Cherry Shaker Bench

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Forum topic by Th961605 posted 11-26-2013 07:12 PM 825 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 1061 days

11-26-2013 07:12 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shaker bench walnut inlay table top attach tabletop attachment

Currently working on a shaker style bench and I’m hoping to get some feedback on attaching the top to the stretcher. I have the bench top made up of solid 3/4 cherry with some walnut inlay, which will rest on two 3/4 body pieces and one single stretcher down the middle Like the picture attached. I’m using a half notch lap joint to lay the stretcher over the uprights, and Leaning towards oversized pocket holes through the back of the stretcher, however I’ve never used a single stretcher layout before and I’m wondering if using glue down the center of the stretcher will account for enough movement for the bench top still. I don’t want to use hardware like tabletop tabs or buttons if at all possible, and I don’t want to drill through the surface since I have 3 walnut inlays in place. Are oversized pocket hole screws the way to go? And for the back attachment I’m thinking of oversize drilling through the back in the same manner. Also, the bench top is 13” wide and 50” long. Thanks all!

1 reply so far

View danoaz's profile


219 posts in 1588 days

#1 posted 11-28-2013 07:37 PM

I am not sure I follow you on what you mean by stretcher down the middle. The deflection in the design is toward the center of the 50” span with the center being the most lost point. Think of a fat person sitting in the center. To strengthen the flat seat you need the two front and back stretchers to be ridged and keep from deflecting. The best way to do this is to put additional stretchers inside from the front to the back stretcher. Put one at least in the center, but I would suggest a couple of more so that you have four squares looking down at it with the seat off. The depth of the stretchers and the framing pieces in between should be as tall as you can tolerate because that helps reduce deflection. I am not sure about the concern or ideas you have about attaching the stretchers if you for instance screw some metal angles on the inside to the stretchers and to the bottom of the seat. No one will see them. Or how about wood dowels that don’t have to go through the top?
Hope that helps.

-- "Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art." Frank LLoyd Wright

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