Craft & Design Woodworking
DiResta: Locust Wood Bench

In each episode of DiResta, artist and master builder Jimmy DiResta (Dirty Money, Hammered, Against the Grain, Trash for Cash) will let us into his workshop, to look over his shoulder while he builds whatever strikes his fancy. In this episode, Jimmy finds a slab of locust wood at a flea market and has a brainstorm. -Gareth Branwyn

My sketch for the bench. My other idea was to make big rusty nails and have them poke through at the corners. I have a second slab of pine, so this could still happen.


  • Slab of Locust wood, flea market find, Livingstonville, NY. Cost $22
  • Tung oil
  • 0.5″ x 1″ Hot rolled steel
  • 0.25″ rod “cable ties”


  • Millermatic MIG (metal inert gas) welder
  • Handheld belt grinder
  • 400 grit black sand paper

The moment I saw the wood, I saw this bench in my head. I am always looking for interesting materials and tools to feature in videos.

26 thoughts on “DiResta: Locust Wood Bench

    1. I can’t fault the style, myself. It shows the steps clearly, and the order they were performed. I would have liked to hear a little discussion about the rings around the intersecting bars underneath (is it reinforcement or decoration?) and perhaps about welding so close to the wood (discoloration? damaging the finish?), but this shows the basic steps very clearly.

      1. thank you for watching , and commenting. the rings are decoration. it was an after thought bc i wasn’t happy w the way the rods looked crossed. it is all welded at this point and very strong. TX u!

  1. I like the look; however, their is one major implementation fault. You show the frame being drilled with holes to bolt the bench to. The problem is that holes will not allow the wood bench to expand and contract (as it will). Slots would have served better.

    As it stands I suspect the bench will show cracks and/or warping fairly quickly and will not long survive.

    1. I don’t think so has the drilled holes where larger than screws diameter. The screws can slip inside the holes in any directions.

    2. I think he’s ok. There definitely won’t be any movement along the length of the bench. Even if there were movement along the width of the bench, the slab didn’t look that wide so there wouldn’t be much.

      If you look at the ring pattern when he’s sanding the ends, you can see that they basically split the tree down the middle. Wood expands tangentially which is why tree trunks crack the way they do. This is really hard to describe but if he put the slab so that the rings cup downwards, there would be no significant movement between the screws. I probably would have still drilled the holes a bit big and not tightened the screws really tight. I would have just tightened them down enough so the seat doesn’t rattle.

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