Holdsworth Hall, home of the Building and Construction Technology (BCT) major at UMass Amherst, was in need of a new set of benches for the reconstructed bridge/walkway which leads to the main entrance of the building. We decided that designing and constructing these benches would be a good project for our group.
The first sep in the process was to design the benches and present them for approvals. Our inspiration for the design of the benches came from Douglas Thayer, (http://www.douglasthayer.com/benches_n_series.php) but our final designs were of our own creation.
Building the benches was a bit of a challenge. The most difficult part was coordinating our student members to get together to build on the same day. First we had to build the forms for the concrete legs. Each form could be used twice, so we made four forms and filled them with concrete twice. Next, we cut all of our cedar boards to length. The cedar boards were donated to us by Hood Distribution (http://www.hooddistribution.com).
We then positioned the cedar boards in their proper placement and drilled the holes for the anchors through the wood to ensure that they would line up properly in the end. The concrete was then painted, and the cedar was stained using a clear deck stain and end sealer for the end grain.
Originally we tried using concrete anchors so that they bolts could be removed if a board needed to be replaced, but during assembly we had some alignment issues. This required us to not use the mechanical anchors, and instead switch to a two-part epoxy anchor adhesive.
The benched were moved to the walkway at the end of September ’11 and they look fantastic. We have even been asked to build some more benches, so keep your eyes out for more.