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Making a bench seat legs with stumps and milk crates!

We were given a wooden table with two long seats set by a friend who was moving house. They were all a bit past it and we meant to paint them and do them up a bit, but never did.


 Eventually the legs on the seats rotted out taking the back part with them. The seat part of it was fine and I still wanted to keep that bit, just in case we figured out a way to put new legs on them... one day.

And we did!

Here's what I did...


The first incarnation involved simply putting them in the garden on a couple of milk crates after I painted them again...


Simple, weather proof, cheap, easy - but granted, maybe not the most glamorous bit of garden furniture you have ever seen...


 

And then on the way home a few weeks ago, we saw a guy giving away "free firewood" from a gum tree he had cut down in his driveway and just wanted gone. We filled up the boot with the ones we could carry (hardwood is very heavy we discovered)  and so the tree stump legs for the bench seats were created! This one works really well. Its got a couple of rocks on each side of the stump as a chock to stop the log from rolling away. Its quit low, but for kids and short legged people such as myself, that works well!


 
These stumps were skinnier and taller and this set up in the front yard is much higher. My feet "dangle" when I sit on this seat. The sheer weight of the stumps makes it quite stable but it wouldn't be the best way to do this if you have littlies who might not respect the weight of the falling stump when climbing up on it. You also need to make sure the stumps are cut level so your seat is not sloping side to side or end to end.. If not, you could dig the stumps into the ground in such a way that the top does become level. Or you can screw a piece of wood to the downward sloping side to even it up - that turns out to work better than the rock I put in there for the first few days!

We already had the bench seats from the set we were given, and with a coat of house paint on them, we hope to get a few more years out of them yet. The original legs weren't painted and didn't take long to rot out completely in the nice wet tropical summers we had in Brisbane. The milk crates probably would last a heck of a long time being plastic and all. The stumps are hardwood and even though they haven't been treated or painted, I think they will last us a few years - until the next bench seat incarnation anyway!

What have you made garden furniture out of? Anything unusual? Something different?
Share it with us in the comments section below!

Score card:
Green-ness: 5/5 for recycling and reusing 
Frugal-ness: 5/5 for not spending a cent on garden furniture!
Time cost: As long as it takes to find some one cutting down a tree!
Skill level: Strength. Brute strength for lifting hardwood stumps in and out of a car!
Fun-ness: great fun to be able to sit in the sun on a cold winters day!

Comments

Steve said…
We visited Jerry Coleby-Williams' place at Wynnum last year and he uses hay bales with potato sacks on top as seats. I'm not sure how long they'd last, but they're handy and cheap.
Practical Frog said…
That would be really good, fast, cheap seating for a party!
Thanks for the idea! I wouldn't have thought of that if you hadn't mentioned it Steve! - K x
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