Repairing wood bench

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Forum topic by Chanti posted 10-08-2015 03:48 PM 1042 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 2505 days

10-08-2015 03:48 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tip repair how to

I have this old bench made out of reclaimed wood. I got it from a friend years ago and moved it all the way from Switzerland to Canada with me. I fear it’s about to fall apart and some bits and pieces are starting to fall off. It has never seen any oil or finish and is quite rough to the touch. I’m new to wood working and would like to safe the bench. I do have a hand plane. Should I plane it down a little and fill the cracks with some kind of filler and then put some danish oil and bees wax on it? I’ll try to post some pictures. Thank you for sharing your experience.

9 replies so far

View BurlyBob's profile


9344 posts in 3512 days

#1 posted 10-08-2015 03:52 PM

I agree it is looking pretty rough. Do you have any tools? If so you could dismantle it and use it as a pattern for a new bench . You could get a really decent outdoor wood, redwood, teak or something similar. Then keep it treated annually.

View Randy_ATX's profile


881 posts in 3689 days

#2 posted 10-08-2015 05:22 PM

You will kill the character of this wood if you try to plane it down. I’d just gently hand sand the top with 220 but leave all the cracks and crevices (beauty). If you want to finish it, I would try some test areas underneath that are not noticable, to see if you like the result. The wood will get much darker with oil.

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

View mahdee's profile


4291 posts in 3014 days

#3 posted 10-08-2015 05:26 PM

Lot of character there. I would soak it with this. It is expensive, but it will totally waterproof and strengthen the wood. apply just enough to soak the wood and wipe of the drips. Don’t fill the cracks with it, just let it soak in the wood until it can’t soak anymore.
Like to see it after it is done.


View mahdee's profile


4291 posts in 3014 days

#4 posted 10-08-2015 05:32 PM

Unfortunately, the bottom support that runs from the two legs is a new piece and it takes away from the overall character. If that is the case, you may be able to age it by using chemicals like acid, salt, bleach or anything that is corrosive.


View Chanti's profile


2 posts in 2505 days

#5 posted 10-08-2015 09:14 PM

Wow, you guys are fast! Thank you for the tips.

Burlybob: I would love to replicate it for a future outdoor bench. This one stays inside and the whole point is to safe it, because, well I like it for sentimental reasons and I think I would have difficulties finding such old wood easily.

Randy_ATX: ok, I’ll try that.

mrjinx007: I’ll have a look at your link. The bottom support is, I think not a new piece. It’s just less beat up :-) there are some dark spots with worm holes and cracks…


View Robert's profile


4746 posts in 2727 days

#6 posted 10-09-2015 11:08 AM

Some of that wood looks like its rotting, no?

No expert, but here’s what I would do:

Test the wood with an ice pick in the cracks if the wood is soft or punky, it is rotting.
If the structure is sound, its salvagable.

My thoughts would be to get a gallon of epoxy and go to town filling in all the cracks.

After that many many coats of penetrating oil.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Tennessee's profile


2936 posts in 3761 days

#7 posted 10-09-2015 11:22 AM

No offense, mrjinx, but the git-rot, although it might be a great product, it about twice the price of Locktite epoxy in the same 16 oz. size you can buy at HD. What makes it more unique and better? The Locktite is 3500PSI, and flows nicely if you pour it as soon as you finish mixing. It also penetrates and fills. I would think it would bond that wood just fine.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 3543 days

#8 posted 10-09-2015 01:07 PM

I would give that a light sanding at most, and if you need a finish then I’d give it two or three coats of a flat or satin polyurethane so you don’t get splinters in the butt. Just know that ANYTHING you put on it will change it’s color.

As far as those two legs/supports go, I’d make a tracing of the leg shape and cut another set out of thin plywood or a glued up panel and attach those to the INSIDE of the leg/supports – screws alone would let you reverse it. That way you keep the look as your friend designed it and strengthen it at the same time.

View shipwright's profile


8751 posts in 4045 days

#9 posted 10-09-2015 10:38 PM

I’m with the penetrating epoxy crowd on this one but I would save a lot of $$$$ (and have a better product).
I’ve used this a lot and it will even harden rotting wood. It is amazingly thin and penetrates about anywhere diesel will penetrate. Then it cross-links and hardens. ................ still not cheap but better stuff and cheap(er).

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

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