Asian-inspired Bench

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Project by Simeond posted 06-23-2012 03:47 AM 3074 views 8 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

45”(w) x 29”(h) x 14”(d). Black Walnut with Maple accents

I was inspired by this bench by Robert Spangler (his “Doig Bench”) and wanted to try my own take on it… Boy, this had its challenges!

First, I’ve never sculpted anything (aside from rasp-rounding edges where two pieces come together etc…). For the seat (which was 2 jointed boards), I first jointed them at a 4 degree angle to make a little less of the scul-ting work. Then the seat was sculpted using an angle-grinder and a 80 grit flap disk. It is very aggressive, so it took a lot of practice to be able to make controlled even passes. Even still, there was a lot of “corrective work” needed after. Any other methods people use for sculpting?

Second, there’s a total of 4 different M&J joints and NONE of them are 90 degrees. I’ve done angled M&T joints, but never where each one was interdependant on the fit of the last one. That is, even where the two M/T pieces pit nicely together on their own, they could get tension or even come apart at an angle once I put together the other joints…. I gave up on relying on the accuracy of my machines angles and ended up remaking most pieces by hand with a pull-saw and chisels.

At any rate, all critique is welcome as usual…

P.S. I really need to get a camera and a better place to photograph (the pictures are from my iPhone! and are blurry)....

-- "...a band of small discoveries, strung like pearls on a thread of curiosity, lending richness to our work...." - James Krenov.......

13 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117232 posts in 3720 days

#1 posted 06-23-2012 04:05 AM

Wow I like this ,very cool.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 2756 days

#2 posted 06-23-2012 05:49 AM

now thats a nice bench

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View skennedy's profile


9 posts in 2312 days

#3 posted 06-23-2012 06:20 AM

That is an awesome bench. I like the flowing lines of the back and the joinery that holds it all together. Outstanding job!

-- Shawn Kennedy

View Skiedra's profile


259 posts in 2434 days

#4 posted 06-23-2012 06:24 AM

A fine bench indeed. Spangler link is broken.

View Simeond's profile


82 posts in 2547 days

#5 posted 06-23-2012 06:28 AM

Thanks for the feedback! I fixed the link to Spangler’s bench. Sorry about that!

-- "...a band of small discoveries, strung like pearls on a thread of curiosity, lending richness to our work...." - James Krenov.......

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2551 days

#6 posted 06-23-2012 10:20 AM

Very nice “clean” piece of work. Love your take on the butterfly keys! New to me with the sweeping lines. Great idea and simpler too. Good job all the way around.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3380 days

#7 posted 06-23-2012 12:33 PM

You’ve made a beautiful bench! Great choice of materials and workmanship too. I like your version better than the one that inspired you.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Woodbridge's profile


3573 posts in 2561 days

#8 posted 06-23-2012 03:21 PM

Beautiful looking bench. You have captured the flavour of the original but have added you own touch to it.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View Skylark53's profile


2676 posts in 3203 days

#9 posted 06-23-2012 03:21 PM

How is the back attached? The bench looks super, I can’t imagine what would improve it. Very nice wood selection, joints look tight; design is distinct and functional. Time well spent.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 3966 days

#10 posted 06-23-2012 04:04 PM

Got love how this turned out, nice work thanks for posting…BC

View Simeond's profile


82 posts in 2547 days

#11 posted 06-24-2012 01:14 AM

Appreciate the feedback, folks!

Skylark: the supplying arms for the back are 1/8” thicker than the back itself. The easiest way to describe the joint is a blind dovetail.
So it’s flush in the front, but 1/8” proud in the back. I wish I had a picture… Ugh. Words are such blunt instruments! The arms are thru-tenoned thru the seat at a compound angle and into a
Curved seat… The tenon is 1”x1” and then pinned under the seat, which act kind if likena reverse cantilever… I do worry about these tenons holding up. I take some relief from the fact that this will be more of a decorative hall bench and not at a kitchen table… :)

-- "...a band of small discoveries, strung like pearls on a thread of curiosity, lending richness to our work...." - James Krenov.......

View Acer's profile


10 posts in 2335 days

#12 posted 06-24-2012 06:33 PM

That is a terrific design… Very nice to look at.

-- Near Allentown, PA. "In theory, practice and theory are the same. In practice, they aren't."

View WRAAdesign's profile


46 posts in 2541 days

#13 posted 07-12-2012 12:20 AM

A bench to be proud of. Beautiful lines.


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