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.
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, add the rungs 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. It’s the same wood we are using in our kitchen remodel.
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. It has grain tighter than me and my wallet! It took some doing to make those holes. 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 get some woodworking in. I salvage some wonderful wood, and create a piece I am sure to treasure. Also, it is full 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 is a home with simple things to create a story. Do pin and share to inspire others.
Up next is Trash to Treasure Tuesday, and I will be showing you what I did with this headboard from the recent bedroom set makeover. Any guesses? See the after HERE.
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You created a special family heirloom. I was so afraid you were going to list it in your shop. Not that it isn’t great to share with others. And it would fly out the door. The parts of the chair have such nice memories for you and you created a unique piece of furniture. I can imagine the family sharing stories about the chair Mom made. I look forward to seeing it in your future vignettes.
Oh yes, this was all for me and my family. I hope my dad likes it too! 😀 You and me both can’t wait to have my home done.
Judith Truitt says
The clamp chair is awesome! Love it! Every time you look at it you will probably have a memory!
That was the plan. So happy you got it! 😀
Patty Soriano says
What a great idea! My hubby would have put that ladder in the burn pile. And he HAS ! I was so upset! You’re my hero, Larissa…. you can use tools as well as my hubby does. They intimidate me a bit. Can’t wait to see what you do with the headboard since I have one just like it that I picked up off the road. That thing is heavy solid wood!
hahaha…I bet! I have a saying #toolsoverjewels and my husband should be happy I’d rather have those. hee hee. Yes, that headboard I have is mahogany…eep!
You are one amazingly talented lady. I love the story and the chair. The lights are to die for. Your dad would be so proud of what you did and how you re-created the ladder.
I have to show him yet, but I’m sure he’ll be happy. Fingers crossed! 😀
Cathy Klose says
What a very cool chair – with a great story! I love pieces with stories. I’m thinking of something similar to put next to my hoosier to act as a coffee bar and get my Keurig off the counter. And ladies! My husband got me my first power tool for Valentine’s Day – a palm sander!!! I’m in the club now!!!
WAHOOO!! I’m so excited for you, Cathy! The world of wood is at your fingertips…or palm. 😉
Larissa – I wish I had your eye to create things! That is truly a gift! That chair, besides being a family heirloom, is just the cutest darn thing to use to fill a little space with!. As for your headboard; I could see a shelf or maybe toy storage However, I am sure you will come up with something way more cooler than that!
I can’t tell you how much fun I have and yearn to create all the time. The icing on the cake is that I can share it with you. Thank you! you are close to my idea. 😉
You continue to come up with such creative ideas! Just a small psa, with your sandals and the old wood – please make sure you are up to date on your tetanus shot. 🙂
Thank you! No need to worry.
Marie from The Interior Frugalista says
Wow! Mad DIY skills, Creative, Clever, Unique, Sentimental are the words I would use to describe this chair project.
Yeehaw!! Thanks so much, Marie. Love those words. 🙂
Such a cute treasure this is now, Larissa! How sweet that you were able to use part of your
hahaha… I do that all the time. Thanks so much, Christy!
Dad’s ladder too! (Sorry I hit send too soon ha!)
I have these clamps, love your vision. Never would of thought of this.
Thanks so much, Linda. I love it!