shoe bench #5: Prepping the stock

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Blog entry by coloradoclimber posted 07-24-2011 08:36 PM 1603 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Design Tweaks Part 5 of shoe bench series Part 6: Joinery »

I looked at various woods for the bench and ended up deciding on poplar, why, because it was relatively cheap, and I could get it in wide boards.

I wanted to build the top of the bench as a single board. I sorted through the wide boards available and looked for one with some interesting figure. Here’s the one I finally settled on:

I didn’t want to split the seat but my jointer is only 6 inches wide. Unfortunately the board with the best figure had the most cup. The cup was pretty bad, over an 1/8 of an inch.

The seat is just over a foot wide, 61 inches long, has an eighth inch cup, and wont fit my jointer. So I have a couple options. I could make a planer sled and slide it through my benchtop planer. Or a better choice for me, mostly because I enjoy doing it, is to hand plane it flat on one side and then run it through the power planer to straighten up the other side.

After a bit of work on one side it’s starting to flatten out

Eventually I got the top and selves flattened out and ended up needing to work the sides too.

It turned out to be quite a bit of work but I enjoyed it. Kind of the quiet therapeutic woodworking I don’t get enough of. Anyhow, progress is being made.

3 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4095 days

#1 posted 07-24-2011 08:40 PM

Looks like you got there. It is going to be nice when you get it finished. Do you have a plane set up for rougher work? Might have gone faster with a plane set up to take a more agressive cut.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Sylvain's profile


706 posts in 2498 days

#2 posted 07-24-2011 09:28 PM

This is a very nice shoe bench with plenty of place for the shoes.
I would like one.
I have to go to the living room if I want to seat.

I understand that you would want to plane the underside of the upper board for joining purposes.

But why remove the cup above? Wouldn’t it be more comfortabe with a cup under the seat?

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View coloradoclimber's profile


548 posts in 4066 days

#3 posted 07-26-2011 05:43 AM

Wayne, yep, I do have multiple 5’s I use for rougher work, yea!, but I’m embarrassed to say EVERY one of them needs sharpened, boo!. I do have a veritas low angle jack and I could have swapped the blade from the LA 7 into the jack. Guess I didn’t think about it. I prefer the big planes, the bigger the better. I picked up the 7 and didn’t think about switching to the jack. The plane I like to use most, after a LA block plane, is a number 8. You get it started and it don’t stop. So yeah, I need to get in a sharpening session and use the right tool for the right job :).

Sylvain, you know you might be right, a curved bench seat probably would be more comfortable. I guess I didn’t even think about it, about curving the seat. I was so focused on thinking about the joinery I didn’t really think about comfort. The dovetail jig I use references off of both faces and they both need to be flat and parallel. But that is just the last 8 inches or so. Most of the bench seat could have been curved on top.

Thinking about it now I probably should have used thicker material, flattened the seat to do the joinery, and then reworked the seat to a comfortable curve. Something to keep in mind for the next one.

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