Our garden benches and plant stands incorporate a few design features I want to highlight. The first is the batten which you see peeking out at either end of the bench tops in the picture to the right. The slats of the bench top or garden stand are fastened to these battens. The battens are then screwed to the frame. The battens are what make the tops appear to “float.”
This is a very secure method of construction. It allows the slats to move with changes in humidity without damaging the bench frame. Besides the structural benefits of a floating top, I’ve always liked its look.
The other feature to notice–and we use it on all the benches and stands we build–is the edge profile, shown here:
This edge profile is a combination of a round over and an angled undercut that removes the hard edge usually found on outdoor furniture; it has a nice feel and it gives the bench top a lighter look besides. It’s pretty simple to make (though it takes more time to produce than the typical straight edge).
As well as being easier on the hands, these two features make our benches and tables a little more visually interesting.