Front Porch Bench

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Project by Grantman posted 01-04-2013 12:41 AM 2701 views 6 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 (online now)


117417 posts in 3812 days

#1 posted 01-04-2013 12:53 AM

Very cool bench,great job.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30128 posts in 2573 days

#2 posted 01-04-2013 12:53 AM

Nice job, cool bench.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View CSlabon's profile


301 posts in 3512 days

#3 posted 01-04-2013 01:07 AM

Nice work!

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2925 days

#4 posted 01-04-2013 02:03 AM

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


537 posts in 2391 days

#5 posted 01-04-2013 05:10 AM

View Mean_Dean's profile


6910 posts in 3382 days

#6 posted 01-04-2013 07:33 PM

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

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View yooper's profile


223 posts in 3062 days

#7 posted 01-05-2013 01:26 AM

Great bench. Thanks for posting.

-- Jeff, CT - keep calm and make sawdust

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 3791 days

#8 posted 01-05-2013 05:14 PM

Looks good

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View Josh's profile


1234 posts in 2804 days

#9 posted 01-05-2013 08:18 PM

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.

-- Tree, wood, and box lover from Pennsylvania

View Manitario's profile


2703 posts in 3118 days

#10 posted 01-05-2013 08:38 PM

I love the design and your choice of wood.

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

View bowtie's profile


990 posts in 2581 days

#11 posted 02-21-2013 11:02 PM

very nice

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

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