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The Garden Bench

This attractive, slat-back Bench makes a perfect back yard spot for whiling away a beautiful Spring or Summer morning

If you've priced sturdy, well-designed outdoor furniture lately, you can probably guess how far ahead you'll be if you can build it yourself! Depending upon the wood used in its construction, a traditional, English-style bench like this one with mortise-and-tenon joinery could easily set you back over a thousand dollars! However, given a couple of weekends, you could craft a beautiful bench like this one at a fraction of that cost -- and enjoy it for years to come.

The bench shown here was made out of extremely attractive, weather-resistant wood that is probably the most durable of all outdoor woods, but unfortunately, is also very costly. Depending upon where you live, there are many other, less costly alternatives. In the Western United States, you might consider redwood, Western red cedar or white cedar. East of the Mississippi, cypress makes a good choice. And no matter where you live, there's always pressure-treated lumber, oak and similar hardwoods. Another “exotic” that is both attractive and durable is African Bubinga. Retailing for around $10 a board foot, it has the dark brown appearance of rosewood at a fraction of the cost.


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