Scrappy | Reclaimed Wood Bench
By the way, scarf joint nomenclature is a language unto itself. The particular scarf joint in our Scrappy Bench is a “cogged, bladed, tabled and wedged half lap“. More beautifully, the Japanese call it “Kanawa Tsugi“. There are dozens of really cool traditional scarf joints. Check out the diagrams here, from Jack Sobon, the master timber framer and historian.
Reclaimed wood bench with personality plus
In our regular work as timber framers we end up with a lot of scraps – ends of the timbers that are literally the heart of the tree. They’re too pretty to throw away so we use them as small tables at the shop and our homes. But we’re out of room! So, we thought, let’s turn them into reclaimed wood benches – Scrappy Benches!
The “Scrappies” are made from whatever wood species we have in the shop. Sometimes we’ll cull through our wood pile to pull out timbers that might not grade out for our structural frames, because of large knots or other features that won’t meet the engineering specifications. But it’s these same “structural imperfections” that make perfect signatures for the benches—and what make each bench unique. Recently we were able to buy a whole load of repurposed Douglas fir logs from a building that was never built, and the pile of logs was left to rot. We sawed them into clean timbers and found pure gold—perfect for the Farmhouse Table and the Scrappy Bench.
Part of the motivation for the Scrappy Project was that if the family of one of our crew becomes ill, or if we have to close the shop temporarily, the guys can load their pickups with wood and tools and make the Scrappy kits at home. We just want to keep everyone working. Each bench is a one of a kind, built by an individual craftsperson who considers it an honor to be able to sign his or her work.
Each Scrappy features a traditional scarf joint to join the scraps together. Scarf joints are strong, beautiful, and very traditional—and pretty close to magic as you put them together. The Scrappy Bench is a great family project, one you will love assembling with your kids!