Making a Balinese-style bench
Navigation: There are 19 pages of plans, drawings, pictures, and instructions on how to build this Balinese-style bench seat. You can jump to any page via the 'Table of Contents' menu on the right-hand side, or below if you are viewing this through a mobile device.
Only standard wood sizes are required for this project, three sizes in all - 2x4, 2x6, and 4x4 (100mm x 50mm, 150mm x 50mm, and 100mm x 100mm).
They should be obtainable in most places. If the bench is for outside use ensure the type of wood is up to the task (treated or naturally resistant to decay).
The inspiration for this project came from an old bench seat I saw in the Melbourne zoo grounds (Australia) back in February 2004.
At the time I was unable to
find out the original source or the history of the bench - no-one on the day seemed to know, although I did detect enough
older-style Balinese traits in the design to warrant calling it a Balinese bench.
My copy isn't as rustic, or bulky looking as the original, nevertheless it does take on some resemblance and it is a great piece of furniture to have in the garden.
I built my bench out of treated wood, common stock off the shelf.
It could quite easily be made to look more authentic by using a bulkier natural decay resistant wood (maybe second hand with a few blemishes), implementing a carved pattern around the ends of the arms, and making the artwork in the back-rest a bit more fanciful.
I have added some photos of the Balinese bench (the one at the zoo)
at the end of this article should you want to progress on my plans and give your handiwork
a bit more Balinese flavor.
The photos show some detail including carvings on the arms and the pattern along the back.
Overall the bench is nearly 1500 mm (60") long, 875 mm (35") high and a little over 750 mm (30") deep.
The wood sizes
The stock sizes given throughout this project are the finished (actual) sizes.
There are three stock sizes used in this project. They are 90 mm x 45 mm (1 1/2" x 3 1/2"), 145 mm x 45 mm (1 1/2" x 5 1/2"), and 90 mm x 90 mm (3 1/2" x 3 1/2").
The measurements throughout this project are given in both metric (mm) and standard (inches). There are some discrepancies between the two and explanations are given on the next page.