I have settled for a shaker like design which I have always wanted to try anyway.
This also presented an opportunity to try and use the mule saw for something useful. The top of the bench will be made out of a single board of larch (what a surprise), and the rest of the bench will also be made out of larch. This is actually a good choice since the bench will be positioned outside permanently.
I have been testing the mule saw the last week, and it is working better and better. I can still improve on my sharpening of the blade, but all in all it is working as it should. I made some nice boards out of elm that were 16" wide. At that width and the current shape of the teeth of the blade, I need to go really slow. The lowest speed is about 4" per minute, so the saw is not fast at all. But on the other hand, the boards look very nice after sawing, and I don't have to make a living out of it. So being slow is OK.
The mule saw in action on a trunk of larch.