Introduction: We Turned a Harvey Destroyed Live Edge Counter Top to a Bench!
Hurricane Harvey sucked, all floods do. We had just re done the kitchen and had put in Walnut hardwood expoy covered bar tops on the island. Harvey messed them up and they've been sitting in the backyard ever since. One day while fixing up the yard, we thought we might be able to salvage the walnut by removing the epoxy with a grinder. (And not of the sandwich variety lol). With some leftover landscape timbers, outdoor deck stain we turned our miss fortune into a new place to sit in the backyard! Fyi if you do this, wear all sorts of protective gear so you don't breathe anything in. Grinding down epoxy makes a huge mess, and this was nasty epoxy on top of that. (Also, close the garage door - duh! Don't be like us!!)
Step 1: Supplies
Saftey Gear! Can't stress this enough. Face mask, and goggles. Anything to keep the epoxy bits from your lungs. (Also fyi don't be like us, close the garage door and cover all surrounding areas... This stuff gets EVERYWHERE!)
Bench top - ours is leftover live edge walnut covered in epoxy and yucky water.
Bench legs/base- we used the last of the landscape timbers from the yard project
1 1/2 to 2in outdoor screws
Fostner bit the same size as the head of your screw (to sink into the bench top)
Compound miter saw (or something of the like to cut down your legs)
Olympic outdoor water seal clear
Step 2: Legs/base
Because we are going to use such a beefy bench top, we needed a good base to hold things up. We just happen to be working with landscape timbers out front and thought those would be perfect. Knowing where we wanted to place the bench, we kinda worked backwards. We measured how tall we wanted the bench to be and worked around that. I believe we cut the legs to be 13.5 inches. We cut 6 legs. Then we cut three support legs to fit in between two legs and under the top. (It's hard to explain without knowing the proper terms... Please check out the picture). We measured how far the legs would sit underneath the bench top and cut a piece of landscape timber to fit between and screwed them together with the heavy duty screws. (No fostner bit needed just drill a pilot hole first)
Make two more the exact same. Evenly space them out, we laid down the bench top next to where we were working so we could keep an eye on the length. Then cut two longer boards to be the apron of the bench. These sit directly across the top of the legs. Check the pictures for more info. We then screwed those into each leg.
Step 3: Grinding Away!
We put the bench top on it's legs and checked how level it was. When we were happy, it was time to cleanup the bench top. We used an Orbital grinder to remove any old water/mold/funk/gunk/and epoxy. This walnut live edge has been out in the backyard and in the garage since the flood. You would think the walnut would be destroyed, moldy, sun bleached and who knows what else, but actually our epoxy (and our multi layers) saved the walnut. Once we started clearing the nasty bits away, it was perfect for a bench! Warning wear all safety gear possible. Mask, dust remover, goggles etc. This epoxy dust is really bad to breathe in and on top of it ours was extra nasty. Anytime you do a restoration project always err on the side of safety. Also, don't be like us .. lol .. close the garage/shop door. Cover anything you don't want COVERED in epoxy dust. This gets EVERYWHERE! We have to spend a project day cleaning now lol.
Step 4: Attach and Seal
Once we cleaned off the top we marked where each of the leg tops hit the bench top. Then we used a fostner bit that matched the top of the outdoor screw top and drilled a hole just deep enough to set the screws into the bench. This way when you sit down, you don't sit on screws. Once those were drilled then we drilled pilot holes and then attached the screws.
We then carried the kinda heavy bench to its new home in the backyard. We moved it so it was farrrr away from the epoxy dust mess. We used an outdoor water seal in clear, rags, and sponges brushes and covered the whole bench. We let it dry and applied about three coats total. That's it! We will probably in a few years add another coat of seal, just to keep it nice, but that's it.