In my last post I mentioned some little chairs I have been making and donating to on of Columbia’s dog parks. Columbia has two dog parks and Frankie and Alvie like one of them better, but that one doesn’t have a lot of seating. So I decided I could help with that.
Twin Lakes dog park is on the south side and is visited by a lot of young, healthy, able-to-stand-for-an-hour college students. And the park has a lovely hill, which is where I usually sit. Because it’s high I get a good view of most of the dog park. And after a rain it’s usually drier up there. So I set out to design and make some simple chairs to put on the hill. Here’s the result:
Two young women lounge in the chairs I made and gave to one of Columbia’s dog parks. They said they headed right to the chairs when they saw them. They are intentionally simple and not real pretty, in hopes that people won’t want to leave the park with one tucked under their arm. I have eight out there so far, the park could easily handle another eight. Or more.
I have made 10 chairs, but only eight of them are out there. My first two were rather quickly destroyed, not sure if it was by accident or mischief.
I made those two out of 1×2 furring strips, which I really thought would work and, since I was buying the wood, would be cheap for me. Well, I was wrong.
Fortunately something else has worked out: discarded construction lumber. It’s amazing how much waste there is on a construction site, and they are mostly unwilling to share it with people for second-hand use. I’ve been lucky, though, and have scored a number of good 2x4s. But that’s not the best find.
One day I drove by one of the gazillion construction sites for student housing. (Don’t get me started on that topic.) They had just torn down a long (like 50-75 foot long) privacy fence, made from 6’ x 5” x ¾” boards. Bingo! A stockpile of wood that I could use for the seats and backs of my chairs. You can see these boards in the photo.
Being a good citizen, I actually called and got permission to take the boards: “as many as you’d like” they said. After all, it would lessen the pile, saving them money on disposal. I grabbed about 30 of the boards, each one cut down and making three usable pieces. I’d have taken more, but once I dug into the pile, others did, too.
I want the chairs to last more than one summer so I bought some exterior paint, one of those gallons that’s discounted because the customer didn’t like the color. It’s perfect for my use: if the chairs are too attractive then there might be temptation to steal them. So the first batch is that ugly gray you see in the photo. I’ve run out of that paint and someone donated the brown stain, seen on the two chairs on the right. Then someone else donated some bright orange spray paint, so the chair I put together today has orange supports and brown seat and back. It’s pretty darned ugly.
Building them is fun for me and my ego gets a little stroking whenever I see someone sitting in one. There’s apparently a group of women my age who go to the park in the mornings and are very happy to have some seating. I’m working up to making some nice (good wood, good paint) Adirondack chairs for my friend’s ranch. She wants some so people can sit around her pond and watch the geese.
And here’s another good thing: the wood I can’t build with is used in my fire pit.
I’m a happy camper.