|Project by Lenny||posted 1628 days ago||1335 views||1 time favorited||11 comments|
My oldest daughter attended and, in 2003, graduated from Williams College, an excellent school here in the northeast. While at the school, she established a close relationship with Felicia, the Director of the school bookstore. Felicia, in essence, became a surrogate mom to my daughter. She was someone she could turn to when things got stressful or if she just needed a receptive ear. On a number of occasions she was a savior to my wife and me as we otherwise might have made a three hour drive to the school.
Perhaps as much as a year before my daughter’s graduation date, I decided I wanted to make and present this kind and caring lady with a token of appreciation for all she did for our daughter. We learned over the years that she is an avid gardener. One day while looking through an outdoor projects book from the Handyman’s Club series, I saw what they called a “park bench”. I loved the look of it, particularly the scalloped edges, top and bottom, of the back slats. The rest of the bench looked to be comfortable yet sturdy. Theirs was made from pine and they showed it painted. I thought, this would make a perfect garden bench for Felicia but I prefer to make it from cedar and leave it natural. I purchased the necessary quantity of western red cedar and pretty much followed the plans provided and enjoyed almost all of the construction. Why almost? Because I chose to counter bore all screw holes and fill them with bungs. The back slats alone have four screws per slat, so as you can see there were many of them. Besides the many screws, the joints were reinforced with waterproof glue and I applied several coats of polyurethane as my finish.
On the day my daughter graduated, we presented the bench to Felicia and she was both surprised and elated. Over the years, I would check with Felicia now and then to ask how the bench was holding up. I had never made anything from cedar before and I found it to be a brittle wood. It may be that the supplier had let it dry out too much? Upon seeing the announcement for the Summer 2009 Garden Bench contest, I contacted Felicia again and asked if she might supply a photo of the bench in its home. And what a beautiful photo she provided. She is a far better gardener than I am a woodworker; that’s for sure. I have to say, she was right when she told me the day I presented it to her, she had a wonderful location for the garden bench.
-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI