|Project by RobS||posted 03-12-2008 01:57 AM||3184 views||7 times favorited||34 comments|
Well, it’s going somewhere but it’s not going anywhere….
My SIL asked me to make a bench for my BIL; stating that he has always wanted one for their mountain cabin in New Mexico. She knew I dabbled in woodworking and trusted me enough to come up with something after showing me a couple ideas from catalogs via email. She said she’d be happy to pay for the lumber and the labor as she wanted to surprise her husband with it as a gift. She only asked that it be rustic, to match the feeling and decor of the cabin.
Right away I was thinking thick, bulky wood and started pricing some rough sawn cedar at the local stores; then along came this… some found wood of rustic proportions. After purchasing a used planer, I was pleasantly surprised to uncover the wood’s hidden colors and also determined that these boards were treated with a turpentine type chemical, probably explaining why they lasted so long outdoors. As I worked with it I could smell the treatment but the wood was dry enough to work without gumming up any of my tools.
I initially assumed I would be making the typical four leg bench, but being a fan of the unique, I had to at least “brain/book/web-storm” for some other ideas…Then I recalled my appreciation for Jojo’s shower stool, how he indicated the way all the joints worked together. I emailed Jojo and asked him some more detailed questions about the stretcher and the angles involved.
Wanting to keep most of the weathered/nail-holed edges intact and not wanting to cut almost 3” mortises thru the bench top’s center; I elected to go with this design, which I really don’t know what to call, its almost a reverse mortise and tenon. Figuring that cutting the slots to accept the legs would be easier to attack from the side. With the tightness of those joints and massiveness of the wood, I probably could have left it at 2 legs and the top. I did not think it had that finished look yet at that stage and thought the wedged stretcher would tie and tighten it all together…It did add a little to the bulk though, as the bench weighs in at almost 90 pounds with measurements of 61”(w) x 12”(d) x 18”(h).
Sanded from 60 to 150 to 220 and finished with two coats of Watco teak oil, I am happy with the final product and hope the recipient will be too when it is unveiled in less than a week (good thing he doesn’t surf the net).
So that’s the story….from muddy banks to mud room. Thanks for looking.
-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX