It’s not everyday that you are driving home and spy perfectly good wood set out for trash. We’re talking a 10″ x 12′ rough sawn board! It was just any trash day, however, but city spring-cleanup. You can see my loot (aka. #trashure) from past city cleanups HERE. Of course, I had to load it up myself and bring it home. Well, it was only a couple houses down, so it was a must. I envision a reclaimed wood bench, don’t you?
I mean, just look at those saw marks! Be still my heart…sigh…
Okay, so I’ve established the must of dragging this home. But, here’s the funny thing…it’s been sitting in my workshop for about 2 years now. Why? Well, I’ve been slightly hampered by problems beyond my control (read more HERE).
First, you might wonder what one does with such a unique find, right? Like any wood, you can basically create whatever you want. For today’s purposes, I want to share this simple build that anyone with basic tools can create. My board is 11 ½” wide by about 12′ long. Then, using my portable circular saw, I cut off the ends that are somewhat split.
Once the ends are off, I take the full measurement (approx. 120″) and divide it up to make my reclaimed wood bench pieces. Next, after I have my measurements figured out, I make my cuts using my circular saw. Here are my lengths if you want to build similar:
- 1 – top seat: 44″ long
- 1 – shelf board: 36″ long
- 2 – legs: 18 ½” long
- 4 – side supports: 1 ½” x 1 ½”
Keep in mind, it’s at this point you can take this basic design and take to any level you like. My goal is to make this bench streamlined yet retaining some rustic elements to make it suitable for many styles.
As a side note, take a look at these growth rings. WOW! This means this is a first growth (or old growth) tree. You definitely don’t see wood like this at your big box lumber stores.
Likewise, also notice that the board is quite warped. Not a problem – hang with me.
TAKE IT DOWN
As you can imagine, I need to do something with this shaggy wood. It’s gorgeous that way, but the paint splatters and warped-ness. Here enters my handy-dandy benchtop planer I gifted myself while doing our kitchen remodel after saving pennies for awhile. It’s been a life-saver in many ways!
If you’re not familiar with how a planer works, it basically takes off the slightest layer of wood each time you pass it through. Not only does that allow you to remove the shag, but also even up the warped board a bit.
I truly hate to see those awesome saw marks go buh-bye, but I really want to bring out the beauty of this wood that was left for the dump. Oh, and I’m doing all this in 90° outside and stinking humid. One thing’s for sure, if you need sawdust to add acid to your plants (like blueberries, etc) this is a phenomenally fast way to get some and make a HUGE mess at the same time. It’s kind fun!
Then, when the boards are cut, I need cut four supports. First, I take the end I cut off initially and use my miter saw to make them.
Finally, here are my boards and supports. I’ve planed them. sanded down for hours beginning with 60-grit working up to 120-grit sandpaper. Aren’t they gorgeous?
Last, but not least, it’s time to choose our finish. There’s only one thing on my mind for my reclaimed wood bench…to bring out that gorgeous wood grain while kinda taking it back to a weathered finish. In order to do that, I use this reactive stain I rave about in these past posts.
With this stuff, you brush or wipe it on, let it soak in and cure. That’s it! You can see the wood “aging” right before your eyes as the stain works with the tannins in the wood. There’s no wiping it down, no horrible stinky mess, and it’s done so much faster. Also, I could have assembled and then stained, but I chose to do the pieces individually because sometimes wood glue will cause bleached spots where you get it where you don’t want it.
In addition, I predrill my support pieces on two sides. One side is for attaching to the legs, and the other to the top or shelf.
BUILT FOR STYLE & TO LAST
Straight from the curb and made into a beautiful piece for any home, this bench is built to last.
Not bad for trash, eh? tee hee. I just love doing what I do. On top of that, I was able to treat myself to a new pair of barefoot/minimalist shoes to replace my conventional shoes. Aren’t they gorgeous?
These are a part of my barefoot journey I recently shared HERE. The boots have zero drop, allow ground-feel, have an open toe box so I can splay, and no toe spring. I got them from a lady who bought directly from Zaqq, but found they’re too small. Much to her disappointment, but my elation, I got them half-price and new. The extremely long, cold Ohio winters aren’t much for barefoot walking, so this is the next best thing.
Back to the bench…ahem. I’m in love with the stain color and even the design.
While I’d love to keep this, I’m trying to pare down to make major changes in my life. So, if you’d like to make this part of your home story while supporting this mama, you can find it and more in my online store.
Before you go, leave me some comment love, y’all. What would you have done differently with the board? Would you have even pulled it out of the trash? Additionally, pin and share to inspire others to see past the obvious to see the potential – even in people.