that melted when I moved into a new house. Luckily, I was home at the time and followed my nose to the burning smell and was able to flip the breaker and remove it before it did serious damage to the house.

If you have a fear/phobia of spiders or tight spaces, this may not be for you. Especially if you have to get under your house. You could contract it out, use solar lights, or no lights at all. Honestly, I don't think I have ever seen so many different kinds of spiders in one spot.

ALWAYS turn the power off at your breaker box before doing any electrical work!

If you decide to do it yourself, you will want to determine where your lines will run and where they will feed into your power source. I was originally going to have it plug into an exterior outlet (much like a lamp). I then disassembled my porch light hoping to be able to hard line it in. Unfortunately, that was looking to complicated and was going to be way too much work.

I had already ran 14/2 wire and was working under the house when I noticed a non-utilized power supply that was right past where I was sending the wires to plug into the exterior outlet. I hooked wires and a fixture onto it to see if it worked and it did! No switch seemed to control its power on and off. I went around to all my outlets with a lamp and determined it was in the same electrical loop as all my bathroom outlets. Turns out, it was on a 20 amp breaker. You can not use 14/2 on a 20 amp breaker. You need to use 12/2. Since I already ran 14/2 I looked into switching out the 20 amp breaker for a 15 amp breaker. I needed to see if a 15 amp breaker could support what was on it. Electrical math: Watts/Volts = Amps Watts/Amps = Volts Amps x Volts = Watts. Most blow dryers average 1500 watts (1500w/120v = 12.5 amps) you should only use about 80% of your available amps. Just using one bathroom plug with a blow dryer would put me at the 80% mark. I decided I didn't want to risk the annoyance of popping my breaker when getting ready for work and decided to keep the 20 amp breaker and rewire with 12/2 which would support the load that was on it.

Since it was being hooked to a continuous power supply, I needed to install a switch as well so that the lights could be turned off when not in use. I picked up the extra supplies when I went to get the 12/2 wire.

Reminder:

Please remember I am not an electrician and no expert on this matter. I will walk you through what I did but I suggest you consult with a professional.

Step 24: Testing

It never hurts to test your method before going through all the hassle of installing it. I had tested my original plan for having it plug into an outlet. It was easy to hook up and worked as planned. After changing my mind (when I discovered I could hard line it in and not have to worry about a plug), I tested out the fixture with a switch wired in. It also worked as suspected.

Step 25: Determining Placement

What you need:

Light Fixture

Clamp

Determine where you would like to mount your lights. You can clamp one of your fixtures onto the post you want to place your light on. Walk around your area and view it from different angles and distances to determine your ideal location. Something to consider and to try and minimize is the likely-hood of someone hitting their head on it.

Step 26: Dig the Line

What you need:

Shovel

Dig where you will be running your electrical line. You should check with your local authority (city, county, electric company etc) about required permits, line depths and regulations for running your electrical lines.

Step 27: Measure, Chalk, Router and Clear

What you need:

Measuring Tape

Pen or Pencil

Chalk Line

Router

Screw

Safety Glasses

Mark the center of the backside of the front arch posts at the bottom and at light fixture height. Run your chalk line string from these two points. Holding the line tight, snap it to reveal your router and future electrical line.

Use a router bit wide enough for your 12/2 or 14/2 and make sure it is set to a depth that the wire can be tucked in. Carefully router out the chalk line. Use a screw or other small object to clear the sawdust from the cut.

Helpful Hints:

If you plan to run electrical from the beginning, save yourself some work and headache and router your posts before setting them in concrete. I already had the structure up when I decided to add lights. I was originally toying with just doing something with solar lights. Naturally, I decided to go with something more complicated and expensive.

Do wear safety glass! It is no fun and halts your progress when you have to go to the restroom to pick little bits of wood out of your eye ball. Regular glasses won't cut it either. Use the goggle style. Unfortunately, I was dumb and had to learn this the hard way.

Step 28: Fixture Mounting Box Preparation Part 1

What you need:

Light Fixture

Measuring Tape

Pen or Pencil

1 Mounting Bracket

1 Shallow Ceiling Pan Electrical Box

Hold your fixture up to the front of the arch post where you previously determined. Use a pen or pencil to mark where the mounting holes are located onto the front of the arch post.

Attach your mounting bracket onto the shallow ceiling pan electrical box. Match the mounting bolts to the mark you made on the front arch post and make sure it is centered in the post. Use your pen or pencil to trace around the shallow ceiling pan electrical box.

Measure the distance from the board above to the top of the circle you just made. Use that measurement on the opposite front arch post. Line the shallow ceiling pan electrical box top up to the mark and trace around it with your pen or pencil.

Step 29: Fixture Mounting Box Preparation Part 2

What you need:

Router and/or Dremel

Use a router or dremel to remove what is inside the circle you traced in the previous step. The depth will be determined by your shallow pan electrical box and light fixture. Mine didn't need to be as deep as the shallow pan electrical box. To check that you have it deep enough, put the shallow pan electrical box in the carved out area. Hold your light fixture up to the post as if you were mounting it. It needs to be able to sit firmly against the arch post. If it doesn't, set your router or dremel to a deeper depth and remove more until it can sit flush with the post.

Do this for both front arch posts.

Step 30: Fixture Mounting Box Preparation Part 3

What you need:

1 Shallow Ceiling Pan Electrical Box

Pen or Pencil

Screw Driver

Drill

1/2" or 5/8" Drill Bit

Remove the center punch out on one of your shallow ceiling pan electrical boxes. I used a screw driver but pliers or such would work too. If you have strong fingers you might be able to pop it through and bend it back and forth a few times to snap it off.

Place the shallow ceiling pan electrical box in its cut out on the post. With your pen or pencil trace around the center cut out.

Use your dill to drill all the way through the post.

Do this for both posts.

Step 31: Fixture Mounting Box Installation

What you need:

2 Shallow Ceiling Pan Electrical Box

Level

Drill

Mounting Hardware from Fixtures

Screw Driver

4 Screws

Punch the center hole out of the second shallow ceiling pan electrical box.

Attach the mounting hardware that came with the light fixtures to your shallow ceiling pan electrical boxes.

Use a level to make sure the mounting bolts are level, otherwise your light fixture will be crooked. Once level, make two drill holes in the post using the spots allotted in the shallow ceiling pan electrical box. Make one of them in the top half and one in the bottom half. Ideally they will also be offset, one to the right and one to the left. Put screws into your pre-drilled holes.

Step 32: Switch Installation Preparation Part 1

What you need:

Stud Finder

Level

Electrical Box

Oscillating Saw

Pen and Pencil

Decide where you want your light switch to go. I elected to put mine on the right side of my sliding glass door that leads out to the deck. Use a stud finder to locate your studs in that area. Use a pencil to mark your studs locations or anything else that may be hidden behind the wall. This electrical box can be near a stud but not over one. Measure the height of a near by light switch to determine how high to place your electrical box.

Place the front of your electrical box in the desired location at the appropriate height. Put a level across the top of the electrical box to make sure it is level. Use a pen or pencil to trace around the straight edges of the box. No need to trace around the part that projects up for the mounting screws. Connect the lines to make a rectangle for the cut out.

Use an oscillating saw or other cutting device to cut through the dry way. Dry wall cuts very easy. Remove the center. Place the electrical box in the cut out to make sure it fits and then remove it for a later step.

Step 33: Switch Installation Preparation Part 2

What you need:

Drill

1" Drill Bit

Tape

Steel Fishing Tape

Flash Light

12/2 Wire

Make an imaginary line in your head straight down from the switch through the floor. Go under the house and figure out where you think the switch is above. You will want to consider some space for the dry wall or outer-wall (siding etc) depending on how you guess where it is at. When you are pretty sure you got it, drill a 1" hole.

Back in the house, take your steel fishing tape and feed it through the wall until you hit the floor. If you have insulation in your wall like I did, you will need some patience doing this. If you can't get it through the hole, go back under the house and feel through the hole you made to see if you can feel it. I could feel mine but couldn't finagle it through the hole. I cheated and drilled a second hole cause I was hot and impatient.

With same tape, I used electrical since it was handy, wrap two 12/2 wire ends securely to the end of the steel fishing tape. One will run from the power supply to the switch. The second will supply power from the switch to the fixtures. Go back in the house and reel in your fishing tape. Be sure to pull enough 12/2 wire through that it doesn't accidentally fall back through the wall when you unwrap the tape.

Helpful Hint:

Wrap a piece of electrical tape around the 12/2 wire that will go to the power supply. This way, you can tell which one is which when you get them through the wall.

Step 34: Switch Installation Preparation Part 3

What you need:

1 Electrical Box

Wire Cutters/Strippers

Screw Driver

Pliers

Use some pliers or a screw driver to pop open two of the slots on the back of the electrical box. Feed the 12/2 wire you marked with electrical tape (that will run to the power supply) on the left side and the 12/2 wire (that runs to the lights) on the right. Fit the electrical box into the cutout. Tighten the screws that will engage the flaps which will hold the box securely in place. Snip off excess wire with a pair of wire cutters.

Step 35: Switch Installation Preparation Part 4

What you need:

Wire Cutter/Stripper

With a pair of wire cutters designed for romex style wire, remove about 2 inches of the outer sheathing. It is a lot more difficult to remove this from exterior romex wire than with interior grade. The right tool will save you a bit of work and possibly cut fingers or nicked wires. Once you have your hot (black), neutral (white) and copper wires exposed, remove somewhere between 1/2"-3/4" of both the hot and neutral wire. Do this for both runs of 12/2.

Step 36: Switch Installation

What you need:

Extra Piece of Copper Wire

Light Switch Kit

Electrical Tape

Screw Driver

2 Wire Connectors

Wire Cutter/Strippers

WARNING: Be sure to follow the specific directions for the light switch that you select. Typically they wire about the same but check your directions as they may slightly differ!

Steal an extra piece of copper 12 gauge wire from a scrap of 12/2. It only needs to be a few inches long. With the nose of your wire cutter/strippers or a pair of pliers curl the end of the copper wire into a loop. Use your screw driver to loosen the green grounding fastener on you light switch. Put the copper loop around the base, under the head of the green grounding fastener. Tighten the green fastener so it holds the copper wire securely.

On the side of the switch, there are two gold colored screws with plates. Feed a hot wire under each plate. If you look there is a slot under the plate that it fits into. Many switches will have a measurement guide to show you the measurement you need the wire to be. If properly in place, you shouldn't see any wire sticking out past the plate and the black sheathing should butt-up to the plate but not be underneath it. When in place tighten the screw which will press the plate against the wire and securely hold it in place.

Connect the two neutral wires together with a wire connector. The wire connector should twist on. When it is twisted tight, you should not see bare wire coming from the bottom. Use electrical tape to wrap around the base of the cap and around the wires.

Carefully fold all the wires into the electrical box and push the switch into place. Use the screws it came with to mount it into place.

Add the switch plate.

Step 37: Light Switch to Power Supply

What you need:

Power Source

1 One Gang PVC Weatherproof Electrical Box

1 Bag 1/2" 2 Hole Straps

Screws

Electrical Tape

3 Wire Connectors

12/2 Wire

1/2" Non-Metallic Liquidtight Conduit

Wire Cutter/Strippers

Flash Light

Scissors or Box Cutter

WARNING: Be sure your power is OFF at the breaker box!

Run your 12/2 wires through the center hole on your weatherproof electrical box. Run the 12/2 wire going to the power supply through the left hole or towards your power supply. Cut the 12/2 at the power supply with a little to spare. Measure and cut a stretch of 1/2" non-metallic liquidtight conduit to fit over your 12/2 wire running from the weatherproof electrical box to the power supply. Slide the conduit over the 12/2 and squeeze the end of the conduit into the hole on the weatherproof electrical box. It will be a snug fit. You may need to twist it back and forth while pushing to get it in place.

Mount the conduit securely in place using 1/2" 2 hole straps.

At the power supply, stripe the sheathing off the 12/2 that you ran from the weatherproof electrical box. Double check that your breaker box is off and no power is running through your power supply wires. Strip a length of sheathing off all 4 wires (2 hot/black, 2 neutral/white). The copper wires have no sheathing.

With wire connectors, connect the 2 coppers together, the 2 neutral/white together and the 2 hot/black wires together. Twist the connectors tight and give each group of wires a little tug to make sure that they are secure in the wire connector. No unsheathed hot or neutral wire should be seen behind the connector. Wrap the end of the connector and the wire in electrical tape.

Neatly tuck the wires back into the electrical box at the power source.


Step 38: Fixture to Light Switch Wiring Part 1

What you need:

12/2 Wire

Wire Cutter/Strippers

Feed an end of 12/2 wire through the hole you drilled on the back side of the furthest arch post. Pull it through the shallow ceiling pan electrical box. Press the 12/2 into the space that was hollowed out by the router. Do this all the way down the post. When you get to the base run the 12/2 wire over to the other arch post. Cut the 12/2 being sure to leave some extra.

Step 39: Fixture to Light Switch Wiring Part 2

What you need:

Screw Driver

Screws

1 One Gang PVC Weatherproof Electrical Box

1/2" Non-Metallic Liquidtight Conduit

1 Single Blank Weatherproof Cover

All Purpose 100% Silicone

Drill

Use one of the plugs to close the right wall side, since it will not be used. String the wire through the back hole up to the post. Fasten the weatherproof electrical box to the back of the arch post.

Loop the 12/2 through the left side wall. Measure from the center of one arch post to the other. Cut a piece of 1/2" non-metallic liquidtight conduit to that length. Slide the non-metallic liquidtight conduit over the 12/2 wire. Press it into the hole on the weatherproof electrical box.

With the hardware supplied, attach the blank weatherproof cover onto the weatherproof electrical box. Use some all purpose 100% silicone around the top of the weatherproof electrical box where the 12/2 wire runs behind.

Step 40: Fixture to Light Switch Wiring Part 3

What you need:

1 Two Gang PVC Weatherproof Electrical Box

12/2 wire

1/2" Non-Metallic Liquidtight Conduit

Screw Driver

Wire Cutter/Strippers

3 Wire Connectors

Electrical Tape

1 Double Weatherproof Blank Cover

All Purpose 100% Silicone

Open your two gang PVC weatherproof electrical box. Plug the top and bottom holes on the right and left sides, leaving the center ones open.

Run 12/2 wire from the light fixture mounting shallow ceiling pan electrical box through the post and down to the bottom. Press the 12/2 wire into the area that was hollowed out by the router. Leave some extra 12/2 and snip with some wire cutters.

Run 12/2 inside of 1/2" non-metallic liquidtight conduit from the left side of the arch post to the box mounted that runs to the light switch and on to the power supply. Leave a little extra for mounting it in the next step.

String the 12/2 from the right side (furthest arch post) through the hole on the right wall of the weatherproof electrical box. Press the 1/2" conduit that is protecting the 12/2 wire through the hole as well.

Once all three 12/2 wires are in the weatherproof electrical box, you can trim their length back. Make sure they are long enough to work with but not so much you wont be able to bend all of it into the box.

Like in earlier steps, remove some of the outer sheathing to reveal the hot, neutral and copper wires. Remove some other the neutral and hot wires sheathing to reveal their bare wires. Attach the 3 hot/black wires, 3 neutral/white wires and 3 copper wires together with a wire connector. Wrap each grouping with electrical tap and then tuck them into the weatherproof electrical box.

Attach the double weatherproof blank cover onto the weatherproof electrical box. Use all purpose 100% silicone at the top back of the box where the 12/2 wires run behind it.

Step 41: Fixture to Light Switch Wiring Part 4

What you need:

Electrical Wing Nuts

Electrical Tape

Wire Cutter/Strippers

1/2" 2 Hole Straps

Screw Driver

1/2" Non-Metallic Liquidtight Conduit

All Purpose 100% Silicone

1 Single Blank Weatherproof Cover

3 Wire Connectors

WARNING: Be sure your power is OFF at the breaker box!

Mount the 1/2" non-metallic liquidtight conduit (with 12/2 in it from the previous step) with 1/2" 2 hole straps. Place the wires and conduit through the right side of the weatherproof electrical box.

Trim back both 12/2 wires (from the light switch and from the fixtures). Remove the outer gray sheathing with your wire cutter/strippers. Remove the hot and neutral sheathing on all four wires (2 hot 2 neutral). Attach the two copper wires together with a wire connector. Attach the two hot/black wires together with a wire connector. Attach the two neutral/white wires together with a wire connector. Use electrical tape around the hot wire and wire connector and around the neutral wires and wire connector.

Tuck the wires into the weatherproof electrical box. Attach a blank weatherproof cover over the electrical box with the hardware provided.

I used an all purpose 100% silicone to fill the hole left from the early step where I wasn't patient and made an additional hole. I don't want any of those creepy crawly spiders getting in my walls.

Step 42: Fixture Installation

What you need:

Wire Cutter/Strippers

6 Wire Connectors (should be provided with your fixture)

2 Light Fixtures

Electrical Tape

Screw Driver

WARNING: Be sure your power is OFF at the breaker box!

Wire and attach your light fixtures in accordance with the manufactures provided installation directions.

When both of your light fixtures are wired and mounted, you can turn your breaker back on and go ahead and test out your handy work.

Step 43: Archway Decorative Install Prep

What you need:

2 44 in. x 1/2 in. Matte Black Single-Basket Metal Baluster

2 44 in. x 1/2 in. Matte Black Metal Double Basket Baluster

16 1/2 in. x 44 in. Matte Black Metal Double-Twist Baluster

32 1/2 in. Matte Black Flat Metal Shoe

8 1/2 in. Oil Rubbed Bronze Metal Baluster Knuckle

4 Decorative Shelf Bracket

1 Can Black Satin Rust-Oleum Spray Paint

Plastic or cardboard

I live in the Pacific Northwest and wasn't sure how these balusters and shelf brackets would hold up in our weather. I decided last minute to give them a coat of Rust-Oleum hoping it will add a little extra protection. It took two batches of painting to get all of the supplies painted. If you elect to paint yours as well, follow the directions on your paint. Be sure it is good and dry before rotating them to get all the sides.

Options: The archway decorative install can be made to your liking and look. You can save some money altering it. I actually really liked it when I had finish with the shelf brackets with the board above it. I could have ended the decoration there and been happy. However, I had it set in my mind that I was going to have a creeping vine crawl up it. As such, I thought I needed the second tier for the vines. Now that it is completed, I am not even sure I still want to have vines crawl on it. You could use lattice, cedar balusters or cut and crisscross 2x4s or 4x6s The plain or double twisted balusters are also a bit cheaper than the ones with the double or single basket but I liked the variation and didn't mind paying a little extra.

Step 44: Archway Decorative Base Install Part 1

What you need:

2x4

Miter Saw

Measuring Tape

Pen or Pencil

Drill

Screws

Level

Scrap Piece of Woods

Measure and cut with the miter saw two 3" blocks from the end of a 2x4x8 board. Center the block on the backside of the arch post right above the electrical box. Attach the block with screws. Be careful not to put a screw through your electrical wires. Place the second block on the opposite side. Put a piece of scrap wood across the top of the two blocks. Place a level on the scrap wood and mark where the second block should go when level. Screw that board in place.

Step 45: Archway Decorative Base Install Part 2

What you need:

Measuring Tape

Miter Saw

Pen or Pencil

2x4 Board

Measure the distance from the inside of the front arch post to the inside of the back arch post just above the blocks. Use that measurement to cut two lengths of 2x4.

Step 46: Archway Decorative Install Base Part 3

What you need:

1 Double Basket Baluster

4 Double Twist Balusters

1 2x4x8

2 Boards (From Previous Step)

Measuring Tape

Pen or Pencil

Speed Square

Figure out your ideal layout and how many balusters you would like to use. The balusters can be flipped in different directions to change the look. Once you have determined how many you are going to use, calculate and mark the board where it will make them all evenly spaced. Don't forget to account for the 2x4 that will run up the the back of the arch post from the base board. Transfer the measurements from the first 2x4 to the second 2x4 that were cut in the previous step.

Step 47: Archway Decorative Install Base Part 4

What you need:

2x4 Cut in Previous Step

Drill

5/8" drill bit

Use a 5/8" drill to bore into the 2x4 being cautious to not go all the way through. Look to bore in about 1/2"-3/4" deep. Do this for all 5 marks on both boards.

Step 48: Archway Decorative Install Base Part 5

What you need:

1 Baluster

2x4x8

Measuring Tape

Pen or Pencil

Miter Saw

1 Board from Previous Step

Drill

Level

Screws

Start by putting a double twist baluster on top of a 2x4x8. Mark the length of the board with a pen or pencil. Use your measuring tape to subtract an inch from that mark. You need to subtract the inch so that the baluster will rest in the holes drilled in the previous step. Make your cut with the miter saw. You will need to then make another one. You need two total for the next step.

Install one of the boards from the previous step across the blocks with screws. Be sure to pre-drill holes since they are near end cuts which seem more prone to splitting. The 5 drill holes made in a previous step should be facing up. Check that it has remained level.

Step 49: Archway Decorative Install Base Part 6

What you need:

Cut Boards From Previous Steps

Drill

Screws

4 Double Twist Balusters

1 Double Basket Baluster

Install the two side boards with two screws at the top and two at the bottom. Place the second board with 5 drill holes resting on top with drill holes facing down. Do not screw it in place yet. Take your balusters and place them in the pre-drilled holes. It is easiest to start on one side and work across. Slightly angle the furthest end of the top board up and quickly pop the baluster into place. With all 5 balusters in their slots, make sure the top board rests on the side boards and is level. If one baluster is pushing up on it, remove the balusters and bore that hole a little deeper. Be cautious not to go too deep.

Step 50: Archway Decorative Install Base Part 7

What you need:

4 Double Twist Balusters

1 Double Basket Baluster

2 Baluster knuckles

8 Flat Metal Shoes

Hex Key Allen Wrench

Remove all the balusters. Add the flat metal shoes on each end of the double twisted balusters. Add a baluster knuckle to each end of the double basket baluster. Place the balusters with extra hardware back into their bored slots. Double check that all the metal shoes are facing the correct direction and that you have your baluster pattern correct. When satisfied, drill and screw the top board into place.

With a hex key Allen wrench, tighten the knuckles and flat metal shoes at flush against the top and bottom boards.

Step 51: Archway Decorative Install Middle

What you need:

2 Decorative Shelf Brackets

Drill

Clamps

Miter Saw

Screws

2x4

Take a piece of 2x4 board and mark the height of the shelf bracket. Cut two sections of 2x4 board to this length. Attach these boards on the sides. When putting your screws in, make sure you are not putting them where you need to screw the shelf bracket on. I put the inner shelf bracket to the back arch post and the outer shelf bracket to the front arch post. No real rhyme or reason for this. You can put them whichever way you like.

Step 52: Archway Decorative Top Install Part 1

What you need:

Measuring Tape

2x4

Drill

5/8" Drill Bit

Screws

Miter Saw

Pen or Pencil

Follow step 45-48 to create the top, bottom and side boards. Once all the pieces are cut and the top and bottom boards have the holes bored, install the bottom board.

Hold the side board up to the back of the front arch post. Make marks with a pen or pencil where it hits the cross board. Use the miter saw to remove this section of board.

Step 53: Archway Decorative Top Install Part 2

What you need:

Ladder

Drill

Screws

Level

4 Double Twist Balusters

1 Single Basket Baluster

Install the side rail boards. Once installed check that the top board sits level. Like in previous steps, insert the balusters to make sure they all fit appropriately.

Step 54: Archway Decorative Top Install Part 3

What you need:

4 Double Twist Balusters

1 Single Basket Baluster

2 Baluster knuckles

8 Flat Metal Shoes

Hex Key Allen Wrench

Ladder

Drill

Screws

Remove the balusters and add the knuckles and shoes. Place them back in their designated spots with the extra hardware. Attach the top board securing all the balusters.

With a hex key Allen wrench, tighten the knuckles and flat metal shoes at flush against the top and bottom boards.

Step 55: Swing Mounting Block Prep

What you need:

4x6 scrap board

Measuring Tape

Speed Square

Pen or Pencil

Miter Saw

Measure, mark and cut two 7" blocks from the 4x6 pieces of scrap wood.

Step 56: Swing Mounting Block Placement

What you need:

Assembled Swing

Measuring Tape

Pen or Pencil

Rubber Mallet

Measure the distance of the mounting hardware on your swing. Measure the distance on the inside of the posts where the swing will be hung. Deduct the width of the swing hardware from the width of the two posts. Take this number and divide it by two. This number will tell you where your mounting hardware for hanging the swing should be placed. Mark the top cross board with this measurement on both sides.

Measure and mark the center of your 7" 4x6 blocks. With a rubber mallet tap them into place so that their center line matches with the mark you made on the top board.

Step 57: Swing Mounting Block Install Part 1

What you need:

1 1/2”Galvanized 8" Carriage Bolt

2 1/2”Galvanized Washer

1 1/2” Galvanized Hex Nut

Clamps

Measuring Tape

Speed Square

Pen or Pencil

Miter Saw

Drill

1/2" Drill Bit

Measure and mark your drill holes. Use clamps to keep the block from shifting while drilling. Drill your two holes. Check that your bolts fit through the holes. Do this for both blocks. Remember to be mindful of how you angle your drill holes. Once drilled, remove the blocks. Use a speed square to mark a line across the top portion of the block and remove a small section with your miter saw.

Flip the block up as though it was mounted in place. On the top, mark the center. Use a 1/2" drill to go all the way through the block. This is where the mounting bolt hook with go for the swing. Do this for for both blocks.

Step 58: Swing Mounting Block Install Part 2

What you need:

4 1/2”Galvanized 8" Carriage Bolts

8 1/2”Galvanized Washer

4 1/2” Galvanized Hex Nut

2 Galvanized Eye Bolt

2 3"x3" Bearing Plate

1 Swing

Attach each block in place using an 8" carriage bolt with two washers and a hex nut for each hole.

Place a washer on the eye bolt. Slide it up through the hole. Add a bearing plate followed by a washer and the supplied hex nut. Do this for both mounting blocks.

Attach the swing per manufactures directions.

Step 59: The Other Side

Follow steps 44-58 to make the opposite side.

Helpful Hint:

Make sure the two sides will be level when starting step 44. To do this, use a board that can reach from post to post. Let one end rest on the bottom board of the finished side. With a level on top of it, hold it level and mark on the arch post on the bottom side of the board when it is level. Hold a scrap piece of 2x4 up to this mark and mark the bottom side of the 2x4. This accounts for the base board it was resting on. Use that line to measure how long your side wall base board should be cut.

Step 60: Removing Post Tops

What you need:

Saw

Remove any excess post that remains above the crossing boards. I tried out a few different cutting methods. You can use whatever you have handy. They all worked okay. The reciprocating saw with the right blade was probably the fastest method.

Step 61: Installing Top Wood Bars

What you need:

9 36" Cedar Balusters

Measuring Tape

Pen or Pencil

Drill

Screws

Speed Square

Measure across the top of the arbor arch. Deduct this from the length of the balusters and then divide by 2. (36"-27.5" = 8.5" / 2 =4.25") Use this to mark both ends of all your balusters with 4.25". From that mark, moving inward mark 1.5" from the previous mark. Put a drill hole between the two marks centered in the baluster.

Space out the balusters and use screws in your pre-drilled holes to secure in place.

Step 62: Cutting 2nd Tier Wood Bars

What you need:

Miter Saw

Measuring Tape

Pen or Pencil

4 36" Cedar Balusters

Measure and cut your balusters into thirds or approximately 24" sections.

Step 63: Installing 2nd Tier Wood Bars

What you need:

12 12" Cedar Balusters

Measuring Tape

Speed Square

Drill

Pen or Pencil

Like the top wood bars, measure the distance between the swing arbor cross boards. Subtract that form the length of the wood bars and divide by 2. Mark the ends of the woods with that measurement. The top of the 2x6 is actually 1.5". Divide that in half is 3/4" of an inch. Moving inwards from your fist mark, make a mark at 3/4" in the center of the baluster. Pre-drill the holes for the screws at that mark.

Space out the balusters and screw into place.

Step 64: Finished Project

Thank you for viewing my instructable. I hope you found it helpful and inspiring. If you use it to make a creation of your own, I would really like to see it. If you have an questions, comments or advice, I would love to hear it.

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    33 Discussions

    1
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    Cherzer

    23 days ago

    What a wonderful addition to your gorgeous yard! And what a clever idea to add lights to the arch!
    Can you tell me how much weight the swings hold? (Sorry, if you already mentioned this and I missed it.)

    5 replies
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    HeartCraftingCherzer

    Reply 23 days ago

    According to the manufacture, each swing has a weight limit of 400 pounds. Honestly, I was a little surprised it was rated for that amount since it seems most things top around 300-350. I haven't tested it at 400 pounds but it has held a solid 300 with two people swing on one of them the other day. Thanks for the inquiry.

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    CherzerHeartCrafting

    Reply 23 days ago

    That is solid! I also find it really inspiring that you were able to do this all yourself. I guess I need to get some of those clamps so I have extra hands too.

    1
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    HeartCraftingCherzer

    Reply 23 days ago

    Thank you! They really are handy. Not going to lie though, it would have been way easier having an extra set of hands that also have legs attached to them. I cant tell you how many times I had to crawl out from under the house because I forgot something or up and down the ladder due to dropping things.

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    lolamaticHeartCrafting

    Reply 22 days ago

    Fantastic job on this!

    For your next project demanding a ladder, consider adding important tools to a pail/bucket or bag and just use an S hook to pop it onto the top bracing rung. Alternatively, consider building a ladder caddy.

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    Blissful Blossoms

    Question 17 days ago

    Forgot to ask:
    This may be a dumb question but do you know if the lights for this can be put on a dimmer switch and where I can purchase them?

    Did you use any kind of stain or protective coat?

    1 answer
    0
    None

    Not a dumb question at all. Yes, you can install a dimmer switch with the lights. You will want to make sure that the bulbs you use are compatible with dimmers. I actually pulled out the original switch I installed and changed it for a dimmer about a week after finishing the project. I attached a picture. There are lots of different styles of dimmer switches to choose from.

    I plan on using boiled linseed oil. I am just waiting a couple months for it to wear just a little so that it will really soak it in. If you use cedar and plan on painting any of it you will want to get the right products and follow specific steps to keep the tennin from staining through your paint. I believe I got some products at Sherwin-Williams once when I was painting over cedar. I got my boiled linseed oil at Home Depot. It should be less than $10. You will want to carefully read the warnings. You need to dispose of the rags carefully as it is combustible.

    If you hit any hiccups feel free to ask :-)

    20190801_140242.jpg20190801_140717.jpg
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    Blissful Blossoms

    17 days ago

    Amazing! I am so in love with this! My husband and I have been remodeling our patio and I would be a happy wife if we can add this in that space. I have always loved swings and rocking chairs. I know just where I want it. Now I just have to get my husband to build it. Might be able to convince him by saying our grandson needs it. Thank you for sharing your project.

    1 reply
    0
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    Thank you so much! I love rocking chairs I think just as much as swings. Building a rocking chair was my senior wood shop project. Sadly, I was a little over ambitious and had a very difficult one to build with many ordinate spindled details and didn't get if finished by the end of the class. I should probably finish that. My nephew is 7 years old and loves. If he is like my nephew, I am sure he would enjoy helping grandpa build it. wink wink. Good luck and hope you enjoy the new patio.

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    Starkey0417

    21 days ago

    One of the most thorough instructables I've seen. Absolutely awesome. What was your final cost on this?

    3 replies
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    HeartCraftingStarkey0417

    Reply 21 days ago

    If I am being honest, I was trying to avoid tallying the cost. My original plan which was just the front of it with swings (just 4 posts and the arbor style build no lights no archway decor or back posts) was under $600.00.

    I just went through the list and added it all up. If you were to go online and order via the links provided it totals $1,280.33.

    Approximately:
    $240 for the lights and electrical
    $70 for screws and drill bits
    $970 for the main structure

    About $250 or the $970 was for the decorative center (balusters, shelf brackets, shoes, knuckles and paint) So you could save some money there.
    You could also save $43.80 by not using the 10" concrete form tubes.
    Hope this is helpful.

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    Starkey0417HeartCrafting

    Reply 19 days ago

    I've downplayed a few of my project's cost to my wife a few times.

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    HeartCraftingStarkey0417

    Reply 19 days ago

    I have been divorced about a year now so I was only trying to hide if from myself LOL

    0
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    hherzog

    21 days ago

    Instead of mixing your concrete in the hope it will be liquidy enough to work with, you can add in plasticizers to keep it liquid while working without affecting cure time and overall density. You can buy a small packet per bag of concrete, or get a jug and measure it in based on your needs/size of your job. Takes out the guess work ;)

    5 replies
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    HeartCraftinghherzog

    Reply 21 days ago

    I haven't done a whole lot with concrete before. That is super useful to know. Thank you for taking the time to share that.

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    hherzogHeartCrafting

    Reply 21 days ago

    No problem. I picked up the trick when building a lighted concrete table top, worked a charm (after I destroyed a mixer trying to just work with the max water mix, lol).

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    hherzogHeartCrafting

    Reply 19 days ago

    I meant to post an instructable on it but forgot to take pics of a couple steps so it's going to have to wait until the next one :(