Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Birthday Benches

I've been in a frenzy of making benches.  I came across a nice pattern for traditional five-board benches and immediately made four of them, out of salvaged lumber, one of which I gave to a friend for his garden.

Benches, I discovered made nice gifts, and as my sweetie had a birthday coming up (yesterday) I set about to make a pair of "higher-end" five-board benches with some Arts and Crafts influence.

And they came out pretty nice

I also wanted to decorate them.  Using my soldering iron...

I burned this scene of blackbirds on a limb into the first.

Into the second one I routed a traditional Roycroft design, in this case, Dard Hunter's beautiful 
geometric roses.  

                                 The Dremel Trio (a new purchase) really expedited the process.

Side-by-side the slight variations in construction are apparent.

I colored the roses with watered down acrylic paint,

and followed that with six coats of spar-varnish...

which locked in the color and weatherproofed the benches.

The result was both pretty to look at...

and well received by the birthday girl.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Something I've been working on

The five-board bench.
Here's a project that I've been wanting to get to, and once I got to it I was surprised at how fast it all went together.  This five-board bench design is a classic and was used extensively by both sides during the American Civil War.

Using some 11 1/2 inch pine planks that I recently salvaged from a friend's barn I sawed, shaped, and sanded the five pieces in no time.  Glued, clamped, nailed (minimally), stained, this project took just under two hours at a very relaxed ("where'd I leave my diet Pepsi?") pace.

This is the bench with the first coat of stain, as yet not rubbed down with steel wool, which I'll do in a couple of days.  I chose to stain this rather than paint it only because the pine is beat-up in a way that gives it quite a bit of character, its also riddled with powder-post beetle holes which would have been filled in with paint.  I'll be making more of these, I'm sure.  Subsequent numbers will be pegged rather than nailed and painted in a variety of colors, depending on what I have lying around.

Whether used to accommodate behinds, flowerpots, drinks, or even books this handsome little table was a delight to make and a joy to behold.  I'll be making a few more of these, I'm sure.