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Project Overview

I will be constructing two benches to be used at the Newport Beach Environmental Nature
Center. The benches will ultimately replace one pre-existing bench which the ENC refers to as
the “waterfall” bench, and a location in need of a bench. The existing bench is antiquated, and is
seeing signs of structural degeneration, and the second location is near a large map where
seating would be ideal, so the need for a new bench in both locations is evident.

The bench should be able to reasonably fit 3-4 adults safely and comfortably. The bench must
also fit into its natural surroundings, meaning it should be composed of eco-friendly materials
and be natural colors (greens and browns) that mix well with the ENC campus.

I will be building a bench similar in scale to benches already existing across the ENC campus,
with dimensions roughly six feet wide, 32 inches in height, and 20 inches in depth.

Who Will Benefit

The Environmental Nature Center located at 1601 16th Street, Newport Beach, CA will be the
primary benefactor of this project.

I have spent a lot of time with a Mr. Mark Maeseele, the acting ENC's Eagle Scout coordinator
and store manager*, who initially presented the need to have one bench replaced and one
additional bench. This need has also been expressed by the ENC in the attached letter of need.

The current bench is in “bad need of repair” and the new bench is especially needed given the
over “16,000 students” expected in the coming school year. With all those students who will use
the benches, it is of the utmost importance that the benches be of a safe build and design.
The current bench is showing signs of falling apart, in this way my bench will add to the safety of
the campus. Given the center's recently remodeled buildings and modern appeal, replacing the
current bench's outdated design with a new bench will also serve to enhance the aesthetic
appeal of the ENC.

*Mr. Maeseele can be reached by email at or by phone (949) 645-8489

Jacob Ashendorf’s Eagle Project

Site Description
The standing bench is situated along a wide path, and towards the rear of a staging area
referred to by ENC employees as the “waterfall.” There is a significant amount of vegetation
and brush behind and to the sides of the bench that make up the natural landscape.

The second location is in the far back of the center, and adjacent to a large map and description
of special aspects of the ENC. A bench here will allow visitors to take a break while they learn
about the park.

Jacob Ashendorf’s Eagle Project

Plans / Drawings / Designs

I have attached initial sketches done by design architect, Mr. Donnie DeWees,* that outline the
visual look, estimated dimensions, and structural issues of the bench design. I have
supplemented his drawings with 3D models created using Google SketchUp which better
illustrate the look of the bench as a whole, and offer finite dimensions.

*Mr. Donnie DeWees can be contacted by email at

Jacob Ashendorf’s Eagle Project

Jacob Ashendorf’s Eagle Project
Rear joint x-ray view.

Jacob Ashendorf’s Eagle Project

Forward joint x-ray view.

Jacob Ashendorf’s Eagle Project

Planning Details
Method of Construction
I will be using six foot sections of Trex for the seats on the bench, three to sit on, and two as a
back support. Ganahl Lumber offers these in a green color that will fit well into the ENC
landscape, and can be cut to 6' lengths on site. Trex beams cannot support great weights at
spans of more than 20”, so my design has four structural sections unlike a typical bench that
may have three or only two. This design makes the beam spans 19 5/16” long; safe for greater
weights that may be tested over long term use.

Each Trex beam will be attached to the frame with eight screws, two at each bench support,
making for a total of 40 screws. The screws will be 3” long composite screws preferably from
Grip Rite. Three inch screws will pass through the 1 1/2” deep Trex beams and go 1 1/2” into
the 4x4 beam beneath, making the beams solidly secured.

The 4x4 pressure treated logs will be purchased from Home Depot, and also cut on site to my
specifications (see below). The pressure treated wood as well as Trex pieces are termite
resistant, so should be long-lasting. Both of these materials were requested as the “preferred”
materials by the ENC.

In Figure 1 to the right, I have labeled the three pressure treated beams which will compose the
support structure, as A, B, and C.

Beam Lengths: A – 13.5”

! B – 18”
! C – 32” !

Beam A will be attached to beam B by a 3/8” diameter lag bolt 6” long. It will
drive through starting on beam B and going into beam A, and will be slightly
recessed into beam B so as to provide a flush top to attach the Trex seats. A washer will be
used in the recession.

Beam B will be attached to beam C with the use of two 3/8” diameter by 3” long lag bolts and an

Jacob Ashendorf’s Eagle Project

A24 steel angle piece. The angle piece will have one bolt pointed upward and screwed into
beam B, and one bolt pointed right and screwed into beam C. Washers (1” diameter) will also
be used here to further enhance the sturdiness of the connections. These pieces can be seen
more clearly in Illustrations 7 and 8 on the previous page.

Lastly, a rear inner-side flat joint piece will be nailed on to more securely connect the rear posts
with the forward section. This addition counteracts any force pushing the rear posts down, which
makes the frame want to separate.

With each bolt having a 3/8” diameter, all drilling will be done with 1/4” bits, which is two sizes
down from 3/8”.

Jacob Ashendorf’s Eagle Project

Table 1: Estimated Materials for Benches

Item Description Quantity Source Unit Cost Total Cost

Trex Wood plastic 2 Ganahl Lumber $63.21 $126.42

5.5” x 1.5” x 18'

Trex 5.5” x 1.5” x 12' 2 Ganahl Lumber $45.24 $90.48

Lumber 4x4 3.5” x 3.5” x 8' 6 Home Depot $9.97 $59.82


Lag bolts 3/8” x 6” 8 Home Depot $0.89 $7.12

Lag bolts 3/8” x 3” 16 Home Depot $0.50 $8

Screws Composite 2 Home Depot $8.64 $17.28

screws used for
Trex (Grip Rite) 3”

A24 angle 90 degree metal 8 Home Depot $2.80 $22.40

piece pieces to support
rear of bench

Washers 1” diameter, 3/8” 24 Home Depot $0.13 $3.12


Sealant For exposed 1 Home Depot $19.57 $19.57

areas of pressure
treated wood

Paint Any quality 2 Home Depot $2.95 $5.90


Screw drivers Robertson head 3 Home Depot $2.11 $6.33

for composite

Sand paper Medium 1 Home Depot $5.00 $5


Total $334.64

Jacob Ashendorf’s Eagle Project

Time Schedule
This project should take about four days to complete.
1. Work out final design detail with ENC board
2. Approval from Unit Leader and Council Advancement Committee
3. Fund raising (letters asking for donation sent to family and friends)
4. Purchase of materials
5. Schedule time with participants and volunteers for assembly
6. Build the bench
7. Move the bench to the ENC
8. Finishing touches / present bench

Project Helpers
• Donnie DeWees – design architect who helped with designs, and supplied tools
• John Perfect – go-to man for technical questions
• Barrett Steele – engineering advice

Table 2: Total Estimated Project Time

Item # of Hours

Researching projects 3

Consulting with ENC 3

- Touring ENC to see where bench would go
- Taking photos
- Talking with Mark Maeseele about bench requirements

Researching 10
- Looking at bench designs
- Meeting with architect
- Trips to Home Depot and Ganahl lumber

Composing Project Write up 24

- Writing descriptions
- SketchUp drawings (had to learn the software)

Fund raising 3

Buying materials 4

Organizing volunteers 2

Work time (aggregate) 58

- For details see Table 3

Moving to site and implementing 1

Total 108

Jacob Ashendorf’s Eagle Project

Table 3: Estimated Work Time Expanded

Item # of Participants Time in Minutes

Safety instructions / where things are Everyone 3

Signing in Everyone 1

Measuring hole locations 10 10

• This needs to be highly accurate, so the
more time spent the better, but I also
want high participation because anyone
can do it. There are a total of 104
locations to be measured

Drilling 5 20
• A total of 24 holes must be drilled of
varying lengths from 3 to 6 inches

Screwing in lag bolts (total of 24) 15 10

• Requires at least two people because
wood pieces must be held together

Screwing in composite screws into Trex 15 10

Quality Control 2 Duration

• Each task will need someone to be
watching, this will be me, and perhaps
people who have already successfully
performed the task

Supervision (adult) 2 Duration

Sanding 10 10
• All exposed pressure-treated wood will
need to be sanded before sealant is

Applying Sealant (2 coats) 10 30

Breaks 15 5

Bring bench to ENC 5 60

• Bench must be loaded on pickup, driven
to ENC, carried (Trex is very heavy)
through to back of ENC campus (which
can only be done safely at a slow pace),
and properly situated.

Total 1185

Total (counting those who will be there full time) 3515 ≈ 58 hours

Jacob Ashendorf’s Eagle Project

Safety Information

Safety for all those involved will be a top priority in the building process. I've taken a number of
precautions to ensure that making the bench in my garage is a safe process for all involved.
Everyone on site will be informed of where certain things like safety kits are, where the
Emergency card is located, where a phone is located.

Ventilation / Escape Feasibility

Working with chemicals, woods, composites, requires good air circulation, which is why the
garage and garage door will be open at all times of building. This is good for ventilation, and
also makes escape in the event of something going awry easier.

Adult Supervision
Given the nature of the project, working with power tools and heavy objects, it is best that at
least one parent be present at all times. The “always there” adult will be my step-dad because
he works at home. We have phones for emergency calls.

Dehydration / Hunger
Considering volunteers may be on-site for multiple hours, food and water needs must be
considered. A water pitcher with cooled water as well as snacks will be available for participants.

Jacob Ashendorf’s Eagle Project

Cuts/Scrapes + Other Physical Harm
The work site will have a first aid kit, as well as a first aid sheet detailing remedies for common

Table 4: Safety Materials

# Item Source Estimated Cost ($)

1 Fire Extinguisher Home Depot 17.99

2 First Aid kit Kris Flint (donated)

3 First Aid manual Kris Flint (donated)

4 Gloves Home Depot 5.99

5 Goggles Home Depot 3.90

6 Dust mask Home Depot 8.49

Total 36.37

Emergency Card (will be placed in visible location on work site)

In Case of Emergency: Call 911

! *Be sure to speak calmly and slowly*

Our address is : 2002 Vista Caudal

! Newport Beach, CA 92660

Cross streets are Eastbluff and Vista del Oro

Important contacts: Jacob Ashendorf – (949) 903-4800

! Scoutmaster (Derek Fisher) – (714) 608-0861

Jacob Ashendorf’s Eagle Project

Carrying Out The Project


I sent letters to family and friends asking for donations to my Eagle Project fund. The
response was very generous, and I was able to cover my estimated costʼs quite easily.

Table 5: List of Donators & Contribution

Name Amount
1 Dennis and Charlene Ashendorf $100.00
2 Dave and Jan Berner $50.00
3 Jon Ceretto $20.00
4 John and Phyllis Perfect $100.00
5 Jeff and Michelle Pinchot $50.00
6 Martha Pine $50.00
7 Mike and Lou Sheehan $25.00
8 Barrett and Bev Steele $25.00
9 Brad and Cyndi Terry $30.00
10 Neil and Kim Titus $25.00
11 Rob and Cindy Trantow $50.00
Total Donated $525.00

On the next two pages are a copy of the fundraising letter sent and a copy of the thank
you letter sent to those who donated.

Jacob Ashendorf’s Eagle Project

Volunteer Hours
Aggregate of volunteer hours, plus my work hours. Next page has volunteer signatures.

Table 6: Volunteer Hours

Date Name Number of Hours

8/19/09 Cahill Maffei 7

David Lin 6

Peter Schreyer 5

8/20/09 David Lin 6

Aaron Varasteh 6

Peter Schreyer 6

Cahill Maffei 5

Christopher Nguyen 5

Austin Quon 2

Josiah Phan 2

8/22/09 Austin Quon 4

Christopher Nguyen 4

Peter Schreyer 4

Donald Ghazi 3

Jack Mulcaire 3

9/4/09 Julien Crockett 2.5

Henri Crockett 2.5

Petersen Walrod 2.5

Alex Ludlow 2.5

Cahill Maffei 2.5

Total 80.5

Total + me (20.5 hours) 101

Jacob Ashendorf’s Eagle Project

Table 7: Materials and Cost Post Project

Item Description Quantity Source Unit Cost Total Cost

Trex 5.5” x 1.5” x 12' 5 Ganahl Lumber $45.74 $228.70

Lumber 4x4 3.5” x 3.5” x 8' 7 Ganahl Lumber $9.97 $69.79


Lag bolts 3/8” x 6” 8 Home Depot $2.4 $19.20


Lag bolts 3/8” x 3” 16 Home Depot $1.33 $21.28


Screws Composite screws 3 Home Depot $8.64 $25.92

(Grip Rite) 3”

A24 angle 90 degree metal 8 Ganahl Lumber $2.75 $22

piece pieces to support
rear of bench

Joinder An add on for 8 Home Depot $0.5 $4

pieces extra strenght

Washers 1” diameter, 3/8” 24 Home Depot $0.21 $5.04


Sealant For exposed areas 1 Home Depot $9.48 $9.48

(Copper of pressure
Green) treated wood

Sand paper Medium 1 Ace Hardware $4.57 $4.57


Laser Miter Legit piece of 1 Home Depot $26.6 $26.60

Saw equipment

Nails Galvanized 2” 1 Ganahl Lumber $4.29 $4.29

Fire Red, medium 1 Home Depot $16.98 $16.98

Extinguisher sized

Dust masks Air filtration 1 Home Depot $2.87 $2.87

(pack of 3)

Gloves For carrying wood 1 Home Depot $4.46 $4.46

Food Drinks, breakfast, 1 Ralphs, Mag’s $41.96 $41.96

fast-food Donuts, various
other places

Total $507.14

Total with 8.75% tax $551.51

Jacob Ashendorf’s Eagle Project

Cost Analysis

The estimated cost of the project was building materials ($334.64) + safety purchases
($36.37) multiplied by tax, and equals $403.47.

The actual cost of the project was materials + safety purchases + food = $551.51.

Making the difference between estimated and actual = $551.51 – $403.47 = $148.04

In my original estimate I had forgotten to factor food, part of the reason why there is a
somewhat large difference.

The difference between amount fundraised and project cost = $551.51 – $525 = $26.51,
which was absorbed by my bank account.


The only change to my design was the addition of a rectangular square metal piece
which connected the rear vertical 4x4 beam and the only horizontal 4x4 beam. This was
necessary to allow the bench to handle larger pressures, and keep the backrest from
tilting away from the seat. The change is only visible from the rear.

Final Hour Count

Item # of Hours

Project Planning (Table 2) 49

Carrying out the Project (Table 6) 20.5

Volunteer time working on project (Table 6) 80.5

Total 150

Jacob Ashendorf’s Eagle Project

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