Introduction: Reclaimed Driftwood Bench

About: We are designer/builders making cool stuff and cozy mod tiny cabins from recycled materials. We have a bunch of adventures coming up so please follow us if you would like to see more recycled and energy effic…

This stationary bench was designed for an entryway as a great place to set down groceries or change out some muddy boots. It brings instant character to a space but also feels modern and simple and was very easy to build using only a drill.

Step 1: Gather Materials

Just a handful of materials are needed.

1 perfectly sized piece of Driftwood

2 ea 12" long 3/4" Threaded Galvanized Pipe (you may need longer or shorter depending on the thickness of your driftwood)

4 ea 3/4" Flanges

2 ea 'L' Brackets about the same length of your driftwood thickness

24 ea appropriately sized exterior grade screws (we used 2" #8 philips head screws)

Step 2: Sourcing Appropriate Driftwood

Obviously finding your driftwood is a challenge, but maybe not as much of a challenge as you might think. Naturally formed driftwood actually plays many important role in the Eco System by protecting beaches from erosion and providing habitat for a variety of species so please don't just start removing anything.

However parts of docks and piers are also constantly finding their way into oceans and beaches. These often times have harsh chemicals or toxic paints that should be removed from beaches. Look for artificial cuts, painted areas and the tell tale surface cuts of pressure treated wood.

If you find one that is close to the size you need you can always cut it down. If its too large to carry I've been known to mark its location and kayak back during high tide and drag lumber back via ropes.

Be aware of private property and beach access rights in your area.

With any luck you will find a piece that has been dashed around by the waves for awhile and has the appropriate thickness, character, smoothness and length.

There are also recycled house parts stores and even reclaimed lumber stores where you may be able to find what you want. This basic plan would work with any sturdy piece of wood so think creatively.

Step 3: Tools

The only tools we used for this project were a drill with a Philips head bit, you may want a tape measure, drill bit to pre-drill holes or maybe even a saw to cut down your wood.

Be extra careful when handling reclaimed driftwood. Nails or hardware may be hidden and some older boards contain harsh chemicals and paints. Wear a mask if you're doing anything that might create sawdust.

Step 4: Assemble Legs and Mount

The legs for this are really easy. Just assemble the the galvanized pipe to the galvanized flange and screw them into the driftwood. This was a little tricky because our driftwood was a little lumpy and not regular shaped. We moved them around until we found an area that seemed level and flat. We screwed them in at this time but didn't tighten them all the way so that we would have a little wiggle room later to adjust things.

Step 5: You're Not Done Yet!

You can pick up the bench and place it where you will like it. But it will still be wobbly at this point even if you screw down the flanges. We used 'L' brackets by simply holding them up under the bench where they would need to be mounted and then removing the bench while still holding the L Bracket against the wall. We were able to calculate where our support beams were on the interior wall so were able to mount these very securely. Using this method will give a lot of structural support but the hardware can't be seen when the bench is in place.

We then put the bench back in place, made sure it was level and then screwed it all into place, making sure that we also attached some screws through the 'L' brackets into the bottom of the driftwood.

Step 6: Have a Seat!

We are not sure what to call this style, maybe Rustic Modern? Or Charming Contemporary? Whatever you want to call it this is a very solid and practical bench that will give instant aged character to your entryway or anywhere you may need a built in bench.

After this project we ended up making a matching Reclaimed Driftwood Coat Hanger so make sure and check that out too!

Before and After Contest

Participated in the
Before and After Contest