Nantucket Bench in Sinker Cypress

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Project by Jeffreaux2 posted 10-02-2013 04:39 PM 5722 views 12 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My sister in law had seen a few “live edge” benches at an arts and crafts show. I offered to build her one.

The lumber was harvested from a tree that was cut in the Atchafalaya Swamp many moons ago. Imagine a poor soul wading through muck and mosquitoes to arrive at the base of this old growth cypress tree and then attacking it with an axe for hours and hours. Finally felling the tree, it would have been limbed and then dragged or rolled into the water to be lashed to other logs in a raft to be floated to a mill. But this log sank. Maybe 80 to 150 years ago. And there it sat. In that muddy water until a guy I found on craigslist located it and retrieved it. Winching it up to the side of his skiff and then bringing it near his home in Bayou Sorrell, Louisiana so that he could drag it by tractor to his backyard mill. And even in being particularly “particular”, I had no idea that the finished project would be so beautiful.

New for me?
Through mortises, biscuit joining on the stretchers, preserving roughness and character in the lumber as I milled and ripped it, danish oil, shellac, Breewax

Super fun project. I highly recommend!

-- Regards, Jeff

21 comments so far

View JSan's profile


53 posts in 2125 days

#1 posted 10-02-2013 04:57 PM

Beautiful bench and a good conversation piece.

-- "It's always a good idea to copy a good (wood project) idea" author unknown

View WayneC's profile


13775 posts in 4245 days

#2 posted 10-02-2013 05:08 PM

Absolutely Gorgeous.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View a1Jim's profile


117236 posts in 3725 days

#3 posted 10-02-2013 05:26 PM

Love it very cool,nice work.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3004 days

#4 posted 10-02-2013 05:49 PM

Absolutely fantastic piece
You sure gave that wood the respect it deserves
Great story as well


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 3971 days

#5 posted 10-02-2013 06:28 PM

This turn out wonderful ,great work on all aspects!

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3456 days

#6 posted 10-02-2013 09:01 PM

That is a very nice bench and the Sinker Cypress really makes it stand out.
Did you get your cypress from Durwin on Hwy 75 in Plaquemine?

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2321 days

#7 posted 10-02-2013 09:35 PM

Fantastic craftsmanship. It looks amazing. The wood is nice.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Jeffreaux2's profile


17 posts in 1952 days

#8 posted 10-02-2013 10:33 PM


I bought it from a man who lives in Bayou Sorrell. To Jack Millers and then left for a cpl miles. Super nice guy. Its air dried so not suitable for every project. Name is Winstead. Are you near Baton Rouge? Im having a hard time getting box joints in some 3/4 walnut speaker boxes. Im getting some bad tearout on exit. Im using the incra ibox I have 15 boxes to make for Christmas presents and my saw has burnt a switch. Very frustrating.

I have a ph number for the sawyer if you need it.

-- Regards, Jeff

View doubleDD's profile


7706 posts in 2191 days

#9 posted 10-02-2013 11:51 PM

Beautiful work. Some of the grain resembles zebra wood.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Cater's profile


14 posts in 1868 days

#10 posted 10-03-2013 12:29 AM

Nice work. My saw dust covered hat is off to you.

-- Reclaimed Wood blog

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2838 days

#11 posted 10-03-2013 12:42 AM

Jeff, I have been craving some sinker cypress and yours is especially nice colored/grained. You did a great job on the bench and did that cypress proud.

As far as the tear out on your box joints- 2 thoughts: are your blades SHARP? and are you using a fresh backer board? The backer seems very critical to prevent tear out.

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

View Jeffreaux2's profile


17 posts in 1952 days

#12 posted 10-03-2013 01:44 AM


I had lowered the blade 1/32” without refresing the backer. When my saw is recommisioned Ill rectify this. The blades had cut cleanly on the bench project. I actually built two additional nantuckets in knotty red cypress. Modern cut. Not sinker. Still though, I dropped the blade to a local sharpener today. I’ll get that back tomorrow.


And thank you to everyone for the kind remarks.

-- Regards, Jeff

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 2653 days

#13 posted 10-03-2013 01:45 AM

That is GREAT!

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2838 days

#14 posted 10-03-2013 01:52 AM

Jeff, Glad you got it figured out. As you now know, you need a new backer every time you change the joint height OR width.

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

View Jeffreaux2's profile


17 posts in 1952 days

#15 posted 10-03-2013 05:04 AM


How much sinker are you looking for?? Where do you live? Maybe we can swap some local harvest??

-- Regards, Jeff

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