Introduction: Bench From Old Beams

About: Mostly harmless

When I decided to renew our hallway I had many ideas but no real plan what kind of furniture i wanted... of course function and an economic solution were a criteria...

I was wandering around the house and found those reclaimed wooden beams I was keeping for some reason - the idea was born! A hallwaybench from old beams!

I came up with a design and started immediatly and I was very surprised how cool it turned out. I love the combination of grey and light wood and also the cracks.

It's 100% wooden no nails or screws.

I built it in one day only with stuff I already had.

meanwhile the bench got company of a mirror, a coatrack and a shoerack in the same style.

For me it was the first time to build something like that - I keep learning and assume everyone can master everything if they just try :)

Step 1: Materials and Tools


wooden beams 15cm x 15cm (of course you can us other dimensions )

lath wood that matches your drill ( I used 2,5cm x 2,5cm)


hand saw

hand drill 2 cm ( or whatever you have on hand, but the diameter should be at least 2 cm I guess)

a sharp knife

big hammer

pencil and measuring ruler

optional, but if you want the same kind of design:

a saburr-tooth donut wheel round faced in coarse (green)

a grinder

Step 2: Layout and Sawing the Pieces

the first picture shows the drawing of my design

it shows the 4 dowels that are made of the square lath wood.

cut the beams i following dimensions - use the hand saw or if you are good with the chainsaw it will be faster :D

5 pieces 50cm length

2 pieces 145cm length

1 piece 175cm length

of course you can adjust the length to your needs.

Step 3: Measuring and Drilling

start with the 175cm beam (middle piece )

measure 60cm in from each side and mark for driling

use your hand drill and drill all the way through the beam.

clear the hole of all drill chips

now stack the middle beam and one of the sides (145cm) on each other ( position 15cm in on every side )

mark the position, so you can see if the beames move sideways - they should'nt ;)

drill through the already made holes into the sidebeam - but only about 10cm deep, not through!

now you have to flip the middle beam onto the next sidebeam ( that step is neccesary if your drilled holes aren't accurate and that's pretty likely with those old hand drills ) - doublecheck that your upside of the bench still fits.

drill through the middlebeam holes into the next sidebeam - again only about 10cm deep, not through!

Step 4: Making the Dowels

in this step you don't have to be very accurate just eyeballing.

shape the lath wood roughly with the knife so that it almost fits into your drilled holes

- the dowels should be a little to big and it's good if they are angular.

cut them into 16 to 18cm long pieces.

Step 5: Joining the Beams

make sure all holes are cleared from wood chips!

hit the first 2 dowels with the big hammer into the holes in one of the sidebeams.

stop when there are only 6 to 8 cms left.

place the middle beam onto the dowels upper side and hammer it down with hard accurate hits (place a board onto the beam so you don't leave any hammer marks on it.)

now it's only one beam left to join - hammer 2 more dowels into the middlebeam, place the othe sidebeam on top and join it with pure force!

- congratulations the seating section is done!

now move on to the 4 legs - don't worry it's the same technique you'll master it!

Step 6: 4 Legs

Basically the same technique - don't forget to flip the middle beam!

drill 2 holes in the middlebeam sides exactly in the middle 7,5cm from each side

place the leg under it ( mark every leg and hole so you won't mix them up )

drill through the middlebeam into the leg about 8 cm deep - not through!

do so with every 4 legs.

shape 4 dowels like you did before - make them about 15 cm long

join the legs to the middle section - a little wood glue won't harm on this step!

By now the basic bench is done!

if you like the fancy sanding I did follow the next step!

Step 7: Fancy Sanding

this step I would describe like this :

totally unfunctional - maybe even unneccessary - experimental and decorative (my opinion) and somehow cool

when the bench was done I did not really know how to make it a little more appealing than just grey wood beams. that's what I came up with and I'm very pleased with that -one of a kind- result.

I used a Saburr tooth donut for the grinder - such a cool thing! My husband is a chainsaw artist so that's why we already had the saburr tooth.

I just made random rounded lines

It's very Powerful and get's the job done in no time!

Only the lack of arm muscles was a problem for me - it's quite demanding to hold the grinder very hard but I managed it anyway in 1 hour.

Originally I planned to stain the bench dark brown, but when I was finished with the sanding I loved the grey and light look so much - so I just left it like this!

Step 8: All New Hallway Furniture

like this my whole hallway got new furniture - and best part I did not spend any money - not even one lousy crown!

everything was done from old grey beams or boards

I got the mirror from an old bar cabinet and just fixed the frame

the coatrack was basically done in the same drilling - dowel technique as the bench

I cheated with the shoerack - no dowels just 10 screws and to cover the holes small decorative coppernails

If you like my collection of 0$ hallway furniture let me know and please vote in the contest!

Thank you!

Reclaimed Contest 2017

Participated in the
Reclaimed Contest 2017

Hand Tools Only Contest 2017

Participated in the
Hand Tools Only Contest 2017

Furniture Contest 2017

Participated in the
Furniture Contest 2017