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.
Approx. size: 48″ long, 18″ wide, 18″ tall, 100 lbs. #10-17-18
Golden glue was added to give the appearance of a gold vein in the wood…
No nails or screws were used. The legs have a slight V-channel where the leg sinks into a chiseled recess in the base. Glue fills the void and the legs were then pressed in…
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
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.
height: approx 19″, length 52″, width 18″
These are approximately 48″ long and 15″ wide x 18″ tall. Ideal for hallways, entry ways, and patios. The 2″ thick cedar slabs are finished to 180 grit and coated in clear poly. The legs are hand fashioned from the same slab and with bark highlights.
Raw cedar benches just before finishing.
Here’s two more benches to add to our Woodland Collection. A client chose two cedar slabs for patio benches. Each was approximately 7′ long x 18″ wide and 3″ thick. This enabled us to lop off the ends and stack it upright for legs and a seat. A hemlock trestle was added for stability. We split the leg, notch out the join by hand, and glue the entire piece back together with hazelnut dowels for support.
Each bench was left with live edges, saw marks and unique knots. The surface was ground with 80 grit, then 120. The edges were ground to remove any slivers and the entire bench was soaked in poly. The bench is turned upside down and poly is poured into the open grain to make it last for years outdoors. Any finish will eventually wear away with use, sun, and rain, but the client can easily wipe some on whenever they want to restore that sheen.
Cedar has long strands that like to peel away from the core. It’s a good carving wood for vertical designs, however the cut edges can remain rough no matter how much sanding. That’s just a characteristic of this wood. Hardwoods, like maple and birch, can be polished to a fine finish from any angle, but cedar is great for that rugged, outdoor style.
Cedar is big, chunky, strong and light.
#137 BL 07 13
#138 BL 07 13
Approximate sizes: 42″ long 18″ deep 17″ tall.
Wood source: hawleyscape.com