• Advertise with us
Project by bfd posted 08-28-2009 03:41 AM 7952 views 15 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is my latest commission. I wish I could take credit for the design but I cannot. My client saw a bench in a store when they were traveling and took some pictures and noted dimensions. Upon returning home they contacted me to build them this bench to go at the end of their bed in a guest bedroom. The original was made of wenge & bubinga but they didn’t think the bubinga would go with the rest of the room’s decor so I suggested walnut. The soft caramel color of the walnut plays off the rich espresso color of the wenge very nicely in my opinion. I have always wanted to work with wenge and this was my first time working with it. The design is extremely simple. The legs are mortise and tenoned into the top and the stretcher is mortised and tenoned into the legs. The wenge is framed out in walnut and the there is a slight curve at each end. Shopping for the wenge was fun. Locally there was none around at the size I needed so I ended up going to the Bay Area and found this beautiful 8/4 thick slab. You can see my chalk marks where I planned my cuts.

It measured 13-1/2”d x 96”w and weighed a ton!!!

Finished with 1-coat tung oil to pop the grain 3 coats of hand rubbed poly and wax
Dimensions 11-1/2”d x 49-1/2”w x 17-1/2”h

18 comments so far

View Napaman's profile


5535 posts in 5528 days

#1 posted 08-28-2009 03:56 AM

very nice…it sounds like you really enjoyed the process on this one…

you describe the design and work as “simple” (all difficult stuff for me) so I am wondering how many hours did you put in on this project?


-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View zlatanv's profile


691 posts in 4685 days

#2 posted 08-28-2009 04:02 AM


-- Z, Rockwall, TX

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5028 days

#3 posted 08-28-2009 04:02 AM

Hey Brian I like your brand of simple. Fine work and great wood.


View Innovator's profile


3589 posts in 4864 days

#4 posted 08-28-2009 05:56 AM

Beautiful bench, fantastic wood.

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View majeagle1's profile


1429 posts in 4947 days

#5 posted 08-28-2009 06:09 AM

Hey Brian, you say simple….................... I say ” simply stunning” !
Wow, the wood combination is absolutely beautiful and yes, the design may be simple, but the end product is fantastic. Very well done !!!!

I “must” use this wood combination in one of my boxes…................

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 5257 days

#6 posted 08-28-2009 06:47 AM

Hey Guys thank you all for your comments.

Matt: I didn’t keep track of hours on this like I have for other projects but I would say that I spent about 15 hours. That doesn’t include the building a full scale prototype out of mdf or my trip to Berkeley to buy the lumber. This was one of the first times I did a full scale mock up and that really helped me work through some of details. I did this since the slab of wenge was so expensive that I couldn’t afford to make any mistakes.

View bigpops0259's profile


326 posts in 5600 days

#7 posted 08-28-2009 02:00 PM

Very Nice! Love the wenge with the walnut.Nice design

-- Marty Ohio

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5669 days

#8 posted 08-28-2009 02:49 PM

Wow. The simplicity of design really accentuates the beauty of the wood.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1142 posts in 5442 days

#9 posted 08-28-2009 02:55 PM

That’s really nice Brian, and the walnut/wenge combo is great.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View Casper's profile


45 posts in 4680 days

#10 posted 08-28-2009 03:05 PM

Brian, Love the design and the wood is gorgeous. Do you have more pics? Maybe one in which you can see the stretcher?

Thank you


View DustyNewt's profile


690 posts in 5313 days

#11 posted 08-28-2009 05:46 PM

Simple elegance. Thanks for sharing your methodology to get your stunning results.

-- Peace in Wood ~

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 5257 days

#12 posted 08-28-2009 06:49 PM


Here is only picture I can find showing the single stretcher. it is 2-3/4”tall and made from the wenge. It is tight to the underside of the bench.

View JoeinDE's profile


450 posts in 4774 days

#13 posted 08-28-2009 07:08 PM

Great looking bench. I am planning on making something similar as a Christmas present for my sister. Is the walnut framing simply glued or is it joined in some other way such as biscuits or tongue and groove?


View PineInTheAsh's profile


404 posts in 4718 days

#14 posted 08-28-2009 07:26 PM

At the same time, exquisite and handsome. Splendid wood. The client should throw much more work your way.
I like you kept the quality to the very finish with superb dark richness and mystery.

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 5257 days

#15 posted 08-28-2009 08:02 PM

The walnut is simply glued to the wenge. That is the beauty of gluing long grain to long grain the wood will fail before the glue joint does. You could biscuit to help align but I didn’t see the need since I planed to final thickness after the glue up.

showing 1 through 15 of 18 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics