Herman Miller Nelson Platform Bench

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Project by Gopherit posted 01-12-2012 06:03 AM 12164 views 30 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a replica of George Nelson’s Platform Bench from Herman Miller:

It could be used as either a coffee table or a bench.

The wood is maple.

I did the joints with a router, but only because I didn’t have a dado set. The trapezoidal legs are finger jointed.

The legs were ebonized with a vinegar and steel wool solution I read about here:

It is an interesting process. I used regular black tea instead of whatever tea they mention in that article. Pretty fun to see the wood slowly turn black from the application of a slightly muddy, but clear solution. The results were probably a little blotchier than an ebony dye, but much cheaper and too noticeably different.

As for the rest of the finish, I wiped on several coats of polyurethane.

17 comments so far

View amateur's profile


91 posts in 2835 days

#1 posted 01-12-2012 06:19 AM

I ‘ve always liked this look, and yours is a beauty! Think it’s time to give it a go. Maybe even the ebonizing. Not too sure though. I tried it once before and it turned out really bad. Espresso stain is a nice look. We’ll see how brave I get when the time comes.

View a1Jim's profile


117283 posts in 3755 days

#2 posted 01-12-2012 06:28 AM

Great job a wonderful desgin.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View KenBry's profile


484 posts in 2625 days

#3 posted 01-12-2012 04:13 PM

I read allot about ebonizing and the best method I could find was using india ink as the dye. I bought a few bottles of the ink at the local craft store and it worked out wonderful. I dyed Poplar and Beach with the ink and they matched nicely. Just an option you might consider for ebonizing. You can see the results here:

I like the look of your table, Very nice contemperary look.

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.

View tsangell's profile


216 posts in 2871 days

#4 posted 01-12-2012 08:01 PM

You just made the “to do” list. Nice job.

View StumpyNubs's profile


7677 posts in 2978 days

#5 posted 01-12-2012 11:10 PM

WOW, that is VERY nice! I especially like the legs!

(The greatest woodworking show mankind has ever conceived is now online!)

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View NormG's profile


6269 posts in 3182 days

#6 posted 01-13-2012 02:56 AM

Looks wonderful

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View nomercadies's profile


590 posts in 2517 days

#7 posted 01-13-2012 02:58 AM

I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and this beholder is thinking your bench is way beautiful. I must try to do something like that for my family and … me.

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

View ChuckV's profile


3177 posts in 3705 days

#8 posted 01-13-2012 03:55 AM

I like that a lot. You did a great job on it.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4071 days

#9 posted 01-13-2012 04:53 AM


-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View michelletwo's profile


2763 posts in 3193 days

#10 posted 01-13-2012 03:07 PM

welcome to :Lj’s great repro…great bench

View bch's profile


296 posts in 2867 days

#11 posted 01-16-2012 05:19 AM

I too have admired that bench. Your version is great looking! Well done.

-- --bch

View LeChuck's profile


424 posts in 3240 days

#12 posted 10-22-2012 01:02 AM

Reviving an older post here. I’ve had this in my faves for a while :)

Congratulations on the great work.

I would love to make one of these eventually. Is there a place to find details on the exact dimensions of the pieces (seems that width should be 18.5”, which would put the slats and spaces at about 20mm if they are equal), details on the joinery…etc? Need to read up on making angled finger joints…


-- David - Tucson, AZ

View Gopherit's profile


6 posts in 2506 days

#13 posted 10-25-2012 01:44 AM

Thanks LeChuck.

Here’s a link I had bookmarked that I remember being some help:

I made a jig on my router table for the legs. Honestly, I think I just got a bit lucky that the angles worked out right!

View LeChuck's profile


424 posts in 3240 days

#14 posted 10-25-2012 03:28 AM

Thanks! I’m not sure the link has correct measurements as about 9 inches long for the bottom part of the leg would probably make the angle very steep. It looks to be about 10 degrees. Also, on all the pictures I’ve seen, teh slats seem to be as wide as the gaps, and twice as high. Hard to tell the exact width of the legs as well. It will be interesting to figure this out :)

-- David - Tucson, AZ

View Gopherit's profile


6 posts in 2506 days

#15 posted 10-25-2012 03:31 AM

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