Walnut Display Bench - Router Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-06-2020, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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Default Walnut Display Bench

For my next trick...

My wife went and spent a pile of money on a big painting so, of course, I had to make a piece of furniture to compliment it. Well, actually, she wanted to spend another pile of money on a bench for under it so I opened my mouth...

The painting is 6 ft wide and I guessed that a 5 ft bench would have the right proportions. I modeled it in sketchup and actually imported a photo of the painting so we could see what it looked like. SWMBO liked it so off to Crosscut Hardwoods with a credit card. The construction is pretty simple. Tapered legs and a mortise and tenon box skirt with a big ol slab of Walnut on top. Simple cleats hold the the top to the base. Four coats of hand rubbed oil based polyurethane to finish. For kicks, I included the sketchup "approval" model for comparison. I try to do this with every piece of furniture I make as it encourages buy in by the customer, er, SWMBO and heads off the "that's not what I thought it would look like" conversation. She is actually quite happy with the result and likes to put various things for show on it. This Thanksgiving and Christmas it had various holiday decorations and other times it displays books or small plants..
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Measure twice, cut once and CROSS OUT THE WRONG MARKS.

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-06-2020, 06:34 AM
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Nicely done, Phil! Do you have photos of the construction? Those would be good to see.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-06-2020, 07:02 AM
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Looks great
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-06-2020, 07:08 AM
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Nice build Phil
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-06-2020, 08:40 AM
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Very nice indeed. Walnut is probably my favorite wood. I have some from Monticello. Someone with authority there had an oak and walnut tree removed because he said Thomas Jefferson use to stand at this specific point and look down on the University of Virginia and now these trees would be blocking his view. I highly suspect old Tom turned over in his grave at that one.

Fortunately for me may Father-in-Law was good friends with the gentleman that got the contract to cut these down and was the recipient of about 100BF of the boards resulting from the walnut tree all dressed to 3/4". Ed was a self taught woodworker with the patience of a saint. In his almost 100 years, missed by 3 months, he built many Grandmother and Granddaughter clocks. The only power tools I knew him to have was a benchtop table saw (old Sears), electric sander, hand drill, and I think an old router. All his other tools were hand tools. These sit proudly in my shop less the table saw.

Although some of the wood is a bit wormy it has great color and grain. Still haven't found that special project for it......Really miss the old guy.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-06-2020, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
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Nicely done, Phil! Do you have photos of the construction? Those would be good to see.

David
Unfortunately, no. I was kind of in a hurry to complete it so didn't stop and take any except for a pre-finish shot to show SWMBO the progress. Always kick myself later when I don't.

The construction was very straightforward. Used templates and a router for the mortises. Tenons were cut on the TS with the "repetitive cuts" method (cause I hate setting up a dado blade). Leg tapers were cut with a quick hack taper jig. Top slab was pushed through the planer once for each side and sanded with my Bosch random orbital (great tool, good dust ex and low vibrations).

[edit] Forgot, I used a scraper on the top side of the slab to smooth out the planer marks. The scraper is a very underrated tool.[/edit]

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Last edited by PhilBa; 01-06-2020 at 09:24 AM.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-06-2020, 09:14 AM
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Excellent piece! (I almost love the flower pot stand more, tho!!) Looks great overall...
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-06-2020, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Very nice indeed. Walnut is probably my favorite wood. I have some from Monticello. Someone with authority there had an oak and walnut tree removed because he said Thomas Jefferson use to stand at this specific point and look down on the University of Virginia and now these trees would be blocking his view. I highly suspect old Tom turned over in his grave at that one.

Fortunately for me may Father-in-Law was good friends with the gentleman that got the contract to cut these down and was the recipient of about 100BF of the boards resulting from the walnut tree all dressed to 3/4". Ed was a self taught woodworker with the patience of a saint. In his almost 100 years, missed by 3 months, he built many Grandmother and Granddaughter clocks. The only power tools I knew him to have was a benchtop table saw (old Sears), electric sander, hand drill, and I think an old router. All his other tools were hand tools. These sit proudly in my shop less the table saw.

Although some of the wood is a bit wormy it has great color and grain. Still haven't found that special project for it......Really miss the old guy.
OK, that qualifies as one of the most touching stories I've heard in a long time. Ed sounds like a guy I would have loved to know.

A suggestion for a remembrance project - make a simple router tray. Wouldn't use much wood, maybe 1 BF or so and it's pretty easy. It's something I plan on making for a number of gifts. 3/4" to 1" thick piece with the inside routed to a depth of maybe 1/4" or even less. Really just a shallow depression. An inscription on the back with that story would be a great touch. The tie-in to Jefferson and Ed would make it truly special.

I have a couple of bowl carving router bits that I would use on my router table with a template. For mine, I'm thinking of simple Danish modern influenced shapes with somewhat rounded corners. Probably a set of various sizes for serving appetizers - nuts, cheese/crackers, fruit. CNC cut templates can be any possible shape but the templates can easily be drawn up and cut by hand. I do have some walnut but will probably use cherry instead. I'll do a how-to on the process when I get around to it.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-06-2020, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Excellent piece! (I almost love the flower pot stand more, tho!!) Looks great overall...
Yeah, I like it too but can't claim anything other than rescuing it from my former wife.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-06-2020, 01:12 PM
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Phil that should make your wife happy. Nice straight lines and slight tapper on the legs look great with the painting. They look good together.
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