A Bench for My Uncle #5: The Seat Back

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Blog entry by Aaron McCain posted 12-08-2012 08:25 AM 4746 reads 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Making the Cross Beams Part 5 of A Bench for My Uncle series Part 6: Finished and Finished »

Once the rails were done, it was time to move onto building the back of the seat so that all of the components could be glued together. The design calls for tenons to be cut on each end of the back slats to fit into a groove cut into the top of the back bottom rail and the bottom of the back top rail. I didn’t get any pictures of that process. I used a table saw and it was more difficult that I expected. In the end I decided that I should have cut the groove before I shaped the top rail just so I had more material to work with and hold onto.

After the grooves were cut, I cut the back slat to the correct size and laid them out to try and keep the colors and grain patterns symmetrical. Here is a shot before I got to work on the tenons.

And here is a close up of the tenons (before I sanded them and cleaned them up a bit) and the bottom groove.

And a picture of the dry run after the bottom tenons were cut to see how everything looked.

My wife and I decided not to glue the slats in place (the instructions in the magazine were a little vague) in order to allow for some seasonal movement. We also decided to prefinish the slats to save the hassle of try to finish a vertical surface. So here is a shot of them in the drying process.

The plan calls for little rounded over spacers to trap the back slats within the grooves. Off course I didn’t get any pictures of that process, but here is a close up of the finished back. You will notice the finished slats and the unfinished spacers located in the gap between slats. These were a little challenging to get a thin rabbit on the spacers and I needed to shorten them after the initial cut to make sure that they didn’t sit on the bottom of the groove. In the end they look pretty good and we did glue the spacers in place.

So with the back slats finished it was time to glue everything together. My wife came out and helped with the glue up and I was so excited to see it sitting there put together and looking good. Now onto the seat and seat support.

4 comments so far

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2108 days

#1 posted 12-08-2012 02:25 PM

very nice

-- Joel

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3727 days

#2 posted 12-11-2012 04:22 PM

Nice bench!

View DrSawdust's profile


323 posts in 4152 days

#3 posted 12-31-2012 05:44 AM

Wow, I just discovered your blog. I am very impressed with what you have done. Could you please tell me what issue of Wood you found the plans in? I would like to make one.

-- Making sawdust is what I do best

View Aaron McCain's profile

Aaron McCain

125 posts in 2893 days

#4 posted 07-06-2013 05:33 AM

@ DrSawdust -sorry for the delay. The bench is in Jun/Jul 2006. It is called the “Comfy Classic Garden Bench.” Here is a link to the plans:

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