Cherry Bench
Related to my Shooting Board Post, here are some details about the actual bench.  Dimensions are 59 x 15 x 15.  The legs are 2-1/2" thick; the top is 3". It's low because it's designed for something to sit on top, not people, although it's more that strong enough to hold several people.  It's made from shop sawn cherry veneer over plywood with solid wood edging.  To build the bench I made a semi torsion box grid that bits over a tenon cut on the top of the legs. The long grid members also fit against the ends of the legs as a lap joint and in the middle as a bridle joint.  

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With the legs dry fit to the grid, I glued the grid to a sheet of 3/4" plywood.

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When that was dry I glued the legs to the grid.  I drove screws through the end grid member into the leg tenon.  I also added a 1/2" dowel through the outside, long grid members into the legs, and then two more through the plywood down into the legs.  The connection is super solid and should resist any abuse.  

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Next I fit the aprons around the edge of the sub-top and grid.  It rests on the rabbett cut in the legs.  Once the corners fit well I glued them to the grid and legs with no fasteners.  

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I flushed the top of the moldings with the sub-base with a hand plane, then made the show top from a piece of 1/2" plywood with mitered solid wood edging and more cherry veneer.  I only veneered one side because it is glued to the sub-base.  

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I pre-sanded to 220 grit before glue up.  I used Osmo Polyx Satin to finish the bench, 3 coats.  After each of the first two coats I rubbed it with a gray synthetic pad. I applied the Polyx with a white synthetic pad.  I think it took less than 25 ml to do the last two coats.  It's hard to believe how far this stuff goes and how well it protects.  It is incredibly easy to apply and will never leave streaks or runs if you follow the directions to not use too much and to wipe it thoroughly.  It takes quite a long time to really cure, though, one or two days even to handle much, so you can't put this into service right away.  

And here it is ready to deliver.

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You can see the nice sheen the Osmo gives the wood, much more so than Rubio Monocoat.  Osmo also is available in gloss, again something RM doesn't offer.  

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Thanks for looking.  

Very Nice! Clearly an engineered piece! Well done!
That is a really elegant design! Nicely done!
Great work as always, John!

John, when you grow up, you will probably make an excellent woodworker.
"I tried being reasonable..........I didn't like it." Clint Eastwood
John, if I ever grow up; on time, just one time, I want to turn out something as nice as your work.
"I tried being reasonable..........I didn't like it." Clint Eastwood
Thanks for the kind words everyone.  

Woodworking is a lot like golf, it can be enjoyed at any level.  I don't consider myself a great woodworker.  I reserve that distinction for someone like Dave Diaman and the guys two hundred years and more ago who turned out such amazing pieces using only hand tools.  I'm just a guy who's kept at it for a long time and has continued to learn and try new things.  Being an engineer helps with the technical side of woodworking but it's really more about the passion for creating something to the best of my ability that motivates me to put in the time necessary to create projects that I'm often proud of.  Patience and perseverance have gotten me a long way towards competence, but there's so much more to learn. To be honest, customers have helped push my abilities almost as much.  When you sell something to someone you can't accept almost good enough.  It has to satisfy the customer's expectations.  

And all of you have helped me learn and improve.  Derek Cohen's design and handwork is very inspiring, to name just one person with amazing skill; there are many others.  Pondering the questions on how best to do something has caused me to think how I would do it.  Your answers to questions I've posed.  The generous time many have given to me, most notably Joe Grout who mentored me on how to build passage doors.  I never would have learned those details so quickly, nor probably as well, without his able and patient counsel.  Yeah, that Joe Grout.  The arched French doors he first helped me with might be the best work I've ever done.  

So thanks for all your help.  I hope I can return the favor now and then.  

What a great piece and amazing craftsmanship. One day I hope to be half this talented and produce such great projects!
I delivered the bench today.  Here it is in its intended location.

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Merry Christmas,

Another fine project. Always enjoy seeing your work.

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