Figure Big Leaf Maple Slab Bench

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Project by Napaman posted 01-30-2015 03:56 AM 2899 views 2 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a little bench that I just completed. I made it with a slab of Figured Big Leaf Maple wood I got from LJ John Ormsby a few years back.

This is a bench that I put in the Men’s Bathroom at WORK—-LOL…because I was tired of walking in there with no place to set down my stuff…as a teacher I always have forms, clip boards or something else in my hands…so I wanted to put something there for a while…

Then we had the Napa Earthquake a few months back and my shop got trashed (no major damage though)...all my wood fell and I could not get in my shop…BUT…it made me sort through my wood as I cleaned up and I re-discovered this wood.

I used all wood that I had in my shop already…that was my goal…the top is a slab that is about 3 feet long…I finished it with 3 coats of poly on the top and 2 on the sides and base.

The legs are made out of the same wood—-there is some really nice coloring…the support piece right below the top is a 4×4 redwood that I sanded back to life…

The bottom cross pieces are Napa Valley Wine Barrel staves….i joined them underneath with pocket screws. The are connected to the bench with large pegs underneath.

After getting it to school its a little bit large for the spot…so I may build another bench and put this one somewhere else…

Thanks for checking it out…


-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

16 comments so far

View Napaman's profile


5535 posts in 5537 days

#1 posted 01-30-2015 03:58 AM

After posting I realize that the pictures are not that great…sorry.

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 5197 days

#2 posted 01-30-2015 04:25 AM

Hi Matt, Nice job on the table. It is good to see were able to take the time to do some woodworking after all of the craziness after the earthquake.

The wood is figured big Leaf Maple.

Keep up the good work, John

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View jack1's profile


2170 posts in 5487 days

#3 posted 01-30-2015 04:27 AM


-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View Napaman's profile


5535 posts in 5537 days

#4 posted 01-30-2015 04:33 AM

Thanks JOHN for the wood type!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View lew's profile


13534 posts in 5215 days

#5 posted 01-30-2015 04:40 AM

Nice, Matt!

Hope you are getting your shop back in order and the boats weren’t damaged.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View siavosh's profile


674 posts in 3331 days

#6 posted 01-30-2015 06:02 AM

Looks like art, love the style.

-- -- Discover the most interesting woodworking blogs from around the world

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14193 posts in 5442 days

#7 posted 01-30-2015 11:16 AM

nice work as always… fun piece

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Lenny's profile


1746 posts in 4987 days

#8 posted 01-30-2015 12:34 PM

Hi Matt. Wow, the design of this bench is outstanding. The slab is beautiful and your decision to use the staves was perfect. They add a curved lines element to the piece and are pleasing to the eye. Perhaps it is serendipitous that it is too large for the men’s room. Maybe it belongs in a parlor or dining room. Well done buddy.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

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3518 posts in 3803 days

#9 posted 01-30-2015 02:29 PM

looks great

View CaptainSkully's profile


1615 posts in 5018 days

#10 posted 01-30-2015 05:17 PM

Hey Matt,

Next to boats, furniture made out of wine barrel staves is my favorite guilty pleasure. Plus, I love the live edge look in a world of finished edge furniture. Need to get my wood shop out of storage down in SF and liberate my tools, wood and staves. Glad to hear the quake didn’t mess with you guys too much. What did you do about the wine stained interior?

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View greg48's profile


635 posts in 4217 days

#11 posted 01-30-2015 05:22 PM

Nice looking bench Matt. This is going into a HS restroom? It should get a thorough Beta testing in that environment.

-- Greg, No. Cal. - "Gaudete in Domino Semper"

View LiveEdge's profile


600 posts in 3080 days

#12 posted 01-30-2015 08:37 PM

Are you happy with the results of your finish choice? I have a figured big leaf maple slab that’s being used for a desk (it’s a little bigger than yours at 6’x3’) and I’m stressing about how best to finish it and make that figure pop.

View CJIII's profile


157 posts in 3064 days

#13 posted 01-30-2015 11:59 PM

Nice little bench!

-- Woodworking with Limited Tools

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4607 days

#14 posted 01-31-2015 01:07 AM

Great looking bench! It’ll definitely be the nicest piece of furniture in that restroom!

And I may be showing my age here, but I remember in some places, that the men’s room was the Men’s Lounge, and that there was an entry room with nice furniture to lounge around on, and then in the restroom itself, they had attendants who would offer you towels, to go along with the cologne and hand lotions. Anyone else remember this, or am I just too old?!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

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Arlin Eastman

4549 posts in 4021 days

#15 posted 01-31-2015 01:17 AM


That is some fantastic wood. For me as a turner I would love to get as much of it as I could. I know the Vets I teach turning to would walk over me to turn it. :)

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

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