Suggestions for Bonsai Benches

yenling83

Chumono
Messages
913
Reaction score
965
Location
Nipomo, CA
I would like to put up a couple small bench/table to get my trees off the ground. This will be semi temporary because I will likely make new bench/tables at a new house in the next year. Any suggestions for clever easy to construct bench/tables for Bonsai? Are Cinder block and Fence boards the best way to go?
 
Messages
2,776
Reaction score
18
Location
Michigan, USA
USDA Zone
5
I use cinder blocks, but I buy the corner blocks as they are more visually appealing.

I stack 6 blocks 6 feet apart to make my benches. On both ends I stach three blocks on the rear stack, two blocks on the middle stack, and one block on the front. I then place three eight foot 4x4's on each level, which leaves me about one inch between each 4x4.

This gives me three benches in one, staircased. Each bench being eight feet long and about 14 inches wide. The 4x4's are strong enough for all sizes and the end result actually looks great.


You might find these articles of interest:

http://knowledgeofbonsai.org/articles/display/bonsai-tree-stands-monkey-poles/

http://knowledgeofbonsai.org/articles/display/bonsai-display-benches/

http://knowledgeofbonsai.org/articles/display/display-columns-elevate-your-trees/



Will
 

JasonG

Chumono
Messages
786
Reaction score
15
Location
NW Oregon
I would like to put up a couple small bench/table to get my trees off the ground. This will be semi temporary because I will likely make new bench/tables at a new house in the next year. Any suggestions for clever easy to construct bench/tables for Bonsai? Are Cinder block and Fence boards the best way to go?

Cinder blocks are a good way to go.... but not fence boards... they are way to thin and will warp and become useless after a few seasons not to mention heavy trees will put the hurtin' to them quick.

I use the big cinder blocks stacked 3 high with the row bieng 2 deep end to end. I will then replicate that every 4 feet that way in the middle of an 8' span there is solid support. I then use a treated outdoor 2x4 deck on top of the cinders.

Instead of monkey poles I use timbers.... much more impressive looking, very grand, will last forever and are much tougher than any pole out there. Big problem is getting them in place. My timbers were 8 to 10 foot tall and are between 20 and 36" in diameter. Talk about heavy. I had a tree dolly but then had to wrestle them in place by myself. That meant lifting them. Good thing I am not a little person! haha

Pics of the projects....Before I had trees put in place. It looks much different now with everything grown in around the poles.









Some of the benches
 
Messages
2,776
Reaction score
18
Location
Michigan, USA
USDA Zone
5
Sweet! Thank you for the great info.

No problem, here is a picture of a single bench in the corner of the old yard, I have since moved to a home on 2 acres, giving me much more room for bonsai and growing beds. This picture is a few years old, but the idea is there.


Will
 

Attachments

  • bench 90104 004.jpg
    bench 90104 004.jpg
    96.2 KB · Views: 202
Messages
2,776
Reaction score
18
Location
Michigan, USA
USDA Zone
5
This is the same bench after some ferns and hostas were added so that all the run off water and food isn't a complete waste.



Will
 

Attachments

  • monkey pole 1 002_400.jpg
    monkey pole 1 002_400.jpg
    63 KB · Views: 173

mcpesq817

Omono
Messages
1,809
Reaction score
478
Location
VA
USDA Zone
7
Another alternative

I bought some heavy duty plastic benches from these guys, at the recommendation of Dale Cochoy:

http://www.structuralplastics.com/cart/

They are lightweight, yet heavy duty, and assemble and disassemble pretty easily. I tried building my own benches, but after drilling a hole in my thumb, and the bench leaning too much, I figured I needed to try a different route. The grid-top design avoids any pooling of water, and they weather the elements very well. I really like them.
 

Attila Soos

Omono
Messages
1,804
Reaction score
33
Location
Los Angeles (Altadena), CA
USDA Zone
9
Instead of monkey poles I use timbers.... much more impressive looking, very grand, will last forever and are much tougher than any pole out there.

Jason, those timber poles look really cool. They are stable and you can always move them around - very practical. Where do you get them, are they expensive?
 

greerhw

Omono
Messages
1,978
Reaction score
13
Cinder blocks are a good way to go.... but not fence boards... they are way to thin and will warp and become useless after a few seasons not to mention heavy trees will put the hurtin' to them quick.

I use the big cinder blocks stacked 3 high with the row bieng 2 deep end to end. I will then replicate that every 4 feet that way in the middle of an 8' span there is solid support. I then use a treated outdoor 2x4 deck on top of the cinders.

Instead of monkey poles I use timbers.... much more impressive looking, very grand, will last forever and are much tougher than any pole out there. Big problem is getting them in place. My timbers were 8 to 10 foot tall and are between 20 and 36" in diameter. Talk about heavy. I had a tree dolly but then had to wrestle them in place by myself. That meant lifting them. Good thing I am not a little person! haha

Pics of the projects....Before I had trees put in place. It looks much different now with everything grown in around the poles.

I like the pond dude, nice koi and it looks like there might be a goldie of two in there.

keep it green,
Harry
 

JasonG

Chumono
Messages
786
Reaction score
15
Location
NW Oregon
Thanks Harry! No goldies, just koi...mostly pond grade. I will be thinning the herd soon and adding some better quality koi....more nice butterfly.
 

M.B.

Mame
Messages
105
Reaction score
1
Location
Outside Sacramento, CA
USDA Zone
9
Thanks Harry! No goldies, just koi...mostly pond grade. I will be thinning the herd soon and adding some better quality koi....more nice butterfly.

Sorry to go off topic here but how are you going to thin the herd? Just curious since I need to do it too and missed our club auction to get rid of some fish. Why did I miss the auction opportunity? Well a bonsai show all weekend, of course.
Mary B.
 

JasonG

Chumono
Messages
786
Reaction score
15
Location
NW Oregon
So, where can I get those timber poles?

Hello Attila!
I got them from a company here in town that makes utility poles. These are the butt ends that aren't used. They typically sell them to fire wood cutters for farily inexpensive. I got 10 of them and then cut them with a chainsaw to varying lengths. A few of them were well over 600lbs!! After the back breaking work to get them in place it is very worth it now.

Sorry to go off topic here but how are you going to thin the herd? Just curious since I need to do it too and missed our club auction to get rid of some fish. Why did I miss the auction opportunity? Well a bonsai show all weekend, of course.
Mary B.

Hi Mary!

I will call some people i know with ponds, also there is a local guy running an add on craigslist wanting to buy unwanted koi for $1. If I am just going to get rid of them then he is an option. I think he has a mud pond and a 10k pond. I am sure you can get rid of a few fish and running an ad on craigslist or with your local club might be good.

Thanks, Jason
 
Top