Sometimes it can be hard to let go of things. Especially things that have sentimental value. For me it was this 12′ wooden ladder that my dad had loaned us when we bought our first home. I remember as a child using it in my parent’s home to decorate our 20’+ Christmas trees in our living room while using a broom to string lights. Or dangling from it to play with my siblings. Problem is, when my husband and I got possession of it, it fell in disrepair. ugh. It had to be outside for various reasons and it rotted away. Today it becomes something more. Let me show you how I made an antique clamp chair using this ladder for parts.
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I suppose most people would just pitch or burn this thing, but I couldn’t do it. Too many memories and I felt as though I failed my dad. I dragged it up to he front of my house and used my jig saw to cut it into salvageable pieces late last summer. The promise to myself was to make use of this bit by bit and create some new memories.
Enter in this pair of antique clamps that I found at a local flea market. This pair is the two left of a lot of 5.
The other long one became our dining room lighting, and a smaller pair became sconces in that same area. You can read about those in this post.
Today, I decided to create an antique clamp chair using the rungs from the ladder. Do you know how hard it is to find truly weathered dowel? tsk. This stuff was #trashure gold for me.
Since the design I had in my head required the clamps be turned to the narrow side, I had to reduce the size of the dowel so it could fit in nice and snug while not loosing strength. My hacksaw helped me notch out the ends and then I used a hammer and chisel to tap it off. Last, I used my utility knife to whittle it down.
Up next was getting the rungs added to the clamps. This was kinda like a puzzle to me as everything had age and a few twists here in there in the grain. It was fun! My drill and spade bit set made easy work of getting the holes. Since my rungs had hand-carved ends, I used two sizes to make sure they fit snug.
After that, I grabbed a few scrap pieces of the glorious barn wood we are using in our kitchen remodel to add to my antique clamp chair.
Since I tend to build on the fly when it is something like this, I used my miter saw as I went to make the lengths I needed. Then (enter in dramatic music) my Kreg Jig came to my rescue again to help me create pocket holes to make building the seat a breeze. You should check out these posts to see why if you are into DIY you should purchase this tool.
Because this wood is first-growth wood with grain tighter than me and my wallet, it took some doing to get those holes made. I love it. You can’t buy this stuff in a box store.
After a bit more building, here is the antique clamp chair I came up with…
My goal was to create something unique for our entry (if we ever get that done) or to stick in a corner to be used to hold a vignette or daily grind essentials. Hang a hat or some towels and call it a day.
My heart is happy because I got to get some woodworking in, I salvaged some wonderful wood, and created a piece I am sure to treasure and can be passed down with all the memories it holds.
If you come away inspired to give DIY a try, that is what I’m all about. Our house can be made a home with simple things to give it a story. Do pin and share to inspire others.
Don’t forget to stop by my shop to see the latest additions, including my ticking pillows seen above!
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