What wood? Charleston bench slats

Have several pair of iron end pieces for Charleston benches. Need to rip some new slats for seats and backs. No idea what wood to use. What say you? Oak? Teak (expensive)? Other?

Where to buy clear stock?

I’m waiting on the answer to that one myself. There was a time that the slats were available at Royal Hardware on mt Pleasant And from Birlants on King st downtown Charleston

It is my hope that CFC can recover from the damage done by the trouble makers . I do not miss the vile name calling and insulting posters


I would go with cypress or Ipe if it were me. Cedar is not very hard and not as sound structurally. Cypress is pretty solid and fairly reasonable. Ipe would last a long time and is harder than cypress. You might also consider ripping some of that “man made” decking boards. I have made benches out of “trex” type deck boards and it works pretty good if there is sufficient support.

"Apathy is the Glove into Which Evil Slips It's Hand", but really, who cares?

What would be the finished dimension of your slats?
If not too long, and narrow, I’d go with Yellow Pine. It’s reasonable, strong, and readily available. I’d also stay away from composite materials, in this situation. You’d find, other than the “look”, their performance would be very disappointing.


Robinette’s Bend Forward

I would not considered of any type of composite material. Not really meant to spanned over 16 in. The best woods for this type of project come from South America. All of them going to be rather pricey. From $5 to $20+ a foot. Your i p e / ironwood, Brazilian redwood something along that line. Very water resistant, strong and aesthetically pleasing. Price wise yellow pine is probably your cheapest bet.
Another thing to think about is your thickness. In my opinion they do not look good made out of ¾ material.½to9/16 much nicer.

I reworked a pair several years ago.
Red oxide primer, finish paint, stainless steel fasteners & ironwood.
I probably could have purchased a pair cheaper . But mine turned out much nicer.

You find things offensive. I find things funny. That's why I'm happier than you.

22 life’s a day

I just did this last spring. Used 1x2s and 1x1 red oak slats that I got from Home Depot. Cut them into 4 ft lengths. Rounded over the ends with a router. Painted the cast iron ends black and clear poly on the slats. Unfortunately, the clear poly didn’t hold up very well to the elements. I think I will sand them and re-paint them Charleston green.

sea tonic, those look great.

Priced some red oak. WOW. Something like $100 per bench to use that. Beautiful, but, pricey. If I only had one bench, that wouldn’t be bad. But, for 4 benches, maybe 5 (if it is reclaim-able), getting a little pricey.

Considering using up some leftover 1708 biax and epoxy to laminate some pine. Could use some relatively soft wood and put a layer of fiber on the bottom face pretty easily. I think I could make that last a long time. Maybe even leave the wood bright/natural with clear epoxy and some UV additive.

'Still pondering… Thanks for the ■■■■■■■■/ideas.

--------------------------- 17' Henry O Hornet w/ Yamaha 115 26' Palmer Scott project hull 14' Bentz-Craft w/ Yamaha 25

I’m no expert in the area, but what about white oak…it is strong and will take a lot of flex before breaking.

Those look great fellas! I like the oak suggestion. Looking forward to updates:+1:

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…well, some fishing too!

How many irons is several?

Are they all worth salvaging?

What length are you trying to make the benches?

How thick do you need the finished planed slats to be?

Do you have the ability to rip, plane, and finish 5/4 rough cut lumber to size?

If you answered yes to two or more of those questions I might have an idea.


That would be my one of my top choices for sure. Red Oak being ok and pretty with the pink hues, but the grains are a lot different. Red Oak grain is wide and wavy whereas the grain in White Oak is much tighter and straight, making it a “Mo Bedda” for something like bench slats.

Thats just my opinion, and opinions are like butt holes cause everyone has one and almost all of them stink.



How many irons is several?

After inspection, 2 pair. Or, 2 benches.

Are they all worth salvaging?
Those 2 are.
What length are you trying to make the benches?
How thick do you need the finished planed slats to be?
Do you have the ability to rip, plane, and finish 5/4 rough cut lumber to size?
Yes. Just bought a new table saw. 30 yr old craftsman finally died. Bench rebuild is first chore for new saw.

Sorry to be so slow responding. Worst couple of weeks in a long time.

--------------------------- 17' Henry O Hornet w/ Yamaha 115 26' Palmer Scott project hull 14' Bentz-Craft w/ Yamaha 25

Can anyone tell me a place to purchase a couple of those bench seat ends?? I have several pieces of oak strips I could use.

Thanks in advance!


Traveling and posting from phone, I’ll catch this up when I get home Sunday


Hope you are doing better? Nobody needs bad weeks.

No need to be sorry, the post where I was asking the questions was on page 1 and I thought maybe you just hadn’t seen it. Hate to hear about the bad weeks, be thankful (I guess) that you didn’t say months, or even years. Better times ahead I hope

So one reason I was asking the questions is because I had a couple ideas you might like. I think if they were my benches I would want white oak, for a couple reasons but mostly the “look”, the tight straight grain, and less upkeep than a lot of other woods you could use.

Again, if it were me and I wanted white oak I would contact some hardwood floor installers and find out where they are getting their wood. Get yourself a pack of 3/4 inch flooring and make it fit your irons. That might be a easy and less expensive way to get white oak. When I was living at Edisto I got some white oak for some porch rockers at a place in Charleston called Southern Millworks or Souteastern Millworks (something like that), on King Street I think. If they are still around you can likely get some from them, back then they had good stock and didn’t mind me rummaging thru their stuff.


My other first choice would be cherry, and that’s only because I have some put aside for finishing my basement when my rich uncle gets out of the poor house. Here’s a peek at my stack.

The main reason I asked all the questions is because in my cherry stack I have some oddball pieces not quite suitable for my needs, but would be a good fit for yours.

Here, take another peek

…see what I mean? so anyway, there are some bowed stuff possibly with live edges and a couple of 6x8 posts that have checked so far on the ends that I won’t use them either since I’ll probably have enough of t

Cool thread Palmer. I have four iron bench ends that the wood rotted and I was getting ready to throw them away. Will put them aside until I can find some suitable wood after reading this thread. Have a good deal of rough cut Red and White oak we use for lowboy replacement boards that I might try.

I’ve never been one to carpenter or do much wood working other than build the occasional dog house or chicken pen. This is my first real wood project from some Cedar my Paw had cut up 40 years ago and just gave me. Many pieces are pretty rough, but it has totally amazed me how beautiful some woods can be with a little clear Poly.

EF, I sure wish my cedar was cut as thick as your cherry. Crazy thing you just don’t see wild cherry trees like you used to. They used to me a nuisance, now you seldom see them. We burned more cherry than anything growing up in the fireplace. Dad loved the blueish flame from it.

I’ve got a lot of scrape to sort through after this project, just not sure where it will go… maybe a new future man cave…

EF, I hadn’t thought about flooring suppliers. And, that idea makes me remember there used to be a building materials salvage place up on Morrison or Meeting Street somewhere.

Enormous thanks for the offer, but, I think having cherry slats in my benches would be putting on airs. I’ll bother you again if I don’t find something that fits. Let me do a little more searching. And, you’re welcome to a floating charcuterie any time the schedules sync up.

To that end, to you all, if you are on the Stono near Wappoo Cut on pleasant evenings and you see an old Henry O bobbing around out of the flow of traffic, stop by.

--------------------------- 17' Henry O Hornet w/ Yamaha 115 26' Palmer Scott project hull 14' Bentz-Craft w/ Yamaha 25