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Monk's Bench for the wife


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Thought I would share a project from just before Christmas...

My wife had always wanted a Monk's Bench, but we never had the room, so after I did the extension on the front of our house last year we had a perfect space in the new hallway.

After trawling round some antique stores online, I came across this late 1800's heavily carved oak sideboard 

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It had a few dints, scratches and broken parts, hence being listed as a restoration project for £90 :) 

And after a short drive to take a look, it was in the back of my car and heading home with me.

It was almost 30cm too long for the space that we had decided on, so I had a bit of resizing to do. The first job was stripping it down into the individual components and removing the old dark varnish.

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After working out how best to resize it, I got on with cutting the selected pieces to size.

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And a bit more work stripping and sanding back

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I then used some light oak stain to get a better overall colour match

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I then removed the carved panels from the top section and prepared them to go onto the side panels

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Did a test fit of the base (notice the carved side panel precariously held in place with offcuts 😂

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Then secured the side panels and started putting the base back together.

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Next job was the large top, and after cutting, removing the old varnish and a bit of sanding, it was ready to be attached

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Next up was the back piece, precariously balance in place while working out the cuts needed

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I moved the base into it's new home in the hallway to make space in the workshop

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And then worked on the back piece

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Tested in place

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Then made some arms and secured everything

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Next job was to Danish oil it all, which had to be done in it's new location now that it was all together...

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After numerous coats of oil and allowing time for it cure, it was time to make the pads for the back.

I managed to find some William Morris fabric, which is in keeping with the time period the original piece is from, I cut some panels to match the shapes, used some foam padding and attached the fabric.

The finished piece -

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A lot of work, but worth it. The wife got her Christmas present and she is over the moon.

It is now known in our house as the treat seat, cupboards and draws are stacked full of goodies. 😆

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