The Woodland Bench

Being fortunate enough to have a well wooded, but modestly sized, house lot brings a number of subtle benefits that most home owners would look on as a suburban nuisance. Winter and the annual visitations of Nor’esters invariably cast a variety of oak, maple, pine and poplar throughout the yard and make for persistent early spring assemblage of sticks, branches & other exceedingly stubborn fall leaves.  While certainly annoying ~ like the seemingly endless discovery of balsam needles in one’s home that step well into the subsequent holiday season ~ there are times when I cant help but be thrilled by the sheer breath of available inventory that can be utilized to spark the news years creative endeavors.

This particular bench was a byproduct of a particularly aggressive and windy winter ~ that afforded just the right dimensions of raw material to take my Lincoln Log experience to a new level. I had never sketched, nor crafted any of the classically styled “twig” furniture, although I was very much an admirer of the design aesthetic.  In typical, spastic Corey fashion, I grabbed a pencil & notepad and jotted down some ideas as I walked around the yard with a tape measure ~ reviewing my abundantly stocked yard waste with new-found creative interest. (who the hell knows where my original notes end up….but I can surely attest they are not with me any more)  I figured most joints would be best served by dowel joinery to reduce the stress requirements on my usual standby construction companion~ Mr. Drywall Screw.  After framing with the main spans ~ I hand-cut corner edges to ensure uniformity of line and then capped the base bench seat with a red oak planks from my local Home Depot. A quick run of a router smoothed the edge surface of the seat area plus a few rounds of spar urethane to lock up the weather proofing.

Woodland Bench

Utimately, this humble creation, made its way as a holiday gift to my Mom & Dad.

Lessons Learned:

  • Probably not very smart to design a bench for elderly parents that was freakishly heavy and more worthy to be in the decor of Scottish Highland participants
  • Projects like this are uneven and out of square on almost every dimension known to man. As such, I began to question if my garage floor was even flat.
  • Bark on? – Bark off? – I think only Mr. Muyagi knows for sure which is best

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