Hey everyone. I will be moving soon from 1/2 acre to about 3 and will have more room to spread out a bit and wanting to plan my tree area. I’m thinking the typical benches cinder blocks and 2xs, possibly wood frame with wire mesh but wanted to see what others had for set ups in areas where you have the room you need. Thanks!
I wish I had that much space, but I have a fairly decent sized area. I use the cinder blocks because I take it down every year to put up the greenhouse. However, I dress up the benches themselves as shown in the attached picture. I like to make them from pressure treated lumber and stain them so it does require the ability to rip 2x stock (4 cm thick by wider) into slats that are about 3/4 - 7/8 inch (19 - 22 mm) thick. Most of my benches are 22 inches wide so I could get 5 - 19" long slats from an 8 ft. piece of lumber.
I think the first thing to consider is where your light will be coming from. I don’t have much space (less than a half acre), but my considerations were almost fully based on what kind of light we get where.
One bench is on the western side of the yard with full morning sun, but shadecloth overhead and no evening sun at all. One bench is on the eastern side of our covered patio, so it gets full morning sun but dappled sun in afternoon / evening. Another is near the west side of the yard, where it gets less morning sun but 100% full afternoon and evening sun.
Between those three I have a spot for nearly anything. One bench is entirely built from PTL, the other two are cinderblocks and cedar fence boards. These are the bench plans I used for the first one - https://www.reddit.com/r/Bonsai/wiki/reference#wiki_bonsai_bench_plans
Sweet. I will have to check out what the sun shade looks like when I move there good point.
I built a smaller version of that exact bench. Its a great one. I think the ones I will build this time are going to be cinderblocks, with a wood frame and plastic grate on top so they are portable until I know exactly where I want them and I will sink a few 4x4s and mount them permanently.
Here is another design idea if you are going with cinder blocks. I use 2x6’s as the benches, with a 17x17 cement paver on top of the cinder blocks arranged as shown in the picture. what is nice about this layout is that in the edges of the growing season, i can remove the lumber, and just have pedestals, and with just a 2x4 and 2 bricks inserted in the spaces on the cinder blocks have a lower bench with an upper bench, or pedestal with a lower bench.