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Trestle Bench From Reclaimed Douglas Fir

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Blog entry by barringerwoodworks posted 09-28-2013 05:43 PM 1090 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Some nice, tight, parallel grain peeking through and some hardware impressions that should lend some nice character if I can leave them.

Here it is after stripping. I originally wanted to get a set of benches from this; one large one and one small one for kids. Don’t think there’s enough unfortunately.

Selected these pieces for the top. They’re jointed and ready for glue up.

Here’s a rough sketch of what this will look like. A few details haven’t been decided at this stage and the design is developing as I build. Some of the decisions will be dictated by the lumber. I like a certain amount of old character like old screw and nail holes, stains from the old hardware, etc. But I have to watch out for the panel grooves since this all came from some old panel doors. The design is typical of me in that it has elements from a few different styles – Shaker, Early American and Japanese. But I consider all these traditional archetypes and try to combine them respectfully and tastefully. It’s not really something I consciously try to do, it just comes out that way.

I’m skipping a few steps of course in my photos. But here’s the top glued up, leg sections glued up and cut, and the bases (feet?) cut. I’m actually posting all these entries at once, after much more has happened. So just to note, those base shoes got re-cut because I decided I wanted a rounded top at the ends and they needed to be longer. I didn’t plane these, just did a lot of scraping and checking for flatness. I never have good luck planing Doug Fir.

Mortise and tenons for the leg assemblies. They’ll be pinned with walnut dowels – two at each joint.

Tenon at the end of the trestle. The notch is for a slotted wedge to fit around. These will be walnut along with the dowels for some contrast.

Leg assemblies joined up.

One leg seated in dado in bench top.

The other leg and trestle joined. Some of you are probably wondering why I didn’t join the two legs to the trestle first then just sit them both into the dados at once. I wonder that too. As it turns out, there was enough span and flex in the whole thing so that I was able to get it all together even at that slight angle before the second leg sits into the bench top.

So far so good and I’m caught up on my blog now. The slotted wedges are actually cut now and holes are drilled for dowels in the top and on the leg/base assemblies. You can’t see it in these photos but there’s going to be a lot of cleanup to do on this. Doug Fir is so delicate for any kind of hand work and there were a few splinters and other mishaps that left me a bit frustrated. In the end though, It should be beautiful I think. It will be the first reclaimed piece I offer on my website.

Well, it’s finally done and ready for finish. These pics were taken prior to first coat. Second coat went on late last night and third coat is drying as I type. Really happy with the piece. The design was spontaneous and took shape as I built. Some REAL photos should be taken tomorrow and posted here as well as for sale on my homepage.

Okay finished!

-- Scott Barringer, Sacramento, CA https://barringerwoodworks.squarespace.com



4 comments so far

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10882 posts in 1346 days


#1 posted 09-29-2013 12:49 AM

I really like the design of this piece. And I’m also a big fan of old, reclaimed Doug Fir (particularly like QS pieces like yours). Anxious to see this finished. Stain or no stain? I’ve done both ways but I’ve become a fan of MinWax Gunstock on old, reclaimed Doug Fir.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View barringerwoodworks's profile

barringerwoodworks

193 posts in 368 days


#2 posted 09-29-2013 01:59 AM

Thanks a lot gfadvm. Didn’t plan on staining it. I love the look of Doug Fir too, even in fine furniture which some people object too. I’ve seen some beautiful cabinets from DF. I do like a satin finish on DF. Not anything glossy.
Nice work of your own by the way! Checked out your projects.

-- Scott Barringer, Sacramento, CA https://barringerwoodworks.squarespace.com

View barringerwoodworks's profile

barringerwoodworks

193 posts in 368 days


#3 posted 09-29-2013 02:00 AM

I must say, I don’t like working with it though. Too fragile.

-- Scott Barringer, Sacramento, CA https://barringerwoodworks.squarespace.com

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10882 posts in 1346 days


#4 posted 09-29-2013 02:16 AM

It does tend to split easily but I’m impressed with the strength/durability of my tall folding chairs. They have been hauled around to horse shows for years and I’ve yet to have one break. I do need to figure out how to keep the footrest from wearing.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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