I use dense pressed board 1″ thick for ease of carving the bottom of the mold ( top of bench). The top can be either plain or with a carved-in design. It needs to be in profile so it doesn’t stick up too far. ( Hard to sit on those large bumps).

If you use letters or numbers in your design be sure to remember that you are looking at a negative so everything will look backward.

Spraying Paint Over Design on Bench Mold

Spraying Paint Over Design on Bench Mold

Design Ready for Carving

Design Ready for Carving

Carving Design with Power Tool

Carving Design with Power Tool

Using Chisel to Finish Carving Design

Using Chisel to Finish Carving Design

Design Ready for Sanding

Design Ready for Sanding

After carving and sanding your work you should put on several coats of tough varnish or enamel.

Coating Mold with Varnish

Coating Mold with Enamel or Varnish

The sides of the mold I made of straight grain fir and put radius top and bottom with a router.

Sides Cut from Clear Fir

Sides Cut from Straight Grain Fir

Radius Cut in Sides with Router

Radius Cut in Side Boards with Router

Side Boards Clamped Together

Side Boards Clamped Together Before Drilling Holes for Bolts

Mold Sides Coated with Enamel or Varnish

Mold Sides Coated with Enamel or Varnish

Sand your work and put on several coats of varnish or enamel. I use hangar bolts to fasten sides to the mold. You can use the same bench sides for any of your benches.

Foundation should come first so I think we should start with the leg. The leg I use has a oval hole in it and a 1/2″ hole through the upper part for the bole that holds the bench together. The bolt threads into an insert cast into the bottom of the bench top. (Mold shown below.)

There are bench leg molds available but I have not seen any with this connecting feature. You might want to design and build your own and make it more personal. The concrete I use is Quickrete and I add a little Portland cement. (about 2 pounds per 80 pounds of Quickrete). It makes it a bit stronger and easier to finish.

I hope this enough to start. We will get to the bench top mold next.

Antique concrete bench leg mold

Antique concrete bench leg mold

The mold after it has been filled with concrete - with threaded pipe used to connect leg to top.

The mold after it has been filled with concrete - with pipe temporarily installed. The pipe will be pulled out just before the concrete sets, and the resulting channel will be used for the connecting bolt that holds the finished leg to the top of the concrete bench.

Installing the bolts in the top so it can be connected to the leg.

Installing the bolts in the top so it can be connected to the leg.

Connecting the top to the molded leg for safety.

Connecting the top to the molded leg for safety.