My Highly Technical Garden Seat
Hi there Fraternity.
What are you doing. Working on highly advanced technical things. Oh, came the reply as she wandered suspiciously around my inner sanctum.
Whatís thatís she enquired, pointing to my Baileys plane. Itís a plane I answered. Is it highly technical she asked? Yes, very I answered again. More wandering ensued.
Whatís that she asked, again. Itís an orbital sander I again answered. Is it highly... yes, itís highly technical I finished for her.
I was getting worried as I hadnít worked out her strategy yet. I couldnít concentrate on my technical things, and she knew it.
More touching my tools, and she wasnít putting them back in their allotted spaces. She even lifted one up.
I could feel the sweat trickling down my spine. What are these things she asked, you know perfectly well what these things are I answered? Tell me again I forget. She has never forgotten anything in her life.
Her comes the rub I thought.
They are garden seat bench ends I reminded her. Are they old she asked? Yes, Victorian I replied. Look good in the garden came the reply. Iím sure they would but Iím really busy at the moment. What, with highly technical things she said with a hint of sarcasm underlying the statement.
Busy with what she probed, havenít you just spent the last day completely cleaning your workshop. Yes. Well donít you always clean it when you have finished a project. Yes, and Iím getting ready for an important new project. Whatís that, she inquired. She was backing me into a corner and I donít mean the workshop corner.
I couldnít see a way out and worse still I didnít have any highly technical project in mind, and she knew it as she circled me like a cheetah chasing an antelope with a broken leg on the Serengeti plains.
I was beaten, submission came with a sigh and an OK.
Oh, thank you dear what a surprise, canít wait to try it out and off she trotted out of my once sanctum after having a very successful hunt.
So, lads here it is my cheetahs garden bench.
I was given the bench ends many years ago from a friend of my son who had no use for them.
He worked in an engineering factory that had an industrial shot blast facility and he thankfully took them back to bare metal for me. An indication of the quality of the metal is demonstrated by the fact they have been sitting in my workshop for approx. 20 years and there was only a very light dusting of surface rust that was evident.
I wire brushed them and gave them a couple of coats of grey spray paint, finished
As for the length of the seat, they are normally about 5 feet, but my good wife wanted a smaller profile so ended up 4 feet. The wood was a 4.8metre baton of 145x45mm structural redwood, just cut into 4 and sanded and sanded and sanded. Ended up going to 150 grit.
Didnít want the boards too light so 3 coats of antique stain and two coats of exterior polyurethane satin clear did the job.
Now you may have noticed one little visual anomaly. The Victorians were a lot smaller than we are today and when I positioned the back-rest boards to the front of the cast iron uprights the actual seat was far too narrow, so decide to fit on the rear instead of the front and its not perfect but acceptable.
Had to bore larger diameter bolt holes in the cast frames as I felt they did not have the structural integrity to keep the cast frames upright and solid, which proved correct.
I had to cut the bolts to length and didnít like the thought of having exposed metal ends and I had just bought a touch up kit for my car which was iridium grey, so one coat of primer and iridium, and just as a was about to finish off with the clear lacquer coat my wife appeared at my side. What are you doing she asked? Iím protecting the cut ends of the bolts. But they are already done she noted. Yes, Iím clear coating them now. What for she asked, incredulously. It says it on the instruction sheet I offered realising at that moment that I had just taken this too far, clear coating the end of the bolts Doh!
In all the cost was £56 i.e. £26 for the wood and the rest on varnish and ironmongery.
So, lads thatís it. The Serengeti is once more all quiet. Hopefully my pet Cheetah wonít have to feed again for a while.