Garden Bench-Cancer Society Awareness Project #1: Rough shape

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Blog entry by junipercanyon posted 04-26-2013 03:03 PM 3895 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Garden Bench-Cancer Society Awareness Project series Part 2: Almost done!! »

Every year my hometown puts on a “Relay for Life” American Cancer Society awareness event. Fund raising and public awareness is accomplished through ~Teams~ of volunteers who pledge a 24hour walk/run event, bake sales, raffle drawings, silent auction,.....etc… For this years event, I offered to build a wood project to donate for the auction, and decided that whatever I built also needed to visually promote awareness for the event that I was building it for. The most recognizable image for cancer awareness that I know of is the ribbon, so I spent a few days playing with a piece of ribbon and came up with a design for a small garden bench. This project will be up for auction July 27, and 100% of the moneys raised from this go to the event. If anyone is interested in bidding, or knows someone who might be, please PM me and I will forward you the information on who to contact for securing your bid. Thanks for checking out this project, and please help spread the awareness of this event, it means a lot to so many people. I encourage you to check their website for opportunities to participate in events in your own home towns.

About this build: The wood is Russian Olive, I made a large bench out of this same wood a few months ago. Very cool looking wood, but it smells bad when cutting it and seems to be hard on sandpaper compared to juniper. The bark is very hard to peel off, even when using a draw knife. I actually just stripped off the outermost layer of it, then used my grinder with a chainsaw attachment to carve off the rest of it. The outer 1/2” or so is a bright white wood wrapped around a nice deep brown for the inner wood creating a nice contrast. I’ll add more photos as the project progresses….any suggestions for the best outdoor finish to put on this? I was considering Teak oil, but if there is something better I want to compare suggestions.

-- Juniper Canyon Design

6 comments so far

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 3239 days

#1 posted 04-26-2013 03:59 PM

I really admire this bench, the style and the ‘Special Message’ reminder.

My wife is a Breast Cancer surviver, 4th year and by the Grace of God, lost a few of her curves, but still going strong.

Best Regards. – Grandpa Len.

Work Safely and have Fun.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View DocSavage45's profile


9028 posts in 3809 days

#2 posted 04-26-2013 05:05 PM

Nicely done. Is this wood found in your area? How does it stand up to weather and UV’s on its own? Looks dense and stone like from pictures?

How does it age?

I’d consider these thoughts when attempting a finish…if time allowed?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View junipercanyon's profile


198 posts in 3659 days

#3 posted 04-26-2013 05:32 PM

Very dense and heavy….the only reference I have for how it behaves outdoor is the bench I made a few months ago, which is already showing some whitish foggy color, which I would like to avoid happening to this project.

-- Juniper Canyon Design

View DocSavage45's profile


9028 posts in 3809 days

#4 posted 04-26-2013 07:24 PM

My thoughts are UV protectant spar varnish?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 3374 days

#5 posted 04-26-2013 09:27 PM

Beautiful work on this….especially the joinery and the carving on the legs!

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30578 posts in 3304 days

#6 posted 04-28-2013 01:28 PM

Beautiful bench, great cause

You are being kind when you say that Russian Olive smells bad. Worst smelling wood I have ever cut.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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