Ipe Shower Bench

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Project by Darryl Jones posted 07-19-2017 01:34 PM 1056 views 8 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project is off the Honey-Do list, my wife had requested a shower bench some time ago. About a year and a half ago, I set out to get this done for Valentines Day but it kept getting put off by other projects. It is now finally complete and she is very happy with it (not so happy with the wait for it). The piece is constructed of ipe, a very dense wood that is naturally resistant to water, rot, and pests. All joinery is mortise and tenon with the exception of the bottom shelf which is dadoed into the legs. The mortice and tenons in the seat and the bottom shelf were cut using a bench top mortiser and table saw. The joinery for the legs to apron were made via Festool Domino. All joints were glued together with Titebond III. The seat slats are softly contoured for comfort. The contours were cut on the bandsaw, gang clamped, and faired smooth with a card scraper. The tow end slats share the same contour on the inside edge but are square on the outside. The seat also features a very gentle curve on both sides and the two outer slats sit outside the base to create a place for washcloths. I used butcher block oil for a finish because I wanted something that would penetrate and be easily renewable. This bench is heavy and built to last many years.

-- Dread Knot Wood Shop

8 comments so far

View doubleG469's profile


425 posts in 314 days

#1 posted 07-19-2017 01:40 PM

Darryl that’s really nice, what are the dimensions? I have been wanting to make one for my wife but hadn’t decided on a plan or wood to use. Did you design or use a established set of plans?

-- Gary, Texas "That’s just my $.02 and I have no personal experience so take it with a grain of salt ;-P, HokieKen"

View Darryl Jones's profile

Darryl Jones

184 posts in 3039 days

#2 posted 07-19-2017 01:45 PM

+doubleG469 Thanks! This is my design, we looked at a couple different examples online and in local stores but couldn’t find anything we really liked. I will get the dimensions for you after work.

-- Dread Knot Wood Shop

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile (online now)

woodshaver Tony C

5649 posts in 3223 days

#3 posted 07-19-2017 01:47 PM

This is a nice design. I should replace the one I made for our outdoor shower with one like yours! Your looks so much better.

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Bigromo's profile


14 posts in 1541 days

#4 posted 07-19-2017 01:55 PM

As usual-Very nice!

For the domino joinery, did you use special domino dowells you made from ipe or teak or something or just the regular standard ones?

How difficult did you find working with the ipe? I’ve picked it up and checked it out and it is extremely dense and I’ve heard it’s really hard to work with. It is a beautiful wood, I really like it and what you’ve done with it here.

See you in fall-thanks for posting htis.

-- Bigromo

View helluvawreck's profile


29670 posts in 2736 days

#5 posted 07-19-2017 06:45 PM

It looks like a comfortable seat for the purpose. Nice work!

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 Ken90712's profile


17537 posts in 3059 days

#6 posted 07-19-2017 07:24 PM

Great work, Love Ipe. Very hard wood. I made a 12 foot Gate for my house with it.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Peteybadboy's profile


223 posts in 1819 days

#7 posted 07-19-2017 09:00 PM

That is nice. I like “select” IPE , the chocolate color you selected is my favorite. I have not put my domino to test yet. That is a good application for it. Nice work.

-- Petey

View Jeremy's profile


7 posts in 585 days

#8 posted 08-16-2017 01:08 PM

This is a very nice design! I have looked at many different shower bench designs and have not found anything that my wife and I like. Do you have dimensions available. Awesome work!


-- Jeremy, Vidor, TX

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