I’ve been looking for an antique bench for such a long time but have not been able to find anything I liked or with the dimensions I want.
So, I made one! I absolutely wanted to have old wood versus trying to make the wood look aged, and I made the choice of using centennial barn wood.
A few things about old barn wood. It is important to ensure you buy wood that is cleaned and well dried to ensure you don’t have any pests and the wood doesn’t crack further. Barn wood is quite affordable if you find a supplier that is specialized in this.
Other places can be pricier so take time to shop around. I live in the Montreal, Quebec region and I shop my barn wood at La Grangerie Centenaire. They have a huge selection, and you can choose various sizes, wood color, grain and so on.
For reference, size of my bench
Top : 7”x24”
1. Measure and cut the top of the bench to the desired dimensions
2. If you don’t find smaller wood for the legs, use a wider one to cut it to dimension. The legs on this bench are 2” inches wide and 16” high. Keep in mind that they have to be cut with a 4-degree angle on top and at the bottom because they will be fixed at an angle. The top cut has to be made in the opposite side to the bottom.
3. Then cut the 4 small pieces that will be used to hold the legs together. The length & angle will depend on where you want to place them between the legs. You will need to place the legs together at the desired angle to determine how you will cut the stabilizing pieces.
4. Drill holes on both sides of the legs and insert a dowel of 51/16” x 1 ¼” with wood glue. Allow to dry, then it’s time to drill the holes on the stabilizing pieces.
PRO TIP! Put some paint on the end of the dowel that should go in the stabilizing pieces and simulate assembling the legs together. You’ll have a paint mark on the pieces where you need to drill the holes. Drill them and insert the other end of the dowel with wood glue.
When both legs are assembled, it’s time to fix the legs to the top. Using a pocket jib and clamp to stabilize it, drill holes in the inside of the legs towards the top so that you can screw them to the top piece of the bench.
The sides of the wood that you cut will be smooth compared to the rest of the wood because of the saw’s blade, you can roughen them with a hand saw and other tools so that all sides look the same.