Park Bench

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Project by SouthpawCA posted 02-05-2013 12:26 AM 2254 views 10 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My homeowners association asked if I could make some park benches that could hold up longer than the current benches. The current benches are Smith Hawken benches and have held up for at least 8 years and they cost a pretty penny, but they are showing some wear around the joints from water damage.

I found a plan in an old Wood magazine. It looked sturdy enough so I calculated the cost, added a few bucks, got their approval and away I went. The benches I’m making are of quarter sawn white oak. I beefed up the mortise & tenons a bit and also the thickness of most of the pieces. For example, where the plan called for 3/4” slats for the seat and back, I made them 7/8” etc.

Also, I used a product called Quickwood Epoxy along all the seams. It’s for exterior use but has no structural strength – you still need glue. Even though there was a nice glue squeeze out I wanted to make sure all the major structural seams were sealed. I want this thing to last long after I’m gone because my name is branded into it. It’s an interesting product and in the instructions it says this stuff has a tenacious hold when dry. It does! At first I figured a little 220 grit would be enough to smooth out the high spots … I was up to 60 grit before long. This stuff does not take a stain, but I am going to test a little adding some TransTint to see if it adversely affects the hold. I may write a review on it after a few months out in the elements if I remember.

Back to the bench … I finished it with Olympic Maximum which says it has a 6 year protection … we’ll see. All that’s left it for the association to place the pads so this can be placed and hopefully enjoyed for many many years.

-- Don

9 comments so far

View gsimon's profile


1327 posts in 3188 days

#1 posted 02-05-2013 12:30 AM

very nice bench!

-- Greg Simon

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5127 days

#2 posted 02-05-2013 01:13 AM

COOL… Nice strong bench…

How many did you make?

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 4142 days

#3 posted 02-05-2013 12:56 PM

Well done, great job!!

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View rlwilson's profile


46 posts in 4122 days

#4 posted 02-05-2013 03:19 PM

I have worked extensively with epoxy’s (boat building and repair) It will tint fine.

View DocSavage45's profile


9048 posts in 3917 days

#5 posted 02-05-2013 05:45 PM

Nice clean lines…good choice. Don’t know about the other benches. Material? Not sure about oak in the outdoors as most choices I’ve observed are cyprus and ceder. It will be interesting to see how folks respond? Sun and water are merceless. Good luck! Who knows where we will be in 8 years? LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View SouthpawCA's profile


277 posts in 4308 days

#6 posted 02-05-2013 10:34 PM

I got the plan from Wood magazine issue #170 June/July 2006

As for the choice of outdoor wood I did some investigation as to the cost vs the type of wood and what the customer wanted. I found an article – I don’t know where – that compared outdoor woods and made my selection based on that. Plus, I’ve made a number of outdoor projects using QSWO that are at least 5 years old and still look as good as the day I made them. Plus it’s harder to carve initials into.

-- Don

View DocSavage45's profile


9048 posts in 3917 days

#7 posted 02-06-2013 02:55 AM



-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3250 days

#8 posted 02-06-2013 03:41 PM

Great looking and sturdy bench! A well planned and executed project.


View danoaz's profile


223 posts in 3245 days

#9 posted 02-09-2013 10:20 PM

I wonder if red oak has similar qualities as white for outdoor furniture. Anyone know?

Nice bench…btw. My wife wants me to do one for the backyard and so I am glad to see yours. Thanks.

-- "Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art." Frank LLoyd Wright

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