This old oak wood bench mysteriously entered the Myers family back in the 1960’s. It had been a well-used bench in its life before appearing to Walt; it might be from Ohio family or possibly from a shop. From the old hardware I would guess it is at least 75 years old.
Last week I refurbished the top using clamps and wood glue and wood filler and a palm sander and sealer.
Today I spent three hours getting the clamps to operate smoothly. The metal clamp on the Front L was a lesson of WD40 & wire brush & steel wool & white grease; it now pulls out smoothly and cranks back in like new. The wooden square clamp on the R-end had lost a carriage bolt and sagged to the front. The old bolt had split the top, and dropped out unnoticed long ago. I used a 600lb lever clamp to pull it all together again, then drilled out the old hole for a new carriage bolt, and used a forstner bit to counter sink the head. Once the bolt was in place I set in a 3.5″ self tapping deck screw horizontally from the face to back the bolt and hold the old split together.
Scrubbing with laquer thinner and steel wool for the entire wooden body came next. The steel wool would turn solid with hard grime if left to sit. The blackened varnish lifted away in a few passes. I popped out the wood pins holding it together and lubricated the hinges that allow it to fold flat, then just cleaned the pins and reseated them. The entire piece was then rubbed down with bowling alley wax and buffed out.
The tough little unit is ready for a new era of helping out Danger.