Civil War-style bench and stool

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Project by maddawg308 posted 03-05-2012 04:46 PM 4798 views 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Had some scrap lumber around and some time, I saw a book in the library on Civil War Woodworking. Showed a bench in the book that was a 5-board bench. I made two of them, one is small enough to be a stool, only about 16 inches long and unfinished as it would have been in the field. Type was used by both the Union and the Confederates, usually built in the field by those with woodworking skills and hand tools. The second one I built, in pic 2 and 3, was larger, about 26 inches long, is still the same basic 5-board bench, but I added a shelf, and painted it with a flat black spray can coat, and then lightly brushed barn red exterior latex over it, for that rustic country look.

Both items were built using salvaged lumber from replacing junk sections of my home interior. Even the nails were salvaged, left in a rusty coffee can under the house when I bought it.

I know, too simply to post here, but good work for a guy with no money and few tools, and some spare time.

-- Plank says: "If you're a little board, might as well get hammered!"

9 comments so far

View hairy's profile


2782 posts in 3732 days

#1 posted 03-05-2012 05:39 PM

Nice work!

I checked that book out of the local library a few months back. It is an interesting read.

-- My reality check bounced...

View Bricofleur's profile


1458 posts in 3393 days

#2 posted 03-05-2012 05:39 PM

Come on, no project is too simple to post here. LJs are expecting any projects, ideas, work, results and inspiration! Even your antique finish technique is welcome. As long as there are some pieces of wood involved! It’s all about sharing. Even happiness!

Thanks for sharing these inspiring benches.



-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. --

View AKSteve's profile


475 posts in 2503 days

#3 posted 03-05-2012 05:45 PM

I like it! looks functional and could easily be used at campfires and campsites. good job!

-- Steve - Wasilla, Alaska

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30054 posts in 2538 days

#4 posted 03-05-2012 05:53 PM

Nothing is too simple to post. I can admire practical applications of Woodworking as well as the very artistic. I also appreciate when there knowledge of history behind it. Many of us work on tight budgets. Just take advantage of lumber when it is available. Keep up the good work!

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2687 days

#5 posted 03-05-2012 06:19 PM

I have a friend here that does re-enactments for the period before Texas became a Republic of it’s own. I’m always looking for wood working designs that could be used in the re-creation battle fields. Since you seem to be interested in the older methods why not do a lot of research on those items.

For instance, I once built an officers field desk (it wasn’t very good), that was used in a movie about black soldiers from the North that eventually attacked Charleston, SC.’s Ft Sumpter.

I got a lot of calls about that little flip lid desk because they wouldn’t have had Phillip’s head screws then and most likely if it had been built in the field it would have used m&t and dowels.

I think yours is just fine since it uses materials available and skills that are bloming.

Just keep up the great work!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View terry603's profile


320 posts in 3113 days

#6 posted 03-06-2012 01:46 PM

nice, nothing is too simple. we get ideas from other people when they post

-- may not always be right,but,never in doubt.

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3267 days

#7 posted 03-06-2012 01:51 PM

Well done, they look great!! Thanks for posting.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 3756 days

#8 posted 03-07-2012 11:45 PM

I like the stool. Just wondered what you’ll use it for, like are you a reenactor or something.

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View maddawg308's profile


83 posts in 2662 days

#9 posted 03-08-2012 11:55 AM

No, but I like objects with historical significance. I have a couple ideas in the works that hinge on wartime wood products, crates, folding tables, cannon shell boxes, etc., maybe someday I’ll get big time and make something outrageous that has some link to history too, like industrial furniture or a cannon carriage.

I will probably just sell the stool or gift it to a family member, if I want one in the future I can always make another!

-- Plank says: "If you're a little board, might as well get hammered!"

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