Cobbler's bench after restoration.
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
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
Posted January 5, 2022
(updated from original post on 9/2/2007)
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