Because reclaimed materials are unique and not matched with store bought items, every cut must be planned ahead to ensure the project can be completed as designed. Because this door was only 36" wide, we knew one center cut down the middle could make a cute 18" deep porch bench.
We cut our door in half so we an 18" piece for the seat and an 18" piece for the back. Always be careful when cutting any reclaimed materials as nails are a hidden danger. If you have a metal detector, go over every piece of wood to make sure there aren’t any hidden pieces of hardware.
We wanted the base construction to have a period feel like the top and to feature a form of mortise and tenon joints. Since this project was all about upcycling materials, we chose to use scrap 1x and glue it together. Then the pieces were all cut to a 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" square stock size.
To assemble the top seat and back, start by trimming back any cross braces that interfere with the seat sitting flush on the base.
Remove the remaining cross braces and route the bottom of them to conceal the 90-degree metal L-brackets. Then notch the back of the seat for the brackets. Reinstall the screws through the holes in the brackets and into the seat.
Note: we also opened up the 90-degree brackets to 100 degrees to give the back a more comfortable slant.
Because we had some remaining pieces of the original beadboard door, we also built these matching end tables to complement the bench. By using a reclaimed door and traditional building techniques, this upcycled exterior bench has a vibe totally different than a store bought item. Not only was is custom sized for this space, it also was less costly than finished furniture.
Remember: Some of the charm of upcycled materials comes from its imperfections.