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80 POPULAR WOODWORKING April 2004

cutting” your parts. paint or chris. screws.gebhart@fwpubs. Pick long or cut the top boards a bit the beginning woodworker who 966-3734 or millerdowel. critical if you cut your legs a bit This project is really great for would be Miller Dowels (866. No matter what species you Sometime during my child.com 81 . 1407 to size simultaneously. We used a miter saw to cut our pieces to length. a saw. This works no matter what it and spend less than $10. all the top boards together and “gang cut” them to length simultaneously. Skil saw. Here you can see that we clamped Japanese-looking benches using While you’re at the lumberyard. You don’t even need a shop. planer as legs. in spades. tool you use for crosscutting. 1348 above. Contact Kara at 513-531-2690 ext. I recommend “gang got all three. up by the top pieces. leftover 2x4s and framing nails. select the straightest. hood he built a pair of these most knot-free 2x4s you can find. You Comments or questions? Contact Chris at 513-531-2690 ext. Associate Editor Kara drill. or confidence. cuts on the 2x4s using chalk. Another excellent choice Start by laying out your cross. a handful of screws and a long afternoon to build a handsome and sturdy sitting spot for your deck or garden. I al. y father always has had ways liked redwood for my out- M a knack for doing more with less. to remember here is that it’s not a dozen winters and still look good. or table saw to build this bench. A Then cut all your pieces to “Gang cutting” is when you Trip to the Lumberyard clamp together all the parts that Photo by Al Parrish This bench is designed to be built by Christopher Schwarz & Kara Gebhart are the same length and trim them using just five 10'-long 2x4s. popwood.schwarz@fwpubs.com.com). He built the first house on our farm using a door projects (and that’s what the originals were made from) so I spent the extra cash – about $200. some sandpaper and length as shown in the cutting summer. But the end result Back in the Shop many knots or dings can be used whatever that turns out to be. as shown can build it from sugar pine. For will make you look like you’ve You don’t need a jointer. skills five top pieces. the best-looking boards for the short. What is important is that doesn’t have a lot of tools. I was struck by the fact Gebhart (who helped me build a couple of sawhorses will get the list on page 82. Japanese Garden Bench Combine five 2x4s. which are mostly covered that reason. Boards with too you cut all the legs the same length. a drill and a hammer. or kara.com. pick up a pound of stainless-steel While visiting him one recent screws. choose. What’s important that they have survived more than this project) and I used #8 x 2" job done right on your driveway.

You can use polyurethane been sanded. one end and glued it in place. that scrap. Just grab JAPANESE GARDEN BENCH ect together immediately. ❏ E 5 Top boards 11⁄ 2 31⁄ 2 60 Redwood ready for whatever finish you’ll ly to splinter when it gets wet. Begin by assembling one of Put another piece of scrap 2x4 the leg structures. Plug It Up For a finished look. Then glue and screw Center the top cross brace on the low cross brace to the legs. This It’s tempting to screw this proj. Then screw it together using stainless steel screws. 8" x ⁄ 8" square stock. Our coun- tersink made a 3⁄8"-diameter hole. is pretty simple to do. Repeat scrap this same procedure for the other leg assembly. we took a few minutes to plug the holes made by the countersink. tersink simultaneously. them. edges of each board (you’re try- ❏ B 2 Top cross braces 11⁄ 2 31⁄ 2 191⁄ 2 Redwood A better bet is for you to sand ing to remove any sharp edges). First find a piece against the top cross brace and of scrap that’s 41⁄2" wide and place center the low cross brace below it between two of the leg pieces. This is a lot easier than measuring every. deck stain. you need to “break ly. Glue and screw these two wide legs to the cross braces. put two more legs on then glue and screw the cross top of the cross braces and place the 4 1⁄ 2" scrap spacer between 41⁄ 2". This helps get them comfortable to sit on and less like. Chuck a bit in your drill to give are available from most home. glue or a water-resistant glue such supply or hardware stores. as Titebond II. 60" 19 1/2" 4 1/2" 4 1/2" 31/2" 12" 27" 12" 1/2" E 11/2" B B 31/2" E D 161/2" 31/2" D C C 31/2" A A 41/2" A 4" 41/2" 4 44" 31/2" 31/2" Elevation Profile Sanding (Insert Groan Here) the edges” of all the boards. tung oil or nothing). flush everything up. the two legs. whittled thing. brace to the legs using two screws Once the faces and edges have This bench goes together quick. but I’d some #120-grit sandpaper and L E T. You can plug the hole with store-bought 3⁄ 8" plugs or 3⁄ 8"- Use scraps as spacers to ensure that your leg assemblies go diameter dowels. ITEM DIMENSIONS (INCHES) M AT E R I A L T W L suggest you do all you can to re. Leg Assembly you a 3⁄ 16" pilot hole and a coun. These bits in each. NO. The 82 POPULAR WOODWORKING April 2004 . take a couple of licks on all the ❏ A 8 Legs 11⁄ 2 31⁄ 2 15 Redwood sist the urge to assemble. You’re almost done. We took some 3⁄ 3 together just right. 1⁄ 1⁄ ❏ C 2 Low cross braces 1 2 3 2 16 Redwood all your pieces to remove marks This will make the bench more ❏ D 2 Stretchers 11⁄ 2 31⁄ 2 44 Redwood and dings. Next. be applying (paint.

make board. screen agents used in suntan lo. Prices as of publication date. penetration of moisture. contributing editor that blocks sunlight and moisture. Final Assembly side up. but expensive marine varnish- protect exterior wood is great deterioration. it to peel.com 83 . We chose to leave the wood braces. wood outdoors than about any to heat energy. Other good is best on wood that has been sun-blocking agents are UV ab. for made to be very flexible so they can example) and expose paint that keep up with extreme wood move- looks shiny and new. boards on the base. spar or marine varnish that are tained in many car polishes. If the water vapor very glossy and relatively soft (for wood. these two boards in place. Paint repels lignin that holds the cellulose cells water and blocks UV rays effective- of wood fiber together. happen when left outside. we first attached vice on protecting exterior wood ers in place between the two cross the top pieces at the front and below. cause water to bead but from direct sunlight. that these finishes are come into frequent contact with percent to 3 percent by weight) has oil-based paints. you can rub off the dull. back of the bench using glue and in its natural state and allow it to ers into place and plug the holes screws. wood is to apply a paint or finish between the coating and the wood. #8 x 2" • Stainless steel screws. which dissipates. but most of the damage they don’t crack as quickly as those here will come when they peel. middle board between those. to be in the finish to be effective. low-surface-tension waxy sub- ultraviolet rays. and you need to apply split. Finally. which are strongest stance. (Look at the growth rings. No clear finishes work as well as other aspect of wood finishing. because when sunlight or water sive. warp and often rot. absorbers don’t hide wood. which contain a paints and finishes. • Light is the principal enemy of Water repellents.) we plugged the holes. The best sun-blocking agents Oil-based paints are best for are pigments (contained in paints objects such as chairs and picnic and stains). • Moisture also causes paints the outside environment. They convert UV light energy wood is freshly milled or sanded. but most clear finishes don’t. siding because they allow moisture es come closest. clear finishes are varnishes called chalky result with abrasives (con. finish peels because the UV rays The best way to protect wood penetrate the film and destroy the outdoors is to paint it. Glue and screw the stretch. the wood can lose its color. exposed to the weather for a month Left unfinished.square corners of the wood cut Then arrange the five top Finally. break down water repellents don’t totally keep paints. white oak and other weather-resistant woods will turn a silvery- sorbers. spaced evenly. well. Then we centered the turn a silvery-gray. If you catch it before the moisture out of the wood. This Adirondack chair has survived 10 seasons outside with little deterioration. work surface and put the stretch. There are two major categories of cells separate and the finish bonded paint: oil-based and water-based to these cells peels. more prone to raised grain. $10. or more because it penetrates gray. Over time. UV acrylic-latex primers perform well. Oil-based primer also rather have it visible. which will left by the countersink. (also called latex). but they are expen. We then glued and screwed 800-443-7937 or mcfeelys. paint is damaged all the way The best moisture-resistant through. popwood. The surface ly. can’t get through the paint and to flexibility). it will eight or nine coats to reach maxi- The best way to protect exposed and finishes to peel when it gets build up behind the paint and cause mum UV resistance. and many people would wear as well. Because the boards in place and figured out Once your plugs are glued in place. we put the remaining two SUPPLIES the round hole into a square one. A primer coat of oil-based – Bob Flexner. Keep in mind. Varnishes made with phenolic UV rays also break down clear resin and tung oil are best because finishes. PW PROTECTING EXTERIOR WOOD There is probably more misunder.96 for 100 Stand the legs upright on your To ensure everything was Check out Bob Flexner’s ad. ment. pith side of flat-grained wood is what gap should be between each McFeelys cut or sand them flush. Paints resist moisture penetration and holds up to these elements. and Water-based or latex paints paint if they are exposed to bright The need for a quality coating to they are effective at preventing offer the best protection for wood light. deeper than latex primers. and a significant amount (1 vapor to pass through better than however. If the paint is not thick enough to stop the standing about how to protect tions. But pigments hide the tables because latex paints don’t wood. which are similar to sun.com sure you place all your boards bark. The made with polyurethane resin.