Is this as simple as I think it is for my 2nd woodworking project?

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Forum topic by WoodGoddess posted 10-11-2012 09:18 PM 1250 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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100 posts in 2066 days

10-11-2012 09:18 PM

I would like a nice garden bench in my backyard. My tools are very basic. Is this a simple 2nd woodworking project?

Do you know of other sites that I may find better woodworking plans to use for a bench? What kind of wood?

Thanks so much everyone!!!!

8 replies so far

View HerbC's profile


1756 posts in 2858 days

#1 posted 10-11-2012 09:36 PM


Good wood choices for outdoor furniture include cedar (eastern red, northern white, western red or white), redwood, white oak, cypress, teak and ipe. Also black locust.

Worst case situation use pressure treated lumber. Really not recommended due to the toxc nature of the chemicals used to treat the lumber.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3895 days

#2 posted 10-11-2012 11:40 PM

Wood – that bench should be good to build with basic tools. If there is one cut or another that you can’t do with your current tools, I’m sure we can help you figure out a solution to fit your tools.

Good luck!

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2285 days

#3 posted 10-12-2012 01:13 AM

Hemlock also holds up quite well outside.

View Tootles's profile


808 posts in 2501 days

#4 posted 10-13-2012 12:13 PM

From the instructions, it looks like a simple enough build. The magazine, and associated TV program, here in Oz is aimed at people who do not necessarily have highly developed woodworking skills.

The plan specifies Merbau, but typically they simply suggest “hardwood decking” baords. So any timber that is reasonably hard and suitable for outdoor use would be fine.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

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100 posts in 2066 days

#5 posted 10-16-2012 12:06 AM

I wonder if I should undertake another “smaller” task. Not a garden bench. Any suggestions?

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2834 days

#6 posted 10-16-2012 01:37 AM

Wood magazine in the last 2 years had a nice bench design built from dimensional lumber using bolts that was simple and easy to build as a first time project. Should be able to find a copy at the library. If I remember correctly it could be built by anyone with a drill and a circular saw although a chop saw would make it easier.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 2074 days

#7 posted 10-16-2012 01:49 AM

Hi Goddess,

I very new here myself. IMHO, the smaller tasks are not necessarily easier. I got tremendous pleasure building shelves out of 2×4s. A very large project, but straightforward and didn’t involve anything elaborate. I’d like to try making a tea box next, or an end grain cutting board, both of which seem much more involved.

As my first project, I had done an Adirondack chair. In hindsight I bit off a bit too much, and got very frustrated, but I learned SO much from doing it, I found this website, and gained a lot of confidence in the process.

If you are a bit of a perfectionist, do take the cost of wood into consideration. My chair was the world’s most expensive pine chair – I had to recut several pieces and it takes practice to plan your cuts to minimize waste.

This is a fabulous site – far more reliable than the random how-to videos on youtube. WELCOME.


-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

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100 posts in 2066 days

#8 posted 10-19-2012 01:23 AM


You got me thinking. I was taking a few days and really thinking! lol

Maybe I do need to look at something a bit bigger with simple cuts. I’d want to use it often or at least admire it. I’d love to try my hand at a bit of chiseling. I couldn’t help but be inspired by Livio De Marchi!!! I did a quick write up on him on my blog. He makes wooden panties!!!!

What kind of things should I undertake as a first try at chiseling I wonder!

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