Antique Cobbler's Bench Restoration

Cobbler's Bench - After (supermodel Melanie Blattenberger posing) by Kirt Blattenberger - Airplanes and Rockets

Cobbler's bench after restoration.

Cobbler's Bench - Before  by Kirt Blattenberger - Airplanes and Rockets

Cobbler's bench before restoration.

This cobbler's bench has been in Melanie's family for a couple generations. We don't know whether it belonged to a family member who used it for as a cobbling tradesman. It was in pretty rough shape when it was given to us a couple decades ago. It is constructed of pine wood, with the main surface being about 2 inches thick.

I chose to sand the finish off rather than use chemical stripper because it was fairly brittle and came off easily, and also because the wood is somewhat soft, so I did not want to risk gouging it with a scraper. One of the legs had been broken and needed repair, and some drawer joints needed re-gluing. All of the square strips on the work surface were removed for sanding to avoid dark residual finish in the corners. Final finish was Minwax stain wiped on with a cloth, and three coats of Minwax satin polyurethane brushed on with light sanding between coats. Although polyurethane is a bit difficult to work with because if runs so easily on vertical surfaces, I like to use it where there is likely to be wear and tear from frequent use.



Posted January 5, 2022
(updated from original post on 9/2/2007)

Other Woodworking Tips & Projects: