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Designing a no-back Black Walnut outdoor bench

Barry Ohs made this bench using Black Walnut slabs, Black Locust legs, Oak storage "stump", and a Hickory and Black Locust "stump" lid

The original concept was to find a suitable slab and a tree trunk segment for a simple bench. It became more complicated when the slab search adventure resulted in two live edge Black Walnut slabs.

The "raw" slabs are a bit gnarly. You have to have a good imagination to visualize them as future wonderful benches. They took up the entire hallway in our camper van.

This cardboard model helped the Friends of Center Park Board of Directors approve the project. It also helped Barry understand the new design. Meanwhile the Monday Garden class at Center Park students found an appropriate site for the bench and began to enhance the Woodland Garden area nearby. The goal was to make viewing the bench and viewing from the bench an attractive sight.

The epoxy takes some effort to pour into the voids and wait for each layer to set. Big holes were filled with stones and little treasures. Epoxy is expensive, so by filling holes (and taping the back to prevent the epoxy from just dripping away) the hidden items serve two purposes. Less epoxy is needed, and sometimes the hidden objects can be seen, much to the delight of visitors.

The bench has been sited since October 2022. I just now put some paper towels and wipes inside the secret storage "stump" in case a visitor needs to clean or dry the seats.

Project complete!

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