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Tools & Hardware

Garden Bench

Several years ago, I tore down our carport that had been added to the house.  It didn't match the rest of the architectural design, extended 3' over the property line (we have a 3 car wide shared driveway), and we were repaving the driveway itsself.  The roof was 3/4" plywood with about 1-2" of hot tar and a rubber membrane on top of that, all of which had to be scrapped.  The framing was made from older 2x10 planks that were still in excellent condition, so I saved them for future projects (see sample below).




A year later, I decided to see what I could do with one.  I cut it into 4 - 5' sections and ran them through my new planer (thanks Home Depot).  The underlying wood was beautiful, not something you would see in any average lumber store today.  After penciling out some designs, I came up with one that maximized the usage of one board.  It involved ripping 2 boards in half, then ripping one full board and one half from the previous rip into smaller boards on my table saw.  I then used a jig saw and a scrap piece of MDF to make a template for a stringer design and transfered the pattern to the 3 remaining 5' long halves.  The last full section I cut into 4 pieces to use as ends, narrowing them down to 2x6, using the remaining scrap in the final assembly.  Here is the assembled and stained bench.



While I could have finished at this point, I wanted to add a back rest.  I made another trip in to Home Depot and bought a couple of sections of copper pipe and some fittings, messed around with angles for several hours, and the finished project looked great, especially sitting in front of her pond.




I made this one in 2005.  Since then I have made 5 more nearly identical benches for friends and coworkers.  One bench was made using the left-over lumber from a friend's new house.  While new lumber doesn't have some of the same character as the older stuff I had available, it can be easily used to build your own garden benches with great results.


All tools and most of the materials were bought at my local Home Depot.  They are part of how I got into woodworking (and currently remodeling of our house).

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Posted 2010-12-17T23:48:57+0000  by GrueMaster GrueMaster

WOW!  GrueMaster I love this bench. I love it when old material is salvaged and used for a new project. I really like the arm/backrest even though I'm a woodworker myself and love the bench I really like all of the continuous pipe and the intersecting pipes that you used for the arm and backrest. I could only imagine the jig that you built to make sure that all of the holes in the pipes would line up right. You have really done a great job. No wonder all of your neighbors wanted one.

That is a great pond in the back ground. Did you build it?

Well all I have to say now is where is the glass with the ice and beverage so I can sit while I listen to the running water and read my book. :smileyvery-happy:

Posted 2010-12-18T00:13:40+0000  by Christine_HD_OC

Another Wow.  Absolutely beautiful, and what a creative use of copper pipe.  Thanks for submitting the photos so we can all see and enjoy it.

Posted 2010-12-18T23:31:03+0000  by zelda

Great design on the bench, looks quite solid.

Posted 2010-12-19T20:53:41+0000  by Paul

Outstanding craftsmanship!

Posted 2011-02-19T00:44:49+0000  by Glide2Fly

GrueMaster, I love the wood you used and the finish you have on it. The total project is absolutely beautiful. I can see why you have a lot of request for this bench. Just keep coming up with ideas and post those pictures. Great job.

Posted 2011-03-10T19:00:23+0000  by Ken_HD_OC
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