can be sitting and relaxing on a bench you have made for
yourself in just one weekend.
need are some basic tools.
Of course the better your tool kit the easier it will
be. A drill and a saw
the minimum you will need.
If you have a drill, a jigsaw and a sander this is a very easy project.
read the whole page before you start.
First of all you need to get some wood. Garden centres and home hardware stores are a good place to look.
The wood selected needs to measure at or about 2400x200x50 (96x8x2 inches). You will need a 2.4m (8ft) length of dowel too.
are six pieces to make and 13 dowels to cut. I
reckon you should make the legs first.
A pile of all the parts used in the bench.
You should have two lengths of timber 2400mm (8ft) long. It is IMPORTANT that you cut a piece 500mm (about 20") from
piece to make the legs. This will leave you two pieces
slightly longer than 1800mm (6ft) which will be the maximum
for this bench. If you have limited garden space make these
shorter but not less than 1200mm.
Getting the legs
right will set how level the bench will sit.
Don't worry if they are not perfect most gardens aren't truly flat.
Rip the short
lengths along the centre line and make four identical pieces
as above. You could draw the leg full size on
a piece of
cardboard or plywood to use as a template. Don't
drill the holes yet. Save the wedge shaped off
cuts for clamping.
The skirt should
be slightly shorter than the top or seat. There is
no need to shape this part at all but it will lighten
the bench and more importantly the improve appearance of the bench. It is the backbone of the bench and a nice arch will look good.
You will find accurately drilling the holes to attach the legs to the skirt is easier if you make a simple drilling jig.
carefully at the drawing above for the location of the dowel
holes. Drill about 45mm into the leg.
cutting the dowel remember to add the depth of the opposing
holes and thickness of the skirt less
about 5mm for clearance. For this bench I cut the dowels at 130mm.
Before starting to put the legs and skirt together it would be a good idea to get any sanding and cleaning up done. Use a
files and sandpaper to knock off sharp edges and add a bit
of rustication. Bash the dowels and a bit of wood glue
through the holes in the skirt. I use Titebond Ultimate as seen in the picture.
a rubber mallet as a persuader when setting the legs. Use
plenty of glue. You can see how the wedge shape offcuts
the clamp up. If you can't get it to align pry
the assembly apart before the glue sets and find where you
have gone wrong.
On the first one of these benches I made I had drilled a hole in one of the legs a bit too shallow. Dumb yes but easily fixed.
Leave the leg assembly clamped up overnight if you can but if you can't wait leave the clamps on for at least two hours.
Start getting the top seat ready. Remember that this is the bit you sit on so you need to make sure it is smooth.
drawing below shows the general dimensions for the bench and
also shows the positions and angles for the dowels. When the
glue dries that top is staying there. The angled dowel create a mechanical attachment.
the dowel positions in mind clamp the top securely to the
leg assembly where you want it to be. I cut these
so I can trim them flush after the glue has dried. Do
the ones along the centreline of the top first. Don't
angle the drill on the two at each end. The middle dowel and the two on each of the leg sets are vertical.
After all the
glue has dried trim off the dowels and sand the top until you
believe it is smooth enough
skin. You can use any outdoor finish that you are
happy with. If you are leaving it exposed
to the weather
regular treatment is necessary for many timbers. I used
exterior polyester on this bench.
The redgum I have used would turn grey if left to itself.
©2016 by TC