|Project by SouthpawCA||posted 02-05-2013 12:26 AM||1463 views||10 times favorited||9 comments|
My homeowners association asked if I could make some park benches that could hold up longer than the current benches. The current benches are Smith Hawken benches and have held up for at least 8 years and they cost a pretty penny, but they are showing some wear around the joints from water damage.
I found a plan in an old Wood magazine. It looked sturdy enough so I calculated the cost, added a few bucks, got their approval and away I went. The benches I’m making are of quarter sawn white oak. I beefed up the mortise & tenons a bit and also the thickness of most of the pieces. For example, where the plan called for 3/4” slats for the seat and back, I made them 7/8” etc.
Also, I used a product called Quickwood Epoxy along all the seams. It’s for exterior use but has no structural strength – you still need glue. Even though there was a nice glue squeeze out I wanted to make sure all the major structural seams were sealed. I want this thing to last long after I’m gone because my name is branded into it. It’s an interesting product and in the instructions it says this stuff has a tenacious hold when dry. It does! At first I figured a little 220 grit would be enough to smooth out the high spots … I was up to 60 grit before long. This stuff does not take a stain, but I am going to test a little adding some TransTint to see if it adversely affects the hold. I may write a review on it after a few months out in the elements if I remember.
Back to the bench … I finished it with Olympic Maximum which says it has a 6 year protection … we’ll see. All that’s left it for the association to place the pads so this can be placed and hopefully enjoyed for many many years.