Cherry bench/chest with horned crown

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Project by Craftsman on the lake posted 506 days ago 1319 views 4 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been blogging the build for this bench. Its function is as a bench seat in our bedroom to sit on to dress and to store seasonal clothes as our storage space is minimal and at a premium in our house so we need to rethink all possibilities. i.e. This was simply going to be a bench. But after rethinking it I decided it could serve two functions.

The size is approximately 50” long by 20” deep by 24” high. More chair hight and depth than typical bench dimensions. The entire bench is made of cherry with a birch plywood floor. It has 5 raised panels with ogee contours on the back and front, and a single raised panel on the sides. The skirt and cover edge are cove and the crown at the top is a hand shaped ‘horn’. I was going to put a straight crown on it but tried carving the horn and it came out good so voila, it’s on.

The finish is four coats, brushed on, of waterlox which is an expensive mix of tongue oil varnishes and paraffin found at Woodcraft. I had half a quart left over after sealing a bathroom countertop with it. I was going to spray a coat of poly on it but decided it didn’t need it.

I used four simple chest hinges. They have long tongues on the cover part and they hook over the 3/4” side and they have 7 screws per hinge. I’ve got to get a small brass chain to keep the lid from going more than 90 degrees. I kept the mechanism simple for two reasons. One, other hardware for chests is very expensive and two we will be opening this chest very infrequently. The hinges are in the front to make the chest open from the back. Opening from the front would have necessitated pulling it away from the wall with that crown sticking up.

Overall this was a good build. A little frustrating at times trying to get all the pieces to fit together just right. With raised panels and rails and stiles, the more of them you have the more joints and the more care is needed. If a couple of joints are off a little the rest just won’t fit right. On the front side alone there are thirteen parts.

My niece had a nice piece of appohlsery fabric. I’ll get a 1” thick piece of foam and have my sister sew up a cushion to fit in the area inside the crown on the lid. It’s a little browner and redder than the picture shows. It looks really nice anyway. I don’t think I could have picked up anything better.

The bench is finally complete with the addition of the pad

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

9 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile


1776 posts in 816 days

#1 posted 506 days ago

Super nice chest, great build. Looks like all joints came out perfect. I like the “horn” on the seat, gives it a nice appearance, and most definitely conveys the top as a seat. Slick idea with the hinges on the front, that’s thinking outside the box, no pun intended.

Great build, thanks for showing.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1467 posts in 2190 days

#2 posted 506 days ago

The chest really turned out nice Dan, the choice of fabric goes well with it too. I know you enjoy watching the cherry age over time.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View sandhill's profile


2117 posts in 2549 days

#3 posted 505 days ago

Nice chest I love the top.

-- Bob Egbert AKA Sandhill

View grizzman's profile (online now)


6914 posts in 1929 days

#4 posted 505 days ago

what a beautiful chest, that cherry really is gorgeous..this turned out really nice dan, i know you will really enoy this as the years go by…...P.S im surprised you didnt post an opened picture so you could show off the red cedar on the inside ;).....sometimes i still feel like a 12 year old…lol

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Dusty56's profile


11644 posts in 2313 days

#5 posted 505 days ago

Great job , Dan !
The Waterlox is one of my favorite finishes to use on Cherry and Walnut : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Ken90712's profile


14878 posts in 1814 days

#6 posted 505 days ago

Dan this is a Monster!!!! Great work! It’s a real Beauty….. I loved the blog and hop mine comes out a good as yours. I can really appreciate how much time and effort went into this.

Did It take 4 people to move this in? LOL

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2382 posts in 2063 days

#7 posted 505 days ago

I spent every day with 12 year olds for 30 years as a junior high teacher Grizz. Maybe that’s why I “understand” you!

We can talk about this sometimes. Why don’t you call home and plan on staying after some day and you can tell me all about it.

Ken. I’ve been bulling it around the shop but haven’t moved it into the house yet. Gotta wait till my nephew is around. He could do it himself. It’s pretty heavy.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View eddie's profile


7202 posts in 1239 days

#8 posted 505 days ago

Dan the finish came out beautiful the wood gran is poping out at ya .a cushion to fit in the area inside the crown on the lid will look great ,love it

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View Handtooler's profile


1071 posts in 757 days

#9 posted 283 days ago

That is one beautiful piece of furniture. Yes, you ARE a real carftsman for sure.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

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