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.

TOOLS:
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.
II. Adding epoxy to the holes, we inserted the pipe fittings in and constructed the legs in an H-shape.
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.
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.
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.jpg

xo,

Julia

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