Strip the concrete legs from the forms
After an hour of this, the concrete can be removed from the forms. It was the end of the day so I covered the forms with plastic and left them overnight.
Now for what I think is the best part of all of this: stripping the forms to reveal the casting.
I wasn’t sure how well the split bolt block would work or if it would be difficult to remove but it went just fine.
The newly cast legs should now be at around half their full strength. They will reach their full strength if you keep wet to cure for four weeks. For this project I’m not going to worry about that here and I’m going to build the bench right away.
Make the bench seat
For safety, I put a few wraps of tape around the exposed bolts while I was handling the leg castings.
I used a small block of concrete from a previous pour to round off any sharp corners on the casting while it was still relatively soft.
I’ll make the seat for the bench from red cedar 2×6’s. I’ll cut them to length on the mitre saw then lay out the hole locations on each end.
Laying out the Parts
I’ll use the drill guide to first counterbore for the nut and washers, then drill through for the bolt.
I use a square as a gauge to get a consistent bore depth.
The stretcher is made from a 2×4. I had some cedar 2×6 left from the seat planks so I ripped it down on the table saw.
I lay out and mark the location for the holes on each end and drill them from both sides with a forstner bit. I drilled a pilot hole first to help guide the larger bit. And this worked pretty well.
To make drilling into end grain for the stretcher bolt easier I first make a drill guide from a scrap piece of 2×2.
Then I clamp the stretcher and guide to my bench.
The drill will follow the guide and give a centered and true hole.
I’ll attach ties under the seat to connect the planks and prevent any side to side racking .
These are made from a 1×4. And they have a 45 degree bevel on each end. I’ll drill pilot holes now to make assembly of the bench easier.
I sand the ends of the planks to round over the corners. And sand off any rough spots on the other parts.