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natural outdoor benches from cordwood?

 
Posts: 317
Location: Onalaska, Lewis County, WA
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Hi, all -

I am advising someone who needs to build a circle of benches for an uncovered outdoor gathering space next to a school.  Ideally, the benches would be formed into a circle with an outside diameter of 20', have an entry opening about 5' wide, and have some breaks in the circle wide enough to accommodate several wheelchairs. 

She is a newby to natural construction and wanted to use cob for the benches, but the setting is uncovered, so that's a no-go.  Could we use cordwood with cement morter?  If so, what would we use for topping the benches to help protect the log ends a bit?

Perhaps urbanite is a better solution?  Thanks in advance, folks!
 
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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I feel like I say this all the time, but water glass is a good waterproofing agent for concrete, and a preservative for wood.
 
steward
Posts: 36080
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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How about benches made from black locust?
 
                    
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were you thinking of laying them in mortar or what? My first impulse is, I would not want to sit on it in summer,  might get bit by something.
 
gardener
Posts: 791
Location: Tonasket washington
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I would not go cord wood if i had a choice, nor Cob i would try to get some good logs and do half log benches. protection is no big deal water glass or any number of other things like boat gravy would work a treat.

most woods will last a good bit of time if you take them down past the cambium layer (the part that grows). most times if you get trees big enough to split fire wood from you have bench material. lick of sanding and some thought about how to drain the rain of and you have handsome benches for about twenty years or so.
 
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