woodshop

October 1, 2012

bench

Filed under: film,projects — howarth frank @ 10:48 pm

the garden bench is done.

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This is the story of making this bench, from a piece of sequoia log.  Two summers ago my friend Brian and I milled a sequoia tree into lumber.  I took one of the leftover pieces thinking I would make it into a bench.  The time has come and I need to get the bark off.  The wood has dried so the bake came off easily with just a hammer and a little effort.  After the initial bark removal I had to scrape off the remaining bark, and then sand the uneven surface.  This gave me a nice clean natural surface.  I trued up the ends on the band saw.   Next I worked on the top.  I really should do this with a hand plane, but I am more skilled with the belt sander.  With a very ruff 36 grit it worked great.  Then I went over it with the orbital sander.

The body of the bench was ready at this point, I had to think about the legs.  First I tried making large chunks of wood for the legs but there was no way I was going to get them to fit the irregular surface of the bench.  Then I thought about casting concrete legs formed to the underside of the bench,  this seemed like a lot of work.  In the end I decided to try shoving steel formwork stakes into the bench for legs.  At the skinny end of the bench I had to add some material for the legs to attach to.  I cut a slot in the bottom of the bench to receive a second piece of wood.  The first piece of wood I made I decided was not going to be think enough, I cut a bigger piece.  I glued the new wood piece into place. with a lot of glue, and let it dry.  After a little sanding it was time to mount the legs.  the legs are friction fit, like big nails.  There, one bench.  I hit the edges with a round over bit in the router, this will make it a little more comfortable.  Now we are outside for some finish.  and there we have it, one garden bench.

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