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Author Topic: Rustic benches for outside  (Read 348 times)

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Offline Mad Professor

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Rustic benches for outside
« on: August 29, 2017, 02:43:43 pm »
I'm in need of some benches/small tables for outside use.

I've done a search here and have seen some great pieces of work and designs.  Any newer/unpublished ideas would be welcome.

What I have to work with is a 12' X 26" black cherry log.  The heartwood will be pretty good for outside use. My CSM will handle this and I'm thinking of 12/4 or 16/4 tops, maybe live edge (but then there is sapwood). Plan is too flatsaw the log. Use the thick slabs on either side of the pith. Make 2 pieces of 1/4 sawn of the center by edging the pith and outer wane.  If I get some warp or checks that's O.K.

Hoping to get 2-3 benches out of the log.  It's straight and only a few solid knots inside. This was a section of salvaged snag that blew down last storm.  Bottom 6' of tree was rotted and above this log is twisty/branched.

Open to suggestions for legs/bracing. Open to any ideas.  Tools just saws chisels augers. No electric

This will be fast and easy , I hope, not looking for fancy furniture, but sturdy/functional.

Your thoughts?

Also, thinking of some 3-legged stools made out of "cookies", have lots of big rounds/firewood.  How best to start boring the holes at an angle?  Could also use leftover 12/4 16/4 for these.

P.S. concerning the stools.  My plan for layout of the holes is to use a big divider/compass, scribe a circle centered, then put the holes at 120o about the circle.  Still up in the air as to the legs. Will either be spilts from the large rounds shaved or branches.  Any tips for fitment? 

Offline TKehl

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Re: Rustic benches for outside
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2017, 07:35:25 am »
A drill (or bit and brace if no electric) and draw knife will take you a long way.  There are tennon bits that mount on drills and table saws, but the draw knife (and maybe a spokeshave) will get you there if you are patient (I'm not). 

I wouldn't worry about pith if you are making 12/4 or bigger.  Keep it wide.  However, remove the sapwood now or nature will do it for you in a couple years.  Either saw or draw knife. 

Seems that most first stool attempts end up as "spider" stools.  Legs WAY wider than wanted.  I'd lay out 6 leg locations.  Try the first set of 3 and see how they look.  Then you have a second set of three if needed.  Personally I like having a jig to get the angles close, but many that talk about it here eyeball it after the first few.

Metal legs can be great to.
Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.

Offline WDH

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Re: Rustic benches for outside
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2017, 07:43:46 am »
If you go with metal legs, like these in gloss black (exterior):

https://ritelegco.com/index.php?app=ecom&ns=prodshow&ref=alissabench&sid=644755da5sbj7a303gm8fuqd1dl0vd40

then, it will be easy to replace the top at some point in the future.  If you use wooden legs outside, they are going to rot in contact with the ground, and when it comes time to replace the top, you have to build a whole new bench.  I think of it as the legs are forever, and the tops are replaceable.

If you leave the pith in cherry, it will split and crack very bad in a thick slab.  Cherry is one of the worst when it comes to bad behavior of juvenile wood and pith cracking from my experience. 
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline TKehl

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Re: Rustic benches for outside
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2017, 08:24:24 am »
Good point on Cherry being highly crack prone.

We have little to no big Cherry.  Most is wind damaged or otherwise doesn't compete well and dies in the <8" diameter range.  A 10-12" Cherry out my way is pretty darn big.  ;D  Don't know if it's the clay soil or ???

Always wondered how they could make so much furniture out of these toothpicks.   :D  But, at least we have tons of Black Walnut.   ;)
Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.