Tagged: Garden Bench
I want to have a go at making Paul’s garden bench. I live at Barnsley in South Yorkshire. The only local suppliers of oak that I know say they cannot help, I think because of lack of staff at the moment to do machining. I typed the cutting list into the Woodshopdirect website and this produced the following costs:
For the wood (kiln dried European oak) £869.06
Timber Machining £67.20
Roadside Drop Off £105.80
Net Value £1,042.06
VAT Total £208.41
Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I could get the wood at a more reasonable cost?
Where are you located?
And what capabilities do you have for hauling your wood?
Wood recycling has grown exponentially in the last couple decades. In the USA you often find first growth virgin forest stuff in the piles which looks like different species, wonderful availability in the pacific NW.
That’s probably not the case in the U.K., but I bet you can find very good quality goods at good prices.
There is a list of recyclers at the end of this tome
Not sure how current it is.
I would say, why make it out of oak? I make my garden furniture from softwoods. Will it last as long, probably not. Does that matter to me, no not really as it gives me a chance to make a new one with improvements. A couple of years ago I made a patio chair from a 3m spruce plank. It’s still going strong after two central European winters, and has turned what I consider to be a nice silver colour (except for the rockers I added this summer). Total cost, including fasteners, around 25 pounds local equivalent currency.
Most important question really, at least from my point of view, is what will satisfy your customer (be that you (wanting to make a perfect long lasting bench), She Who Must Be Obeyed (wanting a comfortable bench to relax in the garden on), etc)?
A lot of money, but perhaps not in excess of what is to be expected. Adding a ½” to the thicknesses of the boards, to be lost in machining (probably a bit conservative), and assuming nothing lost in cutting, which is unrealistic, this project calls for 0.3 ft³ (0.085 m³) of oak, amounting to perhaps £400 for cut to dimensions and PAR. But according to some law, the dimensions of boards are only rarely suitable multiples of the desired finished dimensions. The cutting to final lengths will usually leave a lot of remaining stuff, which most likely adds to the price. Thicker stock (e.g. 3.5″x 3″) can be more than twice than thinner per ft³, and more thorough drying also adds.
I’m currently in the dimensioning part of a combination of kitchen cabinets project (a hutch in USA). The floor component is to be 900x665x450x21 mm, the taller upper one is planned to 540x1165x345x21 mm, and the wallhung cabinet is 400x665x300x21. The “almighty” has accepted coming down in thickness from 7/8″, and our croft’s kitchen layout sets the other measures. North American oak is the demand, and with current mistakes included the bill is £1200 – not cut to dimensions or PAR. Prices in Sweden are high.
Attach a link to a company that might give you a lower price. Not low, so why not follow Colin’s suggestion?
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As Colin said, make from softwood: pine, or cedar or even construction wood. I built it from decking cedar, came out fine at least by my (“forever in-training”) standards. Or buy rough sawn oak and dimension yourself. You may not save much but the experience of dimensioning by hand is nice (hard work that pays off) and will have a lot of left over for smaller projects.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by Selva.
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