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How to make a Bench out of live edge wood

I have always had a deep love of nature. I grew up near forests and spent much of my childhood hiking under the cover of cedar trees. I'm pretty sure I spent more time outdoors than in. I think this is one of the reasons I love live edge wood so much. It brings that outdoor feel inside. In this case, I was making a bench for our county fair. We were updating one of the exhibit barns and I thought this feel would be great in the photography area.

live edge wood board on pallets with a woman's hands
live edge wood board

The first step is to get a nice piece of live edge wood. In my case I am lucky and my brother picked up a mill recently. He is planning on making a rough-cut wood barn and so these are just his scraps. Sadly, he uses them for firewood. I liberated as many as I could fit into my van and have been finding creative uses for them ever since. In fact, it is just about time for me to go up for another load.

live edge wood board being sanded on a pallet by a woman

Then, it is just a matter of sanding down the wood until it is smooth. I used 80 grit but if you wanted it even smoother, you could follow that up with 120 grit sandpaper.

live edge wood board on a pallet being brushed off by a woman
remove dust

After sanding the wood it is important to remove all the dust. I first used a hand brush and then I blew it off with the air compressor.

live edge wood board being measured by a woman
measure and mark

I then marked the placement of my bench legs. It is important to keep them pretty close to the end of the wood so that if someone sits on the end it doesn't tip over in a teeter-totter fashion. Since my board was so long, I added an additional leg in the center.

live edge wood board having bench legs screwed on by a woman
attach legs

I picked up some nice metal legs for the bench. It made it so much easier to construct and I really liked the contrast to the wood. The only thing I had to be careful of was making sure my screws weren't too long for my board.

live edge wood board being treated with polyurethane by a woman

I then finished the wood off with a clear finish. Even though it says it is clear the wood will still look different. In this case, I really liked it as it brought out the details in the wood more. Those dark lines near the outside of the board will only be there if a tree has been downed for a while before it was milled. I really like what they added to the piece.

live edge wood bench on concrete floor with metal and branches in the background
live edge wood bench

Then it was just a matter of transporting the bench up to the fairgrounds and making it available for use.

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