Bench Side View

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BENCH TOP VIEW

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4 Cut the lap joints in the legs and in the ends of the stretchers. It's easiest to cut these lap joints with a dado cutter mounted on your table saw or radial arm saw. Once again, cut the stock for both the table and the benches, and use a stop block to make the repetitive cuts all the same.

Adjust the height of the dado cutter to cut halfway through the thickness of a 2 x 4. To make the lower lap in the legs, position the stop block to make the first outside cuts, 2" from the bottoms of the legs. Cut all the legs, and readjust the stop block to make the other outside cut, W from the bottoms of the legs. (See Figure 2.) Remove the stop blocks and cut away the waste in between the cuts. (See Figure 3 )

To cut the laps in the upper ends of the legs, and both ends of the stretchers, you only need to position the stop block once. Make a single outside cut, W from the ends; then saw away the waste.

2/You can also use stop blocks with a dado cutter. For the lap joints near the bottom ot the legs, make the first outside cut reposition the block, and make the second

3 Then cut away the waste in between the cuts.

TABLE

LAYOUT

2/You can also use stop blocks with a dado cutter. For the lap joints near the bottom ot the legs, make the first outside cut reposition the block, and make the second

3 Then cut away the waste in between the cuts.

BENCH LEG

LAYOUT

Temporarily assemble the legs and stretchers. Temporarily clamp the legs and stretchers together to check the fit of the lap joints.

When you're satisfied that the joints all fit properly, leave the parts assembled while you cut and fit the table top and seats.

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Cut the slats for the table top and the W seats. You can rip and cut all the slats for a table and two benches from a single 1 x 12,12' long. (To do this, you have to "alternate" on the miter cuts, to avoid wasting material.) If you're making four benches, purchase two 1 x 12s, 8' long. Rip and join the stock to make long strips _W wide.

Set up your saw for the miter cuts. After you set the saw to make miters, and before you cut good stock, cut four pieces of scrap. Each piece of scrap must be exactly the same length and mitcrcd on both ends. Kit them together to form a square to check if the miter is true. When you adjust the saw to increase or reduce the angle of a miter, move the arm or miter gauge just W-V4* at a time

7Finish sand all the parts before final ties in the wood, and to make them smooch and clean. If assembly. Disassemble the table and benches, you plan to paint or finish the table and benches, apply and sand the unassembled parts to remove any irregulari- the first coat before you reassemble the parts.

Assemble the table and bench frames.

Fasten the frames back together with flathead wood screws. Use * 10 x 1 Vt" screws for the lap joints in between the legs and the stretchers, and *12 x 2W

screws for the lap joints in the middle of the stretchers. Once the table and the bench frames are assembled, sand the lap joints to make sure the ends of the stretchers are flush with the outside edges of the legs.

Attach the slats to the tops of the table and benches. Make sure the stretchers in each frame are absolutely square to each other. Then position the slats on the top of each frame, and tack them in place with finishing nails. When you're satisfied that all the slats are properly positioned and spaced, drive the nails all the way home.

TKY THIS ' Drill pilot holes in the slats for the nails, especially in the smaller pieces. This will help to keep them from splitting.

Sand and finish the completed project. Round over all the corners and If this project is going to be edges on both the table and benches. Inspect the com- used by toddlers, think twice before applying a plctcd assemblies carefully to make sure there are no finish. All outdoor finishes and paints are toxic, to rough areas, or parts that could throw splinters. If you some degree. If you think a child might decide to find any, sand them down. Then apply a finish, if you've chew on the edge of the table, take heart that most decided to use one. raw softwoods have lots of fiber and trace amounts of Vitamin C.

4/Stop blocks are also useful when making miter cuts. Use them to gauge the length ot the slats

When the saw is properly adjusted, cut the slats to length, mitering the ends at 45.' like all the parts in this project, you can use a stop block to help make repetitive cuts. (See Figure 4.) As you cut, put the parts in place on the frame assemblies to check the fit.

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