Barn Board Bench

I made a bench out of old barn board.

You basically need five pieces.  I didn’t have wide enough wood so I glued together two 6′ pieces side-by-side which gave me about an 11 1/2″ width and then I cut that into three pieces for the top and legs.

The height of the legs is 18″, so I cut two and then cut out the V shape.

The top piece is about 3′ long.

The side pieces are scraps of 3 1/2″ wide boards that I put a 45 degree cut on each end as you can see from the photo.

Everything was nailed together, and then the cut edges were covered with my not-so-secret recipe which I will share in a day or two when I organize the photos.

This is an old looking, very solid bench that is easy to make and similar to my bench I posted here, except it has the two side pieces instead of a middle piece.

Linking to:

Easy Bench

I’ve been busy and not blogging so thanks to my valued readers for staying with me.

Here is an easy to make bench.  

I had two leftover construction 2 x 12s and figured I could use them to make a bench. These benches can be made in different sizes, you just have to be careful that they aren’t tippy. (I once made a small one that didn’t have enough distance between the two legs and it IS tippy) 

There are also two different ways to make similar benches.  One way has facing boards or skirts that run along the top on both sides, parallel to the floor. The other type, which I made has one board running down the middle between the legs, which the top sits on.

For the middle support piece I used a 19″ piece of 2 x 4. The legs are made by using the 2 x 12s, which I cut to 18″ long and then took a V shape out of the bottom with my jigsaw.

The middle support piece is screwed and then the screws are covered with plugs.  

I decided on a top that was 27″ long and had to glue two pieces of trimmed 2 x 8s together to get the same width as the 2 x 12s I had for the two legs.

I joined the bench top to the legs with dowels, using a dowel I found in my bin with it’s diameter (1/2″) as the size to drill out the holes. 

*Always put a scrap board beneath when you are drilling right through to avoid tear-out on the piece where the drill bit exits the wood*

 The legs sit in from the edge about 2 1/4″, so the holes are drilled where the top of the leg will meet the top board and also in the proper place in the top of the leg.

The dowel then is glued into the leg from the top and the extra dowel is trimmed off after the glue dries.

This is a quick and easy project that anyone can do using any scrap wood.

I painted mine green, but you could stain it, or do anything at all to decorate it.

**Edited to add these great benches**

The following two benches were made by Kelly of Riverhouse Rustics, an online woodworking friend.  I sent her the link to this blog posting because she makes and sells all kinds of great rustic things and I thought she might like to try making a bench.  Well, she did a fabulous job, the painting is just perfect and her benches are nicer than mine! You can check Kelly out on Facebook at:   Riverhouse Rustics 

Everything I make is for sale, so if you see something you like, please contact me.

Making a log shelving unit – part 3

Please first 
part 1 and
part 2  
by clicking on the links

I need to make a cross piece for the back of the unit.  This has to be something that I can easily take on and off the ladder parts and move to different locations for craft shows or displays. 

I’m using old barn board for the shelves and just lightly sanded them and trimmed all the boards to the same length.

I decided to use another piece of barn board ripped down the middle with a bolt and nut holding the two halves together .  That way it can be stored or transported  with the two arms stacked one on top of the other and can open up like scissors when needed.

I attached the bolt and then unfolded the arms so that the width of the unit would be about 4′ as the length of my boards is about 56″. 

 I marked the angle of the floor at this point and cut the bottom of each arm at this angle and then screwed through, attaching the arms to the bottom (back) of the ladder section.

The top of the arms is screwed similarily to the top of the ladders.

The top plank was screwed into the top rungs to make the unit more solid, the others are just sitting on the rungs. It’s easy to take apart and transport. Two ladders, the folded up cross piece and five shelf boards.

Here is the finished shelving unit with some of my signs and things on it:

Linking to blog parties at:
Funky Junk Interiors
The Shabby Chic Cottage
Blue Cricket Design

The DIY Showoff
Cottage Instincts
Under the Table and Dreaming
Tools are for Women Too
It’s So Very Cheri
Dittle Dattle
aka Design

Everything I make is for sale, so if you see something you like, please contact me.

Making a log shelving unit – part 2

I’ve made the rungs (see part 1) so the next next step in making my shelving unit is the ladder legs or uprights.

Of course, there are four and the pieces I had ranged from just over 5′ up to over 7′.  The ends were not even and one was a bit punky, so I figured the maximum height I could use was 5′ 1″, which seemed just right for this project.

These pieces I had were mostly already peeled, but there were a few places that had some bark that I stripped with a carving knife. I also needed to clean up some little branches sticking out from the sides so I did that by using a small handsaw parallel to the logs.  After that I did some light sanding trying to leave character in the wood.  

Now to the holes in the uprights.  I decided on five shelves with a 10″ spacing between them.  Marking them wasn’t so easy because, unlike wood that has been planed and cut straight and parallel, these logs not only weren’t dead straight, but also they changed in diameter from 1 1/2″ – 2″ and had curved faces.  Wood off the jointer, planer and tablesaw is much easier to work with!

The widest diameter of each of the four pieces would be the bottom of each upright, so it would narrow at the top.  I  marked out the center of each hole for the rungs by using a long straightedge.  At first I was going to drill the holes with a spade bit but then realized that the long point on the end of that might go through the log and make a hole in the other side, which I didn’t want.  So I had to buy a new 5/8″ forstner bit to match the tenon cutter I had.  I put a piece of masking tape on the bit to give me some idea of how deep to go with the drill.  This is not precision because, as I said the logs are not straight and change in diameter.

 So, five holes were drilled in each upright and then the rungs were set in as evenly as possible.  I had some rearranging to do because not only were the uprights uneven, but so were the rungs.  I had to fight with it a bit and realized that some of the tenons will not be as far in the holes as others because of this unevenness.

I glued and clamped the rungs in the ladder legs:

Here’s the two ladders finished:

 Next post… finishing the unit by getting the planks ready and making the cross piece on the back…

Everything I make is for sale, so if you see something you like, please contact me.

Making a log shelving unit – part 1

 I needed to make a shelving unit to hold some signs and things at a craft show I was attending a few weeks ago.  I’m just getting to posting what I came up with.

I wanted something that was easy to take in the vehicle and put together at the show and then take apart again to come home.  I also wanted to use some old logs and make it in a rustic style.

 Something like this but without all the X’s:

from: online source that I can’t find, but it cost $1518

So basically I would make two “ladders,” one for each end and then one large cross across the back to hold it from twisting.  Then I would just sit barn board planks on the ladder rungs.

I had 4 logs, or branches that were very straight and just over 5′ long and with a diameter that ranged from 1 1/2″ – 2″ .  This is what I would use for the ladder uprights, or legs.  I don’t even know what type of tree these came from.  

The rungs are to be made of maple from trees cut down a few years ago on our property and the branches were stored in my barn for future use. They are about 3/4″ – 1″ in diameter.

I will use the Lee Valley tenon cutter to shape each end of the rung. This is the same tool I used when I made my log coffee table . It is like a pencil sharpener that attaches to the end of your electric drill.  It turns very quickly and needs to be held strongly.  I cut a U shape out of a 2×4 to hold the branch and clamp both securely to my workhorse.

Then the cutter is held as horizontally as possible and pushed onto the end of the branch to cut the tenon.  I cut tenons about 1 1/4″ long.

 Since the old barn boards I have that I want to use for the shelves are about 5 3/4″ wide, I needed rungs that would leave just over that much space between the ladder uprights.  That worked out to a rung length of 8″ (which includes the tenons on both ends). 

 Next post… drilling the holes in the uprights…

Everything I make is for sale, so if you see something you like, please contact me.

Log Coffee Table from Maple with Floating Barn Board Top

I finally decided to use some maple logs that I had kept from when we cleared space in our wooded area for our garage/workshop.

I read books by both Doug Stowe and Daniel Mack about working with logs and bought a tenon cutter from Lee Valley. (A tenon cutter is like a huge pencil sharpener that is driven by a drill.) I found some old 1” thick barn board, complete with bug holes, for the top.

The legs are from logs that are a diameter of 2 1/4” – 2 1/2” and cut at 15” long. I used two horizontal rungs between the side legs. Mine are about 1 3/4” – 1 1/2” diameter and 14” long including the tenons.

Joining the two sets of legs and between the rungs is a 1” diameter cross piece of 27 1/2”.
I’m not sure what to call the pieces but I think it will be obvious from the photos as to what I am referring to.

There are then two short 1” diameter pieces that go vertically from the top rungs and will hold the top in a floating manner.

Here’s another view:

A hole is cut right through the top to receive the tenons of the small pieces. My top is old barn board (three pieces glued together) with a partial live edge.

I used about 4 coats of tung oil over the whole table, which for some reason is hard to take a good photo of!

Showing this at the following parties:

Blue Cricket Design
The Shabby Chic Cottage
Mustard Seed Creations
Funky Junk Interiors
Sawdust and Paper Scraps

Everything I make is for sale, so if you see something you like, please contact me.

Buffet Hutch – Part nine – The Backs

This is a continuation of the posts:

Buffet Hutch – Part one – Drawing up the plans
Part two – Same style different finish
Part three – The buffet face frame
Part four – The buffet sides and web frames
Part five – Drawers 
Part six – Doors and wood movement
Part seven –  Designing the Hutch
Part eight – Making the hutch

I have been seeing so many plans online that show plywood backs just nailed directly onto the edges of the sides of a project.  Something like this:

This is really not the correct way to make good long lasting furniture.  The edging of the plywood shows from the side, and plywood edging is not pretty. Whether you paint or stain, that plywood is going to show. Of course this is a fast way to do it, but really not the way to go unless you are making a completely built in unit where the back edge of the sides do not show.

Backs should fit into the sides.  You can do this with plywood by having a groove cut into the sides that the plywood fits into as shown below.  This way the edges of the plywood do not show because they are captured by the sides.  The back will also sit in from the back end of the sides. 

Or you can cut a rabbet into the sides and sit the plywood up against it:

When viewed from the side, the back does not show it’s edges, and the back sits even with the end of the side.  Of course all these things have to be taken into account when designing your project.
For the base part of this buffet hutch I went with plywood that was let into a rabbet, as shown in the sketch directly above.  My reasoning was that plywood does not expand or contract with the climate and it was mostly hidden inside the buffet because the doors and drawers are on the front and closed up most of the time.
For the upper part, the hutch, I used ship-lapped pine that I made myself, using the same pine that I had used for most of the project and placed it in a rabbet as well. 
These boards are random width and pre-finished meaning that they are stained and polyurethane is put on them so that when they decide to expand you don’t see the plain pine in the spaces between the boards.  I use just one small nail in each board at every spot where it meets the top, each shelf and the bottom horizontal trim board.  That way the board is free to move from side to side.
Now just the top moldings to add!

Buffet Hutch – Part eight – Making the hutch

This is a continuation of the posts:

Buffet Hutch – Part one – Drawing up the plans
Part two – Same style different finish
Part three – The buffet face frame
Part four – The buffet sides and web frames
Part five – Drawers 
Part six – Doors and wood movement
Part seven –  Designing the Hutch

There will be two sides of solid pine that will need dovetail grooves to hold the shelves, a rabbet at the top to hold the top and a rabbet down the back edge to sit the back pieces in.  The dovetail grooves are first run through with a straight bit in order to remove some of the material and make the dovetail bit have an easier time cutting through.
Side piece:
(the cutout piece you can see above in the right corner will hold a horizontal piece for the back to sit against)
This shows the shelf sliding in from the back and also the rabbet along the back edge:
The face frame for the hutch:

An important note.  My face frame clips over the sides, as I’ve explained earlier in the buffet post.  So it doesn’t just butt up to the side edges, it goes over them. This means the shelves and top piece have to sit back 3/8″ from the side edges so that they will butt up to the face frame.

Here’s a closeup view of the side sitting in the style:

A view from the back of the shelves and top in place:
 (You can also see that they sit up against the face frame)
Almost finished, just the back and top moldings to do…

Continue on to: