MATERIALS: RECYCLED HARDWOOD

outdoor bench
thomas bahnisch

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My parents wanted an outside lounge chair that prioritised both comfort and practicality in its design. 

I viewed a range of designs during the research stage of the project which helped me to conceptualise a rustic and practical aesthetic.

The comparison of different timbers was a simple yet effective method of determining the right timber for my project. I chose recycled hardwood for its sustainability, durability and concrete strength, even though it can be challenging to work with. 

As I researched the various joints, it became apparent that I needed to choose wisely. This was because the joints have a significant impact on the final look, and with a very specific vision in mind, I needed to find just the right combination of joining methods. Through research, I learned about the structurally solid bridle and mortise and tenon joints, and the scan fittings which remain exposed to complement the aesthetic of the project. 


I applied the concrete-like Megapoxy in the heavy load-bearing joints over the basic PVA glue used elsewhere. This step was also interesting as I was able to investigate how the adhesives work to bond timber, and how different types of adhesives rely on different principles.


With the laser cutting machine being an impressive and commonly-used machine at our school, I thought it beneficial to look into incorporating this and other techniques to add an element of ornate creativity to my otherwise practically-focussed project. I am very glad I took the time to do this, as I was able to incorporate features that I did not initially envision, and are now integral to the project’s appearance. I am also grateful that I took this step as I was able to learn and interact with advanced computer systems and expand my skillset.


With the project finished, I am not only relieved but extremely proud. I have worked hard and my project is exactly what I imagined and more. The character that the recycled timber brings, along with the richness of the tung oil, gives my product a fantastic look that has exceeded my expectations.