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I've never seen the need nor the logic behind legs tenoned into the top. The only reason I can understand would be for historical accuracy. Keep in mind Mr. Schwarz is a hand tool woodworker who's focus is to preserve historical methods. I remember watching a video of him laboriously hand sawing out tenons and dovetails in a 5x5 leg, in the backround was a bandsaw. I'm not taking away from his work, just saying if a bandsaw was available in 1650 you can be they would have used it!

I would suggest you consider building the base of 2 trestles. Coupled by stretchers it will be just as sturdy and orders of magnitude easier to build. It can be easily disassembled if needed.

On both these benches I used through bolts (like bed bolts) into the stretchers which are housed in shallow tenons. Through tenons and wedges could also have been used.

Just something to consider.

Window Wood Table Tradesman Carpenter


Wood Table Outdoor bench Picnic table Floor
 

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You were lucky the boards didn’t bend you must have some fairly stress free wood there.

Dont get too hung up on moisture content numbers. The wood will equilibrate to whatever the environment is. We shoot for the magic 6%, but it may never get there if you have a shop In FL vs. CO.

My point is I wouldn’t get too hung up on it, steady state is more important then number, and it is acclimating to where it’s going to live, unlike furniture that gets moved into a house. If the numbers are pretty consistent I would just proceed with the build.

Are you planning to use an alignment aid?

How are you going to flatten the top?
 

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AP, I don’t know about cypress. Its not even as dense as pine. Guess it all depends on what you’re doing doesn’t seem like a good choice to me.

Speaking of which, my first bench was from a section of bowling alley lane given to me by a friend.

If you do get one, I suggest removing all the nails and glue back together. Mine also had cables running cross wise every few feet. Wreak havoc on a drill bit.
 

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Sorry for your loss, you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. I‘m noticing your signature for the first time 👍🏻 We need a LOT more of that now - I wish our politicians knew something about it.

When my father died it was the end of a long, hard road, like yours, and knowing he wasn’t suffering anymore was something to fall back on, but the void is still there.
 

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Nice work, BC. I am in SYP country and I don’t think I’ve ever seen wood with that few knots or resin pockets!

I’ve heard people say “it’s just a bench” but I think when you work on a nice looking and well functioning bench that is a positive on the mind set.

Sorry your dad didn’t get to see it, but I know he’d be proud of it.
 
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