Friday, 30 January 2015

Home: DIY Copper Pipe-Legged Rustic Bench

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My excitement about building things started back in school, when girls and boys were divided into crafts classes - Girls to knitting/sewing, boys to woodworking. Out of the girls that wanted to go play with saws and drills instead, only two got randomly selected. I had to face my bitter disappointment, sit down with my knitting needles, and suffer through one crooked attempt at a sock after the other (since then my opinion of sewing has obviously changed a bit). Luckily we had a well-equipped garage at home, and I grew up building everything from my own bed to custom clothing racks, and using a drill instead of a hole puncher to make new holes in my belts.

A couple weeks ago I found this piece of beautiful old wood, and new it had to get a new life as a bench/shelf. After some serious sanding of the cut surface of the wood, here's what we did.

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Copper pipe, cut into as many pieces as your plan requires  |  Pipe cutter or saw  |  Pipe fittings  |  Nuts  |  Bolts  |  Long piece of wood  |  Epoxy or glue  |   Drill (size of the pipe)

I. We first drilled holes the size of the pipe on the bottom side of the wood. I carved some additional wood out to make the bottom of the hole as straight as possible.
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II. Adding epoxy to the holes, we inserted the pipe fittings in and constructed the legs in an H-shape.
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III. For the final pieces that touch the floor, we added nuts (slightly filed down to fit snuggly halfway into the pipe) and sealed them in place with epoxy.
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IV. To complete the legs the bolts just needed to be screwed into the nuts. These were a functional piece; a the wood had a curved bottom edge, I didn't want to spend time measuring the legs to the exactly correct height (which I'm sure would have resulted in a wobbly bench no matter how accurately I measured). The bolt-ended legs fixed that problem and it was easy to adjust each leg just enough to make the end result perfectly stable.
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V. Once the legs were done I finished the top surface of the wood with a couple of coats of stain/polyurethane mix.  photo ready3_zps6626cfc7.jpg




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