By Martin S. Hussey Jr., Correspondent
Sometime in the early 2010s, a beautiful swing was built in the backyard of our residence. The wood pattern and pieces were measured and cut custom size and the wood was painted a bright colonial red. It was then hung to a swing stand that was stained with thick white rope. It was a sight to behold and it was a common reading spot for me growing up. As time went on, the paint and stain faded, and the wood was water damaged and it quickly was realized that the swing had to be eventually repaired. Not wanting to look at the sorry state of it any longer, my grandfather and I decided to repair it over winter break.
The first thing we did after getting the swing down was assessing what pieces we needed to repair or replace. The main bulk of the swing looked okay, but both the bottom and top swing slats had to be replaced. We took a bottom slat and a top slat and used them to measure the slats that were to be replaced. After writing down the dimensions we needed, we went to Home Depot to purchase the raw wood we needed. The wood could not be warped otherwise it was no good to use. After purchasing the wood, we cut it down to size with a circular saw and afterwards had them subjected to the sander. We also cut the top slats to the pattern that they originally had on the swing. One day the battery to the circular saw died in the middle of cutting, so I got to use a handsaw for the rest of the day. When the pieces were cut, we primed them for protection against the elements of nature.
After sanding down the rest of the swing, we used the nail gun to nail the slats on the swing. Then we caulked the nail holes and other cracks on the swing. Afterwards, the places we caulked were reprimed so that the caulk was covered, and it was not obvious where we caulked when we painted the swing. When priming the slats, we used a paint brush and a paint roller. With the entire swing itself, we used a paint spray gun to prime it. It was my first time to use a paint spray gun and I did an okay job. With the primer being dry, we now had the opportunity to paint the swing colonial red again. As our nearby ACE’s and Home Depot did not have the specific brand of colonial red we wanted, we had to use up all the colonial red we had. The good news was that it was enough, and now the swing was fully repaired and rebuilt as good as new!
Unfortunately, I returned to Embry-Riddle before we could stain the swing stand and hang the swing back up with new rope. Despite this, my grandfather and I were happy with what we accomplished, and I am personally happy for the experience. I cannot wait to return home and finish the job!