Oak garden bench

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Project by stanley_clifton posted 10-11-2009 10:28 PM 2109 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A completed project in situ in the garden. There will be a shed on the rest of the hard standing that you can see.

Although not exactly as per the plan, this bench has turned out ok with a few bodges and disappointments – in other words just like all my other projects. Several of the back slats have turned out rather short, the worst being that I jigged those cuts and am therefore not quite sure how it’s happened.

The oak is a great material; so strong. If you haven’t used it and intend to, make sure that you like sharpening your tools and often. The construction is pegged mortise and tenons. I used a mix of polymite epoxy and Titebond 3 glue (not mixed together). The mortises were hand cut apart from those for the back slats; there are 11 slats making 22 mortises, which I couldn’t stand the thought of and got the router out for a change.

After bodging my way through this, I’m sure that I could now make a better bench in half the time, but at the price of the timber this one will have to do for us.

One design point, the arms have been left over-wide deliberately to make a good rest for one’s G&T (eh what!).

I have also included a pic of the family using the piece for the first time. The wife seems happy enough, but R decides that he really doesn’t want his photo taking. He has decided that the bench is a climbing frame and has been using it as such.

-- Stanley generally struggling

8 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117473 posts in 3848 days

#1 posted 10-11-2009 10:56 PM

Great bench and nice family

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View stefang's profile


16394 posts in 3605 days

#2 posted 10-12-2009 12:27 AM

I have to agree with Jim. Nice work on both counts!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Dan Hux's profile

Dan Hux

577 posts in 3645 days

#3 posted 10-12-2009 01:18 AM

great bench,,oak is kinda pricey for me to be sticking out in the weather like that,,you are a brave man..nice work..I like the design..

-- Dan Hux,,,,Raleigh, NC

View woodworm's profile


14470 posts in 3862 days

#4 posted 10-12-2009 12:49 PM

Very nice bench, neat and smooth.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3944 days

#5 posted 10-12-2009 02:29 PM

Nice garden bench!

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3596 days

#6 posted 10-12-2009 04:19 PM

I try to make all my mistakes on pine (scraps if I can find them!) so when I make them a second time they won’t look at bad….

I have a plan for a project like yours that I keep eyeing. I know what you mean about oak – the first time I started using it I was astounded at what it does to the tools…

View gary46's profile


6 posts in 3420 days

#7 posted 10-12-2009 05:25 PM

Great bench. Looks good all the way around.

-- Gary, Arkansas

View stanley_clifton's profile


195 posts in 3974 days

#8 posted 10-12-2009 11:47 PM

Thanks for all the good wishes.

This is definitely not a first project. A dry run on pine is a cool idea, if I only had the time and the extra cash. To make the tools last marginally longer, hone to 35 deg. Don’t bother honing too much as a fine edge is just knocked straight off. I have received a tip to tack plastic on the leg bottoms to act as a damp course and will probably do this.

-- Stanley generally struggling

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