While I was originally planning on making a table saw cabinet for my first big project, I decided to try something a bit less involved to break in my new workshop – a bench for my front porch. I won’t be able to start right away, because I still need some items for my shop before I get started (the arbor washer for my table saw, a scroll saw, and a drill press, all of which are at my father’s house). But I really enjoy planning projects, so I dove right in with that.I looked through all the benches on LJ (yes, all 120 pages) and found lots of beautiful pieces, but not many that were both in my style and at my skill level. However, there were aspects of 3 benches that I thought I could emulate a bit in my own design. The projects I borrowed ideas from were:
Today was my first day using SketchUp, so it took me forever to get this final drawing. I found some very helpful videos on YouTube, which were the only reason I made significant progress. Here’s what I came up with:
The bench will be 6’ long, 17.25” deep, and 18” tall. I’m planning on using 1×4 pine, since my budget is pretty tight for the project. I’ll also use 3/4” dowels to join everything (probably oak? I’m not sure if they’re frequently made with other woods). The dowels will extend 1/4” beyond the face of the wood everywhere they’re used, in order to accentuate the joinery. I was also thinking of staining them darker than the 1×4’s.
What do you all think of the plans? What should I change to improve stability or design? What should I use to seal the wood? It will be on a covered porch, but I still need to protect it from rain (and the occasional spilled beer).
Hopefully, I’ll be able to start working on it in 2 or 3 weeks. I’ll update here as I make progress.