Lutyens Garden Bench, Well sort of...

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Project by Quixote posted 08-01-2009 05:17 AM 5923 views 3 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here’s my contribution to the Garden Bench show. I based this from a design in Fine Wood Working Magazine, August 2000 edition. I used all white oak saved from a work bench at the back of an old barn we cleaned out last summer. Everything in the bench (except the hardware), came from three 2” x 8” x 8’ Oak bench top pieces. After I got the back rest drawn out from the pattern I transferred to full size paper. I say based, because I made a couple of minor changes to the back lattice pattern, to use the lumber I had available.

This has lived on my porch, and has been fantastic for everything from a Beer Summit with my neighbors, shoe changing station, and place for the mailman to leave packages.

I assembled the back first, and learned that if a little Gorilla Glue is good, then a little more is a major cleanup waiting to get on everything. Spent lots of time with a sharp chisel and sandpaper to finally clean that up, but the bench is rock solid, weighs in at about 100 pounds. Light oil finish at this point, letting it weather for another year or two before I polyurethane the finish.

About 16 hours in the project.


-- I don't make sawdust...I produce vast quantities of "Micro Mulch."

16 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117795 posts in 4142 days

#1 posted 08-01-2009 05:19 AM

Great bench and pretty quickly built

View jim1953's profile


2738 posts in 4406 days

#2 posted 08-01-2009 05:25 AM

Nice Lookin bench

-- Jim, Kentucky

View Roz's profile


1707 posts in 4351 days

#3 posted 08-01-2009 05:45 AM

Very good, I want to build one if I can ever find the time.

-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

View oldwoodman's profile


137 posts in 3962 days

#4 posted 08-01-2009 06:50 AM

Wow!! Lovely bench! Even more amazing that you built it from those three pieces of white oak.

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4051 posts in 4628 days

#5 posted 08-01-2009 07:24 AM

Always though these were the nicest benches. Excellent job. I have had the Gorilla Glue experience too, and I know it got a bad rep in the FWW glue shoot-out, but all the outdoor things I’ve used it on have held up well for over a decade, without metal fasteners of any kind.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View blockhead's profile


1475 posts in 3873 days

#6 posted 08-01-2009 11:46 AM

Very well done! I really like your modifications and an excellent use of the reclaimed oak. Thanks for posting.

-- Brad, Oregon- The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.

View shopdog's profile


579 posts in 4050 days

#7 posted 08-01-2009 01:31 PM

Great job. I showed the pics to my wife, and now I have to make one.

-- Steve--

View Innovator's profile


3589 posts in 3978 days

#8 posted 08-01-2009 02:44 PM

Very nice looking bench.

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View grampata's profile


74 posts in 4308 days

#9 posted 08-01-2009 03:07 PM

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM beer ! summit ! With some padding I could sleep on it, after the summit ! great bench. OH ! when is the summit !

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4544 days

#10 posted 08-01-2009 03:36 PM

Hi Q;

Great looking bench. You did a vey good job with it.

Might be a little tough to get on or off the porch though, with it in that spot. LOL


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14182 posts in 4547 days

#11 posted 08-01-2009 07:44 PM

Nicely done … 16 hours ? that is amazing

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Grumpy's profile


25847 posts in 4416 days

#12 posted 08-02-2009 12:50 AM

Looks like a winner to me Quixote. Nice job.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Quixote's profile


206 posts in 4203 days

#13 posted 08-02-2009 07:41 AM

Thanks guys,
Dan, Jim and Jim
16 hours ‘hands on’ this project is about right, that doesn’t include glue setup time, or the planning stage. A few hours an evening for about a week. I have about two hours in full size drawing and cutting the templates, ( I didn’t count, because I wanted to make a couple of these) but I took some liberty in the planning stage to make the plans fit the lumber, and set my drill points for pinning the dowels. That nice round ends on the back and the armrest – front leg are mysteriously like a large coffee can…

Lee, I laughed at the placement too, but it was the only way I could get a decent full picture. I like the blackout background with the photo flash, I’ll keep that in mind for my other pics too.

Douglas, I love the Gorilla glue for this type of project, because it bonds and fills my “precision” cuts. After I did the Lutyens signature backrest, and front legs, I realized that I might have a material shortage, so I started placing the back pieces in a trim to fit method that went very quickly. I have to confess, my plane collection stayed mostly on the wall for this one, but the belt sander did get a workout.

Brad I have to admit the reclaimed oak is harder to work with, I don’t know if it gets denser with age,(according to my wife that is how it works with men, but I don’t understand what she’s talking about) but I have some other stuff from the dame barn, (at least 60 years aged), that is near impossible to drive nails into. I liked that I got it to fit the 2”x8” dimensional, because I was planning to build a couple of more with this as a proto type.


-- I don't make sawdust...I produce vast quantities of "Micro Mulch."

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4864 days

#14 posted 08-08-2009 05:20 PM

Congratulations Quixote.

Enjoy your prize.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Karson's profile


35209 posts in 4965 days

#15 posted 08-08-2009 06:15 PM

A great looking bench. I’ve got one of these is my future. I’ve drawn the plans but was on the lookout for 2 X 8 Cypress wood to make it from.

Congratulations on the contest.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

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