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So I just finished building this bench: enter image description here https://www.ana-white.com/woodworking-projects/fancy-x-farmhouse-bench?page=0

I like the bench everything came together really well and everything seems square. I built the full 8 foot bench and my concern is I have a slight wobble in it from left to right. I'm trying to figure out where to put some diagonal cross-braces and I'm not entirely sure where the best places would be. I'm pretty new to this woodworking thing so if I could get a little advice that be great. Thank you.

  • Sorry can you clarify, when you say wobble do you mean it goes out of square side to side (called racking) or that it rocks on the floor? Assuming it is racking, there's no need to add diagonal braces to this design (why they're not there in the first place). Your joints just need to be tightened or glue used to remedy the problem. – Graphus Jul 29 at 6:36
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    For future reference stuff on Ana White does not tend to be well designed or constructed, with many of the projects ignoring basic rules of how to put stuff made from wood together. It was so bad that the site used to be given as the cardinal example of how not to build stuff! I don't know if that has changed at all but something to be very aware of moving forward. – Graphus Jul 29 at 6:39
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    "How do I fix a wobbly bench?" i loved that song, it was the B side the the hit single, Drunken Sailor, - What will we do with drunken sailor. 😏 ( this is fictitious anecdote mainly for my own amusement, use at your own risk. ) – Alaska Man Jul 29 at 19:09
  • I mean wobbling from left to right. See I didn't even know that was called racking. I've built a handful of things from her site and everything seems to be fine and holding. This bench the only reason I'm concerned about the moving is my father in law is quite overweight and I want to make sure it's secure. Otherwise there really isn't much racking. Thanks for the advice though about websites. Is there another site that has good diy plans on it? – Dan B Jul 30 at 1:17
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    Note this isn't just a problem with pocket screws, either. All screws and fasteners -- and glues, too, for that matter -- will cause this problem if wood movement isn't taken into account. – Charlie Kilian Jul 30 at 13:56
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Your suggestion of diagonal braces is spot-on. You'll get the best results by having two braces spaced as far apart as practical. This will triangulate the structure as completely as you can. It doesn't matter if the bracing looks like the letter "W" or the letter "M" when viewed from the side. That decision should be based on how you expect your feet to be placed under the table. The second photo on the linked site shows a spread-out "M" placement which is likely to be sufficiently strong.

enter image description here

If creating two braces is not desired, aim for the widest spacing you can manage.

Less desirable, but still a practical method is to route steel cables from upper left to lower right and lower left to upper right, with turnbuckles in each span. It's less desirable because skin contact with steel cable usually leaves skin behind, unless you use plastic jacketed cable.

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