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Fibonacci Fence Picket Bench

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Project by AlpE posted 08-07-2020 05:53 PM 920 views 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Fibonacci Fence Picket Bench
Fibonacci Fence Picket Bench No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
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We keep a bench by the front door of the house. I’m not really sure why, other than the space there sort of asks for one, but its not the kind of front door you would hang out around. Theres no real porch to speak of, just a little stoop enclosed under the roof so you don’t get rained on while opening the door. Anyway, the bench we had out there previously was put there as an afterthought, and never really fit the space. Since the world quarantined itself this spring, I decided it might be a good time to replace the old bench with one of my own design and making.

The bench itself is made of cedar fence pickets laminated together. It was inexpensive, weather resistant, and most importantly, what I already had on hand. No need to go out into the contaminated public to source this timber. Downside is I no longer have spares on hand aging at the same rate of the fence in the backyard. Hopefully no repairs need done to that in the near future.

Because I had time on my hands, and I thought it would be sort of neat to try it out, I decided I would try and design this piece using the Golden Mean as a design guide for as many elements as possible. With the exception of the length and height of the bench, which I had to let the space it was occupying dictate, every other aspect is governed by the Fibonacci sequence, including the thickness of the legs, stretchers, seat, and slats. I’ve super imposed the golden spiral in some places on the picture to help illustrate my thought process.

Its not 100% accurate, but not too far off. Because of the angle I was standing at when I took the picture of the bench, there’s some distortion in the golden spiral, since the spiral itself is from a head on view. Were I to have taken the photo dead on of the bench, the distortion wouldn’t be visible.

Bench held together entirely with Mortise & Tenon joinery. The crossbar is a pair of wedged through tenons.





10 comments so far

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

3978 posts in 2070 days


#1 posted 08-07-2020 06:38 PM

Great design choice! There are detractors about designing around the golden rectangle, but in my mind it looks good so why not consider it (or come close) for proportioning things like panels and sides.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

118134 posts in 4425 days


#2 posted 08-07-2020 07:19 PM

View AJ1104's profile

AJ1104

1112 posts in 2507 days


#3 posted 08-08-2020 01:41 AM

Nice looking bench! I love the MT wedge, it’s was a great detail.

-- AJ

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

7839 posts in 3113 days


#4 posted 08-08-2020 04:41 AM

Very nice bench.

View Peteybadboy's profile

Peteybadboy

2183 posts in 2797 days


#5 posted 08-08-2020 11:18 AM

Nice job.

-- Petey

View rentos's profile

rentos

1 post in 43 days


#6 posted 08-08-2020 02:20 PM

Beauty!

View JimYoung's profile

JimYoung

389 posts in 2435 days


#7 posted 08-11-2020 01:47 PM

Very nice bench, and good use of the golden ratio.

My understanding is that this ratio is “pleasing to the eye”. I used this to some extent on my desk to proportion some of the details like you did as well as the top dimensions.

Look up “Donald Duck in Math magic land” for a cute introduction to this concept.

-- -Jim, "Nothing says poor craftsmanship more than wrinkles in your duck tape"

View noynek's profile

noynek

6 posts in 39 days


#8 posted 08-13-2020 05:34 PM

Really nice. I’d love shots of the underside, showing how it’s all joined together.

View AlpE's profile

AlpE

19 posts in 49 days


#9 posted 08-13-2020 08:33 PM

Noynek-
Not the best pictures in the world, so please forgive me for that. The seat has a recess routed out that the tops of the legs and stretchers sit into. I eyeballed the route, and got a little too squirrelly in a few places, you can see the gap and glue expansion next to the stretchers in places, but I figured it’s the bottom and not visible unless I’m asked to turn it over, so thanks for that. Lesson learned there, ha! There’s a dowel on each leg top attaching the frame to the top. The cross beam is the same on each end with wedged through tenons on each side. I cut all the mortises by hand, and on one of the big mortises, you can see I got a bit sloppy on the edges with no way to hide it with a shoulder.

View noynek's profile

noynek

6 posts in 39 days


#10 posted 08-13-2020 09:39 PM

Sweet, I love the explanation and details. I’ve struggled with chiseling mortises like that and I’m glad to see that I’m not alone :). I’ve had some luck using a router to cut the mortise from both sides, but that has its own challenges, especially if the wood is thicker than 1 1/2”.

Really great piece. Everything feels balanced.


Noynek-
Not the best pictures in the world, so please forgive me for that. The seat has a recess routed out that the tops of the legs and stretchers sit into. I eyeballed the route, and got a little too squirrelly in a few places, you can see the gap and glue expansion next to the stretchers in places, but I figured it’s the bottom and not visible unless I’m asked to turn it over, so thanks for that. Lesson learned there, ha! There’s a dowel on each leg top attaching the frame to the top. The cross beam is the same on each end with wedged through tenons on each side. I cut all the mortises by hand, and on one of the big mortises, you can see I got a bit sloppy on the edges with no way to hide it with a shoulder.

- AlpE


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