This project is for our back porch. It is meant to be a very rustic work, low to the ground, and very sturdy.

I plan to sit on it to put on my boots. Cindy wants to be able to stand on it to reach her bird feeders.


The most important element of the design will be sturdiness.

Here is a surface look at the large slab. Original saw marks are very visible. This larger piece of wood is about 11.5 inches wide and ~36 inches long.



The height is set to be ~13 inches, the known and quite acceptable height of the "Big Butt Stool" that lives on the back porch.
Wood Selection and Milling

The main slab for the top has been stored in my shop for over twenty years.

It came from Mr. Reese's shop.

I have no idea how long it has been in this rough cut condition.

It is my belief (as well as the belief of a local lumber man) that this wood is old growth, very tight grained, virgin southern yellow pine.

It is really dry and hard.

I am cutting off a piece on the MFT3 to get an idea of the wood.

The slab is about 2 inches thick. There are two pieces joined together.

I plan to remove the smaller edge piece.

The rings are very tight, there is a unique pitch odor to the wood which lends credence to the pine theory.

I ripped the piece on the bandsaw to remove the outer, smaller portion.
Then I ran it through the jointer to neaten up the edge.
Cindy and I surface-planed both sides of the slab.


Roughed out slab for the top of the bench.

Legs will be milled from some 8/4 cypress.

They will be two inches thick by 11 inches wide. They will extend 11.5 inches to the shoulder with a total height of 13 inches. The though tenons will extend about 1/16 inch proud of the surface and then be planed flush.

The legs have a through mortise for the tenon of the stretcher.

There will be a stretcher with through tenons.

The stretcher tenon will extend about 1/8 inch and it will be chamfered.

I had several projects that could use some cypress so Cindy and I bought two 8/4 slabs that were ~12 inches wide and 10 feet long.
We cut these down to 5 foot long on the BenchMark table with the track saw. This slab was kiln dried and the kerf cut produced very dry light sawdust.
Moved the slabs to the shop and crosscut the slab again at the MFT3.

This cypress slab for the legs is wider than my PM jointer and I opted not cut in half and then re-glue.

So I determined that the cupped 12 inch slab would sit fairly flat when the cup was down and the slab rode on the outside edges. There was little to no rocking. So Cindy and ran the slab through the planer with that cupped side down. Then we flipped it and planed the other side. Looks pretty good.

The slab was then jointed on an edge at the PM.
Here is the slab for the legs next to the yellow pine top slab (foreground).








Carcase Assembly


Top Prep and Attachment



Final Product


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