The bench

When we renovated the kitchen, I had my eye on a particular piece of wood in our building’s basement. Untouched for years, it appeared to be an old support beam from when the twin homes were converted into 6 apartment units in the 1910s. I thought it would make a good shelf along the sink wall, but in the five months since, I’ve gotten used to how open and uncluttered that space has been. Upon closer examination, the beam had some damage to it, as well. It looks to me like old, though not active, termite evidence, and I was reluctant to bring it up into our living space.

Finally, though, the perfect project came to mind! I used the beam to create a long bench on the porch, for plants and people, when we need more space than the church pew.

The design and assembly were dead simple. I’ve loved iron pipe designs for years and have designed some things that have just never comes to fruition. On a DIY budget, the costs add up pretty quickly! For the bench, I was able to keep the expensive material to a minimum, and it’s such a good match to the worn and weathered wood.

To make the bench legs, I purchased six 12″ lengths of 1/2″ pipe and twelve flanges.

And them, in what should have been a speedy assembly, my aging power drill died (hence the death grip of trying to will power into it!). Luckily we have lovely and handy neighbors, and a couple quick texts later, I had a peppy loaner drill to use.

One flange was attached with screws to the beam, and then the pipe with a second flange at the other end was screwed into the fitting. Repeat five more times, and you have a bench!

We put a couple coats of Rockler’s Salad Bowl Finish on it, which is technically not an outdoor sealant, but it’s holding up beautifully on our butcher block counters, and we had nearly a full quart left over. The plan is to fill it all with thriving greenery, which has begun in hopeful measures. I’m always not the best gardener, but I’m longing for a little patch of green space to call our own!



  1. Looks great!!

    1. Thank you!!! I’m pretty pleased with it!

  2. The bench looks fabulous! Love the industrial style legs. I’m eager to see it covered with plants.

  3. […] One small revelation of note: if you use iron pipe for an outdoor project, it will rust, very quickly! I learned this the hard way a few short days after putting together the bench. […]

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