You may have thought that after a full week of posts we were done with the mudroom. No way! It’s my first finished room. I’m going to savour this for awhile yet.
To start, I’m sharing my favourite project, my beautiful beat up rustic wood bench.
I love this bench.
My nephew Nicholas and I designed it, built it and stained it. It’s made out of one single plank that I found in the barn. I looked for the most beat up piece of wood I could find. It’s full of knots, splits and gouges. We sanded and sanded the bench so that it was smooth enough to sit on, but made sure all of the “defects” still showed through. Unfortunately, when it came to staining the bench, the wood was so thirsty that it sucked up every single drop of stain (Minwax Provincial), so the bench came out much, much darker than we expected. Some of the knots and gnarls aren’t as obvious now because of the dark tone, but I still think it has good character.
We designed the bench to some very specific requirements. We wanted the legs to be wide enough that we could put two trays of boots and shoes underneath. The seat had to be a comfortable height for sitting and also high enough that Matt’s tall boots would easily fit underneath. And we wanted it to be relatively slim so that it didn’t take up too much space in the room.
My nephew and I went back and forth on the design of the legs and finally settled on a simple upside down V cutout. I used my Kreg jig to attach the legs to the bench top. This was the first project that I used the Kreg for, and I quickly learned that the Kreg is built for standard modern day lumber. This plank was milled back when 2x4s were actually 2 inches by 4 inches, so it’s fatter than today’s lumber. We made the jig work, but it was a tight squeeze in a few spots.
It’s a very simple rustic wood bench that’s perfect in a country house. I’ve dubbed it the “Nicholas” after my design sidekick. If you want your own Nicholas, you can’t have the nephew, but you can have the bench. Click here for the plans.
Who else has a construction sidekick? Have you ever designed and built your own custom piece of furniture? Are there any other Kreg fans out there? Who else has stained a “thirsty” piece of wood? Are you a fan of the “distressed” look of beat up lumber?