Activity Returns at Rich's WoodcraftNow that I am back in the shop in earnest, there are several projects that were in progress that I am working on except this is one that was an add-on. This project was completed in early in July but had to wait to be posted as this was a gift for a wedding, and the gift was just delivered. My wife's niece was getting married and we discussed making something for her, we thought about many things, but settled on a featured piece of furniture that would stand on its own without having to coordinate with other pieces such as a bedroom or living room.
Inspired by Contemporary mastersWe absolutely love the shaker style bench I made almost 20 years ago from a Woodsmith (Issue #88) magazine plan and used this for inspiration for the design. However, I had 20 years more shop experience under my belt and this one would be my own design. I drew inspiration from masters in this area such as Thomas Moser and Timothy Clark; both contemporary builders for whom I have a great deal of respect. Both of these guys are very successful making nice stuff for a discerning clientèle.
|This shaker bench, built in 1995, stands sentry at the entrance to our home.|
Providing a drop spot for nearly 20 years of groceries, schoolbooks and tired bodies.
Many of the features I designed into my dining room chairs could be used here and this made the design and subsequent build very straight-forward. I wanted the legs to be wedged through tenons and reinforced with the mortised bracket I used for the dining chairs. This allowed me to use my bending forms for the brackets as well as the mortising jig I made to inset the brackets into the legs.
I've Got Wood!
|Test fitting of tenons after drilling, note that seat carving|
is not complete yet.
The legs here have been rough turned to 1.5" diameter and the tenon has been shaped using my Lee Valley 1" Tenoning bit on the lathe.
The holes have also been drilled at 10 degrees for the 17 back spindles.
|Legs from dining chairs showing leg bracket mortised into leg. |
This structure provides plenty of support for many years of sitting.
The plugs have yet to be trimmed flush.
The brackets for the bench legs made from Walnut and were screwed and plugged into the leg mortise - similar to the chair legs at left.
The bracket is then screwed, glued and plugged to the underside of the seat, providing that smooth down under look - like a Ken doll...
|Underside view showing brackets and one coat of Deft to minimize|
dirt marks on the legs. This is all done before the top is carved to final shape.
About that hole - stay tuned...
|The finished seat with legs attached and single coat of Deft to seal the seat to help with any|
glue squeeze-out from spindle gluing.
|Underside of bench showing detail of bracket attached to bottom and mortised into leg.|
The small end is then chucked into the Oneway and the final shape turned with a gradual taper from 3/8" up to the 5/8" section, being careful to preserve the dimensions of the tenons, to ensure a snug fit. In fact the the tenon cutter is set a little bigger than the Forstner hole size so I can sand each one to a super snug fit when assembling. The extra inch is cut off (1/2" from each end) to remove the chew marks from the Oneway and the spindles are complete - BTW, I had one left over, so I needed 2 of my spares - good move!
And the final product....
|Side View of finished bench|
|And from the front.|
And about that hole...
|Birdseye Maple insert engraved with important information!!|