The Garden Bench

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Project by dryhter posted 07-31-2009 01:39 AM 2170 views 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The Garden Bench
Right down to the wire, as usual. A couple of weeks ago I saw the summer contest and thought “I can do that, no problem”. I have built benches before, quite a few actually (if you consider 15 plus a few) and enjoy making them. It gives me a chance to use the lathe and use up misc. pieces that I have been saving in the shop.

I saw some old videos (shot in the 20’s and 30’s) recently of craftsmen making things by hand for the most part, and although I was not going to hand saw a plank up for the seat, the idea of simple and practical stuck in my mind.

Having built benches for the outdoors before I also knew it is a losing battle fighting with the elements. It is just a matter of time until the piece disintegrates. The piece is essentially disposable. That does not mean you can take precautions by using materials that are inexpensive and decay resistant, joints that naturally stay snug and easily renewable finishes. From a practical standpoint you don’t want to spend a lot of money for the materials or spend a lot of time making the piece or maintaining it. That is unless you want to.

The bench I chose to enter is one of three that I made in my spare time and named it The Fire Tenders Bench; it is the perfect bench for sitting around the fire and fiddling. The seat is made from a cut-off of a LVL (engineered structural wood) 1 ¾ in thick X 12in. deep and about 32in. wide. The legs are made of treated yellow pine, turned to a simple pleasing shape with a tapered end to fit into a tapered socket in the seat. On hard surface the seat sits about 21 1/2in. above the surface allowing for the legs to sink into soft ground and the future decay and wear of the legs. The finish is several/many coats of thinned polyurethane.

I have spent about 6 hours total making this bench with zero material costs and anticipate minimal time spent on maintenance (if that LVL holds up). I enjoyed every hour spent building it! The Garden Bench I built is simple, practical, economical, durable, comfortable, and good looking.

Vote for me.

-- Chips and Shavings/ see you at

3 comments so far

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4262 days

#1 posted 07-31-2009 12:22 PM

A very nice design, the LVL should last many years, Good Luck!

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View grampata's profile


74 posts in 3706 days

#2 posted 08-01-2009 02:56 PM

dave : The more sun and weather the better they look . I really love pond and bench combo. I just made one ,and put an enormous amount of time. I wish I saw your first, I would have made one like yours. It would fit my needs better. great job !

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3636 days

#3 posted 11-10-2009 04:31 AM

Nice work!

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