This summer's Vacation Bible School was themed 'Wildwood Forest', and one of the centerpieces was a place to do skits and puppet shows called 'Great Oak Theater'. My big job for this year was to make the seating for this room, and the ladies wanted benches.
"nothing fancy, just like you would find at summer camp" were my instructions, but I didn't necessarily stick to them. I started with some rough sawn poplar corral boards from Home Depot, which yielded some pretty nice wood for the price, some had some beautiful grey streaks which made them look unique. I had one thick slab of 12" wide poplar that I used for one bench, just because I loved the grain pattern. 1 in. x 6 in. x 16 ft. Rough Poplar Corral Board Fence Rail-208024 - The Home Depot
There were 5 sessions, and 5 memory verses, so I figured I would make 5 benches with the verses carved into them.
I planed and jointed them into roughly 7/8" x 11-1/2" boards. The tops were carved by CNC (because there was a lot of text) and as simple as the designs were it was a learning process. The majority of the construction is pocket holes and glue, because they are designed for 3 kids to sit on. A few adults load tested them, and they are plenty strong. I had 2 unplanned trips away that caused me to be behind schedule at the end, so in my haste I forgot to cut the relief in the legs of the 4th bench, but nobody but me seems to notice!
They were finished with 2 coats of poly.
We added a bunch of buckets wrapped in paper to look like stumps, a pretty simple and good looking project as well.
I wanted to give the benches away to those who did all the hard work decorating, but they decided to leave them in the various classrooms in case they were ever needed again.