Thrift Thursday: A Fabulous Bench for the Price of Screws!
Can you believe it? This is my favorite type of project! It encompasses thriftiness, recycling and repurposing….while all along delivering a huge bang!
The other day, one of our wine barrels finally gave up the ghost. Sam and I had a momentary sad face, but it quickly turned into a jig when we realized all the cool projects that we finally got to try our hand at!
I have been searching Pinterest for all sorts of cool ideas, but necessity dictated. Of late, it has been driving me bonkers having to skooch around my kids putting their shoes on while sitting on the stairs. I am also a wee tired of pushing in dining room chairs that have been used for the exact same purpose. We needed a bench!
There are a ton of gorgeous wine stave benches on Pinterest, but I didn’t find a single free tutorial on how to go about it. Soooooo, I decided to take a leap o’ faith and try my hand at creating one. I thought it would be great to put a DIY out there in the Pinterest universe, and let other’s learn from my mishaps and successes. And, in the end, I would have an awesome bench (hopefully).
So, with literally the cost of some new screws, I approached a pile of wine staves with a vision of a bench for my entry way.
Gorgeously stained with red wine, I was in heaven with the spicy smell of cab as I began to fashion, cut, and fabricate. Not a bad material to work with! Nummy!
At first, I thought to butt each piece tightly together….but I only created problems for myself. As you can see, the curvature of the staves only made it impossible to secure them to any support pieces. I could drill two into place, but by the third, there was a crazy large gap. Gahh! Redo. New plan.
With slight gaps between my staves, I was able to lay down support pieces easily (which, of course, was just a stave cut in half).
A very important step before you start screwing anything into place, measure.
Measure the width of your sides to ensure even spacing on both sides, and measure how far back from the edge you are attaching the support boards (make sure they are the same on both sides).
The next super important step is to pre-drill anywhere you want a screw. This will save you major frustration, as it will prevent the wood from splitting.
Another crazy important step is to do only one screw into place per stave.
This will allow you a little wiggle room if you are off on balance at all. Aka, if your staves get jostled at all, you can get things back into position easily before affixing the second screw. This will be a very important step when you move to the legs.
If you need a little extra pressure when you go to screw in the support board, wedge a piece of wood under it while you drill and screw. I needed to, because the center boards were at least an inch away from my support board due to the curvature.
All good! Now just a quick remeasure, to make sure that things are even on my sides.
Yay, a quick flip, and things are looking rad!
Now, time for some legs!
I used two full length staves, and I cut two staves in half.
Make sure that the halves are exact, so that you don’t have a wobbly bench.
I decided that I wanted the cool, carved ends to be the “feet,” so I affixed the flat ends to my support bars.
Again, very important to measure. This time, measure how far back from the front/back edge of the bench that you want your legs. Then drill and affix with one screw.
Measure out the same distance for the second leg.
Since I used just one screw per leg, I was able to use a flat board against the “feet” of my legs to check how balanced they were. If they were a little crooked, I was able to wiggle them until they were even.
Now, just affix the second screw per leg to secure. Two legs done, and things are lookin’ good.
I then flipped it, and attached the other two legs. With all four legs done, I grabbed my full length stave for the support bar.
Measuring how far down I wanted the bar to go on the leg, I kept things even. Pre-drill, screw, measure again…
Once I did a support piece for the backside, it was time to do a little sanding. I didn’t want to get rid of the red wine patina….but I didn’t want anyone getting a splinter on their bum.
A light sanding, and a single coat of Spar Varnish in a satin coat. Yessiree!
I am pretty tickled pink with how this one turned out!
That was a job well done!! It is not only gorgeous, but it is so incredibly sturdy and comfortable.