Doug's Bench Part V: Assembly

The seat and wide leg are cut to size and dovetailed. The square legs and arm are milled and cut to fit. The seat is reinforced and the epoxy has been sanded flush. It’s assembly time.
All the parts, ready to go.
The assembly of Doug’s Shoe Bench is a two (2) step process. First I assembled the seat, wide leg and diagonal stretcher. Because of the direction of these joints, this first glue up was broken down into two (2) sub glue ups.

I began with the one joint which assembled horizontally, between the wide leg and the diagonal stretcher. I coated the mortises and domino with glue and pushed this joint together by hand.

With the seat upside down on the bench, I then glued the mortises on the diagonal stretcher and seat, the domino and the dovetails. All of these joints assembly vertically, so I took the assembled wide leg/stretcher and lowered into on the seat – into the mortise and dovetails. A few rubber mallet blows later and the joints were together.

The wide leg and diagonal stretcher are assembled.

Then I quickly flipped the seat / wide leg assembly over to sit it right way up on the bench. I used a simple L-shaped plywood frame the same height as the wide leg under the far end of the bench to support it at this stage in the glue up.

I used Woodpecker Clamping Squares to keep the wide leg and the seat perpendicular when I clamped them together. Clamping them with Doug’s Shoe Bench upright on my workbench allowed me to turn my attention to the square legs and arm at the other end while leaving the wide leg in clamps.

Gluing up the wide leg and arm assembly was the trickiest part of glue up because the legs attach to the seat horizontally and the arm attaches to the legs diagonally with reinforced miter joints. I began by gluing up the mortises in the arm and then seating the dominos in them. Then I glued up the seat tenons and leg mortises. I set the legs in place and put a loose clamp on them to prevent them from falling over. Then I glued the domino mortise in the legs and the miter joints overall.

All clamped up.

Because of the miter, the legs needed to be pulled away from the seat in order to start the domino into the mortises. Though I was expecting the clamping of the leg to arm miters and leg to seat mortis and tenons to be hard, it proved to be very easy. Simply running a clamp between the top of the legs parallel with the arm produced enough pressure to drive the arm down as the dominos slid into their mortises.

Once the legs and arm were pulled into place, I added more clamps across the seat and miter joints.

Then, as I usually do I left it to dry overnight. Once it comes out of the clamps, with a small amount of sanding touch up Doug’s Shoe Bench will be ready for finish.

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