Have a seat, Winter's coming
In the mountains, the Aspens have turned color and the weather has turned cooler. We've finally passed the Autumnal Equinox and shifted from a too-hot summer into fall. What is there to do while we wait for the snow? Besides prepping gear and a litle daydreaming I've built a ski bench to rest my lazy bones on. If you've been skiing or snowboarding for a few years it is easy to collect old skis and boards. Instead of filling your closet, the garage or a landfill why not build something out of your old skis?
If you've never built anything from wood before this will be a challenging project. I've made many woodworking projects from media shelves to speaker cabinets and I've mis-cut plenty of lumber to prove it. First, I collected about 7-8 pairs of old, worn out and broken skis. Then I removed 16 pairs of ski bindings (having an impact driver helps with well-glued mounting screws). Using snowboards should be simpler since you will only need two boards.
I found a great set of free plans from Popular Mechanics for an Adirondack chair and table. After considering the plans for several days I started sketching out changes to widen the chair into a bench. Basically, I doubled the width of the chair and changed the lumber from '1 by X' Cedar to '2 by X' Redwood. Since skis are of varying shapes and sizes you will need to mock up the layout of the back and seat slats before making any cuts. If that doesn't make sense to you, ask for help from a friend with woodworking experience.
In the process of building this ski bench I discovered several things about reusing skis in furniture: One, ski (and snowboard) edges are hardened steel and should be cut with a hacksaw or a metal cutting saw blade. Two, skis often have fiberglass wrapping a wood core (especially K2 skis) and cut fiberglass is very irritating to the skin (wear long sleeves and be careful). Three, wood core skis are easy to work with and hold screws well. Four, people are often thrilled to get rid of old skis so just ask around. Finally, take your time and the end result will be a ski bench you can be proud of!
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