Hall Tree with Bench

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Project by CaptainKlutz posted 06-09-2014 10:55 PM 2699 views 1 time favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

I made this piece ~6 years ago. It was one of my first attempts at lasting furniture. Ran across these pictures (while upgrading my wife’s phone) that I thought folks might find interesting, despite the poor image quality and flash created glare. Since I borrowed ideas and features for this piece from LJ, I had to post this project when I discovered the old pictures.

It was my own design after being unable to find anything that fit our families needs and the largish foyer space available. It is a substantial unit @ 46” wide, 92” tall, with 22.5” deep base. I have 3 kids, so it has 3 basket slots in the bottom for kids shoes, and 3 cabinets on top for seasonal outwear (hats, gloves, etc). I made the basket openings to fit a semi-standard basket size found at Target and some of the other home goods stores, which let my wife pick out what ever style she wanted. We’ve already had to replace one basket when someone sat on it, so it ended being a good decision. There are 2 small electronics shelves just above the coat hooks (below the cabinets) that each has a hidden power strip to plug in all the wall warts for charging phones, Ipods, Nintendo’s and other portable electronics that you grab as run out the door.

This is made from red oak. The carcass is made with edged veneer plywood, while the seat was a 5/4 slab that gives it a substantial feel. The inset panel doors used 1/4” veneer plywood as the insert. I found some interesting grain patterns in the sheet, and cut the door panels attempting an almost book matched look. On the outer panels, I glued in 2” wide X 1/4 thick quarter sawn trim pieces to make the piece look like panel construction instead of ugly plywood it really is. I used a 3/4” thick fully finished back to ensure it remained sturdy and free standing. This piece has my first attempt at making my own base and crown moldings on a newly built router table for the project, and turned out really well despite being over the top for an arts-crafts style piece. I chose mission style hardware from Rockler for the door handles. I don’t have any pictures of the bottom, where I added large corner mounted leveling feet under the base to enable adjustments on our tile floor, but it can just as easily sit flat on carpet with it’s doubled up carcass bottom edges.

The cabinetry in our home is an antique cherry, so I wanted this piece to blend in. Used Behlen’s water based grain filler to smooth the large oak pores. Then used a dye stain blended from Behlen’s Nutmeg Brown and American Walnut to create the color. The darker walnut stain was well absorbed in the grain patterns and created a surprising fumed mission style look. I decided to partially pre-finish all the interior panels to make the final finishing easier as one of the pictures shows. Applied the stain and a thinned coat of GF Arm-R-Seal as the pre-finish. The entire unit had 5 coats of semi-gloss Arm-R-Seal after assembly.

This was my first use of GF Arm-R-Seal as recommended by the local Woodcraft store. The flow out, and lack of dust pick up was amazing. This piece has seen constant abuse in our home since it was built and has held up beautifully. The seat sees muddy/sandy shoes and backpacks drug across it many times a day. Had some minor scratches in the bench from my daughters studded “bling” jeans that needed repairs. All it took was a little 400 grit paper and a rubbed out layer of Arm-R-Seal to make it look like it never happened. The bottom of the basket opening is showing some scratches and wear from the open weave baskets sliding in/out as dust/dirt falls thru them. Thought about adding a sheet of black UHMW Polyethylene or black melamine to the bottom when the wife chose the open weave basket style. I made some simple 1/4” Masonite liners for the baskets about a year after we started using them and it reduced the amount new abrasion wear. Will eventually have to repair it, but for now the wear adds character to piece.

Hope you like it, and thanks for reading!

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

1 comment so far

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4757 posts in 5057 days

#1 posted 06-10-2014 04:50 PM

Sweet build

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

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