In June 2006 #155, Popular Woodworking Magazine Article Index

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A slab from green wood, some sturdy legs and a sylvan setting are all you need.
By John Wilson
Pages: 70-75

From the June 2006 issue #155
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“A slab like that can make up into a garden bench. Being white oak, they last.” The sawyer was making conversation while cutting my logs. It sounded interesting. “Well,” I replied, “let’s take a thicker cut next time so I can try it.”

For a suitable slab you need to consider what to look for and where to find it. For size, a 4″- to 5″-thick bark-sided slab taken from a log about 20″ in diameter and 4′ long will do. Bark tends to slough off in logs cut when spring growth starts, so you might avoid that time of year.

There is a wide range of tree species that can work. I am surprised to find that a free-standing project like this bench will fare quite well when left to weather without any surface treatment. The ends of the legs, which stay damp most of the time, will rot,  but it is a slow process. I have painted old motor oil on the leg ends to help, but leave the remainder to weather naturally. It seems suitable to the project.

From the June 2006 issue #155
Buy this issue now


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