There’s nothing we like better than an interesting ‘project’ to get stuck into. Over the years we’ve embarked on many, but perhaps as a result of getting old or just becoming more discerning, we haven’t had a good project on the go for a while.

The last one we did was a couple of years ago when we bought 4 stripped, ‘smokers bow’ chairs on E Bay, and did them up. Result? For a relatively small cost and a lot of elbow grease, we ended up with 4 handsome chairs.

So, here we are, 2 years down the line, and we’ve been on E Bay again. This time we bought an old, in fact very old, oak settle. It was duly delivered, and to be honest when I first saw it I was a little disappointed. We knew the cushion seat would be missing, but it was dull, shabby, dirty and looked every bit of it’s 150+ years.

We knew that one of the old, round, wooden pegs that had been used in it’s construction was also missing. Unfortunately one of the others fell out during collection from West Sussex, but I gave the delivery man a stamped addressed envelope and he promised to post it to us, as he had “left it in his other trousers”.

He was as good as his word. Sadly some light-fingered individual at Sheffield sorting office must have thought it felt like a ‘valuable’ and so when the envelope was delivered the corner had been torn off, so now we needed to replace 2 pegs.

I’ve mentioned before how our northern up-bringing means we have a ”make-do-and-mend’ attitude.  The shed and garage are full of ‘stuff’ and Peter is a past master at this kind of recycling. There are very few situations where we can’t find something ‘in stock’ that is suitable for a particular job.

This was no exception. Hidden away at the back of my shed I have a small collection of the wooden sticks from firework rockets that have fallen in our garden over the years. I use them as plant stakes. One of these, although square in section, looked as if it would be just the right diameter for a ‘new’ peg with it’s corners whittled off. And so it was.

The thing we needed for the foundation of the new seat had to be approximately 49″ long and 19″ deep. Oh what riches! We managed to find 2 pieces of wood that were almost exactly the right size for the job. Sadly one, a piece of chip-board,  was quite badly affected by damp (it had been in the shed for years), so made cutting a decent piece quite challenging.

In the end we opted for the other, a piece of solid mahogany that had once been part of a wardrobe. That too had been in the shed for years, but had fared somewhat better.

So, all the pieces are now in place for the first stage of our new project. The second stage will be finding something suitable (hopefully in stock) to upholster and cover the new seat. Here is a picture of the settle from the E Bay listing.

When the job is finished I’ll post an ‘after’ shot.