TOP TIMBER: It is easy to make a timber bar or even timber kitchen bench tops following theses steps.
TOP TIMBER: It is easy to make a timber bar or even timber kitchen bench tops following theses steps. Photos Contributed

DIY with Ayden and Jess: Make your own timber bench

WE HAVE hit the ground running since getting our final building approval last fortnight and my body can already feel it.

I've been clocking up 12 to 14 hours a day just clearing our block ready for plumbing, electrical and footings, but you could say we are defiantly used to it. My arms are starting to resemble Popeye's after four days on the chainsaw.

It's amazing how much a parcel of land visually changes going from an overgrown mess of weeds and vines and eight-foot grass to mowed, chopped and cleared. We installed our Envirocycle tank yesterday and it feels great to have something done that you can actually see. I even cut some split posts out of a tallow wood and red gum that needed to be removed. I cut about 20, saving us a total of $163.

But it wasn't really about the cash, more the fact that the fence will be a talking point for as long as we live there and we love timber. I will be installing the fence in about a month, so stay tuned for a complete run down on how to build one.

Speaking of loving timber, in week one of Reno Rumble I made a timber bar for Kyal and Kara's lounge room. It was very similar method to the table top I made in the elimination round of The Block and the ones at the MCG challenge we did with Josh and Charlotte.

You can put as much effort as you like into the finish of the top but some times a rustic style timber top looks more appealing than a high gloss varnished one. You can even make new tops for your kitchen or laundry using this method.

Tools required:  

  • Tape measure  
  • Pencil  
  • Drop saw  
  • Drill  
  • Philips drill bit  
  • Biscuit Jointer  
  • Belt sander  
  • Sanding block  
  • Rags  
  • F clamps.

Materials:

  •  200mm x 3600mm solid timber  
  •  16 x 100mm 'L' brackets  
  •  8x5/8x6 pan head screws  
  •  Exterior PVA Glue  
  •  240 grit sand paper  
  •  20mm Biscuits.


Step 1: Choosing your timber

To save time choose a timber that has been dressed. That means timber that has been milled to size with four flat edges. You want to choose carefully, only selecting the straightest timber you can find.

The wider the better also, as there will be less biscuit joining to be done. Our table is 400mm wide, so two pieces at 200mm will be perfect.


Step 2: Prep

Lay your two pieces on the ground butting them up next to each other. Now with a tape measure and a pencil mark both pieces at 200mm intervals. Now using your biscuit jointer, cut your slots into the sides of the timber at the corresponding pencil marks.


Step 3: Gluing and clamping

Insert a bead of exterior PVA glue into all the slots. Now insert a timber biscuit into all the slots on one of the pieces of timber. They may need a tap in with a hammer. Press the two pieces together and clamp them together with your F clamps.

You can use some old pieces of timber to protect the top from the F clamp marking or gauging the edge. Also be careful what's underneath your top, as the glue will seep out and stick it down to the floor. You can use some old newspaper to line the floor. Let dry for 24 hours.


Step 4: Sanding and cutting

Remove the clamps and using a belt sander with 240 grit paper, sand the whole thing top and bottom to your desired finish. Using a drop saw cut off a neat end.

You can now measure out two legs and top to your own size and using the drop saw again cut all your pieces.


Step 5: Assemble

Using your tape measure and your pencil, measure in at either end of the top 100mm.

Now using your drill, pan head screws and 'L' brackets, fix the legs into the top inside and out. Use about eight L brackets on each leg.


Step 6: Finish

With a sanding block, sand the whole top and legs by hand with 240 grit sand paper. We lightly oiled ours to give it a real natural look. Tools:



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