Introduction: Christmas Tree (or Hanukkah Bush) Bench

Salvaged christmas tree bench. Ever notice that there are tons of Christmas trees at your neighbour's curbs? Usually the city or town will use them to make mulch but why not take advantage of some perfectly good (and free!) wood yourself?

Tools and materials:

7 Christmas trees
Electric screwdriver
2" screws
Reciprocating saw
Gloves (you don't want blisters)
Bush trimmers

Step 1: Salvaging

1. a) Salvage at least 8 christmas trees. Four trees should have trunks at least 2 inches in radius for 17 inches in height, and the other four should be at least 1.5 inches in radius for at least 50 inches. The first four will be the legs of the bench and the remaining four will be the horizontal planks running across the bench.

b) The first step is to de-branch all of the trees using your bush cutters. The trimmers alone will not allow you to get close enough to the base of the trunk.

c) The next step is to saw off the remaining branch stumps with your handsaw. This is so that you won't be poked by them while sitting when its finished.

Step 2: Cutting to Size

Once you have fulling de-branched you can now cut the logs into the proper lengths.

2. a) The first four pieces (at least 2" in radius) will be cut at 17" inches. 
    b) The remaining four (1.5" in radius) will be cut to 52 inches.

3. Using the logs leftover from the 17" pieces you will now cut the pieces that will run underneath the horizontal planks on the perpendicular and act as supports. Cut the pieces at 21".

Step 3: Creating Intersections/notches

Now you can mark the logs with chalk on the areas you will be cutting notches for. The notches will allow the logs to intersect and conjoin to create a stable structure. On the supporting 22" long running perpendicular to the horizontal planks, mark 2" from the edge of both pieces. Rest the four horizontal pieces evenly inside the area you just marked leaving an overhang of three inches off the edge. Mark the outside of each plank onto the 22" pieces. This is where you will cut the notches for both the 22 pieces and the 52" pieces. Use the reciprocating saw to cut out the notches with a curved motion in a moon shape. Once all of those notches have been cut out, place the logs into their respective notches. Using the electric screwdriver, screw the 2" screws into the top of each log. You have finished the seat of the bench! 

Now you can mark the notches for the legs. Stand each leg up and mark 1" in from the top with chalk. Measure the height of the horizontal planks to find the length of each notch. Mark the length on each leg with chalk. Then cut the notch out with the reciprocating saw. Ask two people to hold either end of the bench up while you fit the legs into the L shaped created by the overhang/crossing on the horizontal and support planks. Using the electric screwdriver, add screws to secure the intersection. You have now finished the bench!

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