Anyway, so here's what I did with the beam and those boards:
Beam Board Bench
I made a bench. I began by sanding all sides of the beam lightly; not enough to smooth them out totally, just enough to clean them up a bit and highlight the milling. After that, I decided which side of the beam was "top", and sanded that side as smooth as I could. Then, I cut two slots into the board to hold pieces of board. Each slot is parallel to the end of the beam to which it is closer. The one end is cut (maybe broken?) at about 64 degrees, so the leg at that end is angled to match. Then, I cut two lengths of board. The first was just a straight rectangle, but the second had to be a specific length and have a specific angle at the lower end so that the bench would be level once assembled. Then, I just slotted the board pieces into the beam slots to make a bench for the porch. There's no hardware anywhere in the bench, that's how tight everything joins together. Most thematically, all this was done by hand. No power tools of any kind were used, just my hand saw, some chisels, a mallet, and some sandpaper. I'm very proud of it. The fact that it's all recycled lumber makes me very happy. $15 in materials to make a bench that would probably cost hundreds of dollars in a catalog or gallery.
2009.12.21 at 12:00am EST