It’s been a crazy couple of weeks around the shop. I’ve been working on 3-4 different projects, but while waiting for paint to dry, and life happening, it’s taking forever for me to get anything finished. Does that happen to you?
Today’s project was a challenge to say the least. However, if you do as I say and not as I do, this project won’t be too difficult for you to replicate if you have the proper chairs.
I picked up three free chairs from the side of the road.
I was anxious to get started on them, and set them beside each other to see how the bench would look.
Here’s where I must tell you a few things.
- I have always wanted to make a triple chair bench like my friend Rose did years ago.
- I have made a faux triple chair bench, using two chairs and faking a third (middle) chair.
- These were not the BEST specimens for this project. The backs of these chairs were not flat, the side boards were at an angle, and proved to be somewhat challenging.
- The curvy tops also gave me some issues.
- At one point I wanted to put this project in a burn pile, ANY burn pile.
So, if you see some chairs on the side of the road, take a quick minute to see if they will actually work for a triple chair bench.
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Almost any triple chair bench you see online, will use only the back portion of the middle chair. I proceeded to remove the back from the seat. I could have used a rubber mallet to separate the back from the round spindle, but that would have left a hole to fill. I decided to use my Dremel Multi-Max to get a nice flush cut. Note the picture on the left showing that first you need to look for any screws.
This gives a better look at how the chair will come together.
I used a crib spindle to bring the left and right sides together. I used a paddle bit to give room for the thicker part of the spindle to fit, and a regular wood bit to drill deeper for the dowel portion . Clamps were handy to make sure I left the right amount of room in between the left and right sides of the chair seats. A large board was used tohelp me keep the middle chair back in the right position.
This is where it goes ALL WRONG! I grabbed some soft pine boards out of my scraps to join everything together. It was an unusually warm fall day, it got late, I was tired and hot, and really contemplated scrapping the entire project.
After taking a few days off, and enjoying some fun times in Madison at the Habitat ReStore Artisan workshop, I was back at it and making a lot of changes. I used some hardwoods for all of the joints—YES I totally dismantled the chair bench and started over. It’s not what I wanted to do, but I knew it was not going to be sturdy enough without the hardwoods.
I used pocket holes for all the joints. I added braces from chair to chair on the top rail and the bottom (BLUE arrows) I had to miter the ends on all of these because of the angles of the backs.
To help secure the middle chair back, I added four braces from the front to the back (PINK arrow)
To get a good sturdy connection, I used a good hardwood for the front skirt from the left to the right. (GREEN arrow)
Notice how all the backs have that stupid angle to them !!!
I had to notch the seat. I drew a pattern which seemed like it was the perfectly good way to go. I must have put the seat on and off 50 times before I got the wood notched well enough for it to rest properly.
I used a wide 1×8 for the back board, and three 1×4’s for the other three boards to make up the complete seat. It’s not notched very well, but I was hoping after I painted it all, everything would be okay.
ps see the fence in the background? It is NO LONGER there! More to come on that in the next couple of weeks.
To make it easy on myself, I knew that using my Homeright Finish Max was the way to go to paint this monster.
It’s difficult to tell in the picture, but it is a very pretty blue mis-tint paint from Lowe’s. Mindi-this one’s for you! I finally painted something blue!
I ended up having to flip it back over to do the underneath side, and then upright again.
Here’s a close-up of the notched seat. Not real pretty, but it is what it is.
I decided to wax it with Heirloom Traditions White Lime Wax using a sponge! I’ve been taking a virtual paint class with Jennifer Allwood, and she uses these large carwash sponges from Walmart, and I LOVED using it instead of a brush.
You can see the leg has been waxed, and the skirt to the right has not been waxed.
It’s been a crazy week, and I didn’t get good photos of it, but I was anxious to share it with you today. I’m hoping to get some better pictures this week.
Do you love chairs as much as I do? A friend just dropped of FOUR more chairs to me over the weekend…. wooohoo!!