|Project by George Coles||posted 10-28-2016 05:23 AM||2800 views||12 times favorited||19 comments|
I was asked many times about my method of making a piece of furniture with joinery. I will try to share with you this project that I have just finished. This is a entry way bench for the client to sit and remove their shoes before going upstairs. The shelf on the bottom is to place the shoes. The client specifically requested that I not make it with a back rest. I may get around to making it again with a back rest.
This is the assembled bench prior to sanding and finishing.
As you can see, there are many joints used in the construction.
For the legs to connect to the top rail, I used a bridle joint. This joint prevents any movement of the leg and is stronger then a tenon joint, It also adds a feature to the bench.
The legs are connected to the bottom rail using a half dovetail. This dovetail will be locked into place by the shorter cross rail using a wedged tenon. This could also be an interlocking tenon, but I prefer this method most times.
The top cross rails all use stopped dovetails. The two outer ones insert from the top downwards. The two middle ones insert from below upwards. Reason. The outer rails will carry the downwards pressure of the arm rests see later pic. The two inner ones will be fastened to the seat and will prevent the seat from ever coming off.
The pieces that make up the lower shelf are fitted using a mortise and tenon joint. Note that there is a gap of 4 mm between each board. This is to allow for expansion and contraction of the timber. The tenon is only glued in the middle of each board to help with this expansion etc.
To fasten the seat to the lower frame, I use table blocks. These allow for expansion and contraction and also easy removal of the seat if needed.
This next pic shows the base assembled.
For the arm rests, I used steam bent uprights that have a wedged tenon that will insert into the arm rest.
The arm rest assembly is inserted into the slots on the cross rail.
This arm rest assembly is designed to use leverage principals. Downward pressure on the armrest puts downward pressure on the cross rail. This is why we used the stopped dovetail inserted from the top. The toe or end of the uprights puts pressure upwards on the bottom of the seat. This toe part will have a screw inserted to keep it in its position. There is no glue used on this as it can not go anywhere once installed.
This last pic shows the arm rest and the seat assembled. Note that I have left room around the uprights and the seat to also allow for expansion and contraction. I really hammer this point to allow for contraction as it can ruin a great piece that you have put your heart and soul into.
I have used terms for the joints that I was taught. I have found over the years that many joints have different names in different locations so I hope you will be able to follow my terminology.
There are no nails used in this piece. There are 8 screws used for the table blocks to fasten the seat to the frame and 4 screws to lock the arm rests in position.
I forgot to take pictures of this piece before the client picked it up. I will get some soon and upload them so you may see the finished project. Old age I guess. (:
I hope this simple blog will help someone in their furniture making experience.
Thanks for reading and feedback is always welcome.
-- George Coles, https://www.jarrahworks.com