LumberJocks

Bench with Some History

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Project by vakman posted 11-16-2012 07:24 PM 1934 views 4 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This bench was built using reclaimed lumber from a factory in Brookline, MA (which is basically in Boston). Built in the 1870’s the factory used to provide the pretzels for the Boston Red Sox stadium, prior to being bought out, at which point the building became a nail factory.

The lumber I was kindly given was 2×8’s, dressed to a generous 1-7/8” x 7-3/4”. These were floor joists, complete with tar lines between where the floorboards were lain upon it, along with many nail holes and other signs of the passage of time. Even had to remove some concrete from them, but it was worth it.

This board was cupped significantly so a good amount of planing was required. I turned my cheap old
coffin plane into a jack plane for heavy material removal, it works quite well.

Then on to my trusty #5 for a relatively flat surface. I don’t have a jointing plane, so with knots that size, this was as good as it gets.

Then, cutting tails, and paring off the waste.

And, all fit together for a glue-up!

Several coats of tung oil later, and after a relaxed waxing…a finished piece. On one side, I left on the original aged and worn edge, only cleaning and sanding it lightly before waxing. The other side is planed down to clean wood, other than the dado that was cut into it while it was still a part of the factory.

Dimensions are 18” x 39”, a comfortable size for two reasonably close adults, or three kids. I have another piece like this, and am thinking about making this a pair. Would probably be great at the dinner table.

I enjoy paring “ugly”, aged wood with robust joinery and simple but elegant geometry. The wood has so much character, that ornament/decoration would compete with it. Instead, I tried to keep it simple and let the lumber speak for itself.

Thanks for looking, comments welcome.

-- - Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true. -





15 comments so far

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

12973 posts in 2003 days


#1 posted 11-16-2012 07:35 PM

Vak, nice work on the bench. I love the history, not so much the Sawks, but it does come from the hometown of my favorite Uconn player, Jeff Adrien. Joinery looks great, not overstated but still very distinct.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View vakman's profile

vakman

301 posts in 1400 days


#2 posted 11-16-2012 08:20 PM

Oh oh, I mentioned sports! Truth be told, I don’t care too much for the Sawks, or Stawkings, as they were called at the time I believe. Thanks fro the kind feedback!

-- - Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true. -

View Sergio's profile

Sergio

424 posts in 1689 days


#3 posted 11-16-2012 08:39 PM

Really beautiful. I love old wood, they always have stories to tell.

-- - Greetings from Brazil - --

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

17553 posts in 1335 days


#4 posted 11-16-2012 09:41 PM

Great salvage, beautiful project

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View vakman's profile

vakman

301 posts in 1400 days


#5 posted 11-16-2012 10:57 PM

Thanks folks!

-- - Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true. -

View A Slice of Wood Workshop's profile

A Slice of Wood Workshop

921 posts in 2170 days


#6 posted 11-17-2012 12:14 AM

Very nice. I like the wood color and your joinery.

-- Tim- http://www.asliceofwoodworkshop.com; Twitter-@asliceofwood; Facebook-http://www.facebook.com/asliceofwood

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

5412 posts in 1289 days


#7 posted 11-17-2012 03:45 AM

Looks to me like you’ve achieved an art form using traditional methods (read the good ole’ hard way) that capitalizes on the beauty of aged, historic wood. Very attractive result, and I really like it.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View john_az's profile

john_az

105 posts in 1367 days


#8 posted 11-17-2012 04:39 AM

very nice!

-- John, Phoenix-AZ

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

13542 posts in 1687 days


#9 posted 11-17-2012 01:54 PM

Nice bench. I always enjoy “wood with a story”. I envy your hand tool skills.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View blackcherry's profile

blackcherry

3227 posts in 2820 days


#10 posted 11-17-2012 05:13 PM

Maybe that No.5 Jack plane was on the original building construction site some years ago, great story and bench project thanks for posting…BC

View vakman's profile

vakman

301 posts in 1400 days


#11 posted 11-17-2012 06:32 PM

Thanks BC! The wooden plane might have been, the #5 was still a twinkle in a toolmaker’s sons eye, as it came about roughly fifty years after the building was built!

-- - Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true. -

View Tyler's profile

Tyler

52 posts in 1009 days


#12 posted 12-15-2012 11:59 PM

How sturdy is the bench ?

-- You can get alot further with a kind word and a hand gun, than just a kind word alone

View vakman's profile

vakman

301 posts in 1400 days


#13 posted 12-16-2012 07:45 PM

Well, it seats two 180lb+ drunk men without any noticeable flexing. It’s easy to calculate the gluing surface for dovetail joints…In this case, it’s about 30 sq in per side.

-- - Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true. -

View Tyler's profile

Tyler

52 posts in 1009 days


#14 posted 12-17-2012 12:41 AM

if you dont mind i would love to build a copy of this….it would be perfect for our mud room and at the office.

-- You can get alot further with a kind word and a hand gun, than just a kind word alone

View vakman's profile

vakman

301 posts in 1400 days


#15 posted 12-17-2012 01:00 PM

Sure, so long as you post the finished project here, I’m interested to see it!

-- - Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true. -

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