Patchwork Barn Bench – Table

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.

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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.

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The top is pegged to the frame with eight 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.

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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 The legs and frame were originally made for another project, but didn’t get used.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.

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#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…

Hemlock Bistro on Hairpin Legs Stuffed with Cedar

Kind of sounds like a menu item…? This little table is an experiment with live edge hemlock planks and steel 26″ hairpin legs. A retro-rustic combination. The planks were cut on one side and glued. The legs were squared at the most aesthetically pleasing positions, checked and rechecked, then screwed into place.

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The surface and edges were sanded with 80 grit and many of the big band saw marks were left on to show the history of the piece. A very light mix of poly and paint thinner was used to create a dull finish that’s easy to clean. It soaked in well and set to prevent cracks and splits, especially along the grain edge.

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The goal was to create a small enough table for an apartment dweller and give them the best virtues of rustic wood with retro hairpin legs that have become fashionable again. It starts to give the appearance that the table top is floating. However, unsatisfied, we wanted to accent the air gap and make the table a little different. Out came the old barn wood and we found some 1/2″ cedar slats that could be trimmed and beveled to slide into the steel wire legs.

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A tracing was made of the inside area with an extra 1/4″ to make each cedar slat slightly larger. Then each slat was run down a saw blade to make a groove. Finally, the slats were sanded and the groove was shaped into a channel. Some slight trimming to even the angle on the top of the slats was required. Now they drop in, or can be removed. Not sure if the slats serve a purpose, but it makes for an interesting bistro table with the top appearing to float above the legs. It’s also easy to fix a wobbly table with hairpin legs–just pull the narrow tips slightly apart and the table sinks down so all four legs are touching.

#08-28-19 is 27″, or 68 cm tall without floor savers, 42″ (106 cm) long and varies in width around 21″ (53 cm) and finished in poly. The natural edge can make finding the best position for the legs difficult, so measuring a rectangle that fit within the widest and the narrowest area seemed to work, as well as some long gazes.

Reclaimed Fir Hairpin Coffee Table and Footstool

A few years back, we received several fir floorboards recovered from demolition at the Riverview Hospital site. The institution was constructed around 1913 and the boards looked worn, scratched, and were full of old square head nails. The tongue and groove planks were in different thicknesses, but we were able to pair up some matching sizes.

In order to focus on the floorboards, we tried several table designs including wood frames and legs. In the end, we settled on steel hairpin legs from Rusty Garden (on Amazon) in 2 sizes: 12″ and 16″. The footstool would fit underneath the coffee table. Minimal sanding of the boards removed any burrs or slivers. A mix of 30% thinner plus 70% polyurethane was used to seal the wood in a thin layer without gloss, giving it a light sheen and a handworn look. The fitted boards were glued with PL polyurethane.

The sizes are: table, 40″x 20″x 18″tall; footstool, 22″x14″x14″tall.

Numbered 06-06-19 as a set. Check back, we have used the ends of the reclaimed boards from this project to make a small end table … reclaimed-reclaimed wood!

Table for One

We found an interesting steel rod chair. It’s rusty and the seat was missing, but there are no accidental bends and the ball bearing feet are intact. The welds are still good. Rather than paint the metal, we’ve weather treated it the way we found it. The seat was made from left over spruce slats tongue and grooved, glued and stained a deep burgundy—the inspiration was the evening sky, perfect for a quality cup of coffee and some quiet reflection.

There was more spruce than we knew what to do with, so we also made hallway shelves, a spice rack, a tea cupboard, and a little table for one. Same technique, glued to fit and the leg was cut from six slats and pressed together like a vertical jigsaw puzzle. We did two tables, one with a round top and one square…alas the round top was claimed by a friend. We hope to have a picture of the entire set together some time.

It was a fun side project using slightly warped, left over spruce.

Table: 13″ wide, 27″ tall, 10″ base. Chair: 18″ tall at seat, 34″ back, 13″ wide.

Finished in oil stain and polyurethane.

 

Cedar Barn Plank Card Table

An old collapsing barn furnished cedar planks for a card table. The project started with the discovery of a set of 4 folding table legs. The planks were cut to size, sanded, glued and clamped. The old nails, staples and defects were left in, sanded flush and coated with layers of finish. A blond spruce slat was added for dividing line between two competitors. We are still debating changing the original color of the legs to something more “rusty”. We’ll post photos of the final decision.

Polyurethane is the finish. No stain is used. The size is approx. 33″x33″ and 27″ tall. The piece weighs less than 20lbs (8 kgs). Click images to expand.