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Japanese Timber Bench

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Project by bvdon posted 12-26-2010 06:03 AM 4737 views 22 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I decided I would make a simple bench for the in-laws mountain house. While thinking of what to make I stumbled on a picture of a Japanese Timber Bench at TRC Timberworks. So much for that simple bench ;)

There were no plans or really any specifics on the TRC website, so all I had to go by was the picture.

Then as luck would have it I found a guy on Craigslist selling 21 feet (three tongue & groove logs) of cypress that was leftover from a log cabin build, as well, a stack of cypress siding (with a log profile).

I didn’t have quite enough material to build the same size as in the photo, but no reason not to try and come close.

The logs were milled to size, planed, then shaped with the bandsaw. Leg pairs (two back, two front) were clamped together and belt sanded for a perfect, smooth match. I also milled the log profile panels and laminated them to create the seat. For added strength and longevity, I drilled four 14inch holes front to back and glued in 1/2 inch dowels. (next time, I will use a slab—as per the picture of the original).

No screws at all—all wood joinery throughout.

I sanded to 220 grit, and finished with “Super Deck” Waterproofing Stain & Sealer, #2901. One coat and you’re done. Should be refinished at three year intervals if kept outside.

Here’s the finished project…. see photos.

This was the first project that made extensive use of my MiniMax MM16—I just love this machine.

I also used a cheap Japanese Pull Saw (from HD) that cuts through dowels like butter. I was surprised at how nicely it worked. Apparently these are highly appreciated tools to those in the know—great for dovetails from what I hear. A very clean, accurate, splinter-free cut with just a few pulls.

-- http://woodwork.me





17 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4166 posts in 1729 days


#1 posted 12-26-2010 07:56 AM

Nice that size looks very balanced.

jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Grant Libramento's profile (online now)

Grant Libramento

175 posts in 1852 days


#2 posted 12-26-2010 08:07 AM

Very elegant. The curves really enhance the design.

-- Grant, Tryon, NC

View woodworm's profile

woodworm

14141 posts in 2463 days


#3 posted 12-26-2010 09:15 AM

Very impressive in design and undoubtedly strong in build.
Great work Don!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2521 days


#4 posted 12-26-2010 09:26 AM

nice work. looks stout and elegant at the same time

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View rivergirl's profile

rivergirl

3201 posts in 1711 days


#5 posted 12-26-2010 02:26 PM

Lovely bench, and you did replicate the other one very well! I bet that bugger is heavy!

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View Wayne Precht's profile

Wayne Precht

47 posts in 2789 days


#6 posted 12-26-2010 02:35 PM

Beautiful. I really like the in harmony with nature feel of the timber construction. Well done!

-- --- Wayne.

View BillyJ's profile

BillyJ

622 posts in 2076 days


#7 posted 12-26-2010 02:56 PM

Awesome bench. Looks very sturdy. Nice work.

-- I've never seen a tree that I wouldn't like to repurpose into a project. I love the smell of wood in the morning - it smells like victory.

View TheGravedigger's profile

TheGravedigger

963 posts in 2897 days


#8 posted 12-26-2010 03:01 PM

I really like the look – very graceful for its mass. Very much like the Japanese would do. Very nice.

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog: http://littlegoodpieces.wordpress.com

View 489tad's profile

489tad

2650 posts in 1884 days


#9 posted 12-26-2010 04:27 PM

Yes, post more pictures. make sure you get a close up of the carving. Very nice job.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View bvdon's profile

bvdon

458 posts in 1888 days


#10 posted 12-26-2010 05:35 PM

Will do…. the carving was purchased on eBay by this seller

Pictures coming shortly.

-- http://woodwork.me

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15571 posts in 2549 days


#11 posted 12-26-2010 07:44 PM

Awesome!!

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

View Monty Queen's profile

Monty Queen

1585 posts in 2125 days


#12 posted 12-27-2010 06:31 AM

Wow, I love it. Awesome job, great craftsmanship.

-- Monty Q, Columbia, South Carolina.

View ~Julie~'s profile

~Julie~

582 posts in 1907 days


#13 posted 12-28-2010 11:10 PM

Great workmanship, style, everything!

LOVE. IT.

-- ~Julie~ followyourheartwoodworking.blogspot.ca

View SgtSnafu's profile

SgtSnafu

959 posts in 2144 days


#14 posted 01-19-2011 02:50 PM

Great looking bench. You were quite fortunate to find cypress, it is a very good outdoor wood.

Thanks for sharing

-- Scotty - aka... SgtSnafu - Randleman NC

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1566 days


#15 posted 01-19-2011 02:53 PM

Absolutely spectacular. Love the beefy joinery. That’s a project that you have to sequence your assembly carefully!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

showing 1 through 15 of 17 comments

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