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Garden bench slats

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NickWelford

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I picked up a couple of old cast aluminium bench ends recently as dearly beloved wanted another garden bench. Just cannot seem to get timber for slats at anything near a reasonable price. Can’t believe what is being charged for 4’ x 2” x 0.75” hardwood. I need 7, or one large piece to cut. Say 4’ x 2” x 6”.
Doesn’t this stuff just grow on trees?
 

Cabinetman

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A couple of questions, what timber are you thinking of and do you have the equipment to machine it down to thickness?
 

Rorton

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what's a reasonable price? eBay has some listed for 12 Sapele slats ready to go for £55

 

Oraclebhoy

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I was after some 4ft slats, I am gambling on the price of wood dropping in a year or two so for now just used some softwood for now. Bought the cheapest stuff from Wickes and cut it down to the right size on the table saw.
Will do for now. Gave it a good coat in paint to protect it till I get some proper wood. (Also used up a loaf of old paint testers tins we had)
 

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yew2

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I was after some 4ft slats, I am gambling on the price of wood dropping in a year or two so for now just used some softwood for now. Bought the cheapest stuff from Wickes and cut it down to the right size on the table saw.
Will do for now. Gave it a good coat in paint to protect it till I get some proper wood. (Also used up a loaf of old paint testers tins we had)
That's very nice - I'm considering doing the same myself with a couple of bench ends I've had lying around for eons. But how do you stop the slats from sagging in the middle when in use? I can see there's some sort of support strap at the back, but if that's connected to the top slat I can't see how it will offer any resistance to sagging.
Oh, and well done on using up a 'loaf' of old paint testers.......that will have saved you some 'dough'! (Apologies....Friday humour).
 

Oraclebhoy

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Don’t you just love autocorrect 😀
There is a metal bar that is screwed into every slat in the middle and seems to do a good job of holding it all together.
This bench is only for occasional use as I’ve made four solid chairs and a wooden bench for the garden.
 

TheTiddles

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I picked up a couple of old cast aluminium bench ends recently as dearly beloved wanted another garden bench. Just cannot seem to get timber for slats at anything near a reasonable price. Can’t believe what is being charged for 4’ x 2” x 0.75” hardwood. I need 7, or one large piece to cut. Say 4’ x 2” x 6”.
Doesn’t this stuff just grow on trees?
Wood grows on trees, useful timber requires a lot of investment on top, that’s what you are paying for
 

NickWelford

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A couple of questions, what timber are you thinking of and do you have the equipment to machine it down to thickness?
I was thinking oak, rather than some hardwood shipped halfway round the world. Chestnut maybe.
I do have a hefty table saw hidden somewhere in the back of the shed.
 

Cabinetman

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Hi Nick, if you were to buy inch oak and cut it down to 3/4 which you need it’s easy enough so the calculation for cost is 48 “x 2 x 1 inch thick x seven of them is 672 cubic inches, that’s not even half a cubic foot, (1728”) which should cost in the region of £35 plus VAT and you would have more than half leftover.
So what I’m saying is just buy a plank, Lincolnshire is quite a long county, I am at the north end and there is a nice timber yard which will sell you a plank in a place called Keelby, PM me for details if you want more info. Ian
 

kingforaday

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521DECFB-9BFF-40D8-87C3-4027EE0B448F.jpeg

Weird timing, I just upcycled this little fella for my daughter (I found it in the back lane in a sorry state).

luckily I had stacks of wood laying about I could use, and I didn’t worry too much about the strength of it as she’s only 18 months old!

i’ll keep an eye on this thread though as I had planned to do another adult sized bench, if I could find some free bench ends. There was me thinking it would be another very cheap project… maybe not!!!
 

Trextr7monkey

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But how do you stop the slats from sagging in the middle when in use? I can see there's some sort of support strap at the back, but if that's connected to the top slat I can't see how it will offer any resistance to sagging.
Hi usually a piece of 1” flat bar bent either in a simpl L or 7 shape screwed to every slat with an inverted V shaped brace running from ends bolted through the back brace and one of the seat slats.
Some ends have no provision for the V brace so more substantial back brace can be used wit 2 screws into each slat
 

Jameshow

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View attachment 113785
Weird timing, I just upcycled this little fella for my daughter (I found it in the back lane in a sorry state).

luckily I had stacks of wood laying about I could use, and I didn’t worry too much about the strength of it as she’s only 18 months old!

i’ll keep an eye on this thread though as I had planned to do another adult sized bench, if I could find some free bench ends. There was me thinking it would be another very cheap project… maybe not!!!
Im up cycing 3 benches ATM in my men's shed!

Cheers James
 

MorrisWoodman12

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I upcycling a pair of bench ends three or four years ago using kiln dried oak for the new woodwork. I carefully and slowly varnished them with yatch varnish: it looked great. But now the varnish has cracked and the oak is going grey around each split so it doesn't look so good anymore. I guess the wood movement caused the cracking.
What do people use and/ or recommend?
Martin
 

TheTiddles

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I’d leave oak as is, any coating is going to fail at some stage. I’ve used cedar with osmo UV oil… should have not bothered as it now looks like it did before adding the oil, just a nice silver
 
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