Shaker Bench for Charity

  • Advertise with us
Project by Todd A. Clippinger posted 06-09-2008 03:01 AM 7513 views 17 times favorited 31 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This Shaker style bench was made for a local Billings charity called the Eagle Mount Program. It’s mission is to provide recreational opportunities to physically and mentally handicapped individuals.

I had several parts and material left over from building the previous benches and this was a good way to finish using them. I was certain the popularity of the bench would help it bring in some good money at the fundraising dinner and auction. I am pleased to say that it garnered $1,550 in the silent auction, this is much more than I could have donated!

I had a great opportunity to play with the WoodRat on this project.

Cutting Dovetails with the WoodRat
I love the freedom of this joint making machine. My first dovetails turned out great.


One of the things I like to do with all of my dovetail joints is to lock them with a pin from the top and the bottom.


I like using a contrasting wood for the pin. It is a classic detail that insures the joint will never fail.


It was a lot of fun standing back and watching the reaction of people. They would “OOH” and “AAH” as they ran their hands over it and explored the construction of the drawers. I printed a page showing that it was handmade with progress photos and the text described the materials and design of the bench. I also talked about why I support the Eagle Mount Program.

The real fun was watching the final bidders trying to get the piece as the auction came to a close. Here I get a chance to talk to the winning bidder.


The bench is constructed of curly cherry and features the sapwood. Many craftsman shy away from using this beautiful and natural character of the wood. In this project I made it a feature.

The dovetailed drawers use a single board for a continuous run of grain from left to right.

The finish is Sherwin Williams pre-catalyzed lacquer T77-F37. It looks and wears great.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

31 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5146 days

#1 posted 06-09-2008 03:18 AM

Very nice item. Well worth the price it gained.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 5142 days

#2 posted 06-09-2008 03:31 AM

Beautiful work as always. I’m curious about the pin on the back upright pieces. The ones on the back rail I get, but is the single one cosmetic to pull the piece together visually or is it functional? I’m probably missing something so please forgive my ignorance. I’ve yet to do a chair. As always, it’s wonderful to look at your craftsmanship.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4722 days

#3 posted 06-09-2008 03:35 AM

Very nice work, on the bench.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5037 days

#4 posted 06-09-2008 03:47 AM

Nice looking bench, Todd! The drawers are a great option.

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

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 5149 days

#5 posted 06-09-2008 03:57 AM


The backrest has a piece behind it that creates a right angle and fits between the legs. This prevents the backrest from bowing due to lack of support. The pins run into the ends of that piece.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4817 days

#6 posted 06-09-2008 03:59 AM

nice project. i always love working with a new tool! sometimes i even plan my projects around a new tool, lol!

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 5364 days

#7 posted 06-09-2008 04:01 AM

Great job!

View gizmodyne's profile


1785 posts in 5139 days

#8 posted 06-09-2008 04:37 AM

Beautiful work Todd. I love this bench.

Time for a woodrat review.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 5149 days

#9 posted 06-09-2008 04:39 AM

Here is the short review: You gotta get one!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Napaman's profile


5534 posts in 5126 days

#10 posted 06-09-2008 04:59 AM

nice job…you must feel really good when your work is valued so highly…and helping people at the same time is even better!!

beautiful craftmanship!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Karson's profile


35270 posts in 5450 days

#11 posted 06-09-2008 05:27 AM

Todd great bench and congratulations on the sale of it.

I did notice that you were looking over the top of your glass as you cut the dovetails. The safety glass don’t work that way. I know I do it all the time myself.

I finally bought a pair of safety glasses and put my glasses on the shelf, to be picked up when I leave the shop.

Near sightedness causes that.

-- 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 Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 5149 days

#12 posted 06-09-2008 05:31 AM


You are right, I need some REAL safety glasses.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View griff's profile


1207 posts in 4811 days

#13 posted 06-09-2008 05:49 AM

Truly a beautiful bench, one more great build.

-- Mike, Bruce Mississippi = Jack of many trades master of none

View David's profile


1969 posts in 5188 days

#14 posted 06-09-2008 08:36 AM

Todd -

Excellent! I always enjoy your work. Congratulations on a wonderful contribution to the Eagle Mount Program! Some one did well getting this bench. I would be interested to hear what you have to say about the WoodRat.

Best Regards,


View Grumpy's profile


26811 posts in 4900 days

#15 posted 06-09-2008 09:15 AM

Ahh but you did donate $1,500 worth of skill. Great story, thanks for sharing.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

showing 1 through 15 of 31 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