Recylced wood projects, Bench Swing, Arbor, Draw Knife Sheaths

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Project by hhhopks posted 03-04-2012 02:28 PM 6160 views 4 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here are some projects where I used recycled cedar. The lumber came from my kids playground that I have built about 13 years ago. It has been moved once when we moved to our new house. I think I have pay about $700 at the time for the new timber from the hardware store. Now my boy is 17 and my daughter is 13. They haven’t been on it for years.

The lumber is mostly gray any warn from the weather and sun, I haven’t been staining it like I supposed to. I have tried to keep it stained in the past. Instead of tossing the lumber, I decided to see if it is worth salvaging. The playground is basically pretty standard. It has a rectangular structure for the “fort”. It is held up by 4×4 and 2×6 with 1-1/4×6 (floor). It has two “A” frame structure (4×4) for the swings, bar…..etc with a back to back 2×6 x 14’ bolted/screwed together to hold all the eye bolts.

I took the time to tear everything down. After carefully remove all the screws and nails from a piece, I decided to check out the condition of the wood. There are checks and decay in different area. I used my table saw to remove the bulk of the defects. The freshly cuts showed that wood inside is still good and solid on the inside.

With that confirmation I decided the wood is worth salvaging (most of it). After carefully removing all nails and screws, I use saw, jointer, and planer to square up the lumber. The results of my efforts are shown below.

The 4×4s and 1-1/4×6 horizontal pieces are new as well as the material used for the arch. Everything else is from the recycled lumber. This project kept my wife happy as it inhance our backyard garden as a focal point and it also gave us more privacy screening. The vine is existing and was “re-trained” to be on the vine (it was on the fence).

Bench Swing:
Then Bench is mad of 100% recycled cedar from the playground. It is also my own design. I did went through many designs to come up with this. Hopefully, I didn’t accidently had stolen the design. One thing that I made certain of is the depth of the seat. All the store brought benches seems to be short of depth. It doesn’t seem to be comfortable as it doesn’t support your thighs near the knee area. It leaves your knees hanging too much. I believe I have corrected that. Also the bench has a curvature that “hugs” your thighs such that I believe makes it more comfortable for adults to sit on.

Draw Knife Sheaths:
My draw knives have been sharpened. It all works great but having such a long sharp exposed edge can be hazardous. Also they are lying adjacent to each other and with other tools. Having seen these fancy Sheaths on various web site, I figured that I could use something like it. However, I don’t have any leather working tools. I did come up with this concept of recycling my cedar boards and make sheaths for my draw knifes. I simply find some 1×2s and made couple of passes on the table saw to get the dado groove that matches the draw knife’s blade depth and width requirement. I drilled holes on either end so that a leather string may be used to tie to the draw knife blade.

Bird houses and feeders:
I am sure you have seen plenty of those. Right? I don’t want to lower the bar.

So that’s where my kid’s playground had gone to. There is life still in the cedar lumber. There are other projects coming up too if I ever find the time. Someone is always replacing their deck. Is there a second home for these lumbers? Maybe you can find a new home for these lumbers that are destined to the fire pit or to the dumpster.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

5 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


17865 posts in 3924 days

#1 posted 03-04-2012 02:43 PM

Great use of the lumber. What great memerories to boot! Thay all look great. Congrats.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

#2 posted 03-04-2012 05:39 PM

Very beautiful bench !!!


View Green_Hornut's profile


174 posts in 3355 days

#3 posted 03-05-2012 12:20 AM

Glad to see you recycle and reclaim the wood. I have a pile of old growth redwood from a neighbor’s deck they were going to tear down and burn. With reclaimed wood beauty is often more than skin deep. Glad you took the time and effort to reclaim, re-purpose recycle.

-- Mother Nature always bats last.

View NaFianna's profile


524 posts in 3761 days

#4 posted 03-05-2012 09:25 PM

Very nice – love that bench

-- Cad a dheanfaimid feasta gan adhmad.......?

View wild bill franklin's profile

wild bill franklin

128 posts in 2998 days

#5 posted 03-18-2012 04:52 PM

That sure is a nice bench! Great job!!

-- wild bill, Stapleton, Al

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