From Old to New

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Project by Rxmpo posted 11-22-2008 09:42 AM 1666 views 3 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a project better suited for the Spring, but I never turn down a chance to make something. This was a bench that was left in our backyard when we moved into our home 3 years ago from the previous owners; obviously it had seen better days. All cleaned up with new hardware and fresh cedar, it’s looking pretty good again. I especially like the aged look of the iron contrasting the new cedar, which I must admit I wanted to repaint, but it wasn’t at my wife’s request as she was right.

All in all this was a little tricky project for me due to the curved back, that by the way weighs a ton, which was made using a pattern I created and my router with a pattern bit. Unfortunately I am without a bandsaw in my arsenal! (Please Santa I have been good!) The miters are held together with pocket screws and lag screws hold the back piece and legs together. Quite a few coats of spray on spar varnish and outside it went. As always your comments and critiques are appreciated.


7 comments so far

View John Kasparian's profile

John Kasparian

22 posts in 3648 days

#1 posted 11-22-2008 11:36 AM

Great fix!

-- john

View ChesapeakeBob's profile


366 posts in 3478 days

#2 posted 11-22-2008 01:25 PM

Mike, This is amazing! I have an old bench from my Mother’s house, in a state of dis repair, and it is on my Christmas project list. The idea here is to refurbish her bench and have it ready in time for her for Christmas. You project is truly an inspiration.


-- Chesapeake Bob, Southern Maryland

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3586 days

#3 posted 11-22-2008 05:08 PM

Great refurbishment work and beautiful wood.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View sharad's profile


1117 posts in 3800 days

#4 posted 11-22-2008 09:43 PM

I always love to rebuild the old and you have done it so nicely on this bench. I appreciate your patience. Keep it up.

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View Lenny's profile


1593 posts in 3522 days

#5 posted 11-22-2008 11:26 PM

A magnificent metamorphosis Mike and a great decision not to paint it. To paraphrase a line from a movie I like: “Listen to the woman. [Because] They know stuff.”


-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Rxmpo's profile


268 posts in 3741 days

#6 posted 11-23-2008 11:13 PM


Thank you for the kind words! The client, aka my wife, is happy with the result, which means more projects! Lenny, you could not be anymore correct.

Also, I failed to mention that the wood I used for this project was the last 3 scraps of Cedar decking left in my local Lowes which they were more than happy to give to me at a huge discount. Win-win for them and for me… Thanks again.


View Achiko's profile


38 posts in 3670 days

#7 posted 05-04-2010 07:21 PM

I had a similar bench but without the curved pieces, so undoubtedly cheaper. They are or were popular big box offerings. Mine looked like this one after 3-4 years, maybe less. SWMBO wanted it rehabbed. “That’s what you have tools for, isn’t it?”

[Caution: Heresy follows.]

So I did, but I substituted Trex for the wood.

[End of heresy.]

It worked fine and it still looks OK (for Trex) after several years. I mean, the stuff does stand up to our Oregon weather pretty well.

Still, every time I pass it I think “I coulda/shoulda used real wood.” OTOH, I have never had to spend another minute on it except to brush the leaves off and that’s worth something to me, especially on a $100 garden bench.

I’m just sayin’.

-- Chuck, Cottage Grove, Oregon --

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