5 and 6-Board Benches

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Project by mtalley posted 05-16-2014 01:48 PM 1925 views 7 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been on a 5 and 6-board bench kick lately. We are a “no shoes in the house” family and there was a great spot right by the front door to take your shoes off, but no place to sit down to do it. I decided a rustic little 5-board was in order. I spent five hours from the initial sketch design to putting on the final coat of polyurethane over a week’s time. No nails or screws were used, just through-mortises, wedges and dowels.

I then built a large bench for our dining table and one for our entry-way with a shoe shelf, per my sweet wife’s request. I have a couple of saw benches for the GROP (garage/shop combination), and 2 narrow ones for my office all cut out as well, but not put together. These benches are traditionally “furniture of necessity” and not meant to be fine furnishings, but I think that there is still beauty in their simplicity and usefulness (useful and helpful are the highest Talley-family compliments). Additionally, they are simple, cheap to build, and lend themselves to hand-tool only construction.

More benches, pictures and story here:

4 comments so far

View BigDaddyO's profile


136 posts in 3226 days

#1 posted 05-16-2014 02:50 PM

This looks like a much cleaner idea than the wooden cubbies I was planning on building. I really like the shelf under that bench to double stack shoes.


View BigMig's profile


473 posts in 3062 days

#2 posted 05-16-2014 03:15 PM

Inspiring work…did you derive your sketches from an actual bench, or did you create it from scratch?

I really like the one with the shelf.

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

View mtalley's profile


111 posts in 1925 days

#3 posted 05-17-2014 09:21 AM

Nope, no single piece of furniture was the model. I grew up with a carpenter father and grandparents that were farmers and there must have been 20 of these around in all different sizes used as stools, improvised workbenches, saw horses, plant stands, etc… 5-6 board benches have been around for a LONG time. I added the through tenons and the detailed cutouts on the feet just because it makes me happy and makes them really strong. The no nail or screw thing is just a want as well – not a requirement. I also eased the top edges with a 3/16 bead – Sandusky hand plane. I will scan in a couple of notebook sketches this afternoon and include with this post

View mtalley's profile


111 posts in 1925 days

#4 posted 05-19-2014 01:52 PM

Per above comment, see attached sketches from my notebook.

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