How to Build a Half-Log Bench
A half log bench can without doubt be used both as an additional furniture to your garden or as an item to sit on and relax in your garden or backyard. This is a moderately easy job to accomplish and requires minimum tools. For a beginner, select a straight grain log. This will ease the process in cutting the log in half. A good choice of log will be red oak, cedar or ash, which are easy to use and can withstand any weather condition if treated with a suitable paint protector. This project can be undertaken either using a chainsaw or using an axe.
Step 1 - Splitting the Log
With a pencil or a colorful crayon, score the log lengthwise all the way round. Place the log on a horizontal surface and slice the log in 2 halves with a chain saw. This should give you a smooth level surface on both halves of the log.
If you are using the traditional way, using the axe, place a wedge in the center on the marked line in the four corners of the log and in the center. Hammer in the wedges, driving them deep enough until the log splits in half. Select the supreme half of the log and smooth the surface.
Step 2 - Creating the Legs
Now that you have determined which part is the bench top, utilize the other half to construct the legs. Cut four quarters, about 2 square inches. Each quarter must be at least 24 inches in length. Draw a 1 inch diameter circle on one end and one and a half circle on the other end. Round each quarter with a knife, starting from the top moving down until you attain a round leg. Repeat the same process for the 4 legs.
Step 3 - Drilling the Holes
Position the bench top on a flat surface. Mark four places for the legs. For a best fit, the holes must not be straight but angled at 10 degrees from vertical away from the axis of the bench. Drill the holes approximately 3 inches deep until you ensure that the legs fit in snugly in the bench top.
Step 4 - Fitting the Legs
Ensure that all four legs are of the same size. Insert the one leg into a hole and tap it down lightly. Use a piece of scrap wood to avoid splitting when hammering. Repeat the same process for each leg. Place the bench on its legs and check for stability. If need be, trim down any excess until you feel that the bench is stable and reliable to sit on.
Step 5 - Protecting the Bench
To ensure that the bench will last for a considerable amount of years, protection is a necessity. Use linseed oil and apply 2 coats. The oil will not dry out completely like ordinary paint. Consequently, apply 3 coats of varnish. Leave each coat to dry out overnight. This protection will shield it from all weather conditions.