Building a Modern Mitered Waterfall Grain Bench

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Blog entry by BenhamDesign posted 05-20-2018 06:14 PM 1234 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

In this build I’m making a midcentury modern walnut waterfall bench with miter legs, where the grain flows around the miter in a continuous fashion. The bench is 8ft long and 2” thick. I had to get 12 ft long boards to keep the grain continuous, so I got my workout building this one.
Watch the video or read about it below

I’m building a mitered modern waterfall bench
The bench is going to be 18” wide when finished and I wanted to limit the number of boards I had to glue up so their won’t be a lot of seams so I picked out boards that are a minimum of 9” wide.
9” is too wide for my jointer so I took my time at the lumber yard to select the flattest straightest boards they had.
Once I got the boards home I took some time to skip plane them to clean them up and get them as flat as I could
These boards are 12 feet long and I kept them this long during all the milling operations to insure the grain would match on the mitered corner. I was a bit of a work out handling the 8/4 lumber

I placed roller stands on the front and back of the jointer. I set them just a little bit lower than the table of the jointer. I don’t want the wood to register off the rollers. They are only their incase these long boards get away from me I’ll have something to assist in catching them. The one behind the jointer also gives me a place to rest the heavy board while I get it in place.
When I set up my shop I set all the stationary tools so they faced the bay door. This way when I have projects like this, I can open the door and have plenty of room joint, plane and rip long boards

When doing the glue up I used dominos to help keep the boards aligned. I was also carful in my domino layout to be sure I would not put one were the legs are going to be mitered
One of the domino mortises was a little bit off left to right, but I didn’t notice it until after the glue had been spread so it was a little more work to get it together.

I cut the pieces apart, and used my track saw to miter the pieces. I double checked I had the right leg on the right end and laid out for some dominos
I used the largest dominos that would fit, and placed them pretty close together to be sure I had a strong joint
Then I used a little CA glue on some pine blocks to help clamp the pieces together, making sure the miter was being pulled closed on both top and bottom
I used shims under the pieces to help align the legs flush to the top; it was basically my third hand while getting everything clamped up

A light tap with a mallet and chisel was all that was needed to pop the glue blocks off. Then I just scraped and sanded the excess CA glue off.
Then for the finish I used four coats of wipe on satin ploy

Thanks for checking out my work, more at my woodworking blog

-- What I do in and out of the shop at

1 comment so far

View Newbeewood's profile


7 posts in 707 days

#1 posted 07-26-2018 04:18 AM

Nice work. I love these style of benches. Have you ever had any joint failure?

-- Thanks, James “what’s your next build made of”

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