Replace Garden Bench slats

Discussion in 'Wood / Woodwork / Carpentry' started by richchad, 3 Jul 2010.

  1. richchad

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    I have three 12 slat garden benches with cast iron ends.

    The slats are hardwood but the screw anchors have come out of end of slats due to age, I am thinking of renewing all of the slats so it raises two questions really, do I renew with hardwood or a treated softwood which would require retreating when necessary and how do I anchor the slats to the cast iron ends which have 12 holes in each side.

    Thought about just screwing brass screws into each slat end or is there some sort of anchor that is fitted in the slat end as on the original benches?

    Any ideas anyone?
     
  2. foxhole

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    Break up a wood pallet they are hard wood and free, plane to size, stain and fit with brass screws.
     
  3. imamartian

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    i did the very same thing. Choose any timber... just keep it maintained.
    You can use slightly thicker slats though, often the timber they're supplied with are bare minimum.

    To attach them, countersink some short coach bolts. Drill through the frame if needs be to take the bolts.
     
  4. richchad

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    Thanks for the replies, looks like I will have to check out Jewsons etc for some wood slats and coach bolts perhaps, not sure if I can countersink them enough though.

    Not sure about the pallets foxhole, most ones I have seen are a bit rough.

    Thanks anyway.
     
  5. imamartian

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    look around at what coachbolts are available... they usually have really shallow domed heads, you only need to touch your slat with a large sharp drill to countersink them, but even if you don't bother, you won't have any problem with them on the surface. They'll be near the edge, plus they'll be ok to sit on.

    As for timber, have you got access to a table saw? you could rip the slats out of any large timber - fence post for example. You'll just need to take of the corners... especially on the front slat.....
     
  6. richchad

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    Ah, right now I see what you mean, your slats must be fitted differently to mine.

    My slats are fitted on the ends, to holes in the side of the castings, they used wood inserts originally with round head screws screwed through the casting into the wood inserts.

    So if I used coach bolts the heads would be proud of the side iron castings, so maybe I need brass screws direct into the wood or new inserts?
     
  7. imamartian

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    oh ok, we're talking cross purposes... :LOL:

    can you post a pic? (of the bench... this is a family site after all lol :LOL: )
     
  8. Hitachimad

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    The ones i have done have had small coach bolts slightly counterbored.

    I have one i keep meaning to refurbish, i keep thinking iroko for the slats, but cost always makes me leave it for now :LOL:
     
  9. imamartian

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    i wouldn't spend any money on posh timber for this sort of bench when they're relatively cheap everywhere.. if you build a bespoke bench then yes... iroko etc is great...

    any timber will do as a slat... just apply an appropriate treatmant as and when...
     
  10. richchad

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    These photos show how slats are attached, you can see that the inserts have come out of the slats......

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  11. imamartian

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    i see what you mean.... my bench is the same shape, but has a ledge on which the slats sit, so my bolts a re vertical.

    You have a different problem totally. I think i would go for thicker slats... and then use the biggest screw you have.... making sure you pre-drill to the diameter of the shank of the screw....
     
  12. richchad

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    Have now dismantled the benches and notice that the wood isn't too bad, it is some type of hard wood, only problem I have had with it in the past is that after jet washing it to remove the crap on it, you get very short fine splinters until it matures again then okay.

    Got prices for new wood yesterday, Iroko was £250 for 36 slats for the 3 benches..! and a treated softwood was £80.

    So might just keep original slats fitted with new M8 50mm stainless steel coach screws pre-drilled as you mentioned imamartian.

    Just wondering what to treat wood with, varnish, Cuprinol Shades or some other wood preserver?

    I did varnish them some 15 years ago but this soon peeled off, just worried that a wood treatment that soaks in might lift the grain again to cause splinters so that's why I was wondering about a paint type wood treatment like Cuprinol Shades?
     
  13. joe-90

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    Chop an inch off each end of each slat to get to better wood, you'll never notice the difference.
     
  14. richchad

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    Just for completeness thought I would show a finished bench, I did chop an inch off the ends, thanks joe-90 and imamartian.

     
  15. imamartian

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    that looks pretty good, nice work.
     

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