How to Build a Mahogany Patio Bench
This bench can be made to any length to provide plenty of seating at your next backyard party.
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Materials and Tools:
1-1/4" finish nails
table saw with tongue and groove bit
1. Create a template of your back pieces onto a piece of scrap wood. It should resemble a short hockey stick with an arched top. The vertical section of the pieces should be 18 inches and the curved section should be eight inches.
3. To make each back piece uniform, clamp them together and smooth them down with a sander. Start with 40-grit sandpaper and then follow it up with a finer grit.
4. Cut the 2x2 mahogany down to ten 16-inch rails, two 18-inch stiles and three 16-1/2-inch stiles.
6. Apply glue to the top of the backs, 16-3/4-inches from the bottom. Attach a rail with the pocket holes facing inside. Attach another rail to the back piece, two inches from the bottom.
7. For two of the backs, attach a stile to the rails through the pocket holes so that it mirrors the back piece, with the bottom rail starting two inches from the bottom. These will be along the sides of the finished bench.
8. Now it's time to put the front framing together. Create pocket holes a couple inches from the edges of two long 2x2 mahogany beams that are 89 inches long.
9. Attach stiles to the beams with glue and screws every 22-1/4 inches so that three stiles are attached. The frame should resemble a ladder when it's complete.
10. Attach the three center back pieces to the beams with glue and screws so that the stiles already attached to the beams end up completing the framing for the backs. Be sure everything is nice and flush.
11. Attach the two side back pieces to the ends of the beams with glue and screws.
12. Cut down four thin blocking pieces and nail them inside the vertical edges of the outside back pieces so the slats will have something to rest on.
13. Run 3/4" mahogany through the table saw with a tongue and groove bit set to create tongues (deep ridges) and grooves (slots) along the edges. The pieces should have heights of 1-1/2" and 3".
14. Now cut down the tongue and groove slats to 13-5/8" for the sides. Fit them together and nail them to the sides with 1-1/4-inch finish nails, alternating between the two slat types for a more decorative look.
15. The wood will be outdoors and will expand and contract relative to your climate, so fit a coin (a nickel works well) in between the slats when attaching them to leave space for movement over time.
16. Once the two sides are complete, attach several long strips of the 1-1/2" and 3" high mahogany along the front of the bench so that they line up with the sizes along the adjacent side. They don't have to rest flush with the edges.
17. Once the strips are attached, saw off the ends with a back saw for a nice, flush seam. Sand down the edges.
18. Attach the long strips to the top of the bench in the same manner, but leave an overhang at the front edge. Saw off the ends.
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