Sunday, 7 September 2014

The magical bench

The deck is almost finished now. There's just a little work still to be done on the doors that close in the lower side where we put the garbage and recycling bins and we're waiting for the glass railing to be installed, but we've been using it a lot this week. With summer finally arriving and all. In fact, I'm sitting on it right now enjoying the warm sun and my morning coffee. 

I'm soooo happy that I happened to see the idea for putting a bench seat along the side to cover the garbage bins. It's like it was fate. It not only puts our bins in a really convenient spot, it also makes great seating in what might otherwise be a dead space along the side by the door. 

We continued the horizontal rough cedar along the front edge of the bench. We thought about using the decking and running it vertically to match the floor, but I decided that I'd rather have the stair walls wrap along in one continuous line. 

We used the smooth decking material for the top of the benches, and have three hinged lids, each of which perfectly fits two garbage/recycling bins. This weekend I rigged it up so that the lids of the bins are attached so that when we lift the seat we don't have to bend in to lift them. It was pretty simple to do using a few eye hooks and some chandelier chain that we had down in the basement. 

I attached the large eye hooks to the lid of the recycling bins. Luckily, the bins come with a hole in the centre of the front of the lid, so I didn't have to bother with any drilling. The holes were a little large, so I used a couple of washers to keep the eye hooks in place. Then I screwed a small eye hook into the bottom of the bench seat and attached a length of chain to it. 

My original plan was to use S-hooks to attach the chain to the eye hook in the bin, but then I realized that I could just bend the last link on the chain and fashion a hook that would be permanently attached. 

These ends hook onto the lid of the cans and pull the tops of the bins open when the seat is lifted. Like magic. (...or physics). 

The hooks seem to stay attached to the bins after repeated lifting and lowering of the seat. We haven't tried unhooking them from the side yet, but I think that there should be plenty of length to manoeuvre them into a position where you can easily unhook them. 

Next up is deciding what to do for the bench. I originally thought that I would have seat cushions along the length, but I think I've changed my mind about that. The bench is just under 12 feet long - that's a lot of cushions to store when it rains and over the winter. Plus the height of the bench feels perfect to me now and I think that extra height might be less comfortable. The seats are very deep though, and the rough cut lumber kind of sticks to your clothes when you lean back, so I think that I might make some cushions for the back. I tried out the ones from our outdoor sofa and they were just about perfect. 

I think I'll wait and see if we really want cushions here though; I'm afraid that they might be more of a pain than they're worth. It's going to be a struggle to find space to store the ones we have now over the winter, and can't imagine almost doubling the amount of space we need. And since winter is all-too-quickly approaching, this is a decision that can easily be put off until next spring! 

1 comment:

  1. I. LOVE. IT!!!!!!!!! So happy to inspire you ;) And those chains are genius! I just adore that looooong bench...but agree with the pain of cushions. Those 5 across the back might be worth it, though. Makes your bench look so inviting!!


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