This is a greenInstructable. If you have an old garden bench or park bench that is falling apart, "RECYCLE IT". This instructable only takes a few tools and a small amount of new wood such as oak, cypress, redwood, or even treated wood. I like oak hardwood myself, it just really looks nice after it is finished. 



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    I've just bought the same identical bench. I'm from Italy :)

    I'm going to be redoing a similar bench for my neighbor. I don't have any experience with outdoor furniture but from the searching I've done online and questions I've asked at some lumber yards it seems that you need to be careful what type of wood you use. White oak is good but red oak apparently has an open cell structure so it soaks up water like a bunch of straws. White oak is used a lot for flatbed trailers.Cedar is also good for outdoor use but isn't as strong so you would need to brace it underneath somehow. The strength is one consideration but if you don't use the right type of wood it won't last as long. If it will be on a porch or under an awning it might not be much of a problem but if it will get rained on or you live in a humid climate put some thought into how long you want it to last. If you don't mind redoing in a few years then why not.

    The problem I've found in this area is I can't find the lumber in precut pieces. I'll have to buy a big slab of lumber and mill it into the sizes I need. Not so easy if you don't have the tools for that.

    If the wood isn't totally deteriorated you could also try sanding it down and refinishing it.

    Yours really looks nice.

    Beautiful job of restoration. I have one of these benches and was unable to unscrew the bolts. What is your secret? A special tool or incredible strength?

    1 reply

    VICEGRIPS AND ELBO GREASE. Sorry that was probably not much help. You might have to cut them off and replace with new brass carriage bolts. Thanks for the comment and I would like to see a picture of your bench after you refinish it

    Nice pics! Would like to know how you got the iron scrollwork to look so nice. Looks sandblasted with some sort of matte gunmetal-gray finish. The fasteners for the slats are different than mine, (I have the exact same model), mine are just phillips that are countersunk instead of the gray 'caps' on yours, those look awesome! Also, did you use Varathane to finish the wood or lacquer? Thanks!

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    I hand painted, with a brush, the iron scrollwork with the original matching color after taking a sample to Home Depot and having it color matched. The bolt heads were painted before they were installed with the same color. The bolts were the original ones that came with the bench and are of the carriage bolt type with large mushroom heads and nut underneath to secure them.
    Thanks for your comments and interest,


    I have a very similar project planned. However I'm not sure I want to splurge for hardwood. Would 1x2 pine be strong enough for a bench such as this?

    1 reply

    I believe you would be OK with pine if you get good, straight grained pine with no knots. The pine will not be as strong as the oak hardwood but should give years of service if a good finish is applied and kept up. In this Instructable the top picture with the cross-hatched metal work back is my own personal bench and I used pine on it. (completed ‎June ‎2008) After five years it is now showing a lot of weathering because I have never refinished it but I set on it nearly every day while I am out with my dog. The bench with the all hardwood slats was done for a special friend and needed to be a first class project.(completed ‎July ‎2010) It still looks great after three years setting on a protected porch.

    try useing recyled pallet wood, as most shipping pallets are mage from mixed hardwoods. you will need a table saw to rip them into the long slats that you will need.

    I did this as well a few years ago. We had a similar looking bench in a garden a shady garden in the backyard. After years of wet summers, freezing winters, and hungry insects the boards were rotten. We used cherry wood for the new slats, 4 years on(covering it up during the winter) and it's still looking great.