Greene Inspired Entry Bench,... @ Misc Side tables,... built out of Spalted Maple

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Project by Dusty posted 12-26-2007 04:14 AM 7744 views 7 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The full story about how these pieces came to be designed and built are detailed here in my blog.

Spalted Maple with natural worm trails was selected to build this project.

The finish is natural with several final coats that were sanded between coats.

The following pictures are the final pieces.

With out question this has been one of the most difficult projects I have ever did.

It remains a project, I still haven’t warmed up too or like.

The story behind the amazing find of the wood used in this project is here.

The blog detailing the project is here.

-- Dusty

13 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35223 posts in 5178 days

#1 posted 12-26-2007 06:35 AM

Interesting wood Dusty. It doesn’t seem to be a warm feeling for me either. The off color is not off color enough.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Dusty's profile


785 posts in 4934 days

#2 posted 12-26-2007 05:46 PM


I totally understand that feeling Karson. The funny thing is it seem either you love it it you hate it. that seems to be the reaction I get from others. I have been asked several times why I keep it upstairs and hid in a corner.

I simply tell them “because it really doesn’t go well with my other Arts and Crafts and Mission furniture.

That is true, however I don’t tell them the rest of the story.

I really don’t like the piece.

Some pieces we do as woodworkers are better left in a corner I guess.

I have to remember it wasn’t my idea or for me.

Some day I will find a home for it.

(Looking towards my fire pit now)


-- Dusty

View TomFran's profile


2964 posts in 4772 days

#3 posted 12-26-2007 06:02 PM

see next post ;^D

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View TomFran's profile


2964 posts in 4772 days

#4 posted 12-26-2007 06:02 PM

”Some pieces we do as woodworkers are better left in a corner I guess.” - Dusty

Hey Dusty, You can’t hit home runs all the time. The piece doesn’t do a lot for me either, but those side tables and that lamp are great! Keep up the good work.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View TreeBones's profile


1828 posts in 4801 days

#5 posted 12-26-2007 06:36 PM

Very nice, I like them. It must be a lot of work. I have never tackled a project like this and you have my admiration. Nice work and nice wood.

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service

View Dusty's profile


785 posts in 4934 days

#6 posted 12-26-2007 09:08 PM


Thanks for the comment.

I agree with your comment.

If I think about it I never have built a “perfit” project. I never think any of the projects I have designed or built are good enough or meet my standards.

That is the perfectionist in me. That is the part of me that always is trying to do better.

I never feel my work is worthy enough for some one else.

That is what keeps me building. Each time I try improve.

In this case I did my best I could. Simply said this piece is not my taste.

I worked very hard on this project but at the end of the day I still don’t care much for the project.

However I am glad that not all of us have same tastes either. It would be a boring world.

-- Dusty

View mot's profile


4927 posts in 4814 days

#7 posted 12-26-2007 09:39 PM

I like it, though I’m not sure I’d build one. You’re right about the wood. I think it takes a woodworker to appreciate this piece. It might just get lost of anyone else. It’s a good effort, and I agree with Tom, the other pieces are really nice.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View blackcherry's profile


3344 posts in 4601 days

#8 posted 12-27-2007 04:15 AM

I just read about the orginal finish formula for greene & greene furniture if youre intersted send me a email. blkcherry

View Dusty's profile


785 posts in 4934 days

#9 posted 12-27-2007 05:37 PM


Your right, this was one of the hardest projects I ever took on.

There are several reasons for this, as near as I can tell they are as follows.

1. I had only a small picture to recreate the “spirit and look” of the intended piece, that being a Greene and Greene piece.

2. I have very little history building these type of pieces.

3. The curves and back of the bench was a very difficult angle to calculate and make fit properly because of the mortise and tenon construction that was used to avoid any nails or artificial fasteners in the project.

4. The wood I choose to use was spalted maple with worm trails. The densisty of the wood had to be taken in account and in turn large quantiles of wood had to be planed and cut to accommodate enough for the final project.

5. Specific plans and dementions were absent and in turn required me to do the conversion from my free hand drawings in per portion to the small picture I was furnished.

6. From the beginning I never really was warm to this style or project.

7. I ended up redesigning and changing the “box bench ” construction and method to allow for not only appearance but a much stronger construction.

-- Dusty

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4766 days

#10 posted 01-04-2008 01:52 AM

Great looking bench! Was seat storage traditional in their benches?

Seems like a good use of space.


-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Dusty's profile


785 posts in 4934 days

#11 posted 01-04-2008 02:26 AM


Great question.

Depends on who you talk to or what sources you are using.

I have researched this fairly extensively. I still am unable to say with 100% certainty that seat storage was part of the original design and intent. They (the Greene’s ) had some storage in their bench’s.

The short and honest answer to this is I really still don’t know and am unsure. Many of the benches they first designed were simply non functional “box’s” that had tops that were non function giving it a “seat storage” look.

I choose to have bench storage in my design., and used that as an opportunity to strengthen the bench and add functionality.

f you ever figure this out definitively let me in on the find ok?

-- Dusty

View Jiri Parkman's profile

Jiri Parkman

953 posts in 4590 days

#12 posted 01-17-2008 12:40 PM

Great bench.

-- Jiri

View Kipster's profile


1076 posts in 4531 days

#13 posted 09-26-2008 11:37 PM

Excellent benches

Thanks for sharing

-- Kip Northern Illinois ( If you don't know where your goin any road will take you there) George Harrison

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