My wife wants a bench at the end of the garden so she won’t have to go all the way back to the deck next to the house when she just wants a short rest from her labors. The area she wants it in isn’t visible from the deck and so we don’t need anything elaborate, but I thought a rather heavy bench in a modern style and without finish could be practical, long lasting and low maintenance. The idea is to just let it weather to a nice silver-gray color.
I won’t brag about the design. It’s the best I could do and still get my wife’s approval. I thought maybe the joinery idea might be interesting to some, and anyway I wanted to try my hand at a blog. This is what I came up with:
Step 1: Materials
I bought 69ft. pressure treated 2X4 deck material. This was cut into 2 lengths. 8 lengths at 50” for the bench seat and 16 lengths at 18 1/2” for the legs.
Step 2: Construction Details
I wanted the seat to continuously flow from end to end and seem to continue right down the leg to the ground. The joint of choice was mortise and tenon for strength. I designed the weird joint shown below in order to cover the end grain on the legs to prevent eventual checking (cracking) and to give it a smoother look.
This piece is inserted into a mortise in the leg and when together looks like this (upside down):
I cut the lengths on the miter saw and the joints by hand. It’s a lot of work and goes a little slow, but kinda fun. The materials are soaking wet so I don’t know how it will work out in the long run. We have a very wet climate here, so I think it will be ok. My next blog on this will be on the glue-up and some other details.
-- Mike, an American living in Norway.