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Build a garden set

1. Garden table

As with the bench, in the first step you should also think about the size of the table. A usual table height is approx. 75 cm, so I have used this size. You can make the width and length whatever size you'd like. For my bench, the length was 1.80 m and the width was 80 cm. 

Material Tools
Squared timbers: Here a length (3 m) costs approx. 15 euros. You'll need two of these Cordless screwdriver
Scaffolding planks: About 20-25 euros Cordless handheld circular saw
Screws: 160 mm screws are approx. 20 euros for a pack Cordless angle grinder
Varnish and oil: Approx. 10-15 euros for 750 ml Mitre saw
Paintbrush: approx. 3 euros  

Step 1:

We get started with the cutting. Squared timbers (9.5 cm thickness) serve as a frame for the table. I made the legs 72 cm long, as these provide the strength for the planks. I built two horizonal bars (each side) for stability. These had a length of 50 cm (there are also 10 cm squared timbers here). In addition, I wanted to have a side overhang of 5 cm.The last thing is the foot bar with a length of 140 cm.I opted for a length of 140 cm to have an overhang of 10 cm on each of the front sides. I used a mitre saw for the cutting.

Step 2:

Now for the sanding. Before anything is put together, everything should first be sanded, as this makes the job much easier. To do this I took an orbital sander with first 40 grit paper and then 120 grit paper.

Schritt 3:

Painting. Now we come to painting the individual parts. I chose chalky white for this, which I also picked for the bench. I painted each part with two coats and then left them to dry for two days.

Step 4:

Now for the surfaces. This means four 180-cm scaffolding planks need to be sanded, flamed and oiled. First I cut the planks with a hand-held circular saw. Then I sand the planks with the 40 grit and then the 120 grit sandpaper. I sand them from all sides to reduce the risk of any splinters.

The next step is flaming. For this I used a torch burner, which you can get from any hardware store. I evenly burn off the planks to create a nice pattern.

Now I wipe off the planks with a dry cloth and oil the whole thing with two coats. Now everything needs to dry for at least a day.

Step 5:

Now everything is assembled. The frame is screwed with 160 mm screws. Once on each side, flush at the top. The lower part is 30 cm tall from the ground. I always screw in two screws. The long squared timber is connected for stability so that nothing can move around. The assembly of the frame alone can be a bit fiddly.

When the frame is ready, I'll put it on the top side with two strips I'll screw the boards onto. This is done from underneath of course. Now the planks come up. First I align everything to get the desired overhangs. Then I screw the outsides tight and align the inside again. Each plank is attached from below with 60 mm screws.Now the table is finished!

Make a garden set

2. Garden bench

As with the table, you first need to decide on the size. Here I have opted for a standard bench height of approx. 45 cm. Then for the depth and width I have gone for 45 cm for the depth and 180 cm for the length of the bench.

Scaffolding planks: cost around 30 euros
But of course the wood can also be obtained from well-stocked specialist trade
"Chalky white" varnish and "hard wood oil": cost approx. 12 euros per tin
Sandpaper: around 6-8 for the orbital sander and 4-6 for the angle grinder. In total these will cost approx. 5 euros.
Screws: a pack will cost around 15-20 euro

Step 1:

First I cut the individual planks to size, i.e. into 4 pieces of 42 cm and 2 pieces of 80 cm, which will form the backrest. Both planks for the backrest are then cut to a defined angle. More about that later. For the rests and seat of the bench I needed 4 pieces 180 cm in length.

Step 2:

The angle of the backrest: Here I just use a very simple trick. I ask myself at what angle the back rest should be, to be able to lean back or sit nicely. I came to the decision to make a horizontal cut (3 cm) in the plank at the height of 42 cm. And do the same for the top: Measure in 3 cm and then saw through from top to bottom. For this I use a hand-held circular saw for a straight cut of the long edge and a jigsaw for the short cuts (3 cm). 

Step 3:

Then I sanded all parts that were to be used as "legs" and painted them with chalky white glaze. I also sanded the long planks and then flamed them with a burner torch and later painted them with hardwood oil. I wanted the bench to be two colours. For sanding, I used an orbital sander with a grain size of 40-120. I also used an angle grinder with 120 grit sandpaper to remove stubborn residue.   

Step 4:

Assembly: For this I started with the side parts. I wanted a little space between the planks, leaving 1 cm between each. To fix everything I used a board (top and bottom) to get the desired stop. Now the side parts are finished. Next the seat planks are placed on top. Thanks to the boards, the side parts are also upright and it is easier to screw together. I loosely laid the first plank and began to screw it. First one on the left and one on the right, to be able to align the whole thing. I screwed the planks tight from above with 70 mm screws. I used the same length to screw the sides.

Step 5:

Last but not least, the sides had to be rounded off. The angle grinder comes into play again for this. Using this tool corners and edges can be easily rounded off in little time. Subsequently, all sanded areas are oiled again or varnished. So - now the bench is finished! I think it's a lovely bench, with quite some charm.

AuthorStefan Ossenbrüggen
Reading time15 minutes

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