Author Topic: Lutyens Garden Bench  (Read 1019 times)

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Offline Crox G

  • Posts: 83
Lutyens Garden Bench
« on: July 11, 2017, 12:58 PM »
I'm making a Lutyens garden bench from Fine Woodworking plans by Tony O'Malley from issue #143, July/August 2000.  I'm using cypress, available locally in clear 8/4, and Sipo tenons.  This has turned out to be a challenge, and a thorough use of my treasured Domino XL700.  O'Malley used a horizontal mortiser and slip tenons, so the design lent itself to the Domino.  The XL was its usual solid, reliable, precise self.

I made templates from the plans for the front legs, back crest halves, and seat stretchers, and used them for my first real effort at pattern-routing in the router table.  I had a Whiteside bit with bearings on the top and bottom, and a 1.5"/38mm cutting depth.  The two bearings allowed me to flip the piece in order to cut downhill with the grain.  I fastened the templates to the workpiece with small brads, not wanting to mess with double-sided tape.

I tried to use two dominoes at each joint if possible.  If I could fit them comfortably in the biggest joints, I used 12mm.  For the smallest joints for the 1"/25mm slats and arm sticks I used 6mm dominoes and cut the mortises with the Seneca adaptor.  For few medium-sized joints I could get away with 8mm, which felt much stronger than the 6mm. 

The back is angled back at 6 degrees, and the back legs also rake back at 6 degrees. I used different methods for aligning and cutting the mortises depending on the location.  For the first time ever I held my breath and used the tight setting on all the mortises; it worked out well. 

Glue-up has been a challenge, making sure that I could fit the parts together in the proper order.  Many dry fits helped.  I've also learned that after a section is glued, if I dry-fit that section with the next-to-be-glued parts, without gluing, the joints will align much better for the next step. 

Final glue-up tonight, I hope, if I can enlist the help of my son.  24 dominoes to align at once--yikes!  Apologies for the cluttered shop.













CT Midi, ETS 150/3, OF 1400, TS 55, CXS, RO 90, MF-TB, Syslite, necktie, T18 + 3, Carvex PSC 420 EB, Ti15, Domino XL 700, Vecturo

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Online rst

  • Posts: 1440
Re: Lutyens Garden Bench
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2017, 01:19 PM »
Great looking bench.  Don't apologize for the clutter, remember what Einstein had to say “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”  [big grin]

Offline tony_sheehan

  • Posts: 99
Re: Lutyens Garden Bench
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2017, 01:40 PM »
Fantastic crox- look forward to seeing it finished.
Out of interest, will it live outdoors completely exposed to the elements, or in a more sheltered situation?

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Lutyens Garden Bench
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2017, 02:51 PM »
Hi @Crox G

That is a super bit of work.

We went for a pub lunch yesterday (once a year for us normally !) and I looked closely at one of the Lutyens styled benches. The cheap and cheerful ones cut too many corners and I must say that I like your design. The ones at The Royal Hospital in Chelsea are closer to your design.

Well done.

Peter

Offline Crox G

  • Posts: 83
Re: Lutyens Garden Bench
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2017, 10:31 AM »
Thanks all for your kind words.  I expect the bench to be outdoors full-time, and to be painted accordingly. I would be grateful for any recommendations for paint (no sprayer available).  I'm also wondering about sealing the bottoms of the legs by standing them overnight in coffee cans with a coupe of inches of boiled linseed oil or Waterlox.

Last evening my son (pictured below) and I glued the front assembly to the rest of the frame. It was a challenge to glue the mortises and dominoes, align them, and then clamp or beat them together, but everything closed well.  I'm a belt-and-suspenders (-braces, Peter), so I glue the mortises and the dominoes.

The next step will be to fasten the seat slats to the four curved supports.  The slats are about 3.25"/83mm wide and 7/8"/22mm thick.

Mr. O'Malley, who designed the bench (from looking at others), drove screws from the top into counter-bored holes, and filled the holes with plugs.  I want to avoid plugs if possible, and screw in from the bottom, so nothing shows from the top.  What would anyone think about using pocket holes with 1.5-inch weatherproof screws, two (or three?) per stretcher?   Do you think pocket holes would have the strength?  If not, I could counter-bore from underneath, with careful measurements, and pray that the screw doesn't blow through the top surface by mistake.

Cheers,
Crox






CT Midi, ETS 150/3, OF 1400, TS 55, CXS, RO 90, MF-TB, Syslite, necktie, T18 + 3, Carvex PSC 420 EB, Ti15, Domino XL 700, Vecturo

Offline Crox G

  • Posts: 83
Re: Lutyens Garden Bench
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2017, 12:43 PM »
Finished.

I recommend this project to anyone who wants a good Domino workout and a durable and attractive bench.  I've kept notes on mistakes and pitfalls, and would be happy to pass them on.  Thanks for watching.

CT Midi, ETS 150/3, OF 1400, TS 55, CXS, RO 90, MF-TB, Syslite, necktie, T18 + 3, Carvex PSC 420 EB, Ti15, Domino XL 700, Vecturo

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Lutyens Garden Bench
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2017, 01:50 PM »
Hi Crox

A really lovely piece of work, beautifully made and a treasure for the future.

I have written to the Lutyens Society asking about the design of the bench as I am curious about the detail of the arm rests. The design that you have used shows the most common form of the arm rest but I have seen one example of a solid arm which I must confess I prefer. The Lutyens Society have no (as far as I can see) example of a bench on their web site or in their gallery. I will let you know what they say.

Once again, a fantastic bench. Well done.

Peter

Offline live4ever

  • Posts: 467
Re: Lutyens Garden Bench
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2017, 02:07 PM »
Well done!  Turned out beautifully.  I can't show this to my wife because then I'll be building it and I have a few other things to do.

I hope you'll keep us posted as you paint and finish it.  I'm especially curious what folks will suggest about the "dip" you mentioned for the legs vs. just brushing a few coats. 
"What you have to do tomorrow, do today.  What you have to do today, do now."  - a wise grandfather who was clearly talking about purchasing Festools

Offline Bert Vanderveen

  • Posts: 332
Re: Lutyens Garden Bench
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2017, 08:37 AM »
That 'dip method' is used often to prevent moisture damage — other methods are tacking some flashing tape on the ends and/or a piece of thin sheet metal.
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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