Woodworking for squirrels

About a year ago I created a tiny picnic bench as a gift to my mother-in-law. The quick project was wildly successful, as demonstrated by this photo of it in action in her backyard!

But squirrel bench v1 had some design issues. The glue and brads holding it together were no match for the heftier squirrels, and it started coming apart. While my father-in-law fixed it with some strategically placed screws, I worry about the long-term durability due to the thin wood pieces.

I have a lot of wood scraps and cutoffs from a bigger (unfinished) project, so I decided the time was right to make a second attempt. Plus it was a great excuse to finally buy a drill press.

Assembly in progress. This time I used various jigs to get things lined up properly.

Squirrel Bench v2 has some serious upgrades. This time I ripped redwood to standard length on my table saw and rounded the edges at the router table to make the pieces look more like dimensioned lumber. The new design is heftier and uses screws rather than brads. The bench is a bit bigger and more uniform, so it should be easier to mount to a tree or post, and should stand up better to fat squirrels.

And I made five of them. That’s how much wood I had, so why not?

The whole project took about six hours of my time, plus wood, screws, and my fully equipped shop. A roughly equivalent made-in-China version on Amazon goes for about $20, so it is a good thing woodworking is my hobby and not my livelihood!

I think they would make good Christmas gifts, but it is only June! Fourth of July gifts, maybe. Anyway, I’m very satisfied with the result and can’t wait to see pictures of them in use!

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