NEW! Faster Search Option


How to hang a couch

gatordoc's picture

Need some input on this one folks.  I have a comission to build a hanging couch for installation under a long porch roof.  the couch will hang from 4 wire rope connected to two undercouch support beams.  My clients would like to be able to move the couch forward and backward a foot or so.  I'm thinking of two overhead rails and barn-door like rollers.  I'll probably have to fab the rollers locally since most barn door hardware isn't built to support that kind of weight, couch and perhaps 3 peoples sitting, plus live load issues of people "flopping" on the couch.

The ideal solution would be easy to move from the ground (the attachement point is about 10 ft overhead), and somehow lock into place, also from the ground.  I'm working on designs for a barn door hanger system, but if anyone has a brilliant idea in some other direction, I'd love to hear it!  They don't want anything motorized.

Cheers, and thanks in advance for any suggestions!


DaveRichards's picture

Have you consider how you (post #170843, reply #1 of 6)

Have you consider how you would prevent this thing from sliding forward or backward when the movement isn't desired?

For hardware you might look at Harken, Garhauer Marine or one of several other suppliers of hardware for sailboats. My first thought would be to look at mainsheet traveler tracks and cars intended for a larger boats. They are designed to move smoothly under potentially very high loads. You could even use a modified mainsheet car control line arrangement to control/limit the forward and back movement.


Just ideas. 

RalphBarker's picture

Another alternative (post #170843, reply #2 of 6)

Instead of hanging the couch (what did it do to deserve hanging?  ;-) ), how about using a platform-rocker sort of mechanism under the couch? That would allow it to be moved easily, without the problems associated with shifting the hanging pivot point.

CoreSales01's picture

It just so happens that I (post #170843, reply #3 of 6)

It just so happens that I work with a sailboat hardware company and a mainsheet traveler system would work well.  Feel free to send me a message and we can chat.

gatordoc's picture

How to hang a couch - traveller system (post #170843, reply #4 of 6)

The traveller system looks like a great solution, but I'm concerned about the load limitations.  I can't find any data on the load capacity (other than the boat size).  Also, the price may push the whole deal too high.  I'd need two I think, one for each side.

As for what the couch did to deserve "a hangin' ", well, that's a long story best told over a cold frosty one with no youngins around. 

And yes, one of the things to be dealt with is to make sure the couch can move when it's supposed to and stay put when supposed to.  I think I can handle this with the hanging door hardware by putting a sliding chock on the rail, maybe hinged to the wheel assembly itself to lift when the assembly needs to moved, then dropped on the rail when the move is over.

I really like the traveller idea though and may try to design a hybrid trolley system using the traveller design but using the heavier hardware of the door rail system.


robbo41's picture

Barn Door Hardware (post #170843, reply #5 of 6)

Your initial idea about barn door hardware is probably just fine. I had to re-hang a set of doors that came off a our barn in a windstorm. They were several hundred pounds (14 ft x 14 ft x 1 in).

There is a website that lists specs:

They are inexpensive and available.

DaveRichards's picture

As for the load capacity, (post #170843, reply #6 of 6)

As for the load capacity, look at the load capacity for the blocks (pulleys) used in the system. I think the limiting factor will be the attachment to the ceiling or the load carrying ability of the couch.. I just looked up one traveller car from Harken, their 32mm Big Boat Car has a max working load of 3000 lbs and a breaking load of 7000. You'd be using two of them for a porch swing like what you're talking about. Even if the folks who will be sitting on it are morbidly obese, I don't think you'd have to worry about these parts failing. Even their 22mm Small Boat Traveller Car has a working load of 500 lbs with a breaking load of 2500 lbs.

You can find pretty good prices if you look.