Mid Century Bench is done! Feels great, too. This was a fun project from start to finish with no shortage of surprises in between.
A few weeks back I made a post about Drawing + Design Here. This showed a real early days sketch of this stool. I think I actually drew that up on the train one day on my way to the day job. Just after that I posted a few sketch up and process images Here. That is some background on the design process. As for the build, lets see what that looks like below;
I knew that this was going to be a prototype so I ventured away from my beloved Walnut and chose American Black Cherry for this build. In the photo above all of the pieces are rough cut per my plans and I am four-squaring the lumber. That is, making it perfectly square in all 3 dimensions. Nerdy wood speak aside, that just means no goofy surprises down the road.
Here you can see I have cut the legs both to finished length and also with a taper to them. There is also a taper on the seat rail that will later form the signature horn on the seat. Every single joint on the stool is a mortise and tenon joint, hence the holes in the ends. Traditional, strong, real.
The shot above shows the groove routed through each seat rail to later accept the Danish Cord. Also, the angle on the horn section of the seat rail creates the splay in the legs, which further sets off the taper.
Now we are starting to have fun. In the early stages you really have to trust your design because, frankly, it is a little funny looking. When you start breaking down the hard edges and thinking about running your hand over a piece of furniture, it really starts coming together.
After all of the joints are rounded over and fared together all of the pieces get three coats of an oil + varnish mixture with sanding in between each coat. It takes about 3-5 days but it is worth the effort.
The Weave. Danish Cord is an unbleached paper product, wrapped in three strands just like a jute or cotton twine. Because it is a paper product it is actually pretty sustainable, it lasts for a long time and is pretty easy to replace.
That said, it is a ton of work to weave a seat. Hats off to the professional seat weavers out there. Above and below I've just finished the warp strands of the weave. This is the 50% mark.
The Danish Cord gets hooked onto the Danish L Nails that are seen here.
After all of the warp strands come the weave strands. These are left to right. They are also much easier, but this is offset by the fact that there are so many.
In the end, it is very comfortable and creates a unique texture. The contrast of the cord with the Cherry is very nice. Cherry darkens over time as it is exposed to UV light, so this should age nicely.
Overall, I'm real happy with the stool. I originally designed and built this to use at my work bench when I am using hand tools. I could easily see modifying the dimensions to be taller and narrower to fit as a bar or kitchen nook stool.
Thanks for checking in. I will be in Palm Springs all week for a day job conference. Enjoy!