|Park bench covered with green lichens|
I also re-use old items such as jeans for making purses, and I've re-purposed many items into suncatchers.
So, you're probably not surprised that Mike and I rescued an old park bench from the neighbor's trash earlier this summer. Not only did we see the promise in this once regal bench, but we wanted to save it from going into the landfill.
So here's a quick description of how we fixed up this park bench destined for the trash. This is my first Do It Yourself blog, so bear with me here...
Step 1: I removed the old boards using a screw driver and crescent wrench. The screws were very rusty so we couldn't re-use them.
Unfortunately the boards were very weak, and we couldn't really re-use them. They went into the trash.
Step 2: We discussed several types of wood we could use including Oak, Cedar and Red Cedar. Since the bench would be located outside, we decided on Red Cedar because it contains oil which helps it endure the elements. After checking at Lowe's and Menard's, we ended up at a local lumber store, Northwest Lumber, and purchased 12 feet of 1x12 Red Cedar Wood.
Step 3: Using the table saw, Mike "ripped" (sawed lengthwise) the wood into 12 pieces. Basically we measured the wood we removed, and replicated the size of boards.
Step 4: Mike used the radial arm saw to create bevels on the front edges of the 12 pieces of wood. Here's where we made a design change from the original bench as we thought it would be more comfortable to sit on wood with beveled edges.
Step 5: I learned to use the drill press to create holes for the screws. After determining the location of the screws from the discarded boards, I measured and marked the holes on the new boards. I first drilled pilot holes to help insure the location was correct. Using the pilot holes as a guide, I drilled the actual holes in each end of the board. I wore safety glasses to keep any wood out of my eyes.
Step 6: I used 100 grit sandpaper to sand the front and sides of each piece of wood. The back of the wood had a rough finish, and since it would be on the back of the bench, we decided it did not need sanding.
Step 7: It was time to work on the wrought iron. First I used a steel brush to clean off a few rust spots. Next I sprayed a rust-converting primer on these rust spots. When this dried, Mike created a temporary rigging board to join the 2 pieces so I could paint them in an upright position. I sprayed Rustoleum Black Satin paint over both wrought iron pieces using a short side-to-side motion.
Step 8: We purchased oval head stainless steel screws, washers and nylon-insert locknuts from Lowe's that were the same size as those we removed. We then fastened the boards to the wrought iron and the braces to the wood.
Total cost: Approximately $40, with $30 of that for the wood.
Total time: Approximately 8 hours with about 3 of it spent shopping for the wood.
So, if you see a park bench sitting out on the curb waiting for trash pickup, or your own park bench is showing some wear, you might consider taking on a project like this.
We enjoyed working on the project together, and we're really happy with the results!