Finally I've been able to complete this three chair bench. Sometimes life just gets in the way, doesn't it?
Today’s project was a challenge to say the least. However, if you do as I say and not as I do, this three chair bench 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.
Line up chairs to see your vision
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. Therefore proving 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 three chair bench.
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Dismantle part of the middle chair
Almost any three chair bench you see online, will use only the back portion of the middle chair. I proceeded to remove the back from the seat. You may wonder why I didn't use a rubber mallet? That's because it 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.
Test fit of large seat
I used a crib spindle to bring the left and right sides together. 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 to help me keep the middle chair back in the right position.
It doesn't always go as planned
This is where it goes ALL WRONG! I grabbed some soft pine boards out of my scraps to join everything together.
Hard woods are best for construction
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 three 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.
Pocket holes were used 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 !!!
You must notch the boards to fit the chairs
I had to notch the seat. I drew a pattern which seemed like it was the perfectly good way to go.
Three Chair Bench is coming along
A wide 1x8 was used for the back board, and three 1x4’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.
Time to paint-always start with underneath side
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.
Before and after White wax
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!!
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.