If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times. Dan’s need for constant, continuous improvement is admirable. Even if it comes at the expense of projects that were once perceived as his pride and joy.
Remember that impressive furniture set he built for our garage last summer? Those beautiful wooden frames with the comfy cushions that forced me to learn how to sew?
Well, if you guessed that Dan came up with a bigger, better idea, then you guessed right. But in this case, it’s actually a smaller, less bulky version of it’s former self.
The lighter design will make the furniture more mobile in our outdoor space, as we never really know what the day is going to bring. One day, the garage turns into a full-on workshop, and the next, we’re left sweeping up the sawdust because we’re having company over. Because of this, furniture that I can actually pick up will make my life a whole lot easier.
Dan used his trademark white oak to frame the two chairs and couch, cutting the wood into squared strips that were assembled into slatted, mission-inspired furniture.
The theme of framing this furniture is that you can never have enough clamps. Better yet, the theme of any carpentry build is the need for an excessive number of clamps. And dowels and wood glue, of course.
First, the chairs…
And now, the couch…
This post is just a snapshot of what it took to build this furniture, and doesn’t do justice to the work that Dan put into it. With that said, you’d be missing out if I didn’t share that I also got my hands dirty with this project.
Lots of slats and corners on this project meant that Dan was going to leave the staining to me. We used none other than Dark Walnut stain to bring this furniture to life.
Dan then finished the chairs off with chair webbing that will act as a base for the yet-to-be sewn cushions. Sounds like there’s a winter project added to my list. More to come on this project as I get my butt moving and re-sew some cushions.
Adding cushions (Update: 2/21/19)
While Dan finished building this furniture months ago, it took until now for me to get my butt in gear and sew some new cushions for them. We decided to stick with the same look as before (medium wood stain finished with black cushions), but learned our lesson in choosing the right fabric. Last time, we used a thin, shiny black fabric, thinking it would be easier to clean and maintain in their outdoor space. What we didn’t think of was how slippery they’d actually be once you sat down on the furniture (and also how hard the material would be to work with when sewing). So for this go-round, we went with a black linen material that was still soft and much more durable (and easier to work with).
The previous chairs used two 5″ foam cushions, one for the seat and one for the back. We found that this was a bit too stiff and not as comfy as we were hoping for. So for these cushions, we stuck with the 5″ foam base, but used over-sized, 24″ pillows for the back cushions instead, adding a bit of extra batting to help fill them in. Luckily I was able to re-use the majority of materials from the previous cushions (foam, pillow inserts, even zippers), aside from the fabric itself.
A few Sunday afternoons in January made for the perfect time to sew. There’s still no guessing whether I was swearing at playoff football on TV, at my poor sewing machine, or simply at myself for being a novice-at-best seamstress. But in the end, my sewing skills are slightly improving, and the cushions turned out just the way we wanted them to. For now, the chairs will live in our office, until it’s finally time to move them outdoors and put these to good use come Spring (whenever that is).