A few months ago, my brother-in-law asked me to do a commissioned piece for their apartment. They currently have a beautiful dining room table from World Market, but are still using their old IKEA chairs from another dining set.
Photo Credit: World Market
After perusing Pinterest and Etsy, they decided they wanted a bench made to match their table. Something made out of reclaimed wood or with a live edge and using steel legs similar in style to their table. Some of the inspiration pics he sent me are here and here. Note: I try to avoid posting inspiration pics on my blog as people have a tendency to pin them on Pinterest using my post link which is unfair to the original source.
With that in mind along with their budget of up to $200, we found these great steel legs on Etsy for just $50. With shipping, that left me with about $140 for the perfect wood slab. Unfortunately, that was harder than I thought.
Originally, I used eBay to try and find a live edge slab, but everything I was finding in our price range was either too short (their table length is 60″) or too thin. I figured a slightly less than 1″ thick wood slab would barely hold my sister’s tiny frame, let alone the weight of at least 2 average-sized people. Imagine having people over for dinner and suddenly your guests are in the floor and splinters everywhere. At least that’s how I saw this going down.
Then a friend in Baltimore turned me on to a place called Second Chance. This place is every DIYers dream. Whether you rehab furniture or like to craft with vintage items, this place is the best for you. Along with all the old furniture people drop off, it’s also where all the renovators ditch stuff they’ve ripped out of homes – from appliances, to windows, right down to the floor joists. My heart skipped a beat every time we turned a corner in this place. I mean just look at all this cool stuff!
And that’s where I found the perfect board. A big pile of reclaimed floor joists from old Baltimore rowhomes.
It’s hard to gauge the actual age of these joists, but our house was built around 1890 and still has most of its original floor joists. You can see where one was replaced at one point.
They cut the boards right there for you in the store, so we had one cut down to size for right around $20. That’s it. Talk about coming in under budget. The Mister and I loaded the board into my tiny car and we hauled it home. I’ll show you how I sanded, finished, and attached the legs … but that’s a story for another day. But I’ll leave you with this beautiful shot of it in my workshop just waiting to be made into a bench.