Outdoor Furniture Shopping in Saugerties: Stone Back Benches and Sculptures
At his Saugerties workshop, Jesse Reimer recycles natural and man-made objects into ornaments for your garden
By Lynn Hazlewood
Recycling to the max: An oak and stone bench
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Jesse Reimer is a tree-care guy who owns Woodstock Beam Works, a sawmill near Saugerties that specializes in milling boards, beams, and wood slabs in extra-wide and long sizes. His log yard is strewn with piles of maple, hickory, black walnut, cherry, poplar and softwood tree trunks, some looking like a giant’s game of Pick-Up Sticks.
A few years ago, when the yard was filling up with giant stumps and leftover logs, Reimer decided that instead of hiring somebody to grind them up (as he had before), he would mill and plane the stumps into slabs, and turn them into bench seats. What he’d once considered debris, cluttering up his yard, suddenly looked to Reimer like “jewels,” he says. “As we’re cutting them open, it’s sort of like cutting a gemstone; you don’t know what you’ll see.”
A fanciful gate built from discarded metals
That was the beginning of his company, Stone Back Benches — aptly named, as Reimer uses stone slabs from the stream or quarry on his property for the benches’ backs. “l look for a beautiful shape,” he says, explaining that sometimes the stone drives the design; other times it’s the log. “But whichever way I do it, it’s a delicate process,” Reimer adds, discussing materials that must weigh a ton. Attaching the stone to the wood with metal rods was “quite a learning curve,” too, he notes. The finished product gets a coat of satin polyurethane, to “freeze it in time, so we can enjoy it for the next 50 to 100 years,” Reimer says.
» Visit Stone Back Benches
» Go to Stone Back Benches’ Web site