May Shaker Bench

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Project by Todd A. Clippinger posted 09-22-2009 05:26 AM 5085 views 13 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I sold this bench over the internet to clients in New York. They did a google search for Shaker Benches, found my site, and found my benches. This is the most popular piece that I have in my portfolio and I have sold several of them.

The wood is curly cherry and even the back of the bench exhibits a fine piece of figured wood. I included sapwood in the project as highlights. I like the use of sapwood in a project.

I use a single board to run continuous grain across the face of all the drawers. You can see how nice the look and effect of this conscious decision is in the close-ups of the drawers. Also note that I chose sapwood to highlight this effect as well.

I used black walnut plugs but sometimes I use maple to contrast the cherry. I personally favor the black walnut.

The finish is M.L. Campbell’s MagnaMax Satin pre-cat lacquer.

My Favorite Finish

The drawers have dovetails that are locked together with a pin driven into the top and bottom (I still use glue.) They could be assembled without glue and the dowel pins would keep them locked together. It also adds a visual design element.

I know that I am not the only person that has thought of this as it is logical, but I have not seen anybody else do it. I recommend that others try it.



I find it funny that this bench is the least of what I can do artistically, but it is the most popular of my work. I am quite proud of this piece though especially because it is my design.

For those that are not aware, I made a video discussing the thought process and design considerations for this Shaker Inspired Bench.

Share the Love ~ Share the Knowledge

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

30 comments so far

View gbear's profile


462 posts in 3143 days

#1 posted 09-22-2009 05:50 AM

Nice job Todd…I told you before, shaker is not my favorite style but I really love this bench and I can understand why it is a popular seller.

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


16495 posts in 2719 days

#2 posted 09-22-2009 05:53 AM

It is definitely a geat design. I’ve thought about pinning dovetails but I’ve never done it.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

4515 posts in 2238 days

#3 posted 09-22-2009 06:13 AM

Beautiful Todd, simply beautiful. You are an excellent craftsman, and maticulus in your work and in your designs.
I really like Shaker furniture, and you made all the Shaker lovers proud.

-- " I don't makes my coffee spill...."

View Karson's profile


34987 posts in 3444 days

#4 posted 09-22-2009 06:24 AM

Todd: a great looking bench. I’m glad that others with money like it also.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8800 posts in 3143 days

#5 posted 09-22-2009 06:27 AM

Karson – Yes, it is important that people with money like it. Especially if they are willing to spend it.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View a1Jim's profile


113738 posts in 2620 days

#6 posted 09-22-2009 07:13 AM

Nice bench Todd looks like a design that’s working well for you.

-- Custom furniture

View Napaman's profile


5435 posts in 3120 days

#7 posted 09-22-2009 07:16 AM

is this what we will make in the week long class you have next summer?

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View TraumaJacques's profile


433 posts in 2544 days

#8 posted 09-22-2009 07:43 AM

Great bench congrats on the sale.

-- All bleeding will eventually stop.

View ramon's profile


153 posts in 2228 days

#9 posted 09-22-2009 08:01 AM

a great job, pure shaker without further discussion and I think it will sell more banks, congratulations

View treeman's profile


208 posts in 2493 days

#10 posted 09-22-2009 11:29 AM

Todd, I find that simple lines and fine craftsmanship has a lot of appeal. This bench demonstrates that in spades.

View Todd Thomas 's profile

Todd Thomas

4969 posts in 2492 days

#11 posted 09-22-2009 11:37 AM

great looking bench…..excellent work…as always….

-- Todd, Oak Ridge, TN, Hello my name is Todd and I'm a Toolholic, I bought my last tool 10 days, no 4 days, oh heck I bought a tool on the way here! †

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 2716 days

#12 posted 09-22-2009 12:41 PM

Nice bench, Todd.

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

663 posts in 2311 days

#13 posted 09-22-2009 01:38 PM

i really like these benches

whats something like this sell for?

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8800 posts in 3143 days

#14 posted 09-22-2009 02:41 PM

Mike – The 4’ bench with 3 drawers sells for $1150 and the 5’ bench with 4 drawers sells for $1250. Shipping is on top of that.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8800 posts in 3143 days

#15 posted 09-22-2009 02:43 PM

SoCal – I think you are right. It is the thought process and design principles I was trying to get across because they are applicable to many other projects. This is a little talked about or shared subject.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

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