About This Project
After completing the table and being very happy with it, I had an overabundance of confidence making this bench. That probably is why it was so frustrating when things didn't go so well.
I made a few errors but two really stick out to me. The first was making the pedestals too much like the table pedestals. I screwed and glued an extra piece of wood on top of the bench pedestals (just like there is on the table) before I returned to the plans. This was not an easy fix and involved crowbars, chisels and cutting the heads off of stripped wood screws. Lesson: READ THE PLAN!
The second error relates to why the bench is a shade or two darker than the table. We used the same can of stain, but neglected to use wood conditioner. It appears that the wood conditioner (or our failure to mix the stain well enough) on the table made the stain much lighter than we expected. We have since fallen in love with the table's color; however, the bench came out the color we had originally expected for the table, which is much darker. We are going to do a test at some point to determine whether it was the wood conditioner or just the poor mixing that lightened the table. One other possible explanation is that we got the wood from a different place. This wood did seem a bit softer, in case that makes a difference. As a result of this color difference we are going to literally sit on it (the bench) for a while and decide whether we will strip and re-stain the table. It seems easier to re-do the table darker than lighten the bench since all we would need to remove is the poly. We're not in a hurry though. We might end up liking it well enough like we did the table. The bench almost matches our son's highchair, so it almost looks intentional. Lesson: TEST THE STAIN FIRST!
Fixes and stain-color aside, the bench was not terribly difficult to make and the plans (when I bothered to read them) were very easy to follow. I'm looking forward to bringing these lessons to the next project. My wife is requesting Adirondack chairs. Fortunately for us both, Mrs. White has shared some very good looking chair plans. Stay tuned.