Lots of leftovers? That’s what often happens around the wood shed. It’s Halloween and after a good harvest this KD (kiln dried) bench made of 2×6 ends makes a fine place to set out treats, or put on costumes in the hallway.
No nails or screws involved. The legs are cut at 10° and “picture framed” with some left over 2x4s. The surface is a patchwork of boards cut square on the chop saw. The dimensions are 42″ wide, 16.5″ deep, and 18″ tall. To even the surface, a 3.5″ planer was used to give it an old fashion look and feel. Sanding was at 60 grit and the sharp edges were sanded round. The ends of the bench top were planed thinner so the top doesn’t look like lumber.
The top is pegged to the frame with six hardwood dowels. Some artificial aging was added with a fine tip torch. This also highlights some flaws and grain. Because this is construction grade wood, cracks and knots must be ground out or someone sitting on it might get a sliver. Then the bench is coated in a mix of thinner and poly sealer to give it a soft, safe finish. The mix has no gloss and protects the wood with a rubbery durable coat that preserves the touch of real wood.
Budget: $0. and the end result is a strong, rustic piece that can serve multiple purposes. The legs and frame were originally made for another project, but didn’t get used. They were test legs, but very strong and can easily hold several people standing on it. The corners of the legs are under the center beam, with a direct transfer of weight through the center and down through all four legs equally.
#10-31-19 will host a bowl of candy on a leaf-covered, spooky porch tonight, for the convenience of neighborhood ghouls.
…and for our web visitors, here’s a peek of the fall colors around Prairie Bench…
We received a section of maple log saved from a break in a windstorm at a local park. This is an old tree with some branches close to three feet (90cm) thick. The log was milled into slabs. One section has already become a maple writing desk. This piece called for a more primitive, simple bench design. The ends of the slab were cut and angled for the legs. It’s very heavy and solid. A check/split was filled with gold glue to add a shiny feature rather than hide the mark. The finish is a poly/thinner mix to give a soft, smooth, touchable surface. 100% polyurethane was used on the top for a high gloss finish.
Take a look at our new Hall Coat Rack Bench, sometimes called a ‘hall tree’, but we didn’t want to confuse it with the furniture we make out of actual tree branches.
It’s tall and narrow and designed custom to fit a specific space at the side entry of a residence. 18″ deep x 23″ wide and 76″ tall (over six feet). The seat height is 17″. It include a shoe shelf underneath the plank seat. We wanted something a little more elegant and ornate and the client selected a rich walnut color to contrast with the bright surroundings and window. We gave the spruce design our Prairie Bench storybook treatment and turned it into a period piece perhaps from a castle or ancient church. This is what we do with reclaimed and recycled wood.
Hall Coat Rack Bench
18″ deep x 23″ wide and 76″ tall
Reclaimed spruce with 3 brass coat hooks
Prairie Bench Storybook Stain
Combine two left hand, low back sectional chaises in our original design and you have lots of patio options.
Each chaise sits next to the other and creates nooks, corners, tete a tete lounges, adjoining or back to back. Rows of chaise lounges can create seating for outdoor entertaining.
The Low Back Western chaise is approx 28″ tall, 28″ deep and 70″ long They are finished in our country rustic finish and polyurethane. The chaises pictured have 48″ long seats with open ends for easy access. Combine with coffee tables or fire pit. You can also combine them with double chaises (reclines on both sides). Click the images to enlarge.
Like the elves, we wanted to squeeze in a couple extra projects before the holiday season. A client found a large slab of fallen cedar near a rail line in the Nelson area. The sample has unique features and a natural bowl shape. We believe the wood may be a remnant from a lightning strike due to the pattern of the burn and its location on the inside core. The wood was aged and weather worn, and full of splinters, however the structure was still good and could be preserved as a bench.
We suggested continuing the rail line motif with an industrial style combined with the wood. We ‘tracked’ down a nice piece of I-beam from the recyclers and then went straight to Steve at Hawk Metalworks in Poco (leave a comment if you want the tel#) where the frame was cut and welded to our exact specifications. For ties we used hemlock 4″x3″ rough cut beams.
The challenge with old cedar is the breakdown of the long grains resulting in slivers and and fractures. We soaked the piece in poly several times, sanding extensively to create a natural finish without gloss to the client’s preference. If cedar does get a sharp edge, sanding just exposes more of the sliver, so for anything too nasty, we cut across the grain in a scoop motion, soak with finish, and sand the divot smooth. The goal was to preserve the natural bowl shape that caught the client’s attention back in the forest.
The rail is left natural and local fabricator, Sawitall.net, helped design the brackets which were torched to look old and we applied a little flat black paint. Four bolts lock the rail to the ties from underneath.