How to make a log bench with HIDDEN storage!

Hey! I’m Bob and I like to make stuff! Today we’re gonna turn this log into a bench; with hidden storage. Today we’re gonna do something a little bit different. I don’t really know how this is gonna turn out. This is a piece of wood that my grandfather gave me before he passed and he had it in his shop for a long time so its nice and dry. I don’t know what kind of wood it is though. So I think what we’re gonna do is turn this into a bench. I don’t really have a plan for it, I haven’t done any sketching or anything like that, we’re just gonna kinda wing it. The only thing I do know is that this gonna be the top, its gonna have some sort of a steel leg assembly on each side or embedded in it, and I want there to be some hidden storage on the inside. So I think the first step is gonna be to flatten the top, that should make the whole thing a little bit easier to deal with. Alright, lets figure this thing out! I put a couple of bricks under both sides of this to hold in place, and went at the top with a hand plain and some chisels. Also just to point out, this is probably not the most effective way to flatten this top, and this is probably not the right plain to use, I probably don’t have the right chisels, but this is actually all that I have on hand so I’m just kinda using what I got. there are always better tools to be able to accomplish a task, but you have to use what you have at your disposal. So in this case it’s just gonna take a while. After a couple of hours it’s looking pretty good, its not perfectly flat but it really doesn’t need to be yet. If you did need to flatten the slab, probably the best way to do it would be to use a jig, and a router to just go back and forth and get it completely the same level everywhere. But in this case I just wanted it roughly flat, so I could flip it over and take it through the bandsaw. I want to make a cut about right here, all the way across, so the top section will come off. But this piece of wood is too tall to push through my bandsaw longways. And the reason I didn’t put it trough my planer to clean this off is that this too tall this way to fit through my planer. So my plan is, to flip this over, take it though the bandsaw, and cut this right in half, and then on each one of those two halves, run it through and cut off this section lets try it out and see if it works. I ran this through the bandsaw. Now I didn’t had the quite right blade for this, the one I had worked, but a thicker blade would have worked better for resawing. I just took my time to make sure to push this through, and not force it, because I didn’t want to snap the blade, and I wanted to try to keep the cut as straight as possible. I moved over the fence, to cut off the slices on the top of both of these pieces You can see a little bit of smoke coming up, in diffrent places, when it burns, and that told me I was pushing a little bit too hard, and I needed to slow down a little bit. At least on my bandsaw, if I try to use the fence, the wood will often try to wander away from the fence once it gets past the blade. As long as you’re aware of this, and you can work against it, it works pretty well. Making cuts like this by eye, often works better. Bonus points to you, if you saw the mistake I just made. But if not, let me explain what I did. I was more worried about the camera than the actual piece of wood, so when I picked it up and put it to the saw, I wasn’t paying attention to which face I was cutting. And in this case, it matters. So I cut of the wrong side of the piece of wood. It’s not a huge deal, I’m gonna glue it back on, and clamp it down, and then, I’ll go back and recut it again. Mainly it’s just a hassle more than anything else. So I covered these faces with a whole lot of glue, spread it out really evenly and then added some clamps. I let it dry for a couple of hours, and then went back and cut the correct face Eventually I ended up with this. And it was time to join the slabs back into a single slab. I lined them up and made some marks, to use for a biscuit joiner. Now the biscuits here don’t add a lot of strength, but they do help to align the pieces when you glue them back together. So I added some glue down into the slots that I cut, and along the faces. I added the biscuits into the slots, and pressed both pieces back together. The pencil marks also help you get it aligned, You wanna make sure that it’s aligned before you start clamping it down. Once you do it turns back into a single slab. Add the clamps on the top and the bottom to make sure that it didn’t warp any other direction as well. Then it was time to hollow out the center of this section I measured in from both ends of both pieces, just to give myself a point of reference, and then, used a circular saw to make some cuts there. these are my starting points. I wasn’t sure how hard this wood was and how well I would be able to cut it away with a chisel, so I cut from line to line to kinda give myself some marks, and to split the grain there. I went at it with the chisel and hammer and knocked away a single piece and i found that it was gonna be really tough to do this without cutting some slots. So, I took the circular saw again and went all the way down the piece cutting about every inch. Obviously the more cuts you make with the circular saw the smaller the pieces are gonna be which is going to make them easier to take out for about an hour i use the chisel and a hammer and just cut out as much of this area as I possibly could this was a lot of work but it was actually really rewarding as well eventually i tried to flatten out the space as much as i could but i didn’t want to get a perfectly flat just wasn’t really that important to the second piece i did the same thing but this time i just use a hammer to knock as much of this out as possible before using the chisel this was way faster with basically the same result in the end while I’m doing that I wanted to do a quick add for myself you guys may not even realize this but my website I like to make I saw all sorts of awesome t-shirts and stickers like this one it’s brand-new also sell digital plans for a lot of the projects that i make so you can make them yourself also signing up for my email newsletter is the best way to be sure that you never miss a single bit of content that I put out whether it’s videos or podcasts or anything else anyway just wanted to throw that out there go check it out I like to make stuff calm i got these pieces in the right orientation and then I made marks on the top and the sides of both ends just to make sure that I was cutting in the right places that took these to the table saw with the blade at one inch and the fence one inch from the blade Iran these pieces through and cut out a one-inch square on the end of both pieces this was a little bit sketchy because none of the faces were flat so the wood didn’t sit against the fence for the tabletop perfectly flat if you’re doing anything like this be really careful because they can catch and kick back very easily with these cuts made I line the pieces up and then drew marks on both ends just add some biscuits like I did before to reattach these pieces when I went to glue these pieces up i made sure not to let the glue seat down into where the bark is it would be really difficult to remove any of the glue that it’s squeezed out into that bark area so just made sure to cover all the surfaces as well as possible i put in the biscuits and reattach these pieces and then added clamps to the flat side to hold them together this work pretty well but it was actually a really weird shape to clamp also notice that some of the bark was coming loose from the bottom where I’d cut it so i squared some glue underneath the bark in between it and the wood and it needs a strap to hold them together while it dried then it was time to make the steel frame for this bench i use my new miter saw to cut the steel for the first time and they’re not a sponsor for this video but i have to say i was really impressed with how well it worked with other cells in the past I’ve had trouble with deflection when you’re cutting an angle but this one actually cut a perfect 45 i measured out the short side of this piece of steel to match the with the log then I cut the other minor on the other end I didn’t test fit with this piece to make sure that it fits inside the log and then i just copied it sighs onto another piece of steel cut this one down as well and these will act as the top and the bottom follow the same procedure to do the uprights for each one of the frames and ended up with eight pieces to make a frame for each end of this log these are a little bit taller than they are wide so make sure to lay them out to make sure that I was grabbing the right pieces i took the pieces from the top and then drill three holes down into them you step bits here just to get a bigger hole at the top and a smaller hole of the bottom I laid out the frame and make sure that all the corners were square before putting attack on to each corner just to hold the pieces in place once i had a nice stack there and went back and did full welds on the inside and the outside of all of the corners I like frames like this to be flush on the outside to the flap discs to each one of these welds to get them completely flat on the inside corner I wasn’t quite as worried but I used a file just to try to wear them down a little bit then whatever the entire thing with the flap discs really lightly just to remove the mill scale then I made another frame the exact same way for the other side I flipped over the log and fit these pieces into the gaps that I’d cut once they were in place i measured and marked the center of each one of these and then measure the distance between them I just cut another piece of square tubing with a flat end and fit in between these two it was easier in this case to hold them in place with clamps and tag them before doing full welds rather than trying to use the welding team this way I knew that they were perfectly square to each other and in the right position I ground this one down and shine it up with the flap discs just like I did the other frames then I took it outside and added a couple of light coats of semi gloss black and while that dried I got the hand plane to completely flattened the top actually I didn’t fully flatten it there are some areas that were pretty low and so for those used an orbital sander just around them over you’re just going to be sitting on this so really I just wanted to smooth it out to hold the seat panel in place I made a couple of cleats out of hardwood just too attached to each end I cut curves on the bandsaw on each end of these so that they would fit down in the cut out that i made on the inside of the log once i had them flush with the top surface added a little bit of CA glue to them and then activator to the seat and carefully lined it up and set it down and those pieces bonded immediately this glue really just held these pieces in place we’ll have pre-drilled holes and drove in some long screws to permanently attach them then it was time to assemble everything the easiest way I found to do this was to set the frame on its side and then wedge the login from the backside it was tight enough that it held in place so i can drive in the screws remember how i made those larger holes on the top of the frame that’s so I could drive in a screw through the hole in the bottom into the wood is pretty long screws so this thing really locked together once i had all the screws in a flipped it up and put on the top then I applied some finish to all the surfaces except for the bargain that was it I’m really happy with how this thing turned out especially considering the fact that i didn’t even sketch anything to start with this was all made up on the fly and I just kind of figured it out as it went along which is really fun sometimes when you’re using logs like this that are not mill down it’s really fun to work around their shape rather than forcing the wood to work into the shape that you want in this case i just measured as i went and made the steel frame to fit alongside the wood and speaking of the metal frame i was a lot more comfortable using the welder this time and I was really happy with how this frame came out that’s good because hopefully that’ll motivate me to do more metal projects in the future the more use the tools the more comfortable i am with them if you’re like me on the East Coast you may have noticed that there’s a lot of trees being knocked down right now for hurricane Matthew or another hurricane that’s come through if you go around and collect some of that lower you can use it for projects like this after it dries out just remember you don’t always have to go to the big-box store to get the wood that you use for your projects i hope you liked this one let me know what you think about it down in the comments I’ve got all sorts of other videos that you might be interested in metalworking woodworking electronics 3d printing all sorts of stuff so be sure to check those out and don’t forget to subscribe thanks for watching guys see you next time


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