Reclaimed Glory #2: Reclaimed Construction Lumber Bench

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Blog entry by palaswood posted 08-16-2013 01:11 AM 973 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Salvaged Mystery Wood Part 2 of Reclaimed Glory series Part 3: Will found oak ladder lead to new heights of woodworking adventure? Lets find out »

So I’m working on another project: I have some various pieces of what I believe is Douglas Fir, some 4×4x4 posts, shorter 4×4 pieces and a nice Pine slab (I think, could be Fir as well) from a construction project nearby that was advertised as “free firewood” after they were done pouring the concrete, & why you would wanna burn such great wood, I’ll never know.

I set the slab up on some 12 inch 4×4s to get a feel for how it might look.

I’ve hand-sanded the posts to 400 grit (started with 80 > 120/150 > 220 > 320 > 400) and applied a couple coats of tung oil (steel wool in between applications). I plan on putting on at least 4 more coats, but we’ll see how it comes out.

These posts have great character and seem quite old. One even has some great burn marks as if it was in a fire previously.

The color and figure of what will be the bench seat really pleases me. This is without the flash, for a more true representation of the color. (although its blurry)

I’d like to use this bench in the backyard patio, so I may need to look into waterproofing it. Will Tung Oil do that for me? Please someone comment on that, if you know how many coats i’ll need or if i need a sealer too. I have Danish oil too (Watco).

I’m gonna be going for a chunky, simplistic design. I want it to be rock solid and yet actually quite comfortable.

I’m wondering if I should slant the bench seat back, about 7 degrees, for comfort. We shall see. Any ideas?

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

4 comments so far

View camps764's profile


867 posts in 2357 days

#1 posted 08-16-2013 03:23 AM

From what I’ve seen comfort has a lot to do with getting the seat height correct. Find a chair that feels comfortable to you and borrow the dimensions from that. Height, slant, etc.

May want to look into Thompson’s water seal deck sealant for water proofing. It won’t be 100% water proof, and will need to be refreshed occasionally, but will probably do that trick.

-- Steve

View palaswood's profile


995 posts in 1749 days

#2 posted 08-16-2013 05:03 AM

Thanks Steve. I forgot about Thompson’s water seal, duh. I’m a novice, but I remember seeing those commercials way back when I was a boy watching This Old House.

For the seat height, I know thats the most important. I found that for me, about 16,17 inches is the most comfortable. I’m gonna have to do an extended test before I start cutting; I plan on spending a good deal of time on that bench, book reading in the sun, etc. Nice tip on borrowing dimensions from a comfy chair.

My girlfriend is always on me about when I’m going to actually make something, but she doesnt understand how pleasing just acquiring, choosing and preparing the wood can be, before actually taking a saw to it.

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

View palaswood's profile


995 posts in 1749 days

#3 posted 08-17-2013 12:26 AM

I came up on a few more pieces from where I got the upper post in the pic. I think they may have come from a mechanic shop or something, cause they are layered in grease and gunk.

When I found them, 4 pieces in all, I could only take the long post on my bicycle (I’ve gotten good at balancing the beams on my handlebars), so I stashed the other pieces in a bush. I had a buddy of mine pick them up for me one night when he was giving me a lift home from our BJJ gym (thats Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu), and I left them in his car.

He stashed them for me in an alley and I got them today. I’m gonna clean them up and see how I can add them to this project.

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

View palaswood's profile


995 posts in 1749 days

#4 posted 08-17-2013 07:21 AM

here’s a pic

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

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