well ok, this was a fun one ... this week we'll deliver it to the walnut trestle table house we visited back in december. we've got a curved project coming up there, so we'll get to check our templates for the next project while we are there. click the photos to enlarge them.
we started with an inspiration photo from our designer client, jennifer palumbo interiors, of newton, massachusetts, which we translated into the drawing above. it looks pretty straightforward, but has the classic 'three way intersection' joinery challenge, coupled with an outside installation situation, and the ability to seat three (at least) people. so, we had some serious, long term structural considerations. we chose reclaimed chestnut for the wood as it has a reputation that in outside use, it last 'two years less than stone'. in fact, i have some chestnut fence posts in the woods, by the corner of my property, still sound, and surrounded by 65 year old trees. good enough for me.
first set of corners was easy. bridle joints on the table saw all around.
i made a sample corner, which i later changed to a square tenon on the ends of the crosspieces, and inserted 1/2" x 6" stainless steel hanger bolts through the bridle joints, with stainless washers and bolts securing them.
the assemble corner sample
the brain storm was using the assembled bench to drill the pilot holes for the hanger bolts. by carefully drilling centered holes in the corners of the end assemblies with the pilot bit on the drill press, i had a guide for drilling the 3" deep pilot holes for the hanger bolts. i then disassembled everything, drilled the holes in the ends sections large enough for the hanger bolts to pass through, reassembled everything, and inserted the hanger bolts with the bench already put together. otherwise, it was almost impossible to get those 6" long bolts in straight.
lots of mortising and tenoning later, we had the bench below.
we hung it in the shop and grabbed some cushions from the lounge chairs in the office and had a swing.
the springs and hardware gave the whole deal a wonderful feeling, even with three of us and will's dog in it. be sure to check the video ... it's one of our best.
the finished bench color with the sample of the rough sawn siding
i found the perfect swing hardware and springs online and they are sweet.
the custom forged steel swing hooks that sam made for this project