Introduction: Bed to Bench - Metal Version
Taking a piece of old furniture and re-purposing it into something useful again is very rewarding, especially when there's emotion tied to it. This was a fun project and to the client a special one. Enjoy.
Step 1: Decide on a Design
A friend of mine asked me if I could make a bench from a metal bed frame after he watched my video on the wood version bed to bench. The bed belonged to his wife's late mother, so this was a sentimental piece. With the amount of welding involved and the emotions tied to this project I knew I needed to recruit the help of my good friend Brandon from the Yopp Shop. Shortly after committing to the project we knew we were in for a challenge. Attached are a few before pictures that my friend sent me and a drawing of what they had imagined the completed project to look like. Once we had a design nailed down we came up with a plan of how to make all the cuts.
Step 2: Cut the Metal
The headboard didn't need to be cut at all, but the footboard had to be cut and reconfigured to work out for the right height as the arm rest and seat. We carefully calculated the right seat height and made all the necessary marks to indicate where to cut. We basically cut out six inches of the footboard's overall height mainly for the purpose of the arm rest. The small piece of metal pipe you see is what we cut out from above the angle iron to move it below the angle iron. The reason for that was to take advantage of the angle iron and make it part of the seat. The angle iron had to be raised in order to be at the right height for the seat. You can see how many cuts we made on the footboard in the pictures. All the cuts were cleaned up by grinding away the paint in the areas the welds would be. This allows for good bonds between the metal. As you see in the pictures we made sure everything was going to line up correctly before welding.
Step 3: Weld It
The next thing for us to do was to start welding. The first thing we did was make sure we liked the placement of any piece we were about to weld and tack weld it. Tack weld refers to a temporary weld used to create the initial joint between two pieces of metal being welded together. After the tack welds are established we could then fill in the seam between the tacks. After permanently welding all the pieces together we used an angle grinder to smooth down all the joints to get everything ready for paint. One last thing we did was add a support piece taken from the original bed rails to add to the seat structure as a center support. The last picture is what we came up with before we made the seat or did any finishing work.
Step 4: Making the Seat
At this point we can start making the seat. We made the seat from 2x10 pine boards. For esthetic reasons we ripped each board to get three boards the same width and to get a nice crisp edge. Next we had to notch the front board on each end around the front part of the armrest so it would fit into place. We also had to route out a portion on the same boards on the under side of each end to allow room for the casting in order for the seat to sit level. Next we sanded everything smooth and finished the seat with a dark walnut stain then drilled holes in the metal supports to be able to install the seat in the next step.
Step 5: Final Step
The last thing to do was to paint, focus on the details and install the seat. First we painted the entire bench with the desired color. Next, we cleaned up the ornate pieces with a couple of Dremel tools and wire wheels. Underneath all the layers of red paint were these beautiful brass decorations. In my opinion, these little brass pieces are what really made this bench pop. The last thing we did was install the seat. We accomplished this by installing screws from the under side through the holes we drilled in the previous step. You can see the completed bench in the last photo. The next step shows some additional photos and a close up of the small ornate pieces that really made this bench a beautiful and unique piece.
Step 6: Final Shots
These are the final shots I took of the completed project. With the exception of the wood, we used all the original bed parts to create this piece of furniture. This bench is serving as a sitting area outside, but some will see it as yard art. Either way, we were very please with the results and are very happy with how the embellishments turned out. Thank you for reading and if you haven't seen the video, here's the link... https://youtu.be/CnhU6Tf-9R0
Step 7: Project Tools
- angle grinder http://amzn.to/2bqzhLY
- metal cut-off wheel http://amzn.to/2bxVovR
- sanding flap http://amzn.to/2bxVovR
- jig saw http://amzn.to/2bxVovR
- router http://amzn.to/2bxVovR
- dremel http://amzn.to/2bxVovR
- wire wheel http://amzn.to/2bxVovR
- welder http://amzn.to/2bxVovR
- welding helmet http://amzn.to/2bxVovR
If you're interested in any of the tools we used in the making of this bench you can find links above to those tools. These are amazon affiliate links, which helps me make more content and videos just like this one. You can also find out about other tools I use on the tool page of my website. http://www.stoneandsons.net/tools