Saturday, February 4, 2017

Rustic bench

One of the projects I completed recently, came about, when we had to clear everything off the verandah. You'll see what hoarders we were, when I eventually share the adventure of the verandah project.

Needless to say, we threw away a lot of junk we hoped we could turn into something else. When it starts rotting on your verandah though, it's a good sign you're never going to use it. One such item, almost made it to the dump.




That long piece of tree trunk, had been individually shaped, and someone attempted to paint a picture on the other side. It was faded beyond recognition now. I was going to make a "Gully Grove" sign out of it, but it just didn't happen.

Another item to go to the tip though, was my old washing basket trolley. You know the ones, which roll your wet clothes to the line? Well the dodgy wheels had fallen off, years before. It sat at the clothes line though, to receive my basket of washing instead. It really helped my back, not having to bend down to the ground, all the time.




With the trolley in the trailer to go to the tip, I decided I had to come up with an alternative bench. My mum gave me that piece of wood, years ago. Also those stumps of wood underneath. She had one of her trees cut down and didn't have a fireplace. Neither did we. So we used the short logs instead, as individual seats near the front door. A place to hold bags as you attempted to get the keys for the door. Well, everything just had to come off the verandah though!

Like a lego master-builder, knee deep in junk, it just all clicked in my head. Those pieces would soon make my new rustic bench, at the clothes line.




Only the wood wouldn't last long, out in the sun, without a coat of linseed oil. I like to use raw linseed oil, to help preserve the wood. It adds moisture, so it doesn't dry out too much, or soak in too much moisture in the rain.

That's one of my children's, damaged baby singlets too. Very rudimentary tools, for a very rustic project. I didn't have to purchase anything for this. It was already here - including the linseed oil.





The wood was very thirsty, so I just poured the linseed oil, directly onto the surface. I did this several times, as the wood just soaked it up like a sponge. It hadn't seen any kind of moisture for a while. In the middle of summer too, it was bound to be dry.




Then it was just a matter of gently rubbing it all in, with the cloth. I found this part of the process, extremely enjoyable. How can I describe something as tactile, as oil and wood - and the gentle rhythms of massaging it back to life? I had no idea how beautiful it would look afterwards.




The grain just glowed back at me, and signed. I sighed too. Did I already say, how enjoyable this process was? That old piece of wood, destined for the tip, had rekindled some divine quality it didn't have before. But for a bit of TLC, and a new purpose, it came back to life.


Before



 After


I've already used it to hold my laundry basket. It's much more sturdy, than the rickety trolley with missing wheels. I've also used it as a seat. Perhaps a little short for that purpose, but perfect for little people. I discovered Peter crushing some sort of plant on it already. The perfect work space!

So projects don't have to cost a lot of money. Sometimes it just requires looking at what you've already got. I found when I made myself choose an item's worth, with threats to go to the tip, I suddenly found a practical use for it. All those years I took it for granted, collecting dust on our verandah, while the rocking trolley was falling apart.

Now I love my new rustic bench, and the process of bringing it back to life.


16 comments:

  1. The bench looks great, Chris. It came up well. My old washing basket trolley sits under the clothes line while I carry the washing basket down 8 stairs and then walk halfway down the property to the clothes line. I had considered buying a new trolley but I went shopping for one for my daughter when up north and couldn't believe how fragile they were compared with the old solid ones so changed my mind.

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    1. I suspect your old trolley might outlive any new ones. ;)

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  2. I had forgotten how effective linseed oil could be Chris. Looks real fine!

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  3. Looks great! I have a few things here that could use some linseed oil treatment;) Meg

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  4. Chris, it's great! I love how the oil brought out the grain in the wood.

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  5. Your bench looks great. It is a timely reminder for me to get the oil out and do my setting up in the veg patch.

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  6. What a beautiful little bench! it's begging for some flowers about it. Great job

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  7. Looks great and with the added satisfaction of saving something from the dump! We keep those 'useful' things too...

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  8. Looks great! I love oiling timber too. It brings out the richness of the grain just as well as any old can of varnish and so easy to apply.

    I have something similar. My husband loved making garden seats. He made one to go alongside one of the walking tracks in the bush, but nobody ever sat on it much, except me when I wanted a 5 minute rest from cutting bracken. I eventually brought it up and put it beside the chook run so I could sit and handfeed them treats through the wire. The clothesline is only a metre or so behind it, so it makes a convenient place to put the basket of washing while I'm hanging out. As you say, saves the back.

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    1. It's lovely you still have those little reminders of your husband Bev. :)

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  9. Thanks everyone. It's great to read other's experience from linseed oil, to how you all get your laundry to the clothes line. It's such a regular occurrence, doing the laundry, and yet it's nice to have little ways to help get the job done.

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  10. That looks great! Yes it's amazing how much 'stuff' I had put aside to 'do something with someday' 🤔 Last year I started 'moving stuff on, and I love the parts of the house and yard that are now less cluttered, and I've not regretted giving things away....yet! 😉. Best of all was that somethings were used here and that gives satisfaction.

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  11. I agree Maria, it's nice to reclaim parts of the house that were once covered in clutter. :)

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  12. I love seeing these great projects of yours. I have read from the top down to here since I have missed so much. This bench is marvelous! Its exactly what we would want in our own yard.
    I am working on an email for you so it should be ready soon, but I miss your blog alot. Its just been hard to concentrate on much of anything this last year.

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    1. Hi Lovely! Nice to see you again. :) This bench was a favourite project, because it required so little effort, and of course, who doesn't love the changing patterns in wood grain?

      Take as much time as you need, gathering your thoughts. I understand you're health comes first. I'm hoping to pop by to comment on your blog soon too. :)

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