Author Topic: leopold bench  (Read 26517 times)

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Offline Billisnice

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leopold bench
« on: December 08, 2009, 05:22:25 AM »
any good plans?

Offline MikeT

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Re: leopold bench
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2009, 05:29:38 AM »
I must confess.  I hadn't heard of the term.  I did a Google search for Leopold Bench plans and like the image that came up.  At first glance, it does not appear too hard to make.  But I will be interested to see any links people pass along.   When I saw that it was in reference to Aldo Leopold, I was even more intrigued. 

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: leopold bench
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2009, 05:49:37 AM »
I also had to Google it.

Found a plan - good?  I don't  know - free - yes... :)

http://www.fusmadison.org/Hardhat/Aldo-Leopold-Bench.pdf
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: leopold bench
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2009, 06:04:22 AM »
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

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Offline Billisnice

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Re: leopold bench
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2009, 06:15:39 AM »
The one at http://www.epa.gov/grtlakes/greenacres/wildones/wo27bench.htm seems to have less bulky lumber. Only a seat of 2 x 10...

If anyone builds one please post.

thanks

Offline devildog

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Re: leopold bench
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2009, 02:03:21 PM »
The one at http://www.epa.gov/grtlakes/greenacres/wildones/wo27bench.htm seems to have less bulky lumber. Only a seat of 2 x 10...

If anyone builds one please post.

thanks


It looks like if you use these dim., but instead use the 2x10 lumber like the other plan used, you could build the entire thing with one 16' board. I like it,I may just try it
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Offline Normaple

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Re: leopold bench
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2009, 03:07:36 AM »
Having been on the sidelines here for a few years like many others.  I would like to finally say hello and thank you to all the folks who spend so much time helping us act on our dreams and complete projects.  There is a very interesting and helpful book about cabin building and furnishing called "How to Build Your Dream Cabin in the Woods" by J. Wayne Fears.  He covers this and several other subjects that could possibly assist you on your bench building adventure.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: leopold bench
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2009, 05:54:17 AM »
w* to the forum Normaple.  Looking forward to hearing about your adventures.
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Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: leopold bench
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2009, 06:45:15 AM »
 w*  Normaple

 rofl rofl When I first saw the tread I was visualizing a shooter bench for a rifle that had a Leopold scope on it.  Oh Yes I have seen them but didn't know their technical name.

Offline poppy

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Re: leopold bench
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2009, 07:04:33 AM »
Thanks Normaple for mentioning the book "How to Build Your Dream Cabin in the Woods."

I had forgotten that the Leopold bench was in there.

I also recommend that book especially for those who will be off the grid.

Offline gandalfthegrey

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Re: leopold bench
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2009, 09:22:48 AM »
I just ordered it from the library.  So Cal library system is really great, it covers 5 counties in the desert areas and they deliver it to my local library.   [cool]
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Offline MaineRhino

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Re: leopold bench
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2010, 04:24:40 PM »
Last Saturday I finally built two Leopold benches using the plans in the book by Fears.





For those who care to build one, each bench will use;
1    2x8x12'
1    2x10x8'
6    5/16x3" carriage bolts, washers and nuts (longer if you don't want to countersink the washer & nut.
12   3" exterior deck screws

I made mine out of pressure treated wood. Total cost was less than $25 each.

They look kinda funny, but to sit in one is a treat. It's very laid back, but comfortable.


Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: leopold bench
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2010, 05:03:41 PM »
Nice job - I need to do one...still  [ouch]
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline Solar Burrito

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Re: leopold bench
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2010, 05:18:43 PM »
I sat in one and it's a lounger bench for sure. I thought it was a custom design. Thanks for posting now I know it has a name and a story. I think I'll be building one.

I noticed the pics above (Fears plans?) use a notch to attache the back of the bench, this moves the back forward 1 1/2". So you won't lean as far back. I think I'll do it this way sine the one I sat on was similar to the EPA plans and was a leaning a tad too far back.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 03:01:20 PM by Solar Burrito »
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Offline Solar Burrito

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Re: leopold bench
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2010, 01:17:32 PM »
Just built one from Fear's plans. I wasn't sure why when he said to cut a 60 degree angle when I had to cut a 30 degree angle, measured with speed squre to make it look right. 60 was WAY to much.  ??? I'm anglely challenged.
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Offline John Raabe

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Re: leopold bench
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2010, 01:38:48 PM »
Very nice bench. Thanks for the detailed photos and materials list.

BTW: I just did a search on "Fears plans leopold bench" and this thread came up as the first link on Google. Guess they are spidering this forum, and pretty quickly!

Here's a link to one version of the plans: http://snohomishcd.org/plant-sale/Aldo-Leopold-Bench.pdf. (This looks like the same plan Glenn found.)

As noted above and in MaineRhino's photos, notching the backrest into the side supports allows for a more erect seating position. This probably feels better to most folks.

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Offline JavaMan

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Re: leopold bench
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2010, 02:10:25 PM »
Well this is just too cool.  Beautiful and I are thinking of putting in a firepit here and wanted to put some benches around it.  I think this just might fit the bill!  I will have to build one in the next few days and see how she likes it, and then go from there.

If she doesn't like it, I'll just take it  up to the Ranch and use it up there! :)

I wanted to ask MaineRhino also, where you got your lumber to build it? The pictures make it appear to be a bit larger than the 2 by that the plans I've seen call for (maybe *actual* 2" rather than dimensional?)

Thanks!
« Last Edit: May 27, 2010, 02:48:13 PM by JavaMan »

Offline MaineRhino

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Re: leopold bench
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2010, 04:03:52 AM »
The lumber is typical kiln dried (I assume), then pressure treated . I bought it from my local lumberyard.

Using a 60 degree angle instead of a 55 degree angle will make it sit upright a little more. I may try that next. I have enough lumber to make two more, when time allows.

Using 2x8 as the sides works well. I see no need of using 2x10 boards for that, although it works best as the back and seat.

Also, my bench is appx 4' wide, which allows one 8' board to be used for the seat & back. It is easily adjustable, but over 4' may make it bow a bit, depending on who is using it.  ::)

The most important part, not listed in the plans, is a cup bottle holder! Not the greatest, just some scrap lumber screwed in place.




Offline JavaMan

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Re: leopold bench
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2010, 06:45:12 AM »
Thanks.  I showed her the pictures and she wants me to build one.  She likes it, but wants to try one before she tells me to build another 5 or 6 for around the fire pit.

I am also going to make this a project that my step-son can learn some carpentry skills on, too.  His hammering skills need a bit of improvement before I have him doing any serious nailing, but this, without nails, should help build his confidence that he can actually build something usable.

Now I just have to hunt down the wood.  Blue and Orange don't have that type of PT lumber in the stores here, so I have to find an actual lumber yard!  :)

Offline firefox

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Re: leopold bench
« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2010, 10:08:49 AM »
I am assuming that the line before last in the diagram is a typo and
should read: Twelve 3 1/2" #12 or #14 flat head wood screws...
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Offline JavaMan

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Re: leopold bench
« Reply #20 on: May 28, 2010, 01:43:17 PM »
Gonna make mine outta cedar boards.  Went to the lumber yard (the only one within 20 miles that knew what kind of PT I was looking for) and they had 2x4 and 2x6, but alas, no 2x8 or 2x10 ... but they did have what I needed in cedar - which they sold by the lineal foot, so I got just what I needed for just under $24.  Hardware not included.

Now I'm home again, and it's raining.  Not gonna get the power saw out to work in the rain.  Not gonna do it.  Wouldn't be prudent.  So I'm bored (not board) and hanging out.

Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: leopold bench
« Reply #21 on: May 28, 2010, 03:29:41 PM »
Rhino just to go one better you could attach a scrap 2X4 to a door hinge(end mounted) and attach to the side of the bench.  Then with a scrape piece of 2X6 on the top and bottom of the 2X4.  Cut out your circular hole in the top piece and it will act as a cup holder with the bottom 2X as being the rest for the glass (or bottle).  The length can be adjustable to your arm length.  When not in use just swing it back out of the way.

Offline Pine Cone

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Re: leopold bench
« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2010, 07:36:29 PM »
Thanks to Billisnice for starting this great thread.  We had a family campout at the cabin a few weeks ago and it was clear we needed better seating when it was campfire and smores time.  I modified the posted plans some and built two benches this weekend.

I didn't get the cup-holder modification, but here is my revision of the Leopold bench.  You get two benches from this mix of lumber for about $27 per bench.

Materials list for two 48" wide benches:
One 2"x8"x8' PT for back legs
One 2"x8"x10' PT for front legs
One 2"x4"x8' cedar for seat
One 2"x6"x8' cedar for seat
Two 5/4"x4"x8' cedar deck boards for back rest
Twelve 5/16" x 3 1/2" carriage bolts, nuts and washers
Forty 3 1/2" deck screws for the seat and backrest boards

I prefer sitting and resting against cedar versus pressure-treated lumber, and the smaller width cedar boards for the backrest are less than half the cost of the equivalent 2x8 in either cedar or pressure treated.  Kept the ground-contact boards pressure treated.  I plan on staining or painting it once the cedar and PT lumber dries out.  Both are very wet right now.




Besides the minor changes in materials, I also modified the bench angles some.  The seat boards angle down slightly so the bench is more comfortable and will drain PNW rain better.

I also reduced the seat back angle from 30 degrees  to 14 degrees to make it more comfortable.  The seat and backrest angles are the same as on my built-in benches on the deck next to my cabin.  Very comfy, and not "laid back" like the 30 degree angle on the original plan.

These are great benches.  Very stable, not too heavy to move around, and they do OK on slightly uneven or soft ground.  I will build at least another pair in the near future.  If anyone is interested I can post more detailed construction info and a cutting plan pix.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2010, 11:30:51 PM by Pine Cone »

Offline Rover

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Re: leopold bench
« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2010, 04:06:13 AM »
I like your improvements.  If you could post a bit more construction detailing info, I'd appreciate it.  If I tried cutting those angles, I'd keep getting shorter and shorter boards with every error.   :-(

Offline firefox

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Re: leopold bench
« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2010, 04:39:09 PM »
They really look nice and comfy too. Yes it would be nice to post
the details. Mostly for the new people who would get really turned on to doing things if they first had a positive experience like this to build their confidence. And also for us old f***s who think they know what they are doing, but get over confident and screw things up. :o
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