Today I returned to the Pew Project (among several other chores) by removing the fabric & padding, removing an end piece and cutting the bench down to length. I also pulled out about a bazillion staples. There are many left, but they are all at or below the surface; to get them out I'll have to dig them out enough to get a hold on them with pliers.
It is still undecided how these are to be finished/refinished. The owner isn't sure if she wants them "touched up" but left with the original finish or stripped and done over.