Build the Back
Next, turn to the back of the swing. Mill the bottom back rail and two stiles to size as described earlier to leave crisp edges. Run the bottom edge of the bottom back rail and both stiles through the saw at an 83-degree angle to match the bevel on the seat. Then take the 2×8 top rail and lay out the top arch of the swing by marking the center of the rail, then mark 2-1/2″ down from the top at the center. Tap a small brad nail into the board at this spot, then put two more brad nails into the board at the bottom corner of the board at either end. Then take an eight-foot strip of 1/4″-thick wood and bend it across the top nail, attaching the strip to the two lower nails with spring clamps. The arch formed by the strip can then be marked with a pencil, and then a second line (2-1/2″ above the first line), marked. Jigsaw the piece to the outside of these lines, then sand the piece smooth.
To determine the length of the top rail, lay the bottom rail and side stiles flat with the bottom rail between the stiles. Clamp these pieces in place, then lay the top rail across the tops of the stiles, flush to the top outside corner of each stile. With the top rail in place, mark the point where the inside curve of the rail intersects the inside edge of the stiles. Connect the two points and this is the angle to cut on the top edges of the stiles and on the ends of the top rail, to form mitered joints. The back frame will be held together with a double helping of biscuits, but first you need to cut the groove in the top and bottom rails to hold the slats.
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