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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 choose the most universally available pressure-treated option, it's best to purchase wider, thicker boards than you'll need, then rip, resaw and plane them down to their required dimensions. This way, you'll be eliminating any rough-sawn surfaces and end up with a much nicer looking bench in the end. Also, it's important to be sure all pressure-treated lumber is well dried and that it has been stored indoors, out of the weather. If not, don't buy it! Starting with wet pressure treated lumber can lead to twisting, warping and other problems that could easily ruin your project as it dries out.

Mortise-and-tenon joinery is used extensively in this project and makes for a project that's both attractive and durable. These plans are for a six-foot bench. However, you could easily make a bench that's longer -- or shorter, and more chair-like, if you prefer. Just remember that if you're planning to make a longer bench, depending upon the wood you use, you may also have to increase the thickness of the seat boards to prevent breakage. This plan is easy to adapt to virtually any length.

Step 1: Cut all of your stock to size, according to the List of Materials...or the adjusted dimensions you prefer.

Step 2: Transfer the pattern for the back legs (B) to a piece of 4" x 6" stock...and the patterns for the back rail (F) and arm rests (E) to 2" x 6" material. Do not cut the contours at this time.

Step 3: Using a square, accurately mark the locations of the mortises and tenons on all parts.

Step 4: Cut all mortises in the front and back legs (A, B). You can do this by boring a series of 1/2" diameter holes with your drill press, then squaring them up with a bevel-edged chisel. A better alternative is to use a Hollow Chisel Mortising Attachment. This handy accessory will create precision mortises of the desired size in a single action, saving you time and effort. NOTE: Due to the length and bulk of the parts for this project, be sure to properly support your stock when cutting your mortises. If you're using a Model 510 MARK V or a unit equipped with the Pro Fence System upgrade, be sure to use your Floating Extension Table, Telescoping Legs and Connector Tubes to provide additional support. If you're using a Model 500 MARK V, a Roller Support Stand can be most helpful.

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