For me, spending time in my father’s wood-work shed as a child always gave me inspiration to create things, no matter how big or small they were, from helping him to turn a chair leg to making a little wooden cross for an Easter service.
I like the idea of putting my hands to good use and picking up my father’s woodworking skills, but having guidance and confirmation that I am holding the tools, chisel or saw correctly makes all the difference.
Recently after seeing a garden swing made from a couple of recycled pallets in a garden, it gave me the idea of making something for my garden, which did not matter if it was left out over the winter period, would cope with the harsh weather and could be brought in for extra seating throughout the year.
After doing a bit of research and looking at what could be achieved on various websites, I decided that perhaps this project was too big for me and I should start with something that would be relatively easy for me to accomplish. As they say, start small and grow!
So, I decided it was to be a pallet table that could double up as a seat and be moved around the garden as and when needed, it seemed the ideal thing. It would be sturdy to sit on as pallets are for industrial use and are designed to take heavy weights.
But, before I started to scour the area for my pallet, my father offered me my grandmother’s old wooden garden bench. This holds special memories for both my father and me. Perhaps this would be a good starting point and would re-acquaint my hands with one or two of the old wood working tools and techniques that had been handed down by my father.
The garden bench had stood in the garden for a number of years without any attention and needed a little tender loving care to get it back up to its former glory.
Here’s what I needed to do:
1. Sort out the four legs as they had a little rot in the first inch or so from standing on wet ground over many years. These would need to be dried off, treated, filled or as an extreme measure have a minimum amount of the leg sawn off, levelled up and sealed to prevent further deterioration of the wood.
2. The bench seat needed to be cleaned of any lichen and rubbed down with sandpaper to smooth off any raised wood grain to prevent possible splinters. Always remembering to rub the wood in the direction the grain runs not against the grain.
3. All the screws and wooden dowels need to be checked for their sturdiness and replaced where necessary.
4. Paint the bench with a natural wood preservative to enhance the natural colour and grain of the wood or a suitable coloured wood paint.
5. Make or buy four cushions to act as seat pads and back rests.
After much thought and consideration once all the preparation and checking had been carried out, I decided to paint the bench with a durable wood paint in cream. This gives me the option to use it in my conservatory when short of seating for visitors and also it would not look out of place if used outside. The soft cushion seating could be sourced in a colour to co-ordinate in my conservatory at a later date.
The day arrived for the grand unveiling to my father. With bated breath I pulled back the large cloth cover exposing the much loved, cherished and rejuvenated garden bench.
My father was greatly surprised by my handy work and pleased to see this treasured piece of garden furniture would continue being used and would hold many more family memories for years to come.
To my surprise a few days later, my father arrived to present me with seat pads that he had made, making this old seat even more special.
Do you have a piece of furniture that you have updated and included in your garden or home?
Why not send us a picture of your treasured addition?