Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pull up a (Bench) Seat

Hello there friends.  As you all may remember, last week I set all of the cabinets in place on my current project.  This week, I've taken a bit of time to get caught up with a new client by knocking out a sweet little dual oven built-in.  Yank out old, put in the new and improved.  Wham! Pow!  All done.

I then moved back to the current project on a small, yet beautifully quaint window seat in the kitchen area.

As with everything in this project, symmetry and alignment take first consideration. With a bit of tweaking, the homeowner and I were able to come to an understanding with the final design.  Here are a few of the first drawings.

Looking at the plan view, you can see how the top relates to the window casing.

As the bench evolved, we quickly found that by removing extra lines we were enhancing the overall simplicity.  It goes to show that keeping it simple really can be the best solution.  (Now, if I just do that when I ramble. I mean write.)

Both in plan and elevation view, it reads very well.

After we had a plan, I generated a cut-list and hit the shop.

The 2 interior boxes are pre-finished maple.  The exterior is all unfinished maple in preparation for painting.  Make up the boxes, add a front, and clamp it all together.  Bada Bang!

As with all captured cabinets, I prefer to work backwards and start with the part that you can see once the cabinet is complete.  I like to make sure I have some wiggle room and extra space for shimming, scribe work, and wonky walls.

In this particular case, I felt 1/2" would suffice throughout.  It did, but barely!  The floor sloped just under 5/8" over 18".  With the Festool, trimming things to fit just right is a breeze.

The moving blanket helps these old boney knees too.

Making the top fit is the last step today.  Again, the Festool makes quick work of such cuts.

I took the two tops off and brought them back to the shop for the self edge on the front, cutting out the lids, hinges and final sanding.  I can't make up the back yet, as it must fit around the stainless steel counter tops that get installed in 2 weeks.

I've also had a bit of time to work on the shop putting some tools away, building more benchs, relocating some homeless folk, and paying my taxes.  All in all a good week.

Keep an eye out for a few more shop pictures coming your way soon!

Let me know if any of you have built benches like these, and tell me your thoughts!  Thanks, as always for reading.



  1. Those turned out very well. I have never built anything like that, but it is amazing what some well placed trim can do to the simple box. Don't you just love a project just before the finish goes on?

    Your illustrations look great as well.

  2. Thanks Jeff. I do indeed like a piece right before finish. It's also such a great feeling of accomplishment. Thanks for reading.

  3. The first picture of the clamps is really cool.