Another Summer Classic Glider for One

Comments (0)

This article is from Issue 12 of Woodcraft Magazine.

Build an individual glider or a porch chair both patterned after the classic summer swing project featured in one of our earlier issues. 

Swings and gliders put us in touch with the summertime we all wish for – lazy hours on the porch or patio with friends and family or resting peacefully by ourselves. Last year we offered plans for a comfortable classic swing popular with several generations. Now we invite you to make a companion piece – a “glider for one” that can also be built as a porch chair. 

Getting started

Square and plane white oak lumber to the thickness of either ¾” or 1 ½” before using the diagram and patterns to lay out the pieces.  If you do not have 8/4 white oak available, you can laminate two pieces of 4/4 to create the 8/4 size lumber needed.  Download full size printable PDFs of the patterns from or enlarge the ones provided on page ____ by 400 percent.  Before cutting, become familiar with the individual components, such as the difference between an upper cradle piece and a hanger piece.

Enlarge the patterns from the “Summer Classic” swing article in Woodcraft Magazine Vol. 1, No. 3, or go to to download the free plans.  The construction of the chair assembly for the glider/chair is exactly the same as for a swing with the following exceptions:

The bottom end assemblies do not need the ¼” clearance slots for the hanger bolts since the hanger bolts will not be used in the glider construction.

The three bottom-and-back assemblies that were positioned across the span of the swing will not be needed.  

The ribs and slats will be 24” long.

Following instructions in the swing article construct two mirror image end assemblies.  In addition to the end assemblies, the construction of the chair assembly will take 44 – ¾” x ½” x 24” ribs, two 24” bottom slats, one 24” back slat and 4 leg pieces.  (photo 11 from the swing article)  If only a chair is being built, do not drill the 5/8” holes in the bottom of the leg pieces.  Use 2 1-5/16” SS screws on each end to attach the bottom slats to the two end assemblies.  The rear slat should be positioned 4” from the back of the chair.  Position the front bottom slat 10” from the inside of the rear bottom slat.  Use two 1-5/16” SS screws on each end to attach the back slat in the notches on the back pieces where indicated.

The first rib is positioned with the ¾” side down on the bottom pieces at each end and pushed against the back pieces so it is straight across the seat of the assembly.  Air-nail into place using one 1-3/8” galvanized brad centered on each end.  Use an additional rib piece as a spacer by positioning it with the ½” side down and against the previously nailed rib.  Position the next rib with the 3/4” side down and pushed tightly against the rib piece being used as a spacer.  Nail into place and reposition the rib being used as a spacer.  Continue across the seat of the chair.  Go back to the first rib installed, using the spacer, work up and over the back of the chair to complete the installation of all of the ribs.


Position the ¾” x 3” angled leg pieces per the drawing on each side of the chair assembly.  The attachment requires 3/8” x 3-1/2” zinc plated carriage bolts, flat washers, and hex nuts except for the upper bolt on the front leg which is 2” long.  It is important the upper front bolt, washer and nut combination be installed in such a way as to intrude as little as possible into the seating area.  Install the legs with the bolts through the legs and into the end assemblies.  Fasten with ½” x 1-1/4” diameter flat washers and hex nuts. 


If you wish to use the modified SUMMER SWING pattern as a chair, the unit is complete at this point.  


Install the  2 1-1/2” x 2-1/2 x 11-1/2” cradle uprights where indicated in the drawing using 3/8” x 3-1/2” zinc plated carriage bolts where indicated on the 32” upper cradle piece.  Apply flat washers and hex nuts . Be certain that the cradle uprights are at 90 degrees to the upper cradle piece and tighten (Fig. 1).  Assemble the other upper cradle unit as a mirror image of the first following the drawing.

Install four 3/8” x 3-1/2” carriage bolts into the 3/8” holes in the four 1-1/2” x 2-1/2” x 11” hanger pieces where indicated.  Install a ½” x 1-1/2” diameter washer onto the protruding bolts. Install each hanger piece by passing the protruding bolt through the 5/8” holes in the upper cradle piece.   Slide a ½” x .385 x 1” nylon spacer onto the bolt and into the 5/8” hole in the upper cradle piece (Fig. 2).  Install a ½” x 1-1/2” diameter flat washer on the protruding bolt and fasten with a nylon lock nut.  Tighten the nylon lock nut and then back off about ½ turn so the hanger piece is able to move. Complete the assembly of the other 3 hanger pieces. 

Install four 3/8” x 4-1/2” carriage bolts into the upper cradle pieces at about center point according to the drawing.  Install the predrilled 1-1/2” x 2-1/2” x 24” long upper cross piece and fasten with flat washers and hex bolts. Since the bolts and the holes in the upper cross piece are the same size, an extra block of wood and a hammer (or a rubber mallet) may be needed to “encourage” the cross board to move into place (Fig. 3).  The cross board extends 1” beyond the sides of the upper cradle piece.  Install flat washers and nuts onto the four bolts.  Be certain that the upper cross piece is at 90 degrees to the upper cradle piece and tighten.


Install four 3/8” x 3-1/2” carriage bolts into the 3/8” holes in the center of the two foot pieces oriented upward per the drawing. Install the 1-1/2” x 2-1/2” x 20-1/2” foot cross piece onto the 4 bolts (Fig. 4).  Install flat washers and hex nuts. Be certain the foot cross piece is at 90 degrees to the foot pieces and tighten (Fig. 5).  


Position the upper cradle assembly over the center of the cradle leg assembly according to the drawing (Fig. 6). Install two 1-5/16” SS screws through the legs and into each of the cradle uprights (Fig. 7). 


Position each of the angle braces in the rear of the cradle assembly as indicated on the drawing, and using two 1-1/4” SS screws, attach each end of the angle braces to the cradle assembly (Fig. 8). 


Position the chair assembly over the cradle so that the legs of the chair assembly are close to the open ends of the hanger pieces. Install a 3/8” x 3” Carriage bolt into the 3/8” hole in the hanger piece (Fig. 9).  Install four ½” x 1-1/4” washers onto the protruding bolt.  Slide the bolt through the 5/8” hole in the bottom of the leg of the chair.  Slide a ½” x .385” x 5/8” nylon spacer onto the bolt and into the hole in the leg.  Install a ½” x 1-1/2” diameter flat washer onto the bolt and a nylon lock nut.  Loosely tighten. Repeat the installation for the remaining 3 legs.  Tighten all four bolts and then back off about a half turn so that the hanger pieces can move freely (Fig. 10). 

Final-sand the entire glider up to 220 grit.  Use a block of wood wrapped with a piece of sandpaper and turned so a corner drops between the ribs to soften their edges.(photo 20 from swing article).     

Jerry VanCamp

As director of purchasing for Woodcraft Supply Corp., Jerry Van Camp of Waverly, W.Va., spends his days forecasting and buying woodworking tools and supplies from around the world. He is a woodworker, a woodcarver and Autumn’s grandpa. 


Write Comment

Write Comment

You must be logged in to write a comment. Log In

Top of Page