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TUTORIAL / OUTDOOR CASTING BENCH WITH DSW STUDIO

You may not know it but concrete is versatile, easy to use and makes for a dynamic and sturdy range of items, like a bench for your garden or patio perhaps?

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You may not know it but concrete is versatile, easy to use and makes for a dynamic and sturdy range of items, like a bench for your garden or patio perhaps?

While many people see it as a construction material, the DIY applications of concrete are almost limitless. A concrete casting bench can make for a sturdy and fitting addition to anyone’s garden or outdoor area and the beauty is you can mould it to any shape your heart desires.

What you need:

  • Shutterboard (22 mm thick) to build the moulds, as follows:
  • Seat (5 pieces) 35mm flat head wire nails (± 30)
  • Base: 1220 x 400 mm (x1) 1 bag PPC cement
  • Long sides: 1220 x 90 mm (x2) 3 bags river sand
  • Short sides: 440 x 90 mm (x2) 2 bags 19mm crushed stone
  • Legs (8 pieces) 1 m BRC mesh
  • Wide sides: 200 x 400 mm (x4) 2.8mm gauge (190 x 210 mm)
  • Narrow sides: 300 x 400 mm (x4) 80 grit
  • Wood screws (±60) Sandpaper
  • 3 x 3m quadrants

Tools:

  • Mitre box
  • Float, wood or plastic
  • Drill
  • Saw
  • Paintbrush

Here’s how:

Step 1 – Build the boxes that will form the moulds. Start with the seat, joining the sides and the base by first drilling holes and then screwing them together. Make two identical boxes for the legs as above. The boxes for the legs don’t have a base; you should place them on a flat board to fill them.

Caging

Step 2 – The lengths of quadrant must be sawn to size so that they can be used to ‘line’ all the inside corners of the three boxes. Cut the ends of the quadrant for the seat at a45 angle, using the mitre box. Now fit the pieces into the corners of the boxes (curved side outwards)and nail them in place. This completes the moulds. Now cut the BRC mesh to size- you need a layer for the seat and a piece for each of the legs.

Cut Wood

Step 3 – Mix the cement, using 1 part cement, 1 part stone and 1 part river sand (this 1:1:1 ration ensures strength). Add enough water to get the mix to a ‘yoghurt-like’ consistency. You need the mixture to be fairly sloppy because you will be pouring the concrete into the moulds.

Step 4 – For the seat: fill the box three quarters with concrete, put down the layer of BRC mesh, then fill the reminder of the box with concrete. Use the float to agitate the mixture so that there are no air pockets left in the concrete. For the legs: make sure the boxes are standing on a level piece of board then place the BRC mesh inside them and fill them with concrete.

Oil Sealing

Step 5 – Wait! The concrete must cure for 14 days. Thereafter unscrew the boxes to reveal your handiwork. Any sharp bits and rough places can be gently sanded smooth with sandpaper. Brush off the resulting powder with a dry paintbrush. (Keep the moulds – they can be reused).

Step 6 – Place the legs in position and lower the seat onto them, and your bench is ready to use.

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