The Last Minute Bench

Happy Boxing Day dear woodworkers. Have you given your saw its Christmas Box?

I haven't either, though I did wrap up the bench I made for my Dad for Christmas.

In the coming weeks I'll share more of the build and I'm working on a video showing my method for reinforcing the bench seat. In the mean time, here's a brief photo essay of the bench build.

Don't forget, now that Christmas is over, there's still time to share the gifts you made as part of the +Modern Woodworkers Association Last Minute Elf contest. You can read all about it here. Just send an email to and you'll be entered.

I hope you enjoyed your Christmas build as much as I did.

In order to flatten the bench seat, I hot glued it to a piece of melamine and ran it trough the planer.

Here is the bench leg, also hot glued to a piece of melamine, midway through being flattened.

In order to get two parallel ends, I eyeballed a chalk line roughly centered down the middle, then cut the ends perpendicular to the chalk line.

Dovetailing is a messy thing.

Dry fitting the let and seat.

Filling the large knot in the leg with epoxy.

Cutting the leg to length.

Routing the slots in the bottom of the seat to receive the reinforcement.

Ready for reinforcement.

Trimming the two walnut legs to exactly the same length by gang cutting them.

Transferring the seat location onto the walnut legs with the dovetailed leg.

Dry fitting the walnut legs and arm prior to joinery.

Routing the walnut leg joint.

The finished joint, cleaned up with a chisel.

Fitting the first walnut leg.

Cutting miters on one of the walnut legs.

The threaded rod reinforcement is epoxied in with Gorilla Glue epoxy.

After sanding off the excess epoxy.

Cutting the angles on the leg stretcher.

A scrap is clamped to the bottom of the bench seat for use as a domino fence.

The walnut leg miter joints are dominoed.

Determining the walnut leg to bench seat fastener size.

Dying the epoxy.

Black dyed epoxy makes for pretty knots.

The bench during clamp up.

The assembled bench.

Plugging the screw holes.

The dovetailed leg joint, prior to shaping.

The dovetailed leg joint after initial shaping.

The completed dovetailed leg joint.

I finished the bottom with four coats of lacquer first.

The top received six coats of lacquer.

The finished bench.

The finished dovetailed leg to seat joint.

The finished walnut leg to arm joint.

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