Suggestions for a bench seat - Newbie - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-23-2012, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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Question Suggestions for a bench seat - Newbie

Hello everyone. Just joined the forum and perhaps a little background would be appropriate. I recently finished school and now have a little free time to pursue my interests. I'm a mechanical engineer by day and seasonal asphalt mill operator by weekend for a portion of the year. I've always had an affinity for anything craftsman related but haven't had the time to develop the expertise. Most of my experience has been out of necessity, not for enjoyment.

I'm hoping to build a bench <seat>. I've been scouring the internet for images, maybe even plans, but have not found much to my liking. I'm hoping maybe someone could point me to a thread or pictures of something similar that I would be able to make.

I'm somewhat limited in tools so something with extravagant curves or extremely detailed is outside my abilities. I'd like it to have a hinged seat for storage underneath but not really a necessity. The one thing I would like it to have for sure is a metal inlay in the back so it will probably be a solid back. I'd like to use a plasma cutter to cut out a design. I guess you could think of this bench as something you'd find in an entryway.

If anyone has links or photos to something similar, suggestions on type of wood, techniques, or anything to add to the discussion I'd greatly appreciate it! I hope to finish it by Christmas as a present for a good friend.

Thanks! -Matt
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-23-2012, 02:22 PM
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Anything interesting here?

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post #3 of 7 Old 11-23-2012, 04:55 PM
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Welcome to the forum.

Sorry no ideas for your project.
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-24-2012, 08:24 PM
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Some estimated dimensions would be nice. Kind of hard to help give links or suggestions with only a "Bench" to go on.
What material do you want to use? Length, Depth, Height? What tools DO you have?
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-25-2012, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the replies!

Tools at my disposal would be router, table saw, bandsaw, miter saw, typical hand tools. Luckily I have friends that may have others.

I suspect a bench would have dimensions of 4-5' long, 18" deep, and height would depend on the type of back.

You got way better results with your search! I'm somewhat fond of this one:
I could do the metal inlay in the lower part of it rather than the back. I also like the one with the baskets. My biggest concern is the joints. I dont have a lot of experience in that area, and Id like to build a nice piece that wont fall apart. I suspect I ought to do some more reading before embarking.

Do you have any suggestions on suitable wood? Oak would be my first choice, but perhaps not the most economical.
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-25-2012, 05:01 AM
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Hi all,

I'm from Ireland so anything at my disposal I'm going to multiply by 10 to get an idea of what you guys have. But there are a lot of reclaim yards around where I live and some are fantastic. I've often picked up 6X6 oak which were once beams in churches and made lovely fireplaces. My tip to you is to go somewhere like this and purchase old floor boards, full of character and would look well against any metal insert. Also, I know a lot of people will be hating for this but that image has a lot of mortice and tenons and to cut all those with a router you will not enjoy it. My cheeky tip is to get veneered MDF and screw on the wood with plenty of glue to the front. Another reason for using the floorboards is because the boards aren't perfect it gives you a bit of tolerance with the joints. It is by no means fine cabinet making but as a first project it is important to enjoy what your doing and get a finished product quickly so you still have interest than to spend hours cutting joints that might not even be right at the end anyway.
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-27-2012, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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I really like the idea of the reclaim yards. We have lots of old barns so barn wood is quite prevalent. I'd definitely like to explore that idea but probably not on this project. I want to make a solid wood bench and steer clear of MDF for right now. I think recycled wood like that would add an element of difficulty I'm not ready to tackle. I really appreciate the suggestion and will definitely be looking into it in the future!
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