I realize I just completed an entire week dedicated to the cold season of Fall and now I’m doing a blog about an outdoor sofa. I promise you I’m not crazy. The reason is because it was just completed, I’ve been dying to share it with you and I certainly wanted to share it with you before it was Christmas. Otherwise, then you’d really think I was crazy!!
Do you recall that not long ago I was talking about Funky Junk Interiors Donna, and how she made a fab outdoor sofa from pallet wood? We finally got around to making our own version of her sofa from the pallet wood we found back in August. I say “we” extremely lightly! The hubby (of Cathartic Cuisine) did all of the work. I mean, I saw Donna’s post, had the idea we should build one too, found the pallet wood and asked him if he’d build it? Does that count?
Well, the hubby has agreed to share with you how he built our sofa, and the lessons he learned in the process. So, without further adieu . . . ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you . . . the hubby:
“Greetings, blogland. I don’t often get over to the home decoration aisles at Blogs ‘R Us, choosing to stay in the sporting goods section, but Laura has had this project on my honey-do list for a while now, and I promised I would have it done before a forthcoming vacation, so I struck a bargain with her. I would work to finish this pallet wood sofa on three conditions:
- I get to do it without being interrupted; once I’m started, I work unencumbered until the next big breaking point.
- She does the sanding.
- I get to guest blog about it.
Surprisingly, she was all in. So, needless to say, I was stuck with my foot-in-my-mouth and had to get to work building the wood sofa seen here from Donna at Funky Junk. Since Donna did such a fantastic job on the instructions, I’m not going to walk you through this step-by-step. Instead, I’ll provide a few insights and simple ideas I had while working on our version to help give you more inspiration, should you choose to work your own magic on a pile of discarded wood.
First and foremost, make sure you have enough room to work. This is not a project for a small parcel of unoccupied space. You’ll need to be able to spread out your wood, discard your junk, and – in the interest of saving time – have multiple work stations. For us, that meant the driveway. Our garage is packed with furniture pieces Laura is working on and we don’t have the luxury of a workshop or craft room in this house. So, a few extension cords and a radio converted our driveway into the perfect work zone for a weekend.
Second, make sure you have work gloves. Pallet wood is not always safe.
Third, make it easy on yourself, particularly for those guys who are going to get suckered in to doing this job, eye-batting and “pwetty pweases” and all. Rather than pulling out the entire cross pieces of the pallets, I opted to rip off the ends using my circular saw, as I knew from previous measurements that I wouldn’t need the entire lengths. This cut down on a lot of tedious nail pulling.
Speaking of nails, definitely make sure you have a “catch all” bucket. I keep one of these handy for every project I do. I place it directly under one of my workstations. It allows me to toss in every rusty nail, bent screw, splinter and discarded cut. It also makes clean up a breeze, and is infinitely safer than letting everything fall to the ground to be swept up later. With the penchant I have for walking around barefoot, I guarantee this step has saved me many tetanus checkups.
Make yourself some cheats. I knew I wanted to have the wood overhang the front of the frame by about a half and inch. So with a square, I made a cut on a piece of scrap wood, then marked off my desired overhang. I then used it to ensure that each piece of wood on the seat was straight and at the same length off the frame in front.
If your wife is a furniture refurbisher, antique expert, or has even the slightest bit of design taste like someone I know, make sure you pick a selection of different types, sizes and colors of wood. This apparently makes the couch more comfortable. Or more visually appealing. Or one or the other, I don’t remember which. Also, don’t be afraid to lay out the wood beforehand to get a good mix and look (and to make sure she’s okay with it). I used masking tape to mark each piece when I had finally achieved the right look.
Finally, have a loyal best friend nearby. One who will look on eagerly at all you do, and won’t laugh too hard when you mistake: a 6-inch cut for a 16-inch one.
Other notes: We purchased the wood for the frame at Home Depot, since we didn’t have any extra 3×3 or 4×4 wood on hand. The pallets were all picked up from college students moving around here during the start of the fall semester. I utilized one 10-inch self-tapping wood screw for each frame joint, then surrounded it with four 4-inch exterior wood screws. With the use we will get out of this piece of furniture over the coming years, I wanted to make sure it was good and solid. Laura sanded all of the wood and finished the piece with Thompson’s WaterSeal Multi-Surface Waterproofer in Clear since this will be outdoors year-round..
I used three saws for the work. However, a compound mitre would get everything done short of pulling wood.
Does that mean it can be called a “we” project? I didn’t think so.
A big thank you to the hubby for doing such an amazing job! It looks fan-tastic and I can’t wait to cozy up on it in the Spring with a hot cup of coffee, a good book and my favorite guest blogger!
It was also Featured here:
Won a contest at the CSI Project:
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Funky Junk Interiors – Favorite 2011 Outdoor Project