Making a rustic bench is a lot easier than it looks. and if placed on dirt can be made, leveled and set up in upder 20 minutes with just a couple basic tools. A perfect project for a campfire when out in the bush!
This particular bench was made about 3 miles into a beautiful trail running path. and is a fantastic spot to stop and look out over the valley. Friends of mine brought this log up from almost 1.5 miles away and it has been sitting there called a bench but has been missing legs for years. it was my time to fix that.
So I loaded up a few tools and a camera and went out to document the bit of fun in the woods.
Adjustable Bit: http://amzn.to/2q7wyfI
Chisel Set: http://amzn.to/2qwEkkO
Hand saw: http://amzn.to/2r4xIX1
and a smaller log (almost a stick)
Just go running in the woods. You will find them.
Step 1: Locating the Supplies
Most any woods is going to need what you want. the Park I normally run at allowed me to go do this but check with the park authority to make sure it is ok with them first. you can also pick up logs from along side the road if they are left in the ROW. here is the part where you have to use your imagination. logs are often split with a flat side from a lightning strike or wind storm. but if you cant find one with a semi flat top then a round log will work fine.
For the legs, I am looking for sticks about 2" in diameter. you want them to be strong and recently fallen so there is little or no rot.
Step 2: Cut the Legs
I cut my legs at about 18" long. I was not picky and some of my legs were longer and some were shorter by as much as an inch. if there is any vacancy in the length you can adjust that later.
Step 3: Drill the Holes
I used a brace and bit to drill out holes that were about 1/2" smaller than the legs. I used an adjustable bit to cut a hole the size I needed and went all the way through into the top of the seat. I also splayed the angle of the leg holes by a few degrees. What that is, really does not matter as we are just making a quick and simple bench. Just lean the brace to the outside and drill them out.
Just make sure the angle is close to the same (eyeball is great) all the back legs and then again on the front legs.
I drilled 6 legs for this bench that was about 9' long but you can put however many you want.
Step 4: Install the Legs
I used a chisel to remove the bark and start to taper the end of the legs. I cleaned them all back about 4-6" from the end and then tested them in the hole until the tip of the leg fit in the hole. then I used another stick and pounded the legs in!
Step 5: Test Your Work
Next Flip the bench over and give her a sit! if it wobbles then you might need to dig down a bit to get all legs on the ground at the same point of trim the length of the long leg. Otherwise, over time, the long leg will sink into the ground a bit and it will naturally level out.
Is this a perfect bench? NO. will this bench last for generations? NO. is this bench perfectly comfortable? NO. Was this bench a blast to make? YES!!! And the day it breaks, you can build another one in less than 20 minutes, and have another fun time!