How To Craft A Log Bench
If you have to have one of your trees removed following storm damage, you might want to ask your tree services contractor to leave the trunk behind so that you can get creative! As long as the tree is not diseased or very badly damaged, you can use the trunk to make a practical and attractive garden bench. All you need is a little DIY know-how and some time on your hands.
Here's how to do it.
What you'll need
- a log (at least 45cm in diameter)
- chainsaw (for cutting the log into slabs)
- carpenter's pencil
- wood glue
- wood plane
It's important that you allow the log to dry-out thoroughly before you attempt this project so that it doesn't shrink as it dries, which would cause the joints of the bench to weaken.
How to do it
You'll need to be fairly competent in using a chainsaw to carry out this project. If you prefer, you could ask your tree services contractor to cut the log for you for a small fee.
- Cut the log into slabs around 4cm thick.
- Select four flat pieces of log for use as the bench's legs. You can leave the legs as plain, straight pieces or create something fancier if you prefer. Mark out the pattern for the legs with a pencil.
- Using a handsaw put the pieces of wood into a vice and cut out the legs. Cut a small 'V' shape in the bottom of each leg.
- Choose a half-round slab to form the bench seat. Use the notch of each bench leg as a pattern for the underside of the bench top.
- Lay the top on a work bench and saw the leg notches into the underside. To do this, make a downwards cut to a depth of not more than half the top's thickness. Now make a number of parallel cuts close together, between the two outside slots. Repeat the process for the other leg notches.
- Use a hammer and chisel to knock the wood 'wafers' out of the notches, trying to keep the notch depth the same for each leg.
- Use a hammer to drive the legs into the notches. You may need to knock in a few chips of wood to tighten-up the fit if the legs come up too thin.
- Add a dollop of wood glue to hold the legs firmly in place.
- The basic bench is now complete. To make the seat more comfortable, use a wood plane to remove any rough edges. You may wish to sand the seat too and add a layer of light oil or stain.
You can make a rustic bench from a discarded log that's left over from your annual tree maintenance visit. Just follow the guidelines given above!