Designing and Building a Modern Bench – Woodworking Projects

Designing and Building a Modern Bench – Woodworking Projects


this is our porch it needs a bench the idea for this bench came from this bench this bench came
from this piece of wood this piece of wood came from a dumpster I don’t know where this dumpster came from so I originally built this bench when I
was out for a walk one day and found a piece of wood in a dumpster I just kind of wanted to see what i
could do with it so I brought it home and I made this bench the benches kind of flimsy as you can
see it’s the wood was probably only about a half of an inch thick maybe a little bit more than that to
start by the time i got it all nice and smooth it was pretty thin I wouldn’t recommend sitting on this
bench I brought it to my office and I pretty much just use it to set a couple
bags on partly because it’s convenient and partly because it deters people from
sitting on it I did have one guy sit on at one time
kind of a bigger guy actually probably 210 pounds didn’t break but there’s a
lot of creaking going on so I actually really like the design of
this bench you know it’s very simple pretty minimal I really love the look of angled and
tapered legs so I ran with that idea I went through a couple of design ideas
before finally landing on this design you can see it has all of the exact same
pieces that the original bench has but each piece is just slightly different I don’t know that I normally would have
picked cherry to build something outside but I had some leftover cherry from
another build so I took the path of least resistance plus the bench is going
to sit under porch it’s not really going to be out in the
Sun or in the rain or anything like that and the weather here in Southern
California is pretty mild so I’m sure it’ll be fine after i joined and planned all the
cherry to the proper thickness I built the four legs I can get all four
legs from two small chunks of wood by kind of flipping things around and
nesting them together the legs are going to angle in 15
degrees from 90 degrees so I guess that’s 75 degrees from being vertical i
started by making a 15 degree cut from the top and bottom of the piece that the
legs and come from then I marked out one of the legs
carefully and cut it out on the band saw I use this first leg as a template for
the rest using it to mark and cut out the others also at the bandsaw once I had all of the pieces cut out i clamped them together with the outside edges flush
and I run their wobbly edge over the jointer again so that they’re all perfectly equal. one of the repeating themes that I find
with woodworking and I’ll probably say this over and over accuracy is way less important than
repeatability what I mean is if something is supposed to be 16 inches it isn’t really that important that it
ends up being exactly 16 inches it can be a 32nd of an inch off either way and at
some level you can’t really control for that but what’s more important is being
consistently short or long by that 32nd of an inch as long as you repeat the same cut over
and over things are usually going to come out okay back to the legs now that the shape is
created it’s time to start cutting in some joinery i went ahead and cut some
dedos for all the connector pieces that will run between the front and back of
the legs on either side we know that the outside edge angles are
15 degrees so I basically set up the dado blade spent a bunch of time accurately marking out where all of my cuts needed to be
set my miter gauge at 15 degrees and started nibbling away cutting the cross connector pieces was
the first part of the bench that was a little tricky the reason for this is because of the
taper the legs I knew that the outside edge of the
crosspieces would be at 15 degrees to match up with the legs but the inside of
the legs are basically just some random unknown angle I did my best to measure and I came up
with 18 degrees also each crosspieces a different width
basically they need to get wider as you get closer to the top of the leg where the leg gets wider. so again marked out everything set the blade and
cut a 15-degree angle off one side and an 18-degree angle off the other side for the bottom crosspieces I also cut a
dado on the top which will eventually hold a stretcher that will keep the legs
from wanting to move away from each other when somebody sits on top of the
bench now is ready to glue up the legs and do
some sanding the legs aren’t quite complete here
because I need to wait till the very end to glue on the top piece after the seat
is on otherwise there’d be no way to get the seat in with the base mostly finished i turn my attention to the stretcher. the
piece that would run between the too legs this was the second tricky part of the
build. I needed to cut joinery on the ends to mate with the dados I just cut
in the crosspieces but the inside edge needed to match that 18 degree angle I couldn’t use the data blade here
because if you tilt the blade at 18 degrees you’re going to end up with it
way higher on one side of the other so instead i made a cut with a regular
blade at 18 degrees then I turn the piece vertical and cut out the remainder this left to minimize version of the
problem the dado blade with a left but it was easy to clean up with the chisel I went ahead and left the piece long on
the edges so that I could clean it up to match the outside 15-degree angle after
gluing the whole base together Here I am trimming off those extra
pieces for the top i had to use two boards
glued together it’s about 15 inches wide which is
almost twice the width of my joiner when I’m gluing that pieces like this i
like to use a few dominoes to help with alignment I don’t know that they really provide
any extra strength but they make it easier to keep the board’s aligned
vertically and horizontally after a little cleanup I cut the top to
the finish length and width since the ends were uneven and the
board was too wide to use my miter gauge i used a tracks to cut it square into
the finished length I wanted to put a really long bevel on
the underside of the ends but a blade on a table saw only tilts to 45 degrees at
least on my table saw so instead of having that be my limit I
set the blade at 15 degrees and cut the piece vertically so that would be the
equivalent of being able to tilt your blade to 75 degrees to attach the top to
the base i use these figure 8 clips I don’t know if that’s their technical
name they’re pretty easy to install and they allow for wood movement so i really
like them I probably should have done this before
i had assembled the legs but it came out fine plus placement isn’t really that
important since they’re going to be hidden on the underside I’m pretty happy with the way the bench
came out it’s definitely different and modern-looking
but I think it also has a sort of Japanese-ish quality to it I don’t really know what Japanese-ish
means but I don’t know that’s just the way it comes off to me if I were to
build it again I think I’d do a couple of things
differently I’d probably make the taper a little more exaggerated keep it the same
at the bottom but maybe make it a little wider at the top I’d also played with the idea of having
two cross stretchers one in the front and one in the back instead of just having
one in the middle like it is know that would probably also help with the stability a
little bit. it’s fine but can never be too sturdy I guess thanks for watching if you liked this
video good news i’m going to be making more when I would ask of you is please
please please subscribe seriously it would mean the world to me
also follow me on Instagram Twitter Facebook Google+ wherever you call home and finally this is the most important
thing if you think you know somebody who would
like this tell them a friend your mom, dad an enemy your cat whatever any questions you know where to find me
feel free to ask and see you next time


100 thoughts on “Designing and Building a Modern Bench – Woodworking Projects

  1. Hello Chris. Love your work and narrative. Your craftsmanship is exceptional, I ask you, which software do you use to design the pieces?

  2. Thank you for leaving your son in the edit. Mine is in the same stage right now. I appreciate the realness of life.

  3. Im just wondering, if anyone know what software is used to sketch up these models for the beautiful furniture.
    Thanks.

  4. Thank you for the video, the editing, commentary and camera angles are excellent. Do not change a thing.It is very inspirational. Maybe a bit longer for the walkaround / close up in the end.If you would allow a comment on a design: I think the legs should end flush with the top, rather than going "around" the top part.As the design is so elegant and light, this seems to me a bit too "playful". As this is for design purpose only, and it even restricts the use of the bench, but interrupting the sitting surface. Here the design does not follow the function, but hampers it. Without it, the beautiful taper of the sitting top would be the central design element, making it even more beautiful. As I am en engineer by trade, I can only recommend that you might want to look on what Is called "truss" or "trusses". The principle, that every part in a structure shall be subject to tensile load or compression, but never to bending. You were on the right track with the idea, that your bench will need two "stiffeners" for the legs, and although, that the legs have to be at an angle, and not 90 degree. (meaning if you "push" against the top, it will cause a compression load in the leg, rather than bending).That was the reason, why your first bench was so flimsy. And this bench a little flimsy maybe, because the leg stiffener (cross member) will cause bending in the connection piece between the legs. If you had two, in line with the legs, it would cause compression / tension. Thus being multiples more stiffer.Thanks again, and you got a new subscriber.

  5. Hey Chris i love your whole vibe its serene and zen like,i love the design and wanted to say I'm gone do one with a black chrome base and a Rhodesian teak top lets hope it comes out great .

  6. does it break if we put sth heavy in middle of it…i cant c if it is heavy support objects or not? feedback this is amazing

  7. wow, just wow. You're expressing yourself so effectively. Lovely work. Real filmmaking … PBS worthy. glad i came across your channel.

  8. Thank you so much Chris, for inspirational and relaxing videos! The background music as always is something special, and the videos are really professional. Can you please tell what is the program you making a design of your creations in?

  9. Really glad I found your channel. The vidz are top notch, funny, and I really dig your furniture style. Next time you’re clamping things together to run them over the jointer, rotate the body of the clamp so it’s over the wood. This way if anything does wiggle loose, it will land on the wood and not directly on the blades. Great stuff though.

  10. This video itself is a piece of art. Not only is the bench a thing of beauty, but the time and effort that translates through your quality of film, edits, music, etc…. WOW. One of the few videos on YouTube that I have truly enjoyed recently.

  11. This video was so beautiful… The way video was made and the effort was put.it felt like you were doing this for someone you really love. I loved it…

  12. So glad I found your channel. Love the design of this bench as well as the production value of the video. Very calming and the narration is insightful regarding your building and design process. I enjoy the design and would like to use a similar style of legs to create the coffee table I am soon to be making out of a live edge slab. The one issue I have when watching your video and some other wood working videos is that I find my work area lacks the same equipment. I haven't looked through too much of your content yet but it would be cool to see some builds done with limited sets of tools. I can't blame you for having a good set up though, makes me jealous!

  13. What software do you use for the sketch though show on the video? I’m a industrial designer and I can’t find good software for the Mac, I use solid works 3dmax and AutoCAD, and just autocad it’s on OSX and feels so weird.

    Maybe I just have to come back to win10 🙁

    Great job by the way!

  14. Interesting. If one were to invest this much time and effort to produce a bench, why would not one choose to build a bench that is actually COMFORTABLE?

  15. I try to find inspiration. The peacefulness of the filming the calmness of his voice. I become enchanted. This is my 2nd video I’ve viewed. The first was the “Pastrami” Coffee Table. Current project. Thanks man…I appreciate your efforts. It’s evident in your work.

  16. The bench is absolute beautiful!! I am blown away that you created that in your garage. Amazing work Chris!!

  17. Hey there, Just wanted to say thanks for making such well put together, beautifully shot and super chilled out videos – I stumbled upon one of yours about and hour ago and have drifted from one video to the next, back to back, until I got here. Love the look and feel of the furniture you make too – brilliant. It's a good job I live over here in England or otherwise my wife would no doubt want fill our house with it (which would be no bad thing if money was no object)

  18. Which program do you use to design?
    Edit: Also, this looks very similar to a table I saw yesterday that I love: https://www.instagram.com/p/BuD3KQCl_L1/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

  19. Ӳőú ćáń ǵét íńśtáńt áććéśś tő ővéŕ *16,000 ẃőődẃőŕḱíńǵ ṕŕőjéćtś íń thé ńéxt 5 ḿíńútéś őŕ ĺéśś https://bit.ly/2tXhCBW?-nHbgTY76Vfr5785de5*

  20. Such a beautifully produced film, not to mention the gorgeously simplistic bench. It's refreshing to come across your channel.

  21. excellent video. well edited. well narrated. great design. beautiful. Nice cuts! Not a huge critique, but as one woodworker jabbing at another, you're burning wood! speed up the push. Thanks for the video! Superb!

  22. ive been watching a lot of your videos for a bit now, i love your projects and you have inspired me to start my own. I am in So Cal as well and I have been designing my own projects. I would love it if i can get your input on them and any recommendations. I want to start with a TV stand . I currently have three designs.

  23. My favorite part was at the very end, when I realized that it was a demanding client, the Cat, who commissioned this piece. Pleasing such a client, is of the highest, most morally important, social responsibilities of an enlightened society, and one of it's "cool dudes"; right on up there with brewing great beer. You did well. You Cat has refined modern tastes. I look forward to more.

  24. I’m not gonna lie. I just found your channel and I’m super glad I did. You have so much creativity in your videos and I love every bit of it! I hope you are enjoying whatever it is you are doing now!

  25. Fab videos. You make precision look really simple. I’m going to start making furniture pieces of my own for fun, family and friends. I’m looking forward to making a lot of mistakes too, but also, hopefully, plenty of mini achievements and accomplishments too. Your videos are soothing and expertly produced. Keep up the great work.

  26. Why dont you live next door, i dont have the tools or the skills to make stuff like this 😀 But damn id love to get into this stuff!

  27. Great bench. Or coffee table, actually. And Japanezisch in the sense that it is elegant, contains only those elements it needs to function, still manages to look amazingly classy because built from great materials and with exquisite attention to detail.

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