I make benches using traditional techniques, meaning they are built the way Windsor chairs were typically built. A strong
wood like Oak for the legs and stretchers and crest, a softer wood that’s easy to carve like Pine or Poplar for the seat. A strong flexible wood for the spindles, Oak is perfect. A hard wood is used for the arms and crest.
No metal fasteners are used just glue and wedges, tenons have to be dried in a home-made kiln along with wedges and pins or wooden nails.
This “Whale Tail” series of benches is fun to make. I have relaxed the back rest more than you typically find, it’s really comfortable. These guys sell for $1200.00 and can have a spar varnish to live outside or a lacquer finish if indoors.
The shoulder spindle goes through the arm rest and seat, then wedged in place under the seat for maximum durability in the back rest and arms. Turned rings on the stretcher complete a nautical feel that ties into this Delmarva area I live in and get my wood from. I have recently come across some White Pine that grew here in White Hall Maryland, it’s over 200 years old, I know because I milled the log on a friends swing blade saw mill after counting the rings. This wood is in Settee #3 and will be in the next few I make.These benches are about 45″ wide and 20″ deep from the back of the crest to the front of the seat.Customizing of woods and dimensions is always welcome
I intentionally kept the whale tail detail inside of the crest so when the piece is moved back to a wall the crest hits first preventing the detail of the arm rest from breaking or damaging the wall.
This settee is made from Cherry,White Oak and Pine. I get a lot of request for a bench with a waney edge,so I used a piece of Cherry and kept the outer most edge. I just removed the loose bark and cleaned it up then glued it to a pine plank to make up the seat I normally don’t glue different species together but this is the hardest White Pine I have ever worked and is a close match to the density of the Cherry. I like the color contrast too. It has a spar varnish finish so it could live outside if one wanted an outdoor bench.
Please contact me with any questions or to purchase a bench.
More to come!