Several weeks ago, my youngest brother showed up on my front doorstep with 2 doors, lots of indoor shutters, a little bit of beadboard and over 40 spindles (sometimes called balusters). He had been cleaning out his garage and thought I might be able to put his treasures to good use. So, in exchange for babysitting my niece, I received goodies to make a ton of projects.
Progress on my pile of goodies has been pathetically slow. Other than these 4 spindles, I have used one shutter.
The shutter was used for this set of mortise shelves. You can find that project here.
The last time I had 4 spindles, I made a bed tray, but one can only use so many bed trays. But a bench…you can definitely have more than one bench…for seating, a plant stand, for reaching those high cabinets in your kitchen, as a side table, at the end of a bed, under a window, make it longer and it’s a coffee table. A bench it is!
These spindles had tons of coats of paint on them, but why they ended up with this funky red/rust color is beyond me.
I wanted the total length for each of my legs to be 16″. When measuring spindles make sure you line up the decorative part of the spindle and go from there. Depending on where the spindle was situated on the stairway determines how long the spindle was…sometimes they are off by 4 or 5 inches.
If you want your legs to be straight down you can skip this step. I wanted a slight bend outward so I made a 5 degree cut. Just take a little notch out, making sure you leave the length intact.
To hold the legs in place cut a 1 x 4 piece of scrap wood 11 inches long and mark where your spindles will go.
Use a drill to cut out the hole you just marked. If you don’t have a large enough drill bit, you can cut the hole with a jigsaw.
With a hand held sander round off the bottom part of your legs. Once again, leave the length intact and just round off the edges.
Insert the leg into the wooden piece you just cut. Line up the top of the spindle with the top of the board. If you did miter the ends of the spindle, make sure the legs are facing the same way. Use wood glue and nails to secure.
Legs were painted with charcoal chalk paint. In my day, the color used to be called black. 🙂
To give a chippy paint finish, sanded off the legs to reveal some of the many colors hiding below. The top spindle (above) is finished with a coat of dark wax.
Two pieces of scrap 1 x 6 x 21″ were cut for the top. It wasn’t quite wide enough, so I added another 1 inch width of scrap wood to the center. Once the boards were lined up, a finishing nailer attached the top to the legs.
The edge of the bench was finished with 1×2 pine, mitered at the corners.
For added strength, used screws from the bottom, to attach the legs to the top of the bench.
Top was finished with a coat of black paint, followed by a layer of teal then splotches of white. A handheld sander smoothed out all the edges and revealed all the layers of paint.
A coat of dark wax, painted on and rubbed off with a rag, was all that was need to finish off the bench.
Four spindles down and about 40 to go. Anybody have any great ideas of what to do with a ton of spindles?