A Little Bench


This is a small windsor style bench made from Walnut.  The legs and stretchers were turned from pieces riven (split) directly from the freshly cut log.  The joinery here is the same that I use in my stools: through wedged mortise and tenon joints attach the stretchers to the legs, and tapered through wedged mortises and tenons join the legs to the seat.  The seat is made from a piece of air dried wood that was milled quite a few years ago.  James Krenov was an influential cabinet maker and teacher: he taught at College of the Redwoods in California and wrote “A Cabinetmaker’s Notebook.”  He believed that air dried wood had many qualities that made it superior to wood cooked in a kiln.  He also believed that wood that has been cleanly cut by sharp tools reflects light in a completely different (and superior) way than wood that has been sanded, no matter how finely.


The tops of the tenons are clearly visible in these views of the seat.  After assembly, the top of this stool was finished with a smoothing plane


and cabinet scraper: no sandpaper.


The moulding around the edge of the top further complicates the way light is reflected by the seat by adding a curved surface (ovolo) offset by two small flat surfaces (fillets) all around the edge, making it catch the eye.


First the edge was trued with a fore plane.


Then the  molding was cut using a Record Multi-Plane with a quarter round cutter.  The ends were done first: a small block was clamped to the side to prevent the corner from breaking out.


Then the long edges were done.


Almost finished.


Here it is in the workshop with a fresh coat of finish.





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