Garden Bench help - Any idea on how to do these joints easily?

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Forum topic by siggs posted 03-20-2014 09:09 PM 1045 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View siggs's profile


24 posts in 1597 days

03-20-2014 09:09 PM

Any idea on how to do slats like this style bench? I don’t have a domino unfortunately. The slight curves are making me a bit weary, or I would just use my dowel jig but not sure how that would turn out… To me it looks like the slats are 3/4” so using dowels or screws with dowels probably wouldn’t work, but I could use a thicker material. I have a router and a drill press and can thickness plane materials. Basically it’s a pro bono gig so I don’t want to spend a ton of time on set up, but I also want it to look presentable. I take it the original is made in a factory with a pantorouter or something along those lines.

IF anyone has any other examples of similar benches please let me know, still open on the design. It’s for a good customer or mine who’s husband passed away recently. We were going to install the bench at their apartment building where I did a ton of work.

5 replies so far

View Woodknack's profile


11769 posts in 2402 days

#1 posted 03-20-2014 10:37 PM

Mortises for the slats; or a groove with spacers glued between the slats.

-- Rick M,

View dhazelton's profile


2771 posts in 2319 days

#2 posted 03-20-2014 10:41 PM

Mortise and tenon definitely. You could always use Kreg stainless screws on the back and underside.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5135 posts in 1743 days

#3 posted 03-20-2014 11:45 PM

You could fasten the slats directly onto the surface of the frame, fill the gaps with blocks then cover the top of both with a strip of wood.

View siggs's profile


24 posts in 1597 days

#4 posted 03-21-2014 02:20 AM

I’ve always wondered if the pocket hole screws were strong enough to support if the slats were butt against the frame. Secondly I was considering making a template from 1/4 mdf and using a router and guide bushing to make the mortise but I haven’t attempted this tecnique before. Seems like a lot of work but then I have the jig or maybe im just intimidated.

View levan's profile


472 posts in 3002 days

#5 posted 03-21-2014 02:49 AM

I think you could use screws going in to 3/8” dowels on the back slats. The dowels would be glued and set into the back slat, maybe an 1” to 1 1/4” from the end. Coming up from the bottom and stopping before coming out the top Then you could just drill through the leg into the rail and dowel. Counter sink and plug each hole. Might want to add an additional dowel in each one to prevent twisting. It would just look like you have two dowels into each slat. As for the bottom I would assume there is a second rail that the slats rest on, probably just screwed up from the bottom.
best wishes

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

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