|Project by SimonSKL||posted 09-03-2009 05:23 PM||9498 views||23 times favorited||10 comments|
My eldest son lives in a condo in Atlanta, GA with limited storage space so he asked me if I could build an outdoor storage bench for him. He came across a picture of a style that he likes and sent it to me. This is the project that I have been working on in the last 8 days.
For material I was debating if I should use western cedar (not a whole lot of choices for outdoor lumber in Midwest) which costs about $2.80/bf from a local hardwood dealer (twice as much from a local home center) or Douglas fir which costs about $1/bf (4”x4”x96”). After reading something about Douglas fir, I found it is one of the strongest and hardest softwood. Most utility poles are Douglas fir and they season well. I decided not to use cedar because of the high number of knots (i.e. high wastage) and cost. Since it will be stained with an exterior stain, I believe Douglas fir will last many years with proper maintenance.
Construction is pretty straight forward. I used 2/3 of the exterior graded plywood sheet to construct the box and then milled all the other pieces to size and thickness. A new 6” Grizzly jointer that I just got helped a lot in getting the piece straight and square. The key thing is try to get the grain running horizontal for the rails and vertical on the legs and strips. That took a little planning before cuts. I was not able to avoid some knots on the lid because of its length and width but they will be mostly covered by the cushion which my wife will make.
The 2nd picture show the completed storage bench and the Douglas fir that was left from the six 4×4x8’ poles.
The 5th picture showed how the pieces are fastened to the box. A rabbet was cut in the top rail and the top of each 2” strip. The top of the bottom rail was cut at 5% bevel, same for the bottom of the 2” strips, to allow water to run off without pooling at the ledge. You can see the red line showing the exaggerated bevel.
There are over 250 screws, mostly stainless steel and exterior graded screws, to fasten the exterior wood to the box from the inside so no screws are visible from the outside.
This has been a fun project and I got to learn how to use my new jointer.
Thanks for looking!
This is after it is stained with an exterior UV protected stain Dark Mahogany.
-- Simon, Danville, IL