need suggestions on "Mother of All Wedding Benches"

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Forum topic by yellabret posted 08-24-2013 04:56 PM 3548 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View yellabret's profile


56 posts in 2200 days

08-24-2013 04:56 PM

ok, daughter and wife asked me to make a wedding bench for my daughters wedding next month. the idea is to have a bench and people sign the bench as opposed to a guest book and they have all those names and memories on their front porch for eternity. so of course if i am going to make something i am going all out, and i have a stockpile of slabs so i let my creativity flow and this was the result. the problem is – its really too nice clutter up with signatures everywhere on such nice wood. so i need some ideas – what i have so far is:

sign only the legs below the seat line, or below the holes where the lag screws are. inside and out, i think that would be fine. we could have a template there to control the size they sign, by my calculations if we limit it to roughly a 4×2 in area, we can fit over 150. there are about 250 guests, and couples will sign as “john and Mary Smith”.

or we could allow signing on the entire leg. or the back of the seat back as well for more space.

or, i could add something. i thought maybe about planing down some wood really thin, cutting it into sheets 8.5×11 in drill binding holes, and bind them with some leather lacing and hanging this like a guest book from one of the braces that the seat back is attached to. of course i would make the pages from a 2-ply laminate that is cross-grained for strength.

maybe i could make an ottoman type smaller bench from the same wood and they sign that?

any thoughts? ideas of another “accessory” like the wood book?

8 replies so far

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3083 days

#1 posted 08-25-2013 02:27 AM

You knew that they wanted people to sign the bench before you started, so either build another bench out
of pine that they can sign, or bite the bullet and let them sign that one. It is the signatures that they wanted,
and knowing mothers and daughters just a little bit, that is what they are going to get. Quit trying to swim
upstream. Just one man’s opinion and I have been wrong before.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View REO's profile


928 posts in 2071 days

#2 posted 08-25-2013 02:34 AM

It is a beautiful bench! you did a wonderful job! Fantastic! I just as whole heartedly have to second Bluepine. there will be no one that wont want to sign which is the point f a guest book anyway. I wold suggest they be allowed to add their words of wisdom as well. something they will remember every time they use it.

View yellabret's profile


56 posts in 2200 days

#3 posted 08-25-2013 02:56 AM

pine? seriously? and i suppose you would want me to drink lite beer in a can or even worse michelob ultra whilst building it? wtf man, dont know where you are from but i am from Texas. i’d sooner die.


seriously though – i hear you two…but after much cussing and discussing, we decided i am going to make a footrest that will easily fit under the bench when not in use. from the same tree. i finished the bench in General Finishes Outdoor Oil – 7 wipe-on/wipe-off coats – will likely put 5 or 6 on the foot rest, have it signed with sharpie paint pens, then another 2 coats plus an extra 2 coats every year. the bench will be on a covered porch at worst, never in direct weather – so i think this will work. have made several benches the same style as the foot rest so i am all set. thanks for the input!


View jumbojack's profile


1676 posts in 2621 days

#4 posted 08-25-2013 03:28 AM

You seem to think the beauty of your bench, beg pardon, your daughters bench, will be diminished by the signing. I think nothing could be further from the truth. The bench is beautiful and since it was a ‘commissioned’ piece, you should let go and let it be. It is what it is.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View Edziu's profile


151 posts in 3048 days

#5 posted 08-25-2013 03:40 AM

=1 to bluepine, REO, and jumbojack.

You knew the end use of the project going in—therefore, let people sign the real deal- anywhere they want.

View yellabret's profile


56 posts in 2200 days

#6 posted 08-25-2013 03:43 AM

i hear you all….but trust me – it was my daughter and future son in law that together dont want signatures all over – i did not start that direction. so we got into discussions – i posted here – then when i offered the foot rest to them they lit up and agreed….

View Christophret's profile


150 posts in 1999 days

#7 posted 08-25-2013 04:12 AM

Have them sign under the bench.
Thats a really nice piece of work!
Awesome in fact. Hopefully, your grandchildren will sit on it.

-- I cut it twice and it's still too short!

View lateralus819's profile


2241 posts in 1887 days

#8 posted 08-25-2013 04:12 AM

How many folks will be signing roughly? Might be neat to inlay some panels on each side of the back rest for signing,at least it would be uniform.

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