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By Beau
#1125241
Been asked to make a new oak bench to replace one that has rotted away. I did not make it but have had to try to keep the old one going for the last few years but the rails in the back have started falling out due to the amount of rot in the mortices in the back rail. It's in a very damp location under an oak tree on Dartmoor so want to come up with a design that will not hold water in the joints. The old one has lasted 18 years with regular maintenance which I think is pretty dissapointing
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DSC05870.jpg
Where the rot is on the old one
Oak_Bench_040804.jpg
Similar designed bench
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By AndyT
#1125247
It wouldn't look so neat, but how about shallow open housings at the back of the rail, with each vertical slat resting in a housing, secured with a screw or two?
By Adam9453
#1125305
How about through mortices instead, at least that way any water has an escape route.
Could you change the timber to something more durable in wet conditions?
I've heard larch is very good for use outside due to its high silica content, to be clear I've not used it so this is purely hearsay from my part
By Beau
#1125664
Adam9453 wrote:How about through mortices instead, at least that way any water has an escape route.
Could you change the timber to something more durable in wet conditions?
I've heard larch is very good for use outside due to its high silica content, to be clear I've not used it so this is purely hearsay from my part


Might be able to talk them into another wood. Only thing that I can think of that would be better though would be teak. Previous experience of this was very expensive and very abrasive on the tools.

What's peoples thoughts on building something like this in West System resin and finishing it with it as well?
By Beau
#1125712
monkeybiter wrote:Isn't Iroko supposed to be as durable as Teak but similar price to Oak?


Well yes I thought the same and rebuild a metal bench that had wooden slats with Iroko. One of them has rotted and snapped in 10 years. Dartmoor is a soggy place and cruel to exposed timber.
By Brentingby
#1125972
I like the idea of through mortises on the bottom rail. I'd make tenons on the slats so there's a shoulder as an overhang to help shed water away from the mortises, too. I think you'd need more weep holes in the bottom rail than that chap used on his gate since there isn't any way to encourage the water to run horizontally.

The only other thoughts would change the appearance of the bench which you probably don't want to do.