"TheMother of All Wedding Benches" mock up......

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Forum topic by yellabret posted 04-15-2013 01:49 AM 1345 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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56 posts in 2166 days

04-15-2013 01:49 AM

a bit back i posted questions in the finishing forum on this project – my largest ever. from “pinterest” my wife and daughter found an idea and decided i should make a “wedding bench” for her wedding. basically you just make a bench, and your wedding guests sign it so you have their memento every time you enjoy a cup of coffee or a beer on your porch sitting on your bench.

so i just happened to have a cypress tree i milled a few months back – needs to be a light colored wood for signatures to show. i have slabs from well above ground milled and stacked to dry and and i had a trunk still waiting for me to decide what to do with it since it was too big for my friends mill. now a bench is a bench, all the ones you see when you google “wedding bench” are pretty basic, so of course i had to make the “Mother of All Wedding Benches”. after all its MY daughter! :-)

so here it is, i used buckets and barrels to set it up, then photoshopped all that out. the sides/legs are about the same size, the wide angle camera lens distorts it so the far side looks smaller but it isnt. the seat in the pic is 6’ long , 4”thick and 15” wide – but i think i will use another slab from the same log that is 7’ long and 18” wide and 3” thick, somehow i managed to get it in the attic by myself today so it should dry a bit faster in the coming long Texas summer.

from what i see so far cypress dries a lot faster than pecan. ;-). i plan to trace the end shape of the seat slab onto the face of the legs and router out that shape for a mortice and tenon joint, supported by lag screws drilled in from the outside of the legs into the end of the seat slab. fiitting the back will be a bit trickier, i may have the room to mount it directly to the legs, or can make a separate mounting piece. not a big issue.

this bench will weigh 300 lbs or so. lag screws are key so that it can be disassembled to be moved. i have to take it 140 miles to the wedding event, assemble it, let people sign, the take it apart and back home to do the finish, each piece separately.

the finish so far will be Waterlox Marine wiped on. then my son-in-law will lightly sand and reapply every 2-3 years. we have discussed this and he is on board….... ;-)

oh yeah – the back will be laser engraved with their family name and “est. 2013” etc…it will not be signed. i want signatures mainly on the legs and a few on the seat if needed.

any comments, good or bad, about what i may be doing right or wrong are appreciated. the wedding is in october, so i just rough cut the pieces to make sure there all fit and now they have to dry…i think the slabs will be fine, but the legs being so thick will not be dry at all, that would take 15 yrs. i am afraid, but with a Waterlox finish hopefully they will be sealed well and no issues. ???

4 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

28908 posts in 2302 days

#1 posted 04-15-2013 09:34 AM

Looks like an awesome idea to me . Remember to post the finished product for us.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4901 posts in 3924 days

#2 posted 04-15-2013 11:21 AM

I like a BUNCH.


View Marcus's profile


1163 posts in 1983 days

#3 posted 04-15-2013 12:37 PM

I can’t tell from your write up, will the back be moved forward and mortised into the legs as well or will it be attached to the back as is?

View yellabret's profile


56 posts in 2166 days

#4 posted 04-16-2013 12:02 AM

not totally set on that – i have to set it all together and see – could be mortise and tenon or just a flush joint. i have decided to use the larger slab for the seat, after i set it up, i may want the back set back a bit more, in that case i have some small 6”x12”x2” pieces that i can make braces out of, those will be inset into the sides so that they are flush, and then notched for the back i will sit and wedge and shim to get all the best angles before final assemble – again, this is just a mock up, but so far i see no tripwires with either direction i may need to go. i want it comfy, with a slight angle to the seat and back as well. this thing has to last a few years… ;-) i have to let all the pieces go through a good long southeast texas summer to dry more, so i am pretty much done doing anything with this until late august. got plenty of osage orange and pecan to make a few things over the summer till then.

glad you guys approve, its going to be an attaction/distraction from the wedding, but i am payuing for the damn thing so i have that right…lol. my daughter and all her friends are more “earthy” in that they are environmental scientists, geologists, either in practice or school still, and big time gardeners, etc – so they all appreciate this sort of thing. just this weekend i gave her a slab pecan table from a tree she grew up with here at home. she had a big crawfish boil so a lot of people were able to see it andf loved it. slooooowly building a base of potential future customers…...;-)

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