Garden Bench Project

completed-bench

Completed Garden Bench

I found the plans for this project on Minwax’s website. This looked like a neat little project that would beautify our yard so off to Kettle Moraine Hardwoods I went. White oak was selected for the bench parts and the entire thing was assembled with dowel joints. I really like dowel joints because, if they are done correctly, they are as strong or stronger than mortise and tenon joints, easier to machine (if you have a Dowelmax jig), and they align perfectly. Titebond III waterproof glue was used as the adhesive because the bench will live outdoors.

I made mdf patterns for some of the parts so I could easily trace the configuration without having to do multiple layout work.  The pictures tell the story about how the project proceeded.  The bench was finished with clear Thompson’s Water Seal so as it ages, it takes on a gray weathered look.  Pay particular attention to the doweling pictures because the Dowelmax jig is an amazing device.

 

rough-lumber-before-milling

Rough lumber before milling

milling-first-surface

Milling the first surface before planing to thickness (no my hand isn’t over the cutting head)

thickness-planing

Planing to thickness

dust-collection

Dust collection is essential when jointing and planing

patterns

MDF patterns for tracing

jointing-edge

Edge jointing before ripping operation

resawing-lumber

Band sawing thick lumber so less planing is required

project-pieces-cut

Project pieces cut and labeled

gluing-for-thickness

Some pieces were glued to achieve proper thickness

sanding-curved-profile

Oscillating drum sander for smoothing band saw cuts


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drilling-using-dowelmax

Drilling using the Dowelmax jig

dowelmax

Closeup of the Dowelmax jig

cross-members-showing-dowel-holes

Components drilled and ready for doweling

back-rails-with-dowels

Dowels in place ready for mating part

back-rest-glue-up

Each back slat had two dowels in each end

glueing-front-and-back

Gluing front to back



Arms were attached using stainless steel screws. The project turned out real nice and we now have a beautiful garden bench that is functional and comfortable gracing our back yard.