We had a challenge. A client had asked us make a rustic bench for her. She had seen one we had previously done. The inspiration piece was actually an ottoman base I had found at a Habitat for Humanity store.
The client wanted the same turned legs with cross bars. That doesn't seem like a hard request, does it? Actually it was.
For us to have legs that could accommodate cross bars, meant that the legs had to have squared off sections at the top and bottom of the legs. Otherwise, we had nothing to attach the cross bars to.
We try to repurpose turned legs as much as possible, because they can be very expensive to buy (or to have custom turned). If we bought legs, the project could end up costing us more than the finished piece would be worth. We also want to stay competitive in price while providing excellent quality to our clients. We researched legs, but we couldn't find any that would fit the needs of the client.
And then we had an epiphany. Why couldn't we use the leg posts off a bed? As long as the headboard and footboard legs were the same height and had the same turned pattern, we could cut them down to fit. I looked on Craigslist and found a bed frame immediately that would work and they were within our budget.
The Hubs had to take them apart very carefully. He could have cut them off the frame, but it would have damaged the legs. We had also thought we might want to use the stretchers for a future project.
Here's a quick video of the Hubs showing how he took the legs off the bed frame.
It worked perfectly. We had to use some wood filler where the legs were attached to the stretchers and we also had to cut off a section of the bottom balls to have the bench sit flat.
The client wanted a very rustic look. We painted the base in black and then white and heavily distressed the entire thing.
The top is actually made from reclaimed pallet pieces that were put through the planer and cut to fit.
Finally, the whole piece was sealed with polycrylic. (By the way, if you're wondering when we use polycrylic versus polyurethane versus furniture wax, read our article explaining the Pros and Cons of each here.)
The client was thrilled with the final outcome. Here's a pic she shared of the Bench in her home.
When you're faced with a challenge, step back and think outside of the box. You'll be surprised what creative solutions you'll find.