These benches are better off as tables

I’ve had this little stool/bench for many many years.  I have no idea how much I paid for it, where I got it, and what (if anything it was covered with).  Perhaps years ago I decided to do something with it and removed the top then quit.  That’s totally something I would do.  But anyhow this is what I started with last week.

The guts of a great little stool with great legs and a pile of yardsticks.

The first order of business was to sand the top to remove the glue lines and to clean up the underside of the bench.  The next step was to lay out my design with yardsticks.

But because the top wasn’t a completely flat surface, I had to make a border of yardsticks around the edge.  To do this, I simply drew a line on the underside of the yardstick to be cut.  Then I took a straight edge and a box knife to score the yardstick.  Since they were old they easily snapped with a pair of pliers.

Once my border was complete I began constructing the top.  I picked out various rulers.  I varied them and chose the ones with a lot of letter or the ones in the worst condition.

I made a note of how long I wanted each piece cut then I used my husband’s chop saw to make the cut.  Then I used a little sandpaper to clean up the edges.

Once it was all laid out how I liked it, I set it all aside in the exact same order so I would know how to replace them.  I then used wood glue to reassemble the rulers back onto the puzzle.  If I was going to actually stand or sit on this bench I would probably tack them down with nails too, however I knew I was using this to display some pieces so I didn’t feel it was necessary for my project.

I dry-brushed a little black paint onto the “apron” of the stool.  When it was all done, I stained the top and then used a bit of paste wax.

I purchased these rulers from an auction last spring.  It was a rainy day.  I had invited a friend to go to an auction with me (her very first auction of this type) out in the country.  I was afraid she was going to cancel on me because of the crappy weather.  But I was wrong.  This guy had TONS of old stuff.  He had owned an antique store  a few years back and he must have gone to many many auctions over the years. But apparently he also had some issues.  EVERYTHING he owned had his name on it.  And if the item had multiple pieces, many times he would put his name on each and every piece.  My friend purchased a coffee pot, and his name was on that pot 5 times!  The auctioneer said that he even put his name on the canned goods in the house.  Wow…it’s really kinda sad.  Because of the story, I felt I need to preserve this in this piece, so I left his name (or parts of his name) visible.

That probably will be the best auction I have ever been too….loaded with old stuff, and not many bidders because of the rain.  We left with a truck full and together we only spent about $45.  I told her that was totally beginners luck and not to expect to get quite that lucky again.

Fast forward to 6 months later.  I invited this same friend to attend her second auction with me.  She bid but never won anything, and I only left with 2 beat up benches for $5.  It was an impulse bid.  I didn’t even see them until they started the bidding on them.  Once I won them, and got a little closer to them I realized I just bought crap. Both are similar to this one (but this one is in better shape).

We were looking for a small, skinny table to put next to the couch.  I grabbed this bench from the back porch, cleaned it up a bit, dry-brushed a little paint on it….and waited for my husband to send it packing.  But to my surprise he didn’t.  So here is my crappy bench in his new home as a side table.

And here is the washed-out view (I had to use the flash) of the top.  Only problem with this table is we need to be careful how/where we set our drinks down or they just might tip over in the hole.

So there are my 2 stools turned tables.  Thanks for looking!

Linking up to:

Funky Junk’s Friday Nite Special

Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Feature Friday

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