My parents were staying with us a few weeks ago. Dad and I had talked about building an outdoor bench for a weekend project but hadn’t been able to source any suitable timber. The next day Dad came across some wood being thrown out on the side of the road while taking a morning walk. It was from an old house that was being renovated. We took the station wagon down and picked up as much as we thought we’d need. We actually ended up going back again for more, this time the builders were there and they let us go around the back and pick through what they had.
To the untrained eye this would probably just look like a pile of rubbish on the side of the road but it is in fact gorgeous Rimu. A New Zealand native tree which takes ~450 years to grow to maturity.
I wish I’d taken more photos but after much de-nailing, planing, cutting, drilling and screwing this is what we came up with. To be fair, Dad did most of the planing. All by hand using a trusty Stanley No.7
After gluing and screwing the top planks down I used a belt sander to flatten and smooth the top. The screw holes were filled with plugs cut out of Rimu using a plug cutter
Free wood + many hours of manual labor = one mighty solid Rimu bench! The design is based on this providence bench.