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Get off the Bench! Headboard Projects; Guest

21 May 2010

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I have seen these benches around and wish I had either an old headboard, a place for one in my house or a great patio space, or someone that wanted to make one for me and give me a gift... then for sure I could make room for one!  Right?  I think we all could.  Gail of My Repurposed Life, has some serious skills, and I am loving the way she has created these.


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Some people have written me asking about how to make these headboard benches. When we (Cathy and me) made these benches, I had NO idea that I would EVER be BLOGGING! Therefore I didn't take a lot of "in process" pictures. However, someone expressed interest in buying this bench and asked for closeup pictures, so I will try to explain what we did and why.

With this particular bed we had a matching full sized headboard and foot board. We initially cut the foot board in half on the table saw. But, in my opinion when you only cut it in half, it makes the seat too deep. We ended up taking off enough on each end of the foot board to make it about 18-19 inches deep.
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The next step after cutting the foot board is to line the foot board up with the cut end butted up against the headboard. At this point, because we were working with curved edges instead of blunt edges, we needed to "round" the cut part of the foot board to get a good fit up against the headboard.

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To accomplish this we used Cathy's drill press with a sanding disc attached to it. That gave us a nice little inward curve to fit great against the front of the headboard.

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This is the view from the back. If you look closely you can see that we placed a screw right into the middle of the spool, screwing it from back to front. We always use wood glue whenever we join two pieces of wood together.
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If you look closely at the left side, you can see that the foot board's original construction included a board across the bottom. The leg in the back is the original leg to the headboard, the leg in the font is from the foot board.
DSCF0084  This was our first bench, and it was very challenging to say the least. It is hard for me to remember exactly what we did. In this picture you can tell more about the construction and how we added our lumber as opposed to what is the original bed.

Across the back of the headboard (bottom) we attached a 1x the length of the bed. It is located below the 2x4

The board in the front is a 1x that we gave a little detail by cutting it with a jigsaw. We had a curbed piece of cornice work that we used for a pattern.
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In this picture you can see that we attached the 1x to the sides (foot board cut in half) You can also see that we used L brackets for extra support. After making the initial construction, we decided the bench sat too low. We constructed a basic box and stacked it onto the 1x and the original foot board (sides) You can see the stacked construction in the picture below.
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We used 1x's for the slatted seat. Here you can see we had to notch the last one to make it fit. Having to do it all over again, I would probably choose to rip each board so that the last board would not be so narrow.
explained 
Now, I'll show you this picture again. Maybe you'll understand a little better how we worked through this challenging bench. Try to imagine a 2x4 "box" stacked right on top of this construction. That box helped with support and raised the height of the seat.

In the picture below, you can see that a 2x4 is stacked on top of the curved 1x

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You can see how pretty a piece can be with the end result. Only you know the challenges or oops you have during a particular project. That is... unless you blog about it to the world, showing closeup pictures, so others may not make the mistakes you make.


Now on to another bench:
We picked this up from the curb. It was the entire bed, rails, slats, everything. I wondered if it were possibly a divorced or newly married (previously divorced) couple. You know... I'm NOT sleeping in her bed sort of thing.

Again, we cut the foot board in half on the table saw, then cut each half again to make the seat about 18-19 inches deep.
DSCF0083a
After cutting the foot board, the next step is to line them up to make the sides of the bench.

This is where Cathy wants to do it one way and Gail wants to do it another way. I have seen benches that the sides were brought out and attached against the side of the headboard. In that scenario you would be putting the screws through a board approximately 3/4 inch thick into the headboard post which is about 2.5 inches thick. Cathy doesn't think they look as nice, and hindsight, I suppose I agree. (she doesn't read my blog, so shhhh if you don't tell her, she will never know!)

So, we do it her way. It's not easy to do the drilling of the pilot holes. I will attempt to explain how we went about it.

We bought an extra long drill bit, 5 inches! Which is over kill for sure. But you will need a bit that will drill through a bed post.

Place the side (cut foot board) against the headboard and mark the thickness of wood. Drill several holes (from front to back)

Line the side (cut foot board) back up (clamping if necessary) and drill from the back to the front only slightly into the side (cut foot board)

Take the side (cut foot board) off and make sure that you are pretty much in the center of the board. Then while unattached, drill a pilot hole into the side board using the holes you just slightly drilled as guides.

Apply glue and using your marks line the two pieces up and clamp and screw.
We used 2x4 braces in the middle for extra support.
maple bench
In this picture you can see that we made a 2x4 box to stack onto the original construction. We puttied the slat holes. As you can see we laid our slats from side to side on this bench as opposed to the previous bench where we laid them front to back.
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As I said in the original post of this bench, it is the heaviest thing we have ever built! Cathy and I could carry it from point a to point b, however it was nearly impossible for us to lift it onto the truck.

Next I will try to describe how we made this cute little corner bench from a foot board.
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We picked up this footboard at a local peddler's mall for $6.00. This was before we realized there were better places to find old, orphaned beds....curb shopping is much cheaper.
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We cut it nearly in half on the table saw. We measured the width, and subtracted the thickness of the headboard. I don't remember the exact numbers, but because we "butted" the right side up against the left side, we couldn't cut it exactly in half.
If you click on the picture you will be able to look inside the back corner and see that we added a third leg (from another project).
We glued and screwed this all the way down the back left side. We added a 1x across the front, cutting the ends on an angle so they would fit nicely. The seat was made out of a piece of scrap plywood.

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We adorned it with a handle in the front to give it a faux drawer look. These corner benches are fairly easy to make, and much easier to move from one place to another.

Now I'll show you the easier way to attach the sides (foot board cut in half)

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This was a twin bed. We cut the foot board in half on the table saw. You can see that we laid the foot board up against the side of the headboard. (gail's way) We glued and screwed through the foot board into the headboard.

We then attached a 2x4 across the front and and a ripped 2x4 across the back. Click on the picture to enlarge it, and you will get a clear idea of exactly what we did.

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We used flooring (tongue and groove) for the seat of this bench. I believe it was hardwood, not laminate.

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Some afterthoughts:

We use drywall screws (size depends on what 2 pieces of wood we are joining together)
We sink all of our screws that will be visible
We putty over our screw holes and screws
We ALWAYS drill pilot holes
We use my nail gun for attaching the seats/slats. If we don't use tongue and groove flooring, we use paint sticks or yard sticks to get equal separation of the slats.

Sometimes we use the right side of the flooring unpainted, other times we sand the shine off the flooring and paint the flooring to match the bench.

Almost all of our headboards and/or foot boards have been curb finds. If curb shopping isn't illegal in your area, I suggest you check out your .gov site and find out when the large trash pickup day is. Our metro area has them about 3-4 times a year, rotating the neighborhoods. That means that curb shopping is available most months.

Gail, all your info is just great!  
And your benches turned out lovely!

26 comments:

RJ @ A Life Designed May 21, 2010 at 1:08 PM  

Oh wow, what great benches! We have a couple of headboards from sets in our crawl space... I can totally see a bench in our future!

gail@myrepurposedlife.net May 21, 2010 at 2:03 PM  

Thanks for the feature! I hope your readers make lots of benches, saving lots of beds from the landfill.
gail

Infarrantly Creative May 21, 2010 at 3:48 PM  

Love Gail and her benches. I would love to make one someday but they seem sooooo complex...maybe I could take a drive down to Gail's.

Rachel May 21, 2010 at 7:30 PM  

Fantastic benches!!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and I just started following your blog.

Rachel
www.sewambitious.com

Haupi May 21, 2010 at 7:51 PM  

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and following me. I absolutely love this blog! Love it! The headboard benches are amazing. Naturally I'm following you too now and I don't know where to look first around here. It's a candy store of help and ideas. Great blog.

http://hauplight.blogspot.com/

The Answer Is Chocolate May 21, 2010 at 8:12 PM  

Hi there. Thanks so much for stopping by my place and becoming a follower. I am following you back and will have fun learning lots from your site!

sheila May 21, 2010 at 8:16 PM  

WOw, great post! I thought I was creative but...OMG. Not even close to you!

Following you back! Good luck in my giveaway!

Coupons Equal Cash May 21, 2010 at 8:34 PM  

Wow! Love the benches. What a great idea. I am following your blog now and can't wait to see all your future projects. I know my husband is going to love them too. This is right up his alley. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog.
Lesa
www.CouponsEqualCash.com

Erin May 21, 2010 at 8:54 PM  

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! My husband has been giving me some odd looks lately as I've been bringing home "junk." But, for $5, you can't beat that! Loving that first white bench! Have a great weekend. And, as an Etsy seller, I think that linky party would be cool. :)
Erin
www.frundy.com

Mommy to Casey ♥ May 21, 2010 at 8:55 PM  

Thanks for stopping by my blog and following - I'm not following you!

I look forward to getting to know you, and hoping this blog might give me some ideas on decorating our house on a budget, when we move in a few months! :)

Emily May 21, 2010 at 9:11 PM  

Hi,

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I was so happy when I came over to check out your blog- I LOVE LOVE LOVE decorating- I am now following and looking forward to your posts!

Have a great weekend!

Lisa May 21, 2010 at 9:57 PM  

Beautiful work! This is such a great project for all beds that are headed for the landfill. I have some old iron headboards at the cottage that I have wanted to do something with...this may be a great option! Thanks

Julie May 21, 2010 at 10:00 PM  

Well I guess on my garage sale weekends I'm going to be looking for a headboard or more. Thank you for sharing your ideas, plans and hard work.
I'll keep this post for instructions later on.
Take care and God Bless!!!

hannah May 21, 2010 at 10:43 PM  

Very cool benches!

I'm following you back. I definitely need some design help!

Michelle @ Sweet Something May 21, 2010 at 11:05 PM  

Hi Cassity, I didn't know if you got my reply about featuring my Memorial Day Project...please feel free to feature it! Thanks so much!
Michelle

Susieqtpies May 21, 2010 at 11:12 PM  

Very cool blog idea! Love it! Love the projects! Thanks for stopping in during the friday blog hop! I'm your newest follower!!!

Susieqtpies Scraps of Life

http://cafescrapper-scrapsoflife.blogspot.com/2010/05/follow-friday-link-up-blog-hops-and.html

Tales From My Empty Nest May 22, 2010 at 4:46 PM  

Your benches are absolutely the cutest ever. And I know they were not easy to make. They look great!!! Thanks for sharing and giving inspiration to us all. Love & blessings from NC!

Wendy June 12, 2010 at 10:08 AM  

These are great! My youngest daughter is now out of her crib. I had the idea of turning her crib into a bench, since all three kids used it. I'm glad I stumbled upon this project.

Leanne October 3, 2010 at 11:52 AM  

I stumbled across this page while looking for ideas to make a headboard. I LOVE these benches. I do not have the talent that y'all have but I think this idea is awesome.
Great, great, great job.

Leanne
SE MO

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