Hall Bench

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Project by splintergroup posted 11-11-2015 02:18 PM 1109 views 9 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I needed something to fit by the front door, a bench perhaps, and something that needed mortises and used wood thicker that 4/4 (I was looking for a change!)

This bench is called a “Garden Bench” in the FWW May/June 2008 article that I used as a reference.
It is described as a mix of Japanese and Tudor styling.
I really liked the overall shape and construction, but I made mine somewhat shorter to fit in a spot by the front door versus out in the “Garden” where the birds would trash it. The original (in the article) was built from teak, 4/4, 6/4, and 8/4 but can anyone guess how much that would cost? I went with Red Oak, finished with Watco Danish Oil.

There are a lot of ‘reveal’ type joints where the mating piece is of a different dimension than the other. This has two effects, it adds a shadow line and it hides any mis-aligned joints (hurrah!). The seat bottom is from slats screwed down to the cross braces and plugs used to cap the holes.

Underneath you can see the cross braces and more of the construction. This was fun to build, plenty of mortice cutting where a stout chisel can be used and simple templates for the router table. The thing is solid!

11 comments so far

View observer100's profile


233 posts in 531 days

#1 posted 11-11-2015 02:35 PM

Very nice looking project. My first reaction when seeing this was ‘Wow, now that looks robust!’.

View Kennethjg's profile


41 posts in 355 days

#2 posted 11-11-2015 02:58 PM

That turned out really nice. I love how red oak looks with just a clear coat vs a stain. How did you the back legs with the angle? Is it just cut from one piece, or is that two pieces joined together?

-- It ain't custom unless you fucked it up.

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1080 posts in 3228 days

#3 posted 11-11-2015 03:08 PM

Nice! Very clean lines. Beautiful.

-- Max the "night janitor" at

View splintergroup's profile


724 posts in 643 days

#4 posted 11-11-2015 03:33 PM

Thanks Guys!

The back legs are a single piece. These are cut from the slab so that the angled part will not show plain sawn grain patterns (same as what you see on the face of plywood). One thing I have learned over the years is to consider what type of grain pattern will show on the final piece.

Some of the thicker pieces (like the back) are two pieces stacked and cut so the joint line is where it is best hidden (I have no local source for anything over 8/4.

View AandCstyle's profile


2538 posts in 1678 days

#5 posted 11-11-2015 11:34 PM

Splinter, that is an outstanding piece as is the craftsmanship. Have you looked at Alpine Building Supply in Santa Fe? They have some pretty nice stock. If you go, take your checkbook because they don’t take credit cards. DAMHIKT :(

-- Art

View splintergroup's profile


724 posts in 643 days

#6 posted 11-11-2015 11:57 PM

Thanks for the kudos Art!

That would be a trip to Santa Fe, plus the wife (glass fuser) would want to stop at Bullseye and drop a G note….

I go to Abq. Hardwoods for the domestic stuff, prices are fair enough. I think Paxtons went out a few years back, they had all the exotic stuff (with exotic prices to boot). I remember pricing some nice QS White Oak at $15/bf (ouch)

View Mean_Dean's profile


4939 posts in 2568 days

#7 posted 11-12-2015 12:46 AM

Great looking bench—I love the Asian look of it! And you’re right, teak is dang expensive these days!

-- Dean

View DMC1903's profile


237 posts in 1748 days

#8 posted 11-12-2015 08:44 AM

Nice Bench!!
I too used the plans from FWW, I elected to use Port Orford Cedar wth Ephihanes finish.

View helluvawreck's profile


22677 posts in 2287 days

#9 posted 11-12-2015 03:12 PM

This bench has a beautiful design and you’ve done a wonderful job on it. 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 splintergroup's profile


724 posts in 643 days

#10 posted 11-12-2015 03:36 PM

Thanks again Guys!

I’m thinking that what draws my eye to the Japanese styling is that it has curves (break up the monotony of straight lines), but these curves are simple enough to do easily with a router and template.

DMC, is your bench outside and if so, how is it holding up with the Epifanes?
(love the stuff for outdoors but man does it smell….)

View Bud_3's profile


663 posts in 645 days

#11 posted 11-13-2015 06:56 PM

The curves are very subtle on this bench and i like that,really good!

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