I made a new, nicer bench from an old broken bench that I discovered in my basement. I casted concrete for the legs which provides a very stable base and a visual contrast to the dark wood top. The bench was a needed addition to the entry way for seating and only cost around $6 to make - the price of a bag of concrete.
The legs have a gentle taper and the angle reflects the angle on the top ends of the bench. The top tells a story of this woods history: it has oil stains, and dents which have become beautiful features!
This is the condition of the bench when I found it...
...And here's where I found it! It was deep inside, buried under dirt. This hole is pretty small, I'm not sure how they even fit that bench in there. However I squeezed in and retrieved the bench and some how was able to wiggle my way back out with it. It was a messy struggle!
I removed the old leg and protruding nails.
The bench was a little too long for the space (over 6') so I found the original angle and cut the other side to length with the reflected angle. The bench is now 4' long.
I reinforced the top skirt pieces by driving nails into it.
I sanded all the crud and dirt off the wood with 60 - 220 grit. I used a broken fan and a furnace filter for my air filtration.
For the shape of the concrete legs, I created forms using panel board to pour the concrete into. Ideally you would use melamine, however this was all I had, so I figured I can make it work.
I cut a couple pieces to play with and determine how I wanted the legs to look. I was moving the angles and taper to a proportion I liked.
With all the pieces cut, I was ready to assemble the form. I just used A LOT of hot glue to put the pieces together (my method worked for me, but its not recommended, you probably want to find a more secure and solid way of attaching and sealing a form. (with screws + silicione)).
To attach the concrete leg to the wood top, I made a mounting plate that uses screws as anchors in the concrete .
Once again I just used excessive glue to seal and hold everything together.
Not the most elegant forms but somehow they worked. Make sure when pouring concrete to vibrate your forms as much as you can and then vibrate some more; the more the better. Also making sure the form is level is a crucial part for everything to be straight and not to have bench that wants to be a slide.
While the concrete was curing, I stained and sealed the bench top using Minwax Puritan Pine stain.
On the plus side of having a crappy form It was extremely easy removing the piece.
Wow, to my amazement somehow the legs turned out great! The form leaked a bit but all in all, everything turned out well; sharp edges and not many air pockets.
Here's the mounting plate and it's officially one with the concrete.
The idea to secure the legs to the bench, is to use a bigger mounting plate attached to the smaller mounting plate on the legs. Then that larger plate will be attached to the underside of the bench top.
Pre-drill the holes and then counter sink them so the screws will lay flush.
Here is the image of attaching the larger mounting plate to the smaller one in the leg.
This is how I attached the legs to the top....screws, screws and more screws. This thing is secure and solid, no wiggle what-so-ever! If I had to guess, I would say each leg weighs about 35lbs.
Last but not least, I attached felt to the bottom to protect the floors. I always enjoy giving things a new life, I feel the project holds more value and carries a story, which makes it special.