Lutyens bench and hatch cover table

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Project by Slowpoke posted 04-11-2016 05:55 PM 674 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Lutyens bench and hatch cover table
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Hatch cover from WWII liberty ship used as coffee table, epoxy coated. Classic Lutyens bench, actually made for outdoors, mahogany

3 comments so far

View dalepage's profile


385 posts in 1352 days

#1 posted 04-12-2016 08:17 AM

Great idea to re-purpose the hatch cover.

Did you find a pattern for the bench or make it yourself?

-- Dale

View Slowpoke's profile


34 posts in 1296 days

#2 posted 04-12-2016 12:23 PM

Great idea to re-purpose the hatch cover.

Did you find a pattern for the bench or make it yourself?

- dalepage

The design of this bench is the work of Sir Edwin Lutyens, a British architect back in the waning days of the British Empire, pre- WWI, although he lived until (I think) about 1954. He designed many impressive buildings, as well as the city of New Delhi, India. Likely did the bench on his coffee break. There have been many corruptions of the design since he did it, mostly bastardizing the original proportions to an unattractive result.

I made and sold some of these from a pattern about 20+ years ago, this was in the pre-Internet days and I don’t remember where I got it, but it was full-sized to produce a 76” bench, which looked right to my eye. I made a full set of templates for the various components, but it was still labor intensive, and I couldn’t charge enough to make the enterprise worthwhile.

Chances are this is available on line, search Lutyens bench plans, or suchlike.

The hatch covers were around by the thousands when the Liberty ships were scrapped, many got made into tables. The ships, which were slapped together on the cheap, were designed for expendability and speed of loading, and access to the hold was via huge openings in the deck. Each ship had hundreds of these covers. There were heavy steel bars shaped like an inverted T that spanned the deck openings in parallel fashion and rows of these covers were laid crosswise between the bars, like a giant checkerboard, and the whole mess covered with canvas. As far as I know, it was all held in place just by gravity. I think the crews that shipped out on these vessels must have been either brave or desperate for a paycheck, as seaworthiness (in the North Atlantic, no less) doesn’t seem to have been a consideration. And the attrition rate was considerable, many of those ships were sunk.

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 2855 days

#3 posted 04-12-2016 02:06 PM

great looking pieces

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