Halyard Bench

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Project by Matthew Weatherly posted 12-22-2008 07:06 AM 2503 views 6 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Halyard Bench
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Constructed of Ash, Wenge, and Halyard Rope, the Halyard Bench is one of my latest designs that was submitted for a design competition in Hokkaido, Japan. I built this bench over the course of 4 weeks, and shipped it off to Japan where it was exhibited for several months. There were some uncertainties to how well the halyard rope was going to work, and whether or not, the wood frame was going to deflect due to the tension of the rope. Another concern that I had was in regard to the 1/4” diameter rope creating a “wedgie effect” for the end user. Surprisingly, the outcome was rather comfortable and sturdy. The rope’s lightweight and soft qualities made it an ideal material for this application. The overall design is inspired by the works of Hans J. Wegner (famous Danish designer who has heavily influenced my work). For me, this project was about creating a functional seating surface for three people, and pulling it off with a minimal amount of materials.

-- Matthew Weatherly

13 comments so far

View 's profile

593 posts in 3998 days

#1 posted 12-22-2008 07:53 AM

Funny thing is that I went up there for an extended weekend just before Halloween and I spent a night in Asahikawa. Too bad I didn’t knew about your bench, I’d liked to see it.

Do you plan on actually building yourself some of your renderings?

View mmh's profile


3677 posts in 3748 days

#2 posted 12-22-2008 08:34 AM

Beautifully done. Elegant and modern and pushing the envelope. What kind of rope did you use? I would be curious to see how this feels. What are the approximate dimensions of this bench? Do you have an estimated weight limit?

Interesting portfolio. I like the flying chair. Could you post a photo of your tools?

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View Kerux's profile


812 posts in 3910 days

#3 posted 12-22-2008 12:00 PM

Okay, what is a Halyard Bench? I mean what is its purpose… why is it… etc. I did a search and all I found were links back to your work.


View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4032 days

#4 posted 12-22-2008 01:02 PM

I don’t personally see this as being comfortable for 3 people Matthew. Since two of them would VIRTUALLY have the legs of this bench shoved up their a**.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4154 days

#5 posted 12-22-2008 04:47 PM

Great looking design!

I have studied Hans Wegner’s designs and they have influenced my rustic designs.
I’m currently working on a take-off of his 3-legged Shell Chair using recycled bourbon barrel parts.

-- 温故知新

View Matthew Weatherly's profile

Matthew Weatherly

24 posts in 3469 days

#6 posted 12-22-2008 09:27 PM

Ha, I got a kick out of hearing everyone’s feedback. Asahikawa, Japan is very rich with trees which makes this a prime location for high quality Japanese furniture. Every 3 years, an organization by the name of IFDA (International Furniture Design Asahikawa) holds a furniture design competition open to anyone in the world. I would highly recommend you all to check it out. Here’s a link:

The overall dimensions are: 18” width x 60” length x 18” height

The type of Halyard rope that I used was a 1/4” diameter double weave (polyester – outside layer, nylon – inside core) which is typically used for marine purposes. The spacing between each line of rope is about 1” apart. No worries in regard to the the wedgie effect. In fact, it doesn’t really feel like you’re sitting on rope lines. One thing that you all may not notice is that the horizontal member which the legs are attached to, are actually concave in the mid region, so you do not feel this piece of wood with sitting 3 at a time. I have tested 3 persons and it works well. I do often think about adding some kind of black leather cushion on top of the bench, but then I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the shadow lines that the rope creates.

Thanks everyone,

-- Matthew Weatherly

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Matthew Weatherly

24 posts in 3469 days

#7 posted 12-22-2008 09:44 PM

Jojo, I just realized that I left your question unanswered. Yes, I do plan to make some of my concepts that were rendered. So many projects, so little time.


-- Matthew Weatherly

View Matthew Weatherly's profile

Matthew Weatherly

24 posts in 3469 days

#8 posted 12-23-2008 03:06 AM


I ordered the Polyester (Dacron) double braid from a place called: JSI It took me a while to find the right stuff.

Although it was a little pricey, it has held up to my quality preference and expectations.

-- Matthew Weatherly

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 3833 days

#9 posted 12-23-2008 06:06 PM


Another unique and beautiful design. I am adding you to my buddy list so that I don’t miss a single thing you post. Very inspiring work. Welcome to LJ.

PS. Just checked out your website and it is top notch. I recognized a lot of your work for BDI.

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3900 days

#10 posted 12-23-2008 07:47 PM

Love it.

-- Happy woodworking!

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 3553 days

#11 posted 12-25-2008 12:07 AM

Very cool, I like to see minimalistic projects. Really get a lot with a little. Great design and craftsmanship.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View a1Jim's profile


117120 posts in 3603 days

#12 posted 12-26-2009 05:24 PM

Unique and special design well done

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Andrew's profile


709 posts in 3225 days

#13 posted 12-26-2009 05:27 PM

Very nice, It does have a minimalistic design to it, I like it .
Thanks for sharing

-- Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless, it moves at half speed like ....-As the Saw Turns

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