|Forum topic by MJM305||posted 05-08-2010 02:25 PM||892 views||0 times favorited||4 replies|
05-08-2010 02:25 PM
I am wanting to make an outdoor bench from a couple of walnut slabs that I have had for about ten years. The slabs are approximately 7 feet long and still have the bark on them. I kept them after having a large black walnut tree milled, never knowing what I would use them for until recently this idea struck me. One slab is approximately 4 inches thick in the middle and the other is is approximately 3 inches thick.
I want to use the 3 inch thick slab for the back support of the bench and the 4 inch slab for the seat. I am wondering if I should leave the bark on or find a way to shave it off. I am going to attach the back support to the seat obviously but am having trouble finding the right angle to put the back support at.
My biggest question is how do I smooth the surface of the wood? I do not have access to a planer or sander big enough to handle these slabs and doubt either would work because of the curve of the would on the back side. I thought about building a carrier for my router which would ride on rails as I made passes over the wood slabs (using a flat cutting bit and making several passes). My thought was the wood slabs would be sitting on my bench or saw horses and secured so they would not move.
I am going to make legs for the bench by using some small branches about 3 to 4 inches thick. I have not completely figured out the best way to attach the legs yet.
Can you guys/gals give me any advice on planing/smoothing out the wood? Please throw any thoughts you have out there for any part of it. I am probably going to use a spar finish on the wood, will this work for the bark side or is there something better to use?
Thanks for any advice offered.