3 Shoe Benches

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Project by Gshepherd posted 10-08-2014 09:00 AM 2131 views 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finally got my promise list completed early this morning. My Auntie had this old bench around the house which was probably brought over on the Mayflower. Several of her friends actually liked it and wanted one for themselves except they wanted darker colors. I could not bring myself to just duplicate the older one so I looked around the net a bit and ran across a shoe bench on the MINWAX site. Of course I had to make a few adjustments of my own. I made the storage wider and deeper and made them 2 inches taller and experimented with the legs a bit. These are all made of Poplar. At first I was going to paint them and then decided to try the Dye and Stain method. I used the TransTint Brown Mahogany #6008. and all were followed up with the MINWAX Dark Walnut #2716.

The Poplar used had a lot of brown and deep green streaks so I knew that I would be going to the Dark Side if they turned out crappy. I knew by past experience Poplar is hard to stain due to blotching and figured if they turned out bad then I would have to paint them.

After some research and reading some trusty finishing books that have been collecting dust I decided to try 3 diffrent ways. I used a HVLP Sprayer.

1. Spray using a mixture of 25% Lacquer mix the Dye Alcohol.
2. Spray just using Dye and Denatured Alcohol wiping off excess right after.
3. Wipe on the Dye with Distilled water mix.

All were followed by th MINWAX Walnut Stain.

Best results came from the Dye and Laquer mix. The Lacquer acts as a sanding sealer and it dries pretty fast thus doesn’t soak up as much of the DYE. The other 2 methods came out ok only after I used Lacquer thinner to tone it down some and they still came out pretty dark but after some elbow music and Lacquer thinner they came out ok. If I just used a wood conditioner wth the stain and eliminated the Dye step would that been just as good? I can’t say.

After the stain I sprayed on 3 good coats of Lacquer. Then wet sanded with 1000 grit and followed with 2 more good wet coats. They are now as smooth as a babys bottom and free of those nasty nibs or in my case Dog Hair.

I wanted to make these all a bit diffrent and add a little Bling. I had some cast iron Key holders and decided to knock off those little hooks and grind them smooth. Screwed them to the fronts and used some old left over fixture chain to prevent the lids from damaging the hinges.

The Bench with the Deer Head was done with the Lacquer/Dye mix. Over all they came out pretty good and should last for many years to come. In the pics the lighter colored bench was the one I used the #1 method. If I ever make any more of these considering the time involved in construction and finishing I will use Red Oak.

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

9 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


17972 posts in 4196 days

#1 posted 10-08-2014 09:10 AM

Very nice, should serve them well.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Brit's profile


8302 posts in 3850 days

#2 posted 10-08-2014 10:03 AM

They all look good to me Shep. I’m sure the recipients will be happy with them.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Don W's profile

Don W

19889 posts in 3575 days

#3 posted 10-08-2014 11:25 AM

They look great.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Hammerthumb's profile


3086 posts in 2982 days

#4 posted 10-08-2014 01:28 PM

Very nice Gshepherd!

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

View LukieB's profile


966 posts in 3337 days

#5 posted 10-08-2014 01:44 PM

These look great man, well done.

-- Lucas, "Someday woodworks will be my real job, until then, there's this"

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3299 days

#6 posted 10-08-2014 03:37 PM

Very nicely done.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4584 days

#7 posted 10-08-2014 06:25 PM

Unique design nice work.


View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 3180 days

#8 posted 10-08-2014 08:50 PM

Excellent wood work. Love the wood and finish.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 3208 days

#9 posted 10-09-2014 08:07 PM

Thanks Guys, they were delivered and well appreciated. As we all know that makes for a darn good day….....

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

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