|Project by JayT||posted 07-06-2013 10:53 PM||1743 views||0 times favorited||6 comments|
After the remodel of the kitchen last year, SWMBO decided that a new dining set was in order. In the course of many discussions, she came up with the idea of using an old church pew as wall seating. I found a corner pew on Craigslist that looked like it would work for a reasonable price, so took a road trip to pick it up. Pic 2 is from the listing. Unfortunately once we got it in the kitchen, it just didn’t fit right in the space, so I proceeded to do some rework.
The pew was completely disassembled—it was coming apart and various previous owners had tried to repair it, more on that later. Two new ends were built out of clear Doug Fir (Pic 3, it was the only clear softwood I could find locally, the rest of the pew I believe is SYP). The new ends were made using the originals as a pattern but with a lower armrest to allow easier access once a table was in place. The various pieces were patched, repaired and reassembled. The assorted dents, dings and other “character marks” that didn’t affect use were kept as part of the history of the over 100 year old piece, see Pic 4. And if you look close in the bottom right of that pic, you can see the previous patch of a leg.
The original wood was so dry and light that I was afraid of how it was going to hold up. Multiple coats of BLO were applied and allowed to soak in—the wood was very thirsty!! It resulted in a wonderful deep reddish gold color. The new doug fir sides were then stained to come close to the same tones. There is no way to match the age, but I just wanted to make the pieces look like they belonged together. In the same vein, I didn’t try to replicate the trinity symbols—my goal was to have the new pieces work with and compliment the old, not try to make it look all original.
Final finish was a spar based wipe-on poly, both to protect the wood in a kitchen environment and help prevent the finish from changing color too much due to UV—the windows are west facing and pull in a LOT of sunlight in the afternoons.
Thanks for looking and hope you enjoy.
-- "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835