Front Porch Bench

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Project by Grantman posted 472 days ago 1502 views 5 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My sister lives in east Tennessee. A friend used to “collect” 8/4 cedar and has/had at least 10,000 bd. ft. of it on her property. Last summer, my sister brought two slabs and said, “Here. Make something.” It’s sat in the basement for six months as I tried to figure out what to do. The wood had giant voids in it limiting what I could do and one piece was worse than the other. Really. This was one project I was not looking forward to.

Finally, I decided to concentrate on the base leaving the top alone as it would essentially be most of the “best” piece with the least amount of void. I knew I needed a stretcher but there wasn’t enough cedar to make one. I had a piece of white oak laying around so I used that. But I needed to have it set off visually so I simply painted it. Turns out the it adds to the contrast between the sapwood and the heartwood.

Construction was pretty simple. 7/8” oak dowels to join the legs to the base and benchtop. A small piece of maple between the legs themselves and the cedar foot and a couple of walnut butterflies on the split. (I had just bought George Nakashima’s “Soul of a Tree” two weeks before I started the project.)

The most fun was using my Lie Nielsen router plane to perfectly flatten the oak where the legs are glued to it. I don’t know what I ever did before I had one. What a great tool. The ends are mitered to match the angle of the raw edge adjacent to each side. The bench is very asymmetrical.

Now I just have to figure out how to transport it to Tennessee in a sedan! Let’s hope the back seat goes down enough to get the bench in.

11 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


109409 posts in 2080 days

#1 posted 472 days ago

Very cool bench,great job.

-- Custom furniture

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

10838 posts in 841 days

#2 posted 472 days ago

Nice job, cool bench.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View CSlabon's profile


294 posts in 1780 days

#3 posted 472 days ago

Nice work!

View gfadvm's profile


9567 posts in 1193 days

#4 posted 472 days ago

Nice bench! Love the bowties and the maple works well with the cedar. I even like the painted stretcher. As far as hauling it, just strap it on top of the roof or trunk like all the rest of us rednecks!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View GarageWoodworks's profile


401 posts in 659 days

#5 posted 472 days ago

View Mean_Dean's profile


951 posts in 1650 days

#6 posted 471 days ago

Very nice bench! I’ve always liked live edge bench and tabletops, and yours looks great!

-- Dean

View yooper's profile


181 posts in 1330 days

#7 posted 471 days ago

Great bench. Thanks for posting.

-- Jeff, CT - better late then never

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 2059 days

#8 posted 470 days ago

Looks good

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View josh's profile


824 posts in 1072 days

#9 posted 470 days ago

This belongs not on a front porch. Nay, for it is too worthy a work of art. It should be preserved and catalogued and placed in some museum where only the aristocrats frequent.

-- Josh; Former Pennsylvanian, current Coloradan

View Manitario's profile


2181 posts in 1386 days

#10 posted 470 days ago

I love the design and your choice of wood.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View bowtie's profile


737 posts in 849 days

#11 posted 423 days ago

very nice

-- bowtie,.....jus passin thru....

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