walnut and maple bench

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Project by jcsterling posted 09-09-2010 04:29 AM 2944 views 7 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

walnut and curly maple bench made using a curved slab. Have a few of these pieces from this tree 3 split similarly 2 others remained unsplit. took a while to decide how to use them. At first I wasn’t too keen on the stark contast between sap and heartwood. I decided to use that to my advantage by pairing with curly maple legs. Slab leg tapers as do the turned legs. thanks for looking

-- John , Central PA , on facebook:!/pages/JC-Sterling-fine-furniture/104430802928776

14 comments so far

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3463 days

#1 posted 09-09-2010 04:33 AM

very nice. i see things almost the opposite way :-) I often don’t like the stark contrast between maple and walnut – but your inclusion of the pale sapwood makes the lightness an intrinsic part of the “dark” walnut and brings it all together very nicely. I might have to reconsider my opinion on the matter in light of your creative design. also, the figure in the maple complements things very well, i think .

View TreeBones's profile


1827 posts in 4022 days

#2 posted 09-09-2010 04:52 AM

Very nice. Will you be keeping this for yourself? I have plenty of Walnut with similar split’s and have never used them this way. Maybe I should rethink this idea.

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service

View jcsterling's profile


462 posts in 3584 days

#3 posted 09-09-2010 05:08 AM

@TreeBones No, I will be takeing this to the Adirondack museum show. Hopefully it doesn’t come back home.

@AaronK Thanks for your comments. the original bench using this design had quarter sawn elm legs . While I was happy with the way that looked it still needed something. I’m much happier with this version.

-- John , Central PA , on facebook:!/pages/JC-Sterling-fine-furniture/104430802928776

View GuyK's profile


356 posts in 4078 days

#4 posted 09-09-2010 11:21 AM

So beautiful John. Wonderful work. I think this should sell fast for you.

-- Guy Kroll

View donaldmee's profile


65 posts in 2868 days

#5 posted 09-09-2010 02:48 PM

Very nice I love live edge wood and this is a very nice design very Nakashima he was the master.

-- donald mee

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4245 days

#6 posted 09-09-2010 02:51 PM

I like the natural contrast in walnut and it’s sapwood. It’s a natural part of the wood, I often use it in my bowls and think it highlights the nature of the wood. Overall I think you did a great job, I love the butterflys, the leg contrasts and the contrasts in woods, it all comes together in a beautiful bench. Well done.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Arnold's profile


215 posts in 3560 days

#7 posted 09-09-2010 03:04 PM

You have some interesting jointery peeking underneath. Would be interested in knowing more about it.
I like this piece.

View GabrielX's profile


231 posts in 2830 days

#8 posted 09-09-2010 07:03 PM

Where did you pick up the butterfly bowtie skill? It would be nice to learn that one to tie together a slab I have…

Great looking bench; the transition between the colors make all individual parts of the piece really unique.

-- GX

View dfdye's profile


372 posts in 3036 days

#9 posted 09-09-2010 08:05 PM

That looks fantastic!

I was wondering, though, if you reinforced the base of the bench between the two round legs. I would be afraid that the legs on different sides of the split slab would allow independent movement of each side, potentially promoting additional splitting from the resulting twisting of the slab (if you do have some bracing underneath, consider this a huge compliment that I can’t tell that it is there!).

I hate being worried about this because I REALLY like the visual appeal of the two round legs vs. the wide slab leg opposite the crack. I love the sculptural appeal of the bench, but I would be concerned about its long-term stability without reinforcement if it will get heavy usage.

-- David from Indiana --

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 2939 days

#10 posted 09-09-2010 09:19 PM

Nice lines there! Like what you did with the legs.

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View jcsterling's profile


462 posts in 3584 days

#11 posted 09-13-2010 01:53 AM

dfdye: no I did not reinforce the turned legs other than the use of the butterflys . I am quite confident that there won’t be any issues with failure. my wife and I can sit on the bench with no visible flex in the piece.

Arnold: the pieces you see peeking under the bench top are wooden brackets that I use to fasten the slab leg to the top.

everyone else: thank you for your comments.


-- John , Central PA , on facebook:!/pages/JC-Sterling-fine-furniture/104430802928776

View dfdye's profile


372 posts in 3036 days

#12 posted 09-13-2010 03:17 PM


Thanks for letting me know about the bracing (or lack thereof). Like I said before, I really like the design incorporating the single, flat leg for he “solid” end of the bench and the two round legs for the “split” end.

-- David from Indiana --

View helluvawreck's profile


31082 posts in 2865 days

#13 posted 09-13-2010 03:33 PM

JC, I think that it looks great and you did a very nice job job on it.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Flemming's profile


417 posts in 2895 days

#14 posted 09-17-2010 10:58 PM

beautiful bench!
i love how you’ve accented the split with the two turned legs. and surprised me by offsetting the balance of the piece in a wonderful way by making the legs of the other side a solid slab!
great work!

-- Flemming. It's only a mistake if you can't fix it.

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