Rotherfold Bench, Totnes

The cleaving and shaping of components took place in the Rotherfold Square over the summer holidays of 2015, with assembly taking place in my workshop.  The bench was then disassembled and installation took place in the square in November. Up to 16 volunteers at a time worked to make the bench which is similar in style to the Ham Woods Orchard Bench, but with uprights cleaved from a 3' diameter,7' long oak trunk.   

The seat slab was donated by the Friends of Ham Woods from a tree which had fallen, and was used on their own Community Orchard Bench. The trunk came from a local sawmill.  The project lasted for 9 days in total and took approximately 350 volunteer hours.  It ran one day a week, on Fridays, starting at the end of July, in Totnes.   Approximately 3m in length, arcing around the alcove, the bench features a number of cleaved oak uprights which are bolted onto an air dried oak seat slab.   

The whole is bolted with threaded bar onto the paving slabs.  Part of the complexity of this project was figuring out how to bolt the uprights - none of which are square, or upright, securely onto the paving slabs.  The rods were resined into the ground upright, and holes were drilled accurately, using a range of specially designed jigs to facilitate the work being done by volunteers.  An access hole was then drilled into the back of each 'leg' to allow nuts to be inserted to tighten the seat down.  There are more detailed pictures and descriptions of the jigs on my instagram page. 

Please contact me if you would like to get involved in similar projects.

Adrian AustinCommunity