Traditional Joinery Shoe Bench

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Project by LightfootLtd posted 08-15-2015 05:08 PM 1524 views 6 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This bench uses traditional joinery wherever possible to lock the individual wood pieces together. The top and shelf slats are Ambrosia Maple, while the base is Cherry. The surfaces are left rough sawn to create an aged, rustic appearance, and lightly hand scraped to create a smoother texture that showcases the grain and character of the wood.
In the picture of the disassembled parts, you can see the details of all the joinery holding this piece together. In addition to two dados holding the shelf slats in position, a cut nail at each end securely holds them down. The top of the bench, though routed to snugly sit over the base, is held down by a couple dozen pocket screws. These are the only fasteners used.
The joinery involved in attaching the top to the base is designed to allow the single wide plank of maple to expand and contract. This is achieved while still firmly holding the two pieces together with no movement.


5 comments so far

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

742 posts in 2849 days

#1 posted 08-15-2015 10:42 PM

l like the patience you have to cut out everything first. I don’t posses that talent. Cut a few things, bang them together, measure a little cut some more. Your way looks a lot more efficient, but definitely more exacting and requiring a “PLAN” :) Absolutely beautiful bench!!

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View woodcox's profile


1513 posts in 1429 days

#2 posted 08-16-2015 05:06 AM

Great bench! Solid joinery and rough sawn finish look really good there.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View Jamie McDonald's profile

Jamie McDonald

93 posts in 1698 days

#3 posted 08-16-2015 05:30 AM

keeping it real. Love it! I appreciate when the joinery is the primary consideration to the design work. Thanks for sharing.

-- Jamie McDonald, Buford GA

View NDakota's profile


68 posts in 964 days

#4 posted 08-16-2015 02:05 PM

+1 on what Scott said! I have heard of woodworkers that could follow a plan that well,but didnt beleive it,ha ha

View LightfootLtd's profile


39 posts in 1638 days

#5 posted 08-17-2015 10:27 AM

Thanks for the comments! My process is actually very similar to what Scott said. I probably assembled and disassembled the joinery 20 times before completely breaking it down for oil. I used looser fitting pegs and wedges to hold it together during the build and replaced them with snug fitting pieces at the end.


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