Live Edge Cedar Bench

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Project by Puffball posted 02-02-2015 02:58 PM 1185 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Our (my wife and I) first attempt at working with live edge wood. We used a piece of live edge cedar for the top, soft maple for the stretcher, and cherry for the legs. We thought the tusk mortise would be a nice touch and learned how hard hardwood is when we tried to cut the mortise and tenons.

We used hand tools – Jig Saw, chisels, hand planes, and sand paper – to do all of this. We got the cedar slab when were on a road-trip down to the Asheville NC area. We bought some rough cut maple and cherry from our local hardwood dealer out near Culpepper VA.

We proceeded then to hand plane the cedar, maple, and cherry to get them all nice and smooth. Along the way, I learned about wood scrapers and acquired a No. 80-like wood scraper and card scraper :) Scraping is a lot better than sanding.

The challenges for us were: 1) getting the tenon sized to properly fit through the mortise; 2) cutting the legs the right length to make the bench top level due to the fact that we hadn’t made the top and bottom of the cedar slab co-planar. Hand planing is a lot of work, even on soft cedar.

We finished it with a water-based poly on the top and maple as we wanted the true colors to show through, and use a oil-based poly for the cherry legs.

We were pretty happy with the end product. It took us a lot of work as we are still newbies at this, but we had fun making it.

A time-lapse video of the whole build -

8 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile


22669 posts in 2286 days

#1 posted 02-02-2015 03:33 PM

That turned out nicely. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View ohwoodeye's profile


1709 posts in 2572 days

#2 posted 02-02-2015 04:22 PM

Looks good. You keep mentioning “our”, “us” and “we”. Either you have a muti-personality or is there someone else that helped you with this build and you need to mention and give credit to them.
Either way, “well done” to all of you.

-- Directions are just the Manufacturer's opinion on how something should be assembled. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View Puffball's profile


42 posts in 631 days

#3 posted 02-02-2015 04:52 PM

The “we” is me and my wife. “We” do it together. She dreams up the ideas and then I figure out how to build it. And then we work on it together.

View mcoyfrog's profile


3800 posts in 3013 days

#4 posted 02-02-2015 07:42 PM

Great design I likey…

Welcome to LJ’s i’m sure you will love it here

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View Bud_3's profile


663 posts in 643 days

#5 posted 02-03-2015 12:18 AM

Nice and simple decorative arrangement.

View Mean_Dean's profile


4932 posts in 2566 days

#6 posted 02-03-2015 12:59 AM

That’s a great looking bench you and your wife made! I like the live edge and the tusk tenons!

-- Dean

View watermark's profile


482 posts in 1362 days

#7 posted 02-03-2015 01:11 AM

Nice bench!

-- "He who has no dog, hunts with a cat" Portuguese proverb

View bowtie's profile


971 posts in 1765 days

#8 posted 02-03-2015 12:02 PM


-- bowtie,.....jus passin thru....

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