Red Line Fire Hose Bench
There are many unique firefighter themed items that can be made from recycled fire hose and there are many vendors/artisans that sell them. I think it’s important to look at the quality of hose that your item is made from as well as asking questions about how the hose is cleaned before products are made from them.
I actually love making benches from our high rise hose because to be honest, our high rise hose gets a lot of use from training but does not see that many fires before it is taken out of service. Cleaner hose equals a cleaner finished product even before the artisan takes the necessary steps to clean it thoroughly before production.
For a fire hose bench you can use all one size of hose (for example the blue bench made from 2 1/2″ high rise hose) or you can combine two or more different size hose. For the Red Line Hose Bench, I utilized 1 3/4″ cross lay hose and 3″ supply hose. You will also need about four 8′ 2×4’s to make the frame. My pieces were cut for a 40″ length and a 19″ depth for this bench. Previously I have liked the look of a 17″ depth with about a 37″ length. It really comes down to how big you would like to make the bench for the space it will occupy. The height of this bench is 19.75″ tall.
While the stain on the frame is drying, it’s a great time to cut your hose to the dimensions you will need. For this size frame, I cut 7 pieces of 3″ supply hose in the length of 29″ each. I also cut 5 pieces of cross lay hose in the length of 50″. That adds up to about 17 1/2 feet of 3″ and 21 1/4 feet of cross lay if you are clean at cutting hose and don’t allow too much waste. You want to cut enough to allow the hose to cover the top and wrap around the frame where you can hide the staples securing the hose. It makes for a very clean look to your hose bench.
If you look closely, you should be able to tell that the inside jacket was utilized on the 3″ to provide for more stability to the bench and the outside jacket of the cross lay was used to provide for flexibility when weaving in your pattern. A bench takes a good portion of hose but when you consider you are stripping the outer and inner jacket and have the ability to use the other jacket of that hose for something else, it doesn’t deplete your hose inventory near as much as you thought. I am actually going to use the opposite jackets to create one more of these benches in the smaller size (38″ x 17″). Stay tuned for the next fire hose bench using the remnants from this project!
I try to incorporate some of the normal lettering/markings that already are on the hose. This clearly identifies it as a fire hose should a person question the material of the bench.
This is incredibly clean hose. Don’t let the smudges fool you but they do add a nice level of authenticity to the bench. What I love about this Red Line Fire Hose Bench is that it reflects our tradition of the thin red line (representing Firefighters who have lost their lives due to career related incidents). I do think it’s very important to have a pride about your career and a pride to do your job very well.