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For my Year 12 major work, and at the request of my parents, I designed and built a Japanese-style bench for the Japanese pond in my backyard. I also wanted a project that would allow me to build something of a reasonable size. 

I knew this would be a challenging task but felt confident in the skills I had learned in my Industrial Technology Timber studies to take it on. 

I reviewed a number of Japanese-style benches for inspiration, making note of the different joints used and contrasting wood colours. 

I sketched the designs on paper and then transferred my ideas into Onshape.
I sourced my timber from Lawson Recycled Timber. I needed to dress all the timber as it came from a timber yard. I measured all the pieces to ensure they were the right size for the project and used a thicknesser to get clean edges.

I decided to use mortise and tenon joints as they have a flush fit, are very strong, and are almost invisible to the naked eye. The mortise is a small groove carved out in the wood where the tongue or tenon goes. The tenon must fit tightly to ensure joint strength. 

I also needed to glue pieces of the wood together. After extensive research, I decided to go with Aquadhere wood glue as it is specifically made for outdoor use and is resistant to water. This glue is easy to apply and bonded very well with the hardwoods used in the project.

I used outdoor decking oil for the finish it brings out the natural colour of the wood and it won’t flake after bad weather.

I thoroughly enjoyed the process of making this bench and I am very pleased with the final result. I hope that my family will get a lot of use out of this bench and that it will be in our garden for many years to come. 

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