Saturday, March 21, 2015
1) It's sturdy.
2) It uses dimensional lumber you can pick up at the home centre.
3) It's construction is simple. You could make the hole thing with a hand saw and a hammer if you wanted to.
1) The bench is 48 inches wide. You can vary this up to 8 feet.
2) The front legs are 16 inches.
3) The middle stretcher is 28 inches. (This was the only improvement over the original. Gives it more lateral support.)
4) The piece that defines the back height is 25 inches with a slight curve at the top for aesthetics.
5) The back leg is 17 inches with a 15 degree cut for the bottom and a 60 degree cut at the top.
6) The seat supports are cut at a 15 degree angle with the long part at 21 1/2 inches.
Construction is very straight forward. Most pieces are simply cut to length. The only tricky pieces to cut are the 15 degree angles on the four seat supports and the back leg. The back leg starts with the angle cut on the bottom and the 60 degree cut starting from the long side on the other end. It's this angle that defines the angle of the back rest which is 15 degrees. I cut it with a chop saw but it's tricky since the saw only goes to 47 degrees so you have to shift the piece 90 degrees and make a 30 degree cut. A skill saw would work too. I assemble the inside half of each leg and attach the cross support before adding the second set of seat supports. Just remember that the projection beyond the seat supports of the back leg needs to match the projection of the front leg so that the bench sits flat. The location of the backrest piece becomes obvious once you have the back leg screwed on. The location of the seat and back slats on this version is 5 inches in from the ends though you would increase that as you make the bench bigger. I place the front seat slat with about a 1/2 inch overhang, the bottom right against the back and the two middle pieces equally spaced. The back slats start by adding the top one first and the bottom one about a 2x4 width up from the seat. The middle slat is then centered in the remaining space. Be sure to square up the seat when you assemble it. I also pre-finished all the pieces before assembly.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
The second project was much less practical. A baseball bat made from a noble spruce isn't going to stay straight for long but it was a fun project. I wasn't sure on dimensions so I winged it by splitting it into thirds. One third for the thick part, one third for the thin part and one third for the transition. It turned out pretty well.
This was my first time turning green wood which is much more enjoyable. The only issue was the sap which was mostly in the bark layers. It left a film on my turning tools that was a bit of a pain to get off. Other than that, this was a great way to give a Christmas Tree a second chance at life.