69 yr old walnut foyer bench

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Project by UKkid89 posted 12-19-2018 02:24 PM 945 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

69 years ago a walnut tree on my great grandfathers property fell in a storm. It was rough milled into slabs between 1/2” to 7/8” thick and as long as the tree was tall. The longest piece I had was 13 foot, it was 7/8” thick at one end and just over 1/2” at the other. It was stored in a barn and pieces of it used over the next 30 years where it was joined in a pile of other old trees that had come down on the farm.
In 1997 the last of the great uncles passed and they cleaned out the barn, before it fell. My mother, the family historian, knew the story of the walnut tree because she remembers the storm. She saved the walnut and the other pretty pieces (her words). It then moved to her attic and from one house to the next. About 3 years ago I spotted it in her attic and asked about it and she gave it to me. It’s not easy to transport a 13 foot piece of lumber, 683 miles in/on a vehicle that is only 14 feet long from bumper to bumper but I made it. I looked like the Clampets driving through Tennessee but no one there even noticed so don’t judge me.

A couple years later I sent it back to her but in this new form. I did not square up any piece other than the corners and the edges so I could biscuit join them but made sure to keep them in their original odd sizes. It doesn’t show after the poly that there are pieces that are just over 10 inches wide at one end and just under 9 inches wide at the other. The pieces biscuit jointed together on the front and back are different thicknesses on the inside of the chest. The drawers are on full extension slides. Mom uses it at the front door for scarves, and blankets storage and to hold coats when people come in to visit.

It is finished with 4 coats of poly with 00 and 000 steel wool between. Unfortunately this bright finish means you can’t see the beautiful color it turned out to be due to it reflecting everything around it.
I am disappointed that even after all those years laying around in a barn and an attic that the lid warped within a year of taking in into a house.

-- If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy. --Red Green

5 comments so far

View pottz's profile


9847 posts in 1754 days

#1 posted 12-19-2018 07:15 PM

wow beautiful wood and i love the story behind it,cool that the wood was kept all those years and you wre able to create something beautiful from it.too bad about the warp,i guess the change in temp and humidity caused it to warp.welcome to lumber jocks,i think you’ll like it here.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

669 posts in 2972 days

#2 posted 12-19-2018 10:49 PM

Good show! Gorgeous! Keep on!

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


6069 posts in 3179 days

#3 posted 12-19-2018 11:15 PM


-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View AJ1104's profile


1090 posts in 2429 days

#4 posted 12-20-2018 02:36 AM

A great story and a great project. Congrats, I’m sure she was happy!

-- AJ

View Peteybadboy's profile


1953 posts in 2719 days

#5 posted 12-20-2018 10:08 AM

Love the story. Nice thing to do

-- Petey

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