|Project by Devin||posted 08-22-2009 09:32 AM||5268 views||30 times favorited||26 comments|
This trestle bench was a piece I built at a local college woodworking course. The course was four full days so I took the time off work and spent the entire week working on this bench. That week has got me wondering if I can somehow take a few months off and get to the inside passage school of woodworking. I absolutely loved getting up every morning knowing I had another full day of woodworking and learning ahead of me.
The basic form of the bench follows the instructor’s plan, we had the option of going with a wedged mortise or a wedged through dovetail, I chose the wedged dovetail. I took this course specifically to get instruction and practice on the through joinery. I spent the better part of one of the days working the mortises with a chisel. These are my first through mortises and I am quite happy with how they turned out.
After the four days was up, I still hadn’t decided on the final shaping. So I brought it home, created a sketchup model of it and spent some time playing with design options. I finally decided on what you see here, slight taper to the seat ends, quarter circle cut outs on the seats and the gables, I also added the 3/16” bead detail to the trestle (I had to buy a plunge beading router bit for that). Finally I decided to angle the trestle ends as well as rounding over the edges of it and the wedges.
As I started to sand the bench for finishing, I noticed that two ends of the seats were checking…I felt sick. Conveniently there was a Woodwhisperer guild meeting a couple days later, so I threw the question out at the meeting and was given a bunch of suggestions on how to deal with it. I ended up going with a bit of CA glue and sawdust, the cracks hardly show and I think they’ve stopped spreading. A big thanks to Marc and the rest of the guys online that night!
The bench is made of 8/4 Big Leaf Maple with Jatoba for the wedges, seat anchors and the four “pins” used to keep the seat slats aligned. For finishing this piece I planed or scraped all the flat surfaces and went straight to 220 grit for the final sanding. That seemed faster than going through 3 grits of sandpaper, and I certainly enjoyed it more. Finished with three coats of danish oil and two coats of water based poly. The bench is four feet long and about 16 inches tall.
thanks for looking…Devin.
-- If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?