Ben Sandness

Builder / Thinker / Artist / Designer

Contemplation Bench


Contemplation Bench - Seat top

This is a single seat bench that I have built from walnut and ash.  The goals for this project were to (1) work without specific plans and focus on being responsive to the material, (2) build a small bench, and (3) use primarily hand tools.  The finished height is  around 18″ tall.  I planed the rough sawn 3 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ ash beam flat and square by hand.  The bench is held together with strong mechanical joints reinforced with glue.  There are three Dutchmen (two walnut on the bottom, one ash on the top) stabilizing the split in the seat.  The legs are mortised into the bottom of the seat, held in place with glue, friction, and gravity.  The stretcher between the legs connects with a thick double shouldered dado that is pinned in two directions and, again, reinforced with glue.  The finished bench is quite solid and hefty, at 30lbs.

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