Little Creek Maple Farm

Our adventures around the homestead.

Garden Bench 1.0

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We got an early start to the day this morning, the kids were up at 5:30AM and ready to go.  We hung around the garden a bit weeding waiting 7:00AM to hit so we could fire up the power tools.  I guess I was trying to be neighborly.  Anyhow we had picked up the lumber and hardware needed to make the garden bench on Friday night in preparation for a project weekend!  From my original post you can get a link to the website where I found this totally fab garden bench.  One word of caution, I think the 30-degree angle on one of the pieces is off.  If you read the instructions you will know which piece I am referring to.

Today’s goal was to get all of the wet 4×4’s cut.  Try and get square edge 4×4’s if you can.  My wonderful Lowe’s only had 4×4’s with the radiused edges which made it a little more time consuming in laying out the notches.

Each 8’ 4×4 will have enough length to make one side of the bench frame.  I just started at one end making the 30-degree cut first (which I think should be something different) and then you next piece is and 18” long 4×4 with two 15-degree angle cuts on it, followed by your last piece which is 36” long with a simple straight cut.  These water logged timbers can be heavy.  So its good to have a little help!

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With the 4×4’s cut for each bench I laid the front leg and rear leg down on my garage floor against a straight edge (one of the 2×8’s) and separated them 11” apart.  When I laid the cross member with the 30-degree angle cut on top of the legs I discovered that the 30-degree angle does not quote work as advertised so I had to slightly tweak the location where the cross member hits the front leg in order to make all of the legs line up.  I made all of my cuts on a 10” sliding compound miter saw so I am pretty sure my angles are close.  With the cross member on top of the legs you simply mark the notches with a pencil as shown on the web site.  I used my speed square to help get amore accurate marking because of the rounded corners of the 4×4’s.

With the marks made its back to the bench to begin notching the 4×4’s.  I used a circular saw, setting the depth of the saw to 1/2 the thickness of the 4×4.  I made the left most & right most cuts first and  then tried to space all the interior cuts to within a 1/4” or less of each other.

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Below is a top view of what you get after you made the cuts, it does look a little un-neat, but it cleans up easily with a sharp chisel and a rasp.

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With the grooves cut I turn the pre-notched pieces over to my assistant for the waste removal.

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For those hard to pop out scraps we found that a small shovel does the trick!

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With the bulk of the waste removed you are left with the rough cut masterpiece below.

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It looks like a ton of work to clean up but it just looks a lot worse than it is.  Clean up is a couple minutes with a good “sharp” chisel!  The pressure treated pine cuts real easily.

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More clean-up.  I did all of the notches on one side prior to test fitting and fine tuning the joints.

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My assistant test fitting a couple of the 4×4’s.

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When all of the joints are fine tuned, just hammer the thing together and stand it up for the final step…The brush down.

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Strangely enough we found that these make great seats on their own.

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With what I would guess is the most challenging part of this project complete I decided to call it quits until tomorrow.  Next up is bolting the sides together and adding the seat bottom and back.  Maybe tomorrow.

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June 15, 2013 - Posted by | Gardening, Home Maintenance, Woodworking | , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. […] learn more about the process you can refer to Building a Garden Bench Part One or Building a Garden Bench Part […]

    Pingback by Garden Bench 3.0 « Little Creek Maple Farm | June 21, 2013 | Reply

  2. […] learn more about the process you can refer to Building a Garden Bench Part One or Building a Garden Bench Part […]

    Pingback by Garden Bench 3.0 | | September 14, 2015 | Reply


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