Make a Bench from a Board
A fellow co-worker had some beautiful pine boards milled up recently. Most boards were a woodworker’s dream – wide, thick and clear. And the best part – he offered them at cost. Just enough per board foot to cover milling and kiln drying. (Thanks again Dan!)
Here’s a quick step-by-step, showing a simple design for a bench, that lets the lumber be the star.
And check out this post to see how I cut out the waste between pins with a reciprocating saw.
Here I'm removing the saw marks and getting the board flat.
In this photo, the parts have been cut to length with a hand saw (not with the little dovetail saw in the picture), the tails have been laid out, and I'm getting ready to start the joinery.
I first cut the tails in the top board...
and then cut the pins in the sides.
A final smoothing of the parts.
Ready for glue-up.
After the glue-up I planed the dovetails smooth.
I then added a contour to the edges. A slight taper down to the bottom of the sides and a rounding to the top of the dovetails and all inside edges.
Here's a detail of the taper at the bottom of the sides. I used a flat chisel, block plane and rasp to add the contours.
Here's the finished bench.
A detail of the contoured edges. I rounded over the dovetails more at the sides and less in the center to give the edge a curve when looking down from the top.
I left the bit of bark that was still attached to an edge. This let the bench be as wide as possible, and I liked the natural look.