Thursday, January 27, 2011

Building Rustic Benches

Milling the cottonwood round.
This morning I had every intention of nursing a wrist injury by taking  the day off from carving.  That didn't work out so well for me...

The studio area was cluttered with huge hunks of cottonwood from the bark gathering adventure.  Something had to be done!  When there is big wood to be used, there are benches to be made :)   The wrist can heal tomorrow.

Having had a very good response from the rustic bench I built for Abacus Winery's tasting room in Dayton, WA, I went with that design.  It's simple, quick, renders a very sturdy project and best of all, I get to use my WoodMizer Sawmill :)
Seat pockets carved into rounds.

The first step is to mill a large flat on 2 log rounds for the base of my bench.  Each of these rounds will receive a pocket sawn in using a chainsaw.  Accuracy is necessary to create a bench seat which is both level and at a comfortable height.  When the pockets are complete, the rounds can be set into place ready to accept a slab.

My slab came from the same tree as the rounds.  To get it, I used and Alaskan Sawmill {chainsaw mill} to cut an enormous slab from the cottonwood log {29" x 6" x 5' 11"}.  Once back at the studio, I milled the giant slab into two smaller slabs {20" x 2.5" x 5' 11"} for my bench seats.
Bench assembled and ready for finish work.

Now assembled, the bench is very sturdy even without connecting hardware.   Next session will find me trimming the seat, sanding all surfaces and sealing the wood.

Rustic Benches - $400 each

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