A bench that's a little...different

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Project by greensound posted 10-22-2014 05:17 PM 2337 views 10 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
A bench that's a little...different
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Songwriters sing about what they know. Authors expound on their personal experiences in how they write. An actor draws on felt emotions to allow that to lead their performance. Why shouldn’t a furniture maker do the same?

In college I was tasked with making a bench for a semester project. Now obviously a bench is a fairly straightforward article with little to no moving parts, certain requirements for stability and the need to facilitate the resting place for two or more people (only one person and it would be called a stool). This project with its requirements of scale and function are not merely enough to dictate the form nor the materials. I needed more…I needed to look inside for a moment. What was I doing at the time? What was I interested in? What could I say about myself in the construction of this piece that would tell people about me?

Mountain biking!

Mountain biking? At the time I was crazy for it. Admittedly, central Indiana is not known for its off-road trails, but I loved the activity and did it as much as I could in my minimal free time. While working on my bike one weekend I was struck with the idea of using the inner tubes for the wheels as a surface for my bench. Interestingly that decision led to describing the rest of the piece. The dimensions of the bench had to coincide with the limitations of the inner tubes. The leather-ish look of the rubber influenced the shape of the end forms. Even the decision to paint the wood (in this case maple) brown and then color it with colored pencil would be an allegory to riding the muddy trails.

All in all it has become one of my favorite pieces and one I will just sit at for no other reason than to take a load off and reflect. Sometimes I just reflect on the trails I used to ride. Sometimes I think about the fun I had in building the bench. Mostly I dwell on the fact that inner tubes always smell like inner tubes. Man, that smell never goes away!

19 comments so far

View bobasaurus's profile


2587 posts in 2600 days

#1 posted 10-22-2014 06:01 PM

Hah, that’s a neat use of inner tubes. I’ve recently started mountain biking here in Colorado and it’s quite fun (though challenging… we have some serious high-altitude rocky climbs).

-- Allen, Colorado

View luv2learn's profile


2403 posts in 1719 days

#2 posted 10-22-2014 06:16 PM

Thanks for explaining your thought processes before and during construction of your bench. Deciding to use inner tubes in the seat construction is a brilliant idea. To me, the piece has an Asian flavor to it. I would love to see a photo of the bench from the bottom.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View exelectrician's profile


2327 posts in 1844 days

#3 posted 10-22-2014 06:29 PM

You really tapped you inner soul getting this so perfectly ‘right’

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Mean_Dean's profile


4928 posts in 2564 days

#4 posted 10-22-2014 06:56 PM

Man that thing is amazing looking! I’ve never seen inner tubes use on a bench before, so bravo for the creativity!

Aside from the uniqueness of this bench, it just looks cool!

-- Dean

View mds2's profile


308 posts in 1361 days

#5 posted 10-22-2014 06:59 PM

I love this bench.

View vanzemaljac's profile


321 posts in 2918 days

#6 posted 10-22-2014 07:48 PM

Nice design and nice work…

-- Lathe and my imagination will do everything to realize my dreams...Vanzemaljac

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 965 days

#7 posted 10-22-2014 08:23 PM


View RPhillips's profile


1110 posts in 1252 days

#8 posted 10-22-2014 08:52 PM

Sweet bench, now just inflate them a little, and BOOM!, instant comfort! lol

... I know that smell, I don’t think anything smells quite like inner tubes

-- Rob - Indianapolis IN - Learning... one mistake at a time...

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5839 posts in 3002 days

#9 posted 10-22-2014 09:11 PM

Thats a real beauty. Funnily enough I just remembered when looking at your design ideas ,but I saw an art programme on tv ,where some clever art student, made a jacket from inside tubing from cars trucks all glued together. An art nut/ expert bought it for a few thousand pounds .The student nearly dropped on the floor and was still shaking ten minutes later LOL.I really think your bench looks beautiful .I or actually my pal old Alistair or Big Al may yet steal your idea to make a bench for my grandchildren no money involved .if you don’t mind LOL

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View greensound's profile


5 posts in 729 days

#10 posted 10-22-2014 09:52 PM

Thanks everyone for the kind words. Feel free to use or be inspired by any ideas I have. That’s the best “thing” I could ever make.


View  woodshaver (Tony)  's profile

woodshaver (Tony)

3933 posts in 2769 days

#11 posted 10-23-2014 12:40 AM

Fantastic looking bench! Great design Love the look!

-- Tony C UAW, St Augustine FL, My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

View drewpy's profile


568 posts in 773 days

#12 posted 10-23-2014 01:19 AM

Great bench. Thanks for sharing.

-- Drew in Ohio -- "The greatest wealth is health".

View ColonelTravis's profile (online now)


1154 posts in 1310 days

#13 posted 10-23-2014 04:18 AM

Man, two incredibly distinct projects posted the same day. Really cool stuff.

View Ken90712's profile


16862 posts in 2605 days

#14 posted 10-23-2014 08:55 AM

How creative, that is one great project! A real beauty… Congrats.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2751 days

#15 posted 10-23-2014 05:53 PM

Your project stinks, but in a good way. I love the design and very nice work you did on it. I also love to see original designs and this is certainly original and imaginative, but also very pleasing to the eye.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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