Finishing the slats

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Blog entry by Blinky posted 06-05-2010 10:35 PM 1981 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Another piece of scrap has befallen my assorted blades, and has now become the slats for the bench. It was a large hunk of Doug Fir or Pine. It was originally going to be a large slab bench, but I decided it would be too large & unwieldy. It was 3” x 12” x 8’ – warped, twisted, split, cupped, weather-worn and worm-eaten; beautiful!
Now it’s 6 slats 2 1/4” w x 1 1/2” h x 52” long. The previously mentioned character charms still exist, just to a lesser extent. Rounded over the edges, sanded then sealed w/ shellac, sanded 220, stained w/ a color called Cabernet, from Varathane I think. Shellac again then filled the little worm holes with a metallic paint, water based. A touch more red stain too! The first coat of urethane is on them now.

Slats stain1


My dilemma has been how to attach the slats to the frame without the hardware showing. My solution is to screw scraps down to the Ipe from the top & screw into the slats from the bottom:

slats from underneath

Any suggestions on alternative ways of attachment?
I still need to figure out how I want to attach the two outer slats, as they are resting directly on the top rail along the full length. I may still decide to poke dowels through the outside slats.

-- Mark, Portland, OR - what's for dinner?

3 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3774 days

#1 posted 06-06-2010 01:43 AM

Dowels, pocket screws Kreg has a new deck jig ,sliding dovetails, loose tenon joinery.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Robb's profile


660 posts in 4131 days

#2 posted 06-07-2010 07:41 PM

Yeah, what Jim said :). There’s a cool jig here: that might interest you, for a showy method of joinery that would also add strength.

-- Robb

View Blinky's profile


28 posts in 3177 days

#3 posted 06-07-2010 07:59 PM

Jim & Rob,
Thanks for the great ideas! The spline jig looks very interesting; it’s a little out of my league (meaning budget) at this time, but something to keep in mind for when I have a real job again.
I decided to go with a combination of dowels and flat mending plates for now. I made the top slats so they’ll be easily replaceable, for when I decide the slats are no longer to my liking.

-- Mark, Portland, OR - what's for dinner?

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