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 The legs and frame were originally made for another project, but didn’t get used.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

Wall Mounted Cedar Jewelry Case

This is a simple cedar slat box with a pine frame, cut in two, hinged, and mounted with two steel L-brackets. The L-brackets are mounted to a wall stud above and below the case. A small hole is drilled through the top and bottom of the case and two steel removeable pins secure the case to the brackets. Pull the pins and the case can be taken down and displayed on a flat surface.
The style is to be old farmhouse. All the surfaces are sanded smooth and there is no finish. The case will age and darken over time naturally. A simple gate latch holds the door.
Pegs were plotted on a pencil graph using a square. Two more cedar slats create a couple shelves. A detachable ring case rests inside. The dimensions are 63×24 cm (25″x 11″) and 17cm (6.75″) deep when closed.
Plumbing o-rings fit perfectly on 1/2″ dowel as a stop. The cedar slats are only 1/4″ thick so the 1.5″ pegs are cut at a 5° slope and glued in place. This keeps necklaces against the backboard.
The ring case uses 3/8″ dowels cut square and glued in place. A recycled picture stand is glued to the back and folds flat to tuck in a slat on the larger case.
The cedar is dry but still quite light in tone. Over the years the unfinished wood will age and start looking like a barn door. This piece is unnumbered and created as a fun test.

Man Cave Sign

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We live outdoors, but some brothers like the cave life. It’s a good idea to mark their territory with a warning. With our friends at Sawitall.net, we did a couple test runs with a rustic man cave sign.

One is a wild west font and the other looked good with a rough edge and some bolts.

Man Cave Signs
White Pine finished in polyurethane and water-based paint.
24″x 8″
#02-28-16 MC 1 & 2
(2/2) On display at the Urban Man Cave in New Westminster.

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Cedar Burl Scrying Bowl

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An ancient (over two hundred years old) river bourne cedar scrying bowl set upon Rowan branches.

This is a one-of-a-kind, very unique showpiece and an original Prairie Bench design. The hand ground Cedar Burl Scrying Bowl has been displayed in local studios and used by fortune tellers who look into future events.

The rich burgundy tones pop on the polished surface which holds approx. 1 liter of water. The legs are twisting and interlocking English Mountain Ash known as Rowan (used for wands) and harvested on site, then joined without metal to create a stunning tripod that cradles the bowl.

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The burl is large with an oval shape 40″ long and 24″ across. It’s approximately 12″ thick and set on the stand, the surface is 30″ tall.

‘River bourne’ means this burl came from a tree which fell naturally, swept into a river and later harvested by a licensed tug operator. On the ocean, we call it beachcombing. The source tree fell of it’s own accord or came down naturally. The only cut was to separate the burl from the timber.

The cedar burl has deep burn marks attributed to a lightning strike. You can see in the cross section where a bolt traveled into the wood. This is a unique feature showing burns directly next to untouched wood.

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Scrying is a custom used by sages and fortune tellers to ‘peer’ into the future through a medium such as water in a bowl. The practice is most commonly associated with Nostradamus.

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The Cedar Burl Scrying Bowl is precious and one of a kind so packaging will be extra heavy duty. The burl will need to be set carefully onto the legs once you have chosen its perfect position.

This unique showpiece is the original created by Prairie Bench Poco Canada, our small woodworkers studio that locates interesting examples of wood and uses them in designs. We use natural and safe synthetic materials to preserve and enhance features left by nature. See our moonlight test of the Cedar Scrying Bowl… click here.

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