DIY Bench from Old Chairs: How to Make

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As was promised, the following is a tutorial that will demonstrate how to make a traditional French or European-style high-arm DIY bench from old chairs.

You can make a bench that looks like it was purchased from an upscale store with a couple of damaged chairs, some pine, and scrap wood by using some simple tools. It’s a fantastic project for recycling old things!

DIY Bench from Old Chairs

DIY Bench From Old Chairs
Image source: An Oregon Cottage
The chairs that we used were knockoffs of the Duncan-Phyfe style and were approximately fifty years old. These chairs were made of thin wood and were of poor construction.

We’re calling this a “French-style” bench because I saw a bench quite similar to it sold by Ballard Designs (for more than $300!) that was based on an antique from France, but I’ve also seen this type referred to as a “window bench” in other contexts.

DIY Bench from Old Chairs: How to make

DIY bench from old chairs: how to make
Image source: An Oregon Cottage
Look for chairs that have a pleasing profile when viewed from the side. The most comfortable chairs are those that have a gentle arch to them.

The backs have to be a single piece, starting from the top and going all the way down to the back legs.

Also take into consideration the height of the chair backs (ours are 16 inches from the top of the bench seat), as well as whether or not they have a crosspiece that spans the back legs and provides a convenient attachment point for the seat’s wood.

Take out the seats and the legs up front. The seats of this imitation Duncan Phyfe chair were fastened in place with four screws each. The legs were coming off and merely pulling apart since the glue was no longer holding the dowels firmly in place.

DIY Bench From Old Chairs: How to make