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.