Sitting Bench: Design Done



I settled on the bench design as basically my second version with a couple of additional details.  What I like about the design is how the legs are two arcs from a continuous circle and how wide and curved they are.  It’s challenging and looks good.

I got a two ideas that I’ve incorporated into the design.  Reading Toshio Odate‘s articles in Popular Woodworking got me thinking about the tapered sliding dovetail to attach legs to a top.  I love the idea and used it in my sitting bench design.  This detail however might hit the editing room floor because I’m under the gun to produce this piece and that might take extra time that I don’t have.

The other idea was supplied by my dad – it’s a brace attached at the end of the lower stretcher.  This serves two purposes:

  1. It holds the legs in place since they want to push outwards
  2. It keeps the 3 separate leg pieces inline with each other front-to-back
  3. Oh, and it looks good too.

Bench from the End

I changed the lower stretcher to be horizontal instead of vertical.  That enters the leg brace more easily to be wedged and I think will give a more attractive view from the top, seeing both the bench top and stretcher simultaneously (from the same lumber).

I posted a picture of the design on Twitter and got some great feedback, especially from Steven Taylor who wrote:

“1) The legs braces – are those ~60 degree bevels or curves matching the legs?”

The leg braces will have an outside curve to match the legs.  I’ll shape this by hand; tool TBD.

“2) Are the legs one “piece” with grooves in them on both sides, or two small pieces flanking the center one?”

Each leg is made from three separate pieces (2in | 8in | 2in).  They will be held in place with tenons into the top cross-member and the leg brace towards the bottom.

“The pegs you have in the leg braces – for some reason the first thing that popped into my head was antiqued metal – whether its bronze, brass, or copper – that just seems like an interesting fit – almost as if the pegs were rivets.”

Totally love this idea and want to use more mixed materials in my projects.  For this one I’d try it except for the tight deadline.  So, I think I’ll go with wooden pegs this time, but look for something else in the future!  Thanks for the tip Steve.

So, now it’s on to construction.  I’m trying to wrap up this whole build in 2 weeks for a house tour.  I’ll let you know how that goes!

3 Responses to “Sitting Bench: Design Done”
  1. Vic Hubbard says:

    Great place to show work, Morton! Are you working with a designer that stages houses for sale? Food for thought.

  2. Morton says:

    Vic – Actually, I’m lucky enough that my own house is on a historic house tour. We live in a 100-year-old barn that was recently converted into a house. I’m “showing off” all my stuff to try to generate some business.

    But I absolutely love your idea! I’m definitely going to look into that.

  3. Dyami says:

    Nice bench design conclusion. When is it due? Also I’d recommend playing with metal as soon as you can. Once you’re passed the learning curve, you’ll find it can be faster than wood.

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