|Project by FJPetruso||posted 05-25-2015 06:00 PM||997 views||0 times favorited||1 comment|
We had four of those 48” park benches with the ornate cast iron leg assemblies & two matching side tables that had the usual wood rot. They got quite rickety & were beyond use. For a long time they just sat around the yard as decoration & then finally I disassembled them & set them aside for later repair. After a while I latched onto some nice, highly figured MULBERRY. There was just enough to make the repairs IF I converted them into 24 inch wide ARMCHAIRS.
Because the seat portion of the cast iron is curved, I had to make narrow slats just like the original bench had. (Only Shortened to 24”) But the cast iron mount for the back is flat & I was able to make six slats about 2-1/2 times as wide that are mounted with four carriage bolts instead of two. This gave a stronger diagonal mount on the backs that is much more resistant to “racking” than the original bench, making the chair much more stable.
I used round-over bits & a pointed radius bit to simulate a parting line to make the back look like it has individual slats.
The side table tops were made in a similar fashion & I finished it all with General Finishes Outdoor Oil.
Converting the benches to chairs not only made them more sturdy but also more comfortable. The 48” benches would barely fit two people with no comfort. Now when you sit in them there is two arm rests which I find more comfortable as well.
I should also note that this project was finished last summer & now the Mulberry, that originally has a yellow tone, has taken on a deeper red tone from being out in the sun. Somewhat like cherry does.
-- Frank, Florissant, Missouri "The New Show-Me Woodshop"