Assembly & Planting Guides
First, take a deep breath and relax. This is not a race so take your time and do it well. Be safe, be careful and use your common sense as you go. The product of your efforts will be there for a long time. If you follow these simple steps in order, the assembly and planting will be quick, easy and correct. It will save a lot of time and effort and assure a quality result.We recommend that you assemble your bench as soon as you can after receiving it while it’s fresh.
These same steps cover the assembly of the SL4 and SL6 with two posts each, and SL8 with three posts. The SL4, SL6 and SL8 are shown in Picnic Sets with the PicnicPedestal™ Tables.
*click on any photo to enlarge
|4' Picnic Set||6' Picnic Set||8' Picnic Set|
Some Helpful Hints:
- Tools needed:
- electric drill with a Philips screwdriver bit and a 3/16" drill bit
- It’s also handy to have a hammer to tap parts into position before setting the screws.
- Use a concrete pad or other flat surface for the assembly area.
- Unfinished Lumber is a natural fibrous material that is constantly in motion due to temperature and moisture variations, as well as the tensions between more dense and less dense fibers. Words like flat, straight, or square (in the strict sense) will not normally be applicable. For that reason, the structural design is forgiving. Use your common sense and prioritized compromise to get the best end result working with all these natural variations.
- Stripped screws happen. They'll spin freely when fully seated. They must be replaced to insure maximum strength for the structure. Remove the stripped screw and drill a new hole close by (3/16" bit) and set the screw again.
- There are pre-drilled holes for every screw and clear markings for positioning of each part to make assembly as fast and accurate as possible.
- Pull the screw heads 1/8" below the surface for maximum strength.
- There are many tricks to digging a hole and firmly compacting the back-fill. Ask your neighbors about the best tools and techniques for your local soils.
- Unwrap and remove all packaging materials. Be careful of anything that could be splintery or have sharp edges. Lay out all the parts and take inventory.
SL4 SL6 SL8 Posts 2 2 3 Planks 3 3 3 Wings 2 2 3 Beams 2 2 3 Stabilizers 2 2 2 2 ½" Screws 34 34 51
- Center according to the black line mark and attach the WINGS to the POSTS with three screws each. IMPORTANT: the top surfaces should be perfectly flush.
- Center and attach the BEAM to the POST with four screws according to the line mark. IMPORTANT: the top edge should be perfectly flush with the POST and the WING as pictured.
- Lay the POSTS on their sides with the WINGS facing in opposite directions, this is important. Spread them apart according to the length of the STABILIZER as shown. Place the STABILIZER in position and set one screw in each post, then check the square. When it's square, set the other screw, one for each POST. (It might be helpful to use the second STABILIZER as a rest to hold POSTS in proper position till screwed tight.)
- Carefully turn it over and attach the second STABILIZER on the other side as marked in the same manor as the first. Set one STABILIZER on the high marking and the other STABILIZER on the low marking on the other side. Double check the square.
- Note that the SL8 has three POSTS. The centering position is marked on the STABILIZERS. It doesn't matter which way this POST faces.
- Lay the SEAT PLANKS out in the order, face down.
- Invert the POST/STABILIZER ASSEMBLY and place it on top of the SEAT PLANKS. Position it as best as you can according to the markings on the PLANKS. The fit is not likely to be perfect so compromise will be needed. It's most important to make sure the outside edges of the wings are evenly set back from the edge of the PLANKS. Press the PLANKS together firmly and line up the ends nicely. Attach each WING to each PLANK with two SCREWS for a total of six SCREWS at each POST.
- Now it's ready to move to the site for planting.
SAFETY CAUTION: BE AWARE OF ANY UNDERGROUND PLUMBING OR WIRES. IF YOU'RE NOT SURE, HAVE A LOCATOR CHECK IT.
- Lay the bench in position to space the hole. Dig the hole at least 18" deep. Digging it oversize allows more room to maneuver, adjust and position it. (SL4 is shown)
- Place the bench in the hole making sure that the RED GRADE HEIGHT MARKINGS are below the finish grade at this time. Add a few shovels of dirt and roughly position the bench. (SL4 is shown)
- Rocking the bench back-and-forth allows soil to fall under the POSTS. This causes the bench to rise slowly, like a winch. In this way, add more soil and rock it back-and-forth to raise the RED GRADE HEIGHT MARKINGS to finish desired grade height. Be careful not to raise it too high! Lowering it will be much more difficult. Check and adjust the level on the SEAT PLANKS. (SL4 is shown)
NOTE: If the grade is not level, the front edge of the SEAT PLANK should be set about 15-17" above the finish grade.
- Add more soil around the POSTS and STABILIZERS a little at a time being sure to firmly compact each layer as you go. Consider wetting the soil to help compact it. Check and adjust the level on the SEAT PLANKS.
IMPORTANT: If the soil is naturally soft and you are not able to compact it firmly, concrete may be needed. In this case, we recommend about 40 lbs. of concrete for each POST. Be sure that the bench is braced in the correct position before pouring the concrete.
- As the hole fills you can make finer adjustments to the level in both directions. Once the hole is full and the back-fill compacted, further adjustments will no longer be possible. The bench will be planted "Sturdy as a Stump™."
- Sand off anything that might be rough, scratchy or splintery. Sanding the top flat surfaces will remove any unwanted lumber marks. It will also brighten the redwood colors. Check along the underside edges to be sure it's all nice and smooth.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the redwood finish you select. We normally recommend premium deck stains. The pressure treated posts and lumber do not get finished. This keeps long term maintenance to a minimum.
- Enjoy. This is the part that lasts.