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.


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 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.


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 The legs and frame were originally made for another project, but didn’t get used.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

Hemlock Live Edge Bench – for two

42″ long, 18″ high, 18″ wide. Uses 3″ thick slab of Hemlock on walnut legs with a walnut trestle design. The legs are glued with a cross beam, but pegged to the slab using gravity. The trestle then joins the legs with a snug fit. No metal is used.

Numbered 05-14-19 BL

The Hemlock bench is finished in a mix of 50% polyurethane and 50% paint thinner. This mix leaves the appearance of a hand-worn lustre, instead of a shiny gloss. The bench is now on a front patio under cover, with a view of a beautiful rock garden.

Maple Bench from Recovered Log


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…



Hall Coat Rack Bench

prairiebench_hall_tree 3

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.

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Hall Coat Rack Bench
18″ deep x 23″ wide and 76″ tall
Reclaimed spruce with 3 brass coat hooks
Prairie Bench Storybook Stain


Woodland Oak Bench

Prairie Bench oak slab 01

This wonderful piece of English Oak came to us locally. The harvester saved it for the unique grain with a lot of character. We didn’t have enough material to do the seat and legs, so we used some sections from a dried alder round that was saved for a special purpose. The result is a very heavy boot bench for an entry way or alcove.

Prairie Bench oak slab 8

The live edge was left on and the entire piece is sanded to a smooth finish and coated in polyurethane in case it has stay on the patio. There are no screws or metal in the design. Each leg was notched to slide into the seat sideways with a few taps of the mallet.  This final was eventually glued with PL 8x for a permanent bond. The bottoms are also sealed with a waterproof poly cement.  This oak bench is big, heavy and will last a long, long time.

#135 BL 06 13
Approx: 18″ tall x 16″ deep x 48″ wide
Wood source:

Prairie Bench oak slab 6