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Replacement wooden slats for garden bench?



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 11th 08, 09:40 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 1,118
Default Replacement wooden slats for garden bench?

I have acquired two old(ish) garden benches which have cast iron ends
in reasonable condition but rotten wooden slats. I had intended to
repaint the ends and replace the slats with hardwood, however my
partner spotted Homebase were selling new benches for only 30 each.

The Homebase bench is shown he
http://tinyurl.com/6c99x4
or
http://www.homebase.co.uk/wcsstore/h...7UC318746X.jpg

Our bench ends are more attractive but those on the Homebase benches
are just about good enough. I already have some dark blue metal paint
and they should come up well with a couple of coats of this.

So the question is, can I obtain new hardwood slats and fixings for
less than 30 per bench, or do I just give up and buy two new benches
from Homebase?

If I buy slats, what combination of type of timber and preservative
(or paint) would be best, taking into account its strength, resistance
to rot and appearance?
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  #2  
Old May 11th 08, 10:12 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
OG
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Posts: 545
Default Replacement wooden slats for garden bench?


"Bruce" wrote in message
news
I have acquired two old(ish) garden benches which have cast iron ends
in reasonable condition but rotten wooden slats. I had intended to
repaint the ends and replace the slats with hardwood, however my
partner spotted Homebase were selling new benches for only 30 each.

The Homebase bench is shown he
http://tinyurl.com/6c99x4
or
http://www.homebase.co.uk/wcsstore/h...7UC318746X.jpg

Our bench ends are more attractive but those on the Homebase benches
are just about good enough. I already have some dark blue metal paint
and they should come up well with a couple of coats of this.

So the question is, can I obtain new hardwood slats and fixings for
less than 30 per bench, or do I just give up and buy two new benches
from Homebase?


What would give you more satisfaction, bringing the old benches back into
active use, or buying and assembling a couple of benches from a shop?

If you decide not to attempt to renovate the old benches, can I suggest you
see there are any local projects that would be interested in taking them
on - something like that can be used for helping 'naughty boys' get back on
the straight and narrow, or sometimes as occupational therapy for people
with learning difficulties.


  #3  
Old May 12th 08, 12:10 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,118
Default Replacement wooden slats for garden bench?

"OG" wrote:
"Bruce" wrote in message
news
I have acquired two old(ish) garden benches which have cast iron ends
in reasonable condition but rotten wooden slats. I had intended to
repaint the ends and replace the slats with hardwood, however my
partner spotted Homebase were selling new benches for only 30 each.

The Homebase bench is shown he
http://tinyurl.com/6c99x4
or
http://www.homebase.co.uk/wcsstore/h...7UC318746X.jpg

Our bench ends are more attractive but those on the Homebase benches
are just about good enough. I already have some dark blue metal paint
and they should come up well with a couple of coats of this.

So the question is, can I obtain new hardwood slats and fixings for
less than 30 per bench, or do I just give up and buy two new benches
from Homebase?


What would give you more satisfaction, bringing the old benches back into
active use, or buying and assembling a couple of benches from a shop?



Definitely bringing the old benches back into active use! The cast
ends are very attractive and they are much higher quality than the
Homebase version. I strongly suspect they were cast here in Britain
rather than in China or Eastern Europe.


If you decide not to attempt to renovate the old benches, can I suggest you
see there are any local projects that would be interested in taking them
on - something like that can be used for helping 'naughty boys' get back on
the straight and narrow, or sometimes as occupational therapy for people
with learning difficulties.



That's a great idea, thanks. But I am keen to restore them, and just
need a little advice on what timber and finish to use, then I will see
if it can be done within the budget. If it can't, I will do what you
suggest.

Thanks for your reply.


  #4  
Old May 12th 08, 12:18 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 2,990
Default Replacement wooden slats for garden bench?

On Sun, 11 May 2008 20:40:15 +0100, Bruce wrote:

I have acquired two old(ish) garden benches which have cast iron ends
in reasonable condition but rotten wooden slats. I had intended to
repaint the ends and replace the slats with hardwood, however my
partner spotted Homebase were selling new benches for only 30 each.

The Homebase bench is shown he
http://tinyurl.com/6c99x4
or
http://www.homebase.co.uk/wcsstore/h...7UC318746X.jpg

Our bench ends are more attractive but those on the Homebase benches
are just about good enough.


Supermarket garden benches are usually pretty flimsy, so you would
really be better off getting some oak (or similar) slats, even if they
do cost a little more than 60 quid.

Another advantage is that your reconditioned benches would likely be
more recognisable should they be nicked from your
garden/patio/whatever.

And of course you can make the benches to the optimum length to fit
your available space.

--
Frank Erskine
  #5  
Old May 12th 08, 04:08 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 8,962
Default Replacement wooden slats for garden bench?

Bruce wrote:
"OG" wrote:
"Bruce" wrote in message
news


I have acquired two old(ish) garden benches which have cast iron ends
in reasonable condition but rotten wooden slats. I had intended to
repaint the ends and replace the slats with hardwood, however my
partner spotted Homebase were selling new benches for only �30 each.

The Homebase bench is shown he
http://tinyurl.com/6c99x4
or
http://www.homebase.co.uk/wcsstore/h...7UC318746X.jpg

Our bench ends are more attractive but those on the Homebase benches
are just about good enough. I already have some dark blue metal paint
and they should come up well with a couple of coats of this.

So the question is, can I obtain new hardwood slats and fixings for
less than �30 per bench, or do I just give up and buy two new benches
from Homebase?


What would give you more satisfaction, bringing the old benches back into
active use, or buying and assembling a couple of benches from a shop?



Definitely bringing the old benches back into active use! The cast
ends are very attractive and they are much higher quality than the
Homebase version. I strongly suspect they were cast here in Britain
rather than in China or Eastern Europe.


If you decide not to attempt to renovate the old benches, can I suggest you
see there are any local projects that would be interested in taking them
on - something like that can be used for helping 'naughty boys' get back on
the straight and narrow, or sometimes as occupational therapy for people
with learning difficulties.



That's a great idea, thanks. But I am keen to restore them, and just
need a little advice on what timber and finish to use, then I will see
if it can be done within the budget. If it can't, I will do what you
suggest.

Thanks for your reply.


In both cases, whatever you want. You may be able to fit wood a
wee bit thicker in there, which would make it more robust than the
standard chinese offering.


NT
  #6  
Old May 12th 08, 10:18 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
Rod
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Posts: 2,893
Default Replacement wooden slats for garden bench?

Frank Erskine wrote:
On Sun, 11 May 2008 20:40:15 +0100, Bruce wrote:

I have acquired two old(ish) garden benches which have cast iron ends
in reasonable condition but rotten wooden slats. I had intended to
repaint the ends and replace the slats with hardwood, however my
partner spotted Homebase were selling new benches for only 30 each.

snip

Supermarket garden benches are usually pretty flimsy, so you would
really be better off getting some oak (or similar) slats, even if they
do cost a little more than 60 quid.

snip

IME, most "supermarket" cast iron is in fact cast aluminium. Which is
obviously much lighter. In turn the bench is much more likely to be
moved by people, wind, whatever than the heavier real cast iron. And it
will have a different and horrible "sound" - especially if it scrapes
and scratches over a hard surface.

(I really don't know why, but even when thoroughly painted, cast
aluminium is obvious at 1000 paces.)

As for finishing, surely either untreated oak or use an oil - much
previous discussion here over the relative merits of the various oils
available such as Danish and Tung oils.

--
Rod

Hypothyroidism is a seriously debilitating condition with an insidious
onset.
Although common it frequently goes undiagnosed.
www.thyromind.info www.thyroiduk.org www.altsupportthyroid.org
  #7  
Old May 12th 08, 04:52 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 1,118
Default Replacement wooden slats for garden bench?

Frank Erskine wrote:

Supermarket garden benches are usually pretty flimsy, so you would
really be better off getting some oak (or similar) slats, even if they
do cost a little more than 60 quid.



That's what I thought. But the Homebase bench actually has sturdy
slats. I sat on one (I'm not light) and it didn't budge. However,
the cast metal ends look a bit flimsy.


Another advantage is that your reconditioned benches would likely be
more recognisable should they be nicked from your
garden/patio/whatever.

And of course you can make the benches to the optimum length to fit
your available space.



Two good selling points ... all I need to do is convince my partner!

But another factor has come into play - the local Homebase is out of
stock. ;-)

  #8  
Old May 12th 08, 04:54 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 1,118
Default Replacement wooden slats for garden bench?

Rod wrote:

IME, most "supermarket" cast iron is in fact cast aluminium. Which is
obviously much lighter. In turn the bench is much more likely to be
moved by people, wind, whatever than the heavier real cast iron. And it
will have a different and horrible "sound" - especially if it scrapes
and scratches over a hard surface.

(I really don't know why, but even when thoroughly painted, cast
aluminium is obvious at 1000 paces.)



I agree. But that's about the only criticism I can find of the
Homebase product.


As for finishing, surely either untreated oak or use an oil - much
previous discussion here over the relative merits of the various oils
available such as Danish and Tung oils.



I'm certainly leaning towards oak, and your suggestion of oil is a
good one. I will search Google Groups for previous discussions.

  #9  
Old May 13th 08, 12:54 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5,162
Default Replacement wooden slats for garden bench?

On Sun, 11 May 2008 20:40:15 +0100, Bruce wrote:

So the question is, can I obtain new hardwood slats and fixings for
less than 30 per bench, or do I just give up and buy two new benches
from Homebase?


New benches will give you flimsy crapwood slats.

Buy some timber and fit larch slats, from a good timberyard, NOT a DIY
shed, they'll cost a fortune. This is strong, springy, and just about
the most rotproof affordable softwood you can get. Finsih it with either
Danish oil (Screwfix cheap) or a more expensive oil such as Organoil.
Otherwise varnish with one of the Sikkens products (still the best
outdoor varnish).

Locally to Bristol I'd suggest Bendrey Bros. Compare prices from their
website to get an idea of what's reasonable.

I wouldn't use oak. It's not as strong in a thin section (larch will
bend further than oak without breaking, even though it might take less
weight to do it). It will also go grey in no time, even though it might
last slightly longer overall. If you really want UK hardwood, go for
sweet chestnut instead. That's much better at resisting rot.
  #10  
Old May 13th 08, 12:18 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,118
Default Replacement wooden slats for garden bench?

Andy Dingley wrote:

On Sun, 11 May 2008 20:40:15 +0100, Bruce wrote:

So the question is, can I obtain new hardwood slats and fixings for
less than 30 per bench, or do I just give up and buy two new benches
from Homebase?


New benches will give you flimsy crapwood slats.

Buy some timber and fit larch slats, from a good timberyard, NOT a DIY
shed, they'll cost a fortune. This is strong, springy, and just about
the most rotproof affordable softwood you can get. Finsih it with either
Danish oil (Screwfix cheap) or a more expensive oil such as Organoil.
Otherwise varnish with one of the Sikkens products (still the best
outdoor varnish).

Locally to Bristol I'd suggest Bendrey Bros. Compare prices from their
website to get an idea of what's reasonable.

I wouldn't use oak. It's not as strong in a thin section (larch will
bend further than oak without breaking, even though it might take less
weight to do it). It will also go grey in no time, even though it might
last slightly longer overall. If you really want UK hardwood, go for
sweet chestnut instead. That's much better at resisting rot.



Thanks for that, Andy. I've been given the go-ahead to buy new slats
and restore the old cast iron ends, mainly because Homebase are now
out of stock of that bench in our area.

To be fair to Homebase, while the cast alloy ends are not great, the
slats appear to be made from good quality hardwood, are firm to sit on
and nicely finished.

 




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