Asian Bench

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Project by Vamsi posted 07-30-2009 04:17 PM 7102 views 38 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I designed this bench on a napkin and showed it to my wife. Since I’m just starting out as a woodworker, and because my drawing ability is severely lacking, she just smiled politely. When I asked if I could buy some mahogany to build it, she just patted me on the head and suggested that I use something cheaper. I obliged because I wanted to prove something to myself, and went to the local big box store and bought pressure treated 2×4’s and an 8’ piece of douglas fir 4×4 (also pretty decent at surviving outside).

I constructed the top using my trusty mitersaw and a stop block. I made the base using a tablesaw and a jigsaw for the curves. The joinery for the base is mortise and tenon. Titebond III glued everything up because I didn’t want to fuss with polyurethane glue. I then smeared a thin layer of epoxy on the bottom of the douglas fir legs to prevent the endgrain from wicking up water and rotting. After staining it to look like I used more exotic wood, I topcoated it with McCloskey’s spar varnish for protection.

This single project has caused my wife to take away spending limits (within reason) and to have her take away limits on my imagination which is even more priceless (all of this after she simply stated, “It looks alright, but 3 of them would look a lot better…”

21 comments so far

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4333 days

#1 posted 07-30-2009 04:34 PM

This is a great project for the outdoors. It is a great design style that I am partial to.

The execution looks great, especially for a first project.

Good taste on the color combination. The two colors go well together and the darker legs add weight to the base and some wonderful interest to the overall look.

The treated lumber will withstand the elements, but it has a tendency to twist, rack, and crack. This may get you the green light to make it out of the mahogany that you originally desired which, as you correctly chose, is a better choice.

I think that based on this project, you have some talent inside of you waiting to be let loose in the shop. You do nice work and you have a good eye.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Cory's profile


760 posts in 3653 days

#2 posted 07-30-2009 04:45 PM


One question for you: how did you finish the area between the boards once you had it all assembled?

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View SimonSKL's profile


185 posts in 3473 days

#3 posted 07-30-2009 04:51 PM

I really like the design and the color scheme. Well done!

Were the legs only tapered on two sides or on all four sides?

-- Simon, Danville, IL

View Peter's profile


13 posts in 3819 days

#4 posted 07-30-2009 06:57 PM

Good job and nice design!

View Craig's profile


25 posts in 3487 days

#5 posted 07-30-2009 09:33 PM

Beautiful bench. I really like your design. The same thing happened with my wife after I built my first Adirondack chair…No faith from the wives…

-- Wood working is my relaxation, until nothing fits or works out right...Then it's just like work!

View cwdance1's profile


1159 posts in 3493 days

#6 posted 07-31-2009 12:15 AM

Nice work

View grampata's profile


74 posts in 3977 days

#7 posted 07-31-2009 01:05 AM

The guys are right, first class all the way. If you could design that on a napkin, I wondering what you could come up with some drawing classes . your a natural !!

View Vamsi's profile


3 posts in 4105 days

#8 posted 07-31-2009 03:09 PM

I didn’t realize how much I would appreciate the comments. Thanks!

There is a 3/4” space between the seat slats that I was able to fit my paintbrush into in order to complete the stain and varnish. Admittedly it was a little tight, but I just made sure there was plenty of material on the brush first.

The legs are tapered on 2 sides only (the sides that face outwards).

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4533 days

#9 posted 07-31-2009 04:39 PM

The Asian influence is very nice to the eyes. Just beautiful!

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View grampata's profile


74 posts in 3977 days

#10 posted 08-01-2009 03:01 PM

still looks great the second time .really a great job

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14179 posts in 4216 days

#11 posted 08-01-2009 08:14 PM


I like it very much

welcome to lumberjocks

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View a1Jim's profile


117416 posts in 3811 days

#12 posted 08-01-2009 08:15 PM

Wonderful bench cool design

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View woodbutcher's profile


592 posts in 4399 days

#13 posted 08-06-2009 04:55 AM

Great design and build! In fact I liked it so much I had to favorite it. Just in case I need some benchs in the future, I’d like to be able to look at this again. Good luck in the contest and thanks for sharing. Sounds like you’ve already recieved the most important accolades and permission to proceed just as you’d like from here on out!-LOL

Ken McGinnis

-- woodbutcher north carolina

View naomi weiss's profile

naomi weiss

207 posts in 3627 days

#14 posted 08-06-2009 06:57 AM

It’s beautiful! And such a creative way to use 2×4s! Thanks for the inspiration.

-- 'Humility is a duty in great ones, as well as in idiots'--Jeremy Taylor

View kerflesss's profile


182 posts in 3601 days

#15 posted 08-06-2009 07:34 AM

Nice design. Great job.

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