Custom Hardwood Furniture & Accessories

  Twin Oak Entry Benches - Quartersawn White Oak - Light Oak Stain, Satin Finish

     MountainHaven created matched entry benches using quartersawn white oak for the main entry points into the living space of the client's home.

     The client has two entries into the living space with the need for seating at each entrance. Storage was needed in the pieces, as well as sufficient clearance beneath for footwear.

     Height and width dimensions were also very specific, as was the need for the pieces to blend in with other solid oak pieces in the home.

     The styling requirements dictated a light, traditional approach. The desire was for a simple, clean style without the hard linear aspects of a modern or contemporary style. Other oak pieces in the home are traditional in style, but with a heavier presence than was desired for the twin benches

     Functionally, the benches have a storage drawer that slides either to the left, or to the right. This provides greatest utility and versatility of placement in the home. The drawer runs on hardwood guides rather than metal roller guides, making the operation quiet, simple and impossible to spring, or bend, should the drawer be impacted laterally while in the open position. The mortise and tenon joinery, with tenons locked into the mortises with dowel pins, ensures maximum strength and durability. The bench seats are attached in a manner that allows them to float (for expansion and contraction) to avoid splitting, yet they do not allow for detectable manual movement.




     The lifecycle chronology of the project is illustrated and described below. Click on any of the small images to open a full size view in a separate viewing window.


    Parts is.....scattered. Styled bench legs are seen resting on the band saw and table saw, both tools necessary to mill the tapers and curves on the legs, front and back.
    Completed leg assemblies (4) can be seen standing atop the sheet goods bin for the shop. Tapers of legs are clearly evident. Bench backs and seats are in glue up clamps.
    Bench frames now complete. Bench on top of table saw has drawer guides installed, seat and back dry fit but not yet permanently attached. Guides are clamped in place on the bench standing on the floor.
    Both benches now assembled and ready to have the drawers made and precision fit. All tenons are locked into their mortises with oak dowels. The dowels are hard to see in this view.
    The finish has been applied to this bench, and a small carving has been applied to the face panel. The tapered legs help reduce any boxy feeling in the piece.
    A close look near the ends of the back rest and near the tops of the legs will reveal the locking dowels inserted through the tenons. The entire frame utilizes the locked joint for added strength and durability.
    One of the twin benches with the two way drawer fitted, built, finished and in place. The drawer may be opened by sliding either to the left, or to the right.
    The sliding drawer has been pulled out to the right. Hardwood drawer guides are visible. An occasional rub of white paraffin wax is all that is needed for decades of smooth, silent operation.


  A close up view of the front panel carving. Notice, too, the profiled edges of the seat that match the bench legs profiling.
    The front and back panels have tenons that fit snugly into mortises (slots) in the legs. The tenons are then locked in tight with hardwood dowels. Clean, tight, very strong joints.
    The back legs of the benches are one piece solid oak of very straight grain. The back rests are dowelled onto the faces of the legs. They look simple, but were complex to mill accurately.
    Another view from the back right quarter. The drawer is easily, and comfortably operated whether seated on the bench, or standing beside it.
    Each piece made in the shop has the signature of the craftsman and build year burned, by hand, into the piece in a subtle location.
    One of the twins positioned by the main entry into the home.
    Another view of the bench in it's new home ready for many, many years of daily use.
    The second twin has it's assigned place as well. The two way drawers allow the bench to be placed beside another piece of furniture, or wall, with no loss of functionality.
All content, including graphics and images, copyright 2010, Ed Reasoner, all rights reserved.