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Outdoor Ipe Garden Bench

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Project by FuzzyDove posted 610 days ago 1910 views 17 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My youngest son’s school recently built a chicken coop, but there was no place for the students to sit while they observed the chickens. So I designed and built this bench with a few goals in mind: 1) Use only standard decking ipe lumber which is 5.25” Wide x 3/4” thick (which I had left over from a family member’s deck project). 2) Make it super strong and durable enough to hold up to both weather elements and the abuse that naturally comes from active school children.

For added strength, I used threaded rods (see last picture) to tighten the spacers which were also Tite-bond III glued and screwed in place. The legs were made from three pieces of the decking lumber glued up and then tapered down to 2.25” at the bottom (same as thickness from the three 3/4” boards that were glued up). Hard to explain, but for the top of the legs two of the boards were longer such they they would fit and act like the spacers and in this way attach in a very strong way (thus the threaded rod goes through the top of the legs as well).

The front and back rails are glued/screwed/plugged into place to cover the threaded rods and bolts. The finish is ipe Clip Oil which really brings out the color compared to untreated (see next to last picture). The bench is six feet long and 18” high. It is VERY stout and weighs in at 86 pounds!





16 comments so far

View ward63's profile

ward63

311 posts in 1690 days


#1 posted 610 days ago

Wow! Really beautiful!!! Looks like purpleheart. Lucky school and kids!

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13354 posts in 942 days


#2 posted 610 days ago

It should hold up against about anything they can throw at it. Bet it dulls the saw blades though.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View Fishinbo's profile

Fishinbo

11216 posts in 779 days


#3 posted 610 days ago

I’m loving the color much.

http://www.sawblade.com

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112001 posts in 2181 days


#4 posted 610 days ago

Looks great ,I thought it looked like purple heart too.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Silviu's profile

Silviu

49 posts in 1168 days


#5 posted 610 days ago

Cool bench! Excellent work!

-- Silviu, Romania, www.balansoare.com

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3050 posts in 777 days


#6 posted 610 days ago

Impressive one.

www.bandsawblog.com

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10602 posts in 1294 days


#7 posted 609 days ago

Beautiful and kid proof! That should last forever. “Clip Oil” was a new one to me. Is this an outdoor finish?

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Rxmpo's profile

Rxmpo

250 posts in 2349 days


#8 posted 609 days ago

Long time no see Fuzzy! Great bench. No surprised coming out of one of my favorite shops…

View staryder's profile

staryder

145 posts in 643 days


#9 posted 609 days ago

Very nice Im sure the kids will love it….

-- Rick.... Fort Worth, Texas

View Alan's profile

Alan

443 posts in 2008 days


#10 posted 609 days ago

Great bench. Really like how you tied in the legs.

-- Alan, Prince George

View PRGDesigns's profile

PRGDesigns

203 posts in 917 days


#11 posted 608 days ago

Apparently, Ipe Clip Oil is about $80.00 a gallon on Amazon. It is definitely an outdoor finish for hardwood decks. Very interesting stuff. I will be curious if anyone has a long term experience with this finish and if it is worth the cost.

-- They call me Mr. Silly

View FuzzyDove's profile

FuzzyDove

60 posts in 1978 days


#12 posted 608 days ago

Yes, Clip Oil was stupid expensive and I did buy it from Amazon. On my last project with Ipe (Adirondak chairs) I used a high quality marine spar urethane which looked great when first applied. However, after only one season it has peeled/flaked making the chairs unusable until I can resand and refinish. The Ipe Clip Oil is designed specifically for ipe which simply does not absorb anything very well. I hope it works, especially for that kind of money. I’ll report back in a year. As a side note, the color of the stain in the pictures is not really accurate except maybe the second one. I don’t know why the images came out so purple but don’t think that the Clip Oil has a purple tint because it does not.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10602 posts in 1294 days


#13 posted 608 days ago

Thanks for the reply and keep us posted on the “clip oil”.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View PRGDesigns's profile

PRGDesigns

203 posts in 917 days


#14 posted 608 days ago

If it works, then it is worth the money. How much oil did it take for the bench? How often do you need to reapply, if ever? I used Tru Oil, which is a gunstock finish, on some custom rails in my truck I made out of Ipe. I need to reapply the finish to bring the wood back to it’s natural color after a year in constant Texas sun. After working with Ipe, if I am not mistaken, that bench should be hurricane proof and won’t walk off with any one individual. I am guessing 250-300 lbs?

I looked at your AC’s. How many pieces of Ipe blew up on you while routing?

-- They call me Mr. Silly

View Promod1385's profile

Promod1385

19 posts in 677 days


#15 posted 606 days ago

I have done a couple Ipe decks for clients. Petrofin is my finish of choice for Ipe and Coumaru.

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