A Little Bench

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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.

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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

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and cabinet scraper: no sandpaper.

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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.

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First the edge was trued with a fore plane.

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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.

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Then the long edges were done.

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Almost finished.

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

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