Garden Bench #1: First family project request

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Blog entry by shane306 posted 02-20-2014 01:56 PM 3497 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Well I’m almost done making my in-laws a bench they requested. I’m a new wood worker but am proud of the bench. It’s basic design of course, with dado joints. I would love some feed back from everyone about it. Tell me what you like or don’t like or what could be done different to improve it.

Dimensions 16”d x 45’l x 35”h. Made out of solid pine. Will be treated with minwax stain and poly seal. I made my own wood plugs from the same project wood and filled the screw holes, other then the bench and back slates.

Thanks, Shane

You have to start somewhere, why not from the ground up:)

5 comments so far

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3304 days

#1 posted 02-21-2014 01:14 AM

You did a good job with a basic, but nice design. The Pine will probably not last long, but you can do another as you collect better wood. Remember, each family project rates a new tool!!

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View Mean_Dean's profile


6900 posts in 3346 days

#2 posted 02-21-2014 01:56 AM

You did a great job on this! I’m sure your in-laws will love it!

Looks like a solid design, and you did a good job with the joinery. The only things I would do differently are to angle the seat bench back a little, so you don’t feel like you’re falling out of it. Also, I would plug all the screw holes, especially on the seat bench and seat back. Plugging the screw holes makes them disappear, and makes people wonder how you fastened the parts!

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

View shane306's profile


5 posts in 1821 days

#3 posted 02-22-2014 05:38 AM

@Robert and Dean, thanks for the comments. This is one reason why I am using this site to gain great information from seasoned woodworkers. Dean about the angle, what would you suggest? I set the back at 10 degrees, it seems to sit comfortably, should be be angled more? You are right on the money about the wood plugs, I’m already planning the next one to have all the screws plugged up.

View Mean_Dean's profile


6900 posts in 3346 days

#4 posted 02-23-2014 02:21 AM


The angle of the seat bench is what I’m talking about. Right now, it’s horizontal, so I would angle it up at the front down at the back, maybe 4 or 5 degrees. That way, you feel like you’re sitting in it, rather than on it. Of course, if you want to maintain the 10 degrees from horizontal for the backrest, you’ll have to change that to 14 or 15 degrees.

This is just a personal preference on my part. You could mock up a few angles for the seat bench, and see what feels comfortable for you. Or maybe horizontal feels right to you.

The nice thing about making your own furniture, is that you can get exactly what you want, rather than settling for the mass-produced stuff!

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

View Vicki's profile


1106 posts in 3543 days

#5 posted 02-23-2014 05:03 PM

That’s a great looking bench. I can see you put a lot of effort into it. Since it’s pine, I would keep it on a porch so it’s somewhat out of the weather. Plain pine won’t last long, speaking from personal experience. You might want to use more of a “deck” stain than just Minwax to give more protection. As for the seat… preference is the kind that’s a little curved with a slight dip in the middle. Another thing I’ve learned about using plugs in outdoor projects is that after being exposed to the weather for some time they end up protruding a bit. I guess they swell as they keep getting rained on. I don’t know if there’s a fix for that. It’s still a nice looking sturdy bench. Post some pics once it’s stained and in it’s spot.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

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