Live Edge Cedar Bench

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Project by Puffball posted 02-02-2015 02:58 PM 1889 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Our (my wife and I) first attempt at working with live edge wood. We used a piece of live edge cedar for the top, soft maple for the stretcher, and cherry for the legs. We thought the tusk mortise would be a nice touch and learned how hard hardwood is when we tried to cut the mortise and tenons.

We used hand tools – Jig Saw, chisels, hand planes, and sand paper – to do all of this. We got the cedar slab when were on a road-trip down to the Asheville NC area. We bought some rough cut maple and cherry from our local hardwood dealer out near Culpepper VA.

We proceeded then to hand plane the cedar, maple, and cherry to get them all nice and smooth. Along the way, I learned about wood scrapers and acquired a No. 80-like wood scraper and card scraper :) Scraping is a lot better than sanding.

The challenges for us were: 1) getting the tenon sized to properly fit through the mortise; 2) cutting the legs the right length to make the bench top level due to the fact that we hadn’t made the top and bottom of the cedar slab co-planar. Hand planing is a lot of work, even on soft cedar.

We finished it with a water-based poly on the top and maple as we wanted the true colors to show through, and use a oil-based poly for the cherry legs.

We were pretty happy with the end product. It took us a lot of work as we are still newbies at this, but we had fun making it.

A time-lapse video of the whole build -

8 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4155 days

#1 posted 02-02-2015 03:33 PM

That turned out nicely. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View ohwoodeye's profile


2710 posts in 4441 days

#2 posted 02-02-2015 04:22 PM

Looks good. You keep mentioning “our”, “us” and “we”. Either you have a muti-personality or is there someone else that helped you with this build and you need to mention and give credit to them.
Either way, “well done” to all of you.

-- "Fine Woodworking" is the name given to a project that takes 3 times longer than normal to finish because you used hand tools instead of power tools. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View Puffball's profile


44 posts in 2500 days

#3 posted 02-02-2015 04:52 PM

The “we” is me and my wife. “We” do it together. She dreams up the ideas and then I figure out how to build it. And then we work on it together.

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4882 days

#4 posted 02-02-2015 07:42 PM

Great design I likey…

Welcome to LJ’s i’m sure you will love it here

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

View Bud_3's profile


907 posts in 2512 days

#5 posted 02-03-2015 12:18 AM

Nice and simple decorative arrangement.

-- Personality and character of a man is like wood,you must polish it to shine.....

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4435 days

#6 posted 02-03-2015 12:59 AM

That’s a great looking bench you and your wife made! I like the live edge and the tusk tenons!

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

View watermark's profile


484 posts in 3231 days

#7 posted 02-03-2015 01:11 AM

Nice bench!

-- "He who has no dog, hunts with a cat" Portuguese proverb

View bowtie's profile


990 posts in 3634 days

#8 posted 02-03-2015 12:02 PM


-- bowtie,.....jus passin thru....

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