I purchase a porch swing / patio swing from a well known mail order company about 5 years ago. Obviously, this is something that I could have built on my own, but my wife wanted to swing and I was in the midst of a renovation project. The swing arrived and I was rather shocked at the poor material choices. The wood type and hardware used was fine, but this swing was primarily built with 1x lumber. It was western red cedar (part of the reason I purchased) but the dimension was far under scale. With proper support/framework, 1x is fine for the seat slat portions, however, the framing was also 1x! I was very surprised and kept most adults from sitting on the swing. It was great for kids, but I wouldn’t have used it myself. Enough ranting. Time to build a new swing.
My wife liked the style of the swing that we purchased (that has since fallen apart). I was off to recreate the swing. I will probably just mimic the existing design with the proper dimensional lumber for the important support and framework. Rather than 1″ x 3″ seat slats I will be going with 5/4 (true 1″ thick). In addition, the sections that did have 5/4 will be replaced with 6/4 material (2x dimensional).
Feel free to comment below if you are looking for the name of the company to avoid. I can locate my old receipt and share.
The free swing plan we are sharing comes from Workbench Magazine. They have some terrific free plans that are well laid out and almost always come with an exploded view which is enough for most woodworkers to work from.
Free Swing Plans: (PDF) http://www.workbenchmagazine.com/main/pdf/wb277swing.pdf
You can find the accompanying pieces for a full patio set here: http://www.workbenchmagazine.com/main/wb277-patio01.html
There are plans for a bench, chair, side table and coffee table.