|Project by Elizabeth||posted 11-20-2010 12:25 AM||3754 views||17 times favorited||23 comments|
Over the past seven weeks I have been taking an evening woodworking class at the University of Oregon’s Craft Center. The class is an introduction to woodworking class focusing on making a bench or small table. I chose a Stowaway Bench plan which I found in a copy of American Woodworker – a link to the online version of the article is at the end of this post.
The original plan called for a 44” wide finshed bench but I chose to make it 40” instead to better fit in a recess in our front hallway. It’s mostly made of Eastern Hard Maple with a hinged lid of spalted maple. This is the first piece of furniture that I’ve ever made.
This bench is technically – and literally – not yet finished because I haven’t put a finish on it. I’m planning on using Danish oil but the class ended before I got that far, so I’ll do that at home at some point. I also omitted the dowel plugs step which is second to last for the same reason, but there are so many glue joints that it’s pretty sturdy without them, and the rails sit directly on notches in the legs.
I also made a couple of modifications to the plan (much to the dismay of my teacher) – the plan calls for 5 degree angles at some spots but not others, so I added some more 5 degree angles to help things fit together better, and I hand chiseled the recesses for the hinges instead of making a dado completely across the board. I think both of these original instructions in the plan were to make it simpler for the beginner, but I felt it was too much of a sacrifice in looks to leave that way.
Plans for the Stowaway Bench can be found here: