Garden Bench (Tommy Mac design)

  • Advertise with us
Project by Rich Simon posted 08-24-2016 10:09 PM 1575 views 9 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The bench really caught my eye when I saw it on the show, so I took on a winter project that bled into spring and summer. No plans were available, but Tommy's walkthrough was pretty thorough.

I’m real happy with how it turned out. Once I got the angles defined and drew out a template for the scarf joint on the cross piece, it came together pretty well. It’s all pegs, wedges and sandwich lap joints. Top is 20” deep and 4’ long.

Sapele mahogany finished with BLO and Epifanes, figure I’ll recoat periodically. Top’s nice and shiny in the sun… I hope the Epifanes lives up to its reputation for durability.

Thanks for looking.


13 comments so far

View MilFlyer's profile


939 posts in 1850 days

#1 posted 08-24-2016 10:27 PM

Gorgeous bench and fantastic workmanship. Thanks for sharing the walkthrough link as well!

-- VR, Richard "Fear is nothing more than a feeling. You feel hot. You feel hungry. You feel angry. You feel afraid. Fear can never kill you"--Remo Williams

View Mean_Dean's profile


6890 posts in 3325 days

#2 posted 08-24-2016 11:51 PM

Beautiful bench! It’s simple, elegant, but with some complex joinery—a great mix!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View MadeinMT's profile


258 posts in 2338 days

#3 posted 08-25-2016 03:06 AM

This is why I check into LJ’s often. Never heard of “Epifanes” or “sandwich lap joint” and now I know what those are.

Beautiful piece. Well done.

-- Ron, Montana

View Mean_Dean's profile


6890 posts in 3325 days

#4 posted 08-25-2016 03:14 AM

By the way, I watched the video, but Tommy didn’t show how the top was attached. I would have used figure-8 rings, but I’m curious how you attached it.

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View avsmusic1's profile


273 posts in 863 days

#5 posted 08-25-2016 12:57 PM

Absolutely beautiful

Love the cross brace

View ravensrock's profile


497 posts in 1820 days

#6 posted 08-25-2016 02:11 PM

I can see why this caught your eye. You did a great job with yours. Really like the joinery and finish.

-- Dave, York, PA, Wildside Woodworking

View splintergroup's profile (online now)


2344 posts in 1400 days

#7 posted 08-25-2016 02:21 PM

I saw that episode and the joinery caught my eye, You did an excellent job! Great wood choice as well.

That crosspiece joint is some fancy woodwork.

Norm and Tommy share one trait that drives me nuts, glue squeez out! UGH!

I ‘ve had good luck with the Epifanes, but I’d suggest you place some concrete pavers or stones in the ground for the legs to sit on. The one weakness I’ve seen with all outdoor top coatings (polys and epoxies) is failures from below. Water loves to migrate up from leg bottoms and destroy the finish/wood bond.

View Rich Simon's profile

Rich Simon

25 posts in 1544 days

#8 posted 08-25-2016 02:39 PM

Thanks for all the kind words.

@Mean_Dean: Haven’t attached the top and wasn’t planning to (yet). It’s solid and I don’t think even the deer roaming my yard will care to disturb it.

@Splintergroup: Great point on the pavers. I’ve gotten into trouble like that before. I’ll grab some and see if I can lay them so they’re unobtrusive.

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3045 days

#9 posted 08-25-2016 05:22 PM

Rich, this bench turned out so nicely.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Miccos's profile


7 posts in 820 days

#10 posted 08-25-2016 05:47 PM

Legit! ... Enough said

View LoganN's profile


435 posts in 2079 days

#11 posted 08-25-2016 07:00 PM

Looks fantastic! I’d hate to have that one outside.

View JPJ's profile


819 posts in 2798 days

#12 posted 08-27-2016 01:51 AM

Nice job!

View Gregg M.'s profile

Gregg M.

208 posts in 1860 days

#13 posted 08-29-2016 02:31 PM

Great job. Love the joinery and your execution. Wondering if epoxying the end grain with marine epoxy would prevent water wicking up from the bottom. I have tried this on some umbrella poles which sit in closed stands.

-- Marvel Woodworking, West Chester, PA -

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics