Reclaimed Cedar Benches

1024 768 Thuja Wood Art - Reclaimed Cedar Furniture Wood Art Vancouver Victoria Gulf Islands British Columbia

Sit down and relax!

Over the last year I have been enjoying making more furniture from the red cedar driftwood that I salvage off the beaches.  (And just in case you are wondering, I do have a salvage and beachcombing license to collect driftwood).  I love to collect interesting pieces of cedar driftwood. Some have curves or tapers, others have amazing colours throughout, from blondes to deep reds, to almost black.  The wood almost tells me what it wants to be, as ideas float into my head while I am beachcombing or once I am unloading or handling the collected pieces.  I set the wet wood aside to dry (especially for indoor furniture this is very important) for months to years before using it.  Here are a few of the benches I have made this past year, each one with unique features all from the character of the red cedar driftwood.  All of these benches are made mostly with mortise and tenon joinery, then pegged,  but I have used some long screws where I couldn’t fit in proper tenons.  This first bench I call the piano bench as the pickets along the back remind me of the keys on a piano (in a sorta cedary way!) and it is accentuated by the 8′ length.  The coloration of the cedar is very unique as I don’t see this blending of dark and light often in the same piece of wood.  Also note the colours in the armrests are really cool.  The second bench is smaller at only 5′, and fits into a nice nook in the stonework of a garden.  Again the wood has some unique features like the knotty hole in the left post (you can stick your finger though it!), the colours in the armrests, and I left some of the grey and dark aging on the posts as well.  The last bench here I call the driftwood bench mainly because I left the entire back of the seat the original driftwood the way I found it.  In contrast I sanded smooth the backrest which you lean against.  This bench is 6′ long, and like the 5′ bench, the backrest is one piece that curves slightly and leans gently backward, making them very comfortable (but not common pieces to find!).   I like to use slightly curved posts for the back legs, that way the backrest has some lean to it and you dont have sit straight up.  I also often tilt the seat slightly down a the back, which I also find a bit more comfortable.  If you are interested in a bench for your garden or in the house, please contact me, and I would love to build something just for you!


Colin Hamilton

All stories by: Colin Hamilton
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