Arts & Crafts Entry Mirror & Storage Bench

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Project by Steve Erwin posted 09-14-2013 06:27 PM 5122 views 35 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I attempted a following-along blog with photos detailing my progress, here on lumberjocks, but things got too busy for me to keep up with it. I did manage to post most of the progress on my personal site.


After 1 month of planning and 9 months of construction (with 3 months of interruptions), here are the results. This project involved several firsts for me, so here’s the rap sheet.

  • First grain selection & planning from the beginning
  • First resawing and experience with case hardening problems
  • First bookmatched panels
  • First handcut inlays
  • First quadrilinear legs
  • First corbels
  • First handcut tongue & groove joints
  • First handcut bevels
  • First clocked screwheads
  • Best handcut dovetails so far
  • Flattest handplaned panel so far
  • First DIY Scratch Beader
  • First scratch beads
  • First removal of breadboard ends
  • First mistake with lid supports
  • First screw hole repairs
  • First use of aniline dye finishing approach

As it has required so much planning, effort, thought, and problem-solving to pull these two objects from my mind and force them into reality, I consider this to be my finest work to date. Here are the long-awaited pictures of the finished pieces.

-- I've been creating problems to solve since I was born. -

17 comments so far

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4676 days

#1 posted 09-14-2013 07:53 PM

Very nice work on this bench. The finish looks great too.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View pintodeluxe's profile


6520 posts in 4156 days

#2 posted 09-14-2013 10:13 PM

Stellar job on these fine projects! I like the style of both pieces.
What finish did you use?

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View AandCstyle's profile


3306 posts in 3599 days

#3 posted 09-14-2013 11:05 PM

Very nicely done. They were definitely worth the wait.

-- Art

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 3166 days

#4 posted 09-14-2013 11:13 PM

Excellent job on the bench…it look great…well done.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View Steve Erwin's profile

Steve Erwin

132 posts in 3395 days

#5 posted 09-14-2013 11:17 PM

Thanks guys,

pintodeluxe: I used a Jeff Jewitt recipe to replicate Stickley’s Onondaga finish. I was able to compare Jewitt’s approach directly to an actual Stickley QSWO stain sample. More details here.

It’s a really long finishing schedule. Much more than I’m used to, but I really wanted to put the effort in to make the figure look as nice as possible. Everything before this project was just Minwax English Chestnut + Wipe On Poly. The flexibility of the aniline dye approach really gives a lot more control compared to just using a Minwax pigment stain. I’m hooked.

-- I've been creating problems to solve since I was born. -

View 489tad's profile


4119 posts in 4354 days

#6 posted 09-15-2013 12:05 AM

Both the bench and mirror look great. Right in the favorite box for the finish information. Your finish is fantastic. Well done. Bedroom set in QS oak is in the getting ready stage.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Blackbear's profile


137 posts in 3561 days

#7 posted 09-15-2013 12:56 AM

Beautiful, I really like the mirror but both pieces are great!

View TDominy's profile


209 posts in 3884 days

#8 posted 09-15-2013 01:07 AM

That is a set of beautiful pieces.

They will be in the family for years.

-- By hammer in hand, all things do stand.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3635 days

#9 posted 09-15-2013 04:36 AM

Very nicely done, also!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1134 posts in 3655 days

#10 posted 09-15-2013 09:06 AM

Very nice project. Is there a name for the gizzmos that cushion the closing of the lid?

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View Steve Erwin's profile

Steve Erwin

132 posts in 3395 days

#11 posted 09-15-2013 12:47 PM

489tad I’d love to see some progress photos of your bedroom set project. It’s on the list to replace our bedroom set, too. :)

JR45: they’re toy box lid supports. I bought them from Rockler. They have several different kinds, and has a few too. Search for “Lid Supports” or “Lid Stays”

You need to try to figure out how heavy your lid is going to be. I probably have more support than I need, in this case, but I wanted symmetry and had I put only a single lid support in the center, the till wouldn’t slide all the way across.

From Rockler: Calculating the Number and Rating of Lid Supports
Use the following formula to determine the optimal number and rating of lid supports:
Lid width (front to back) x lid weight in pounds / 2 = Inch-lbs. of support required.

Example, using an 18’’ wide lid weighing 12 lbs: (18×12)/2 = 108. Therefore, either two 45-55 or one 95-125 Inch-lbs support would be an appropriate choice.

-- I've been creating problems to solve since I was born. -

View SirFatty's profile


547 posts in 3554 days

#12 posted 09-15-2013 06:55 PM

first i’ve heard of clocking the screw heads…

-- Visit my blog at

View Luke's profile


290 posts in 4029 days

#13 posted 09-15-2013 07:06 PM

Beautiful work, heirloom quality that will last generations! Great job on the QL legs!

View mbs's profile


1719 posts in 4282 days

#14 posted 09-15-2013 09:26 PM

Excellent work. Very nice.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View BigRedKnothead's profile


8594 posts in 3325 days

#15 posted 09-16-2013 02:34 AM

All of it is excellent. I built a blanket chest similar to this a few years back. It presented a lot of firsts for me as well. I’m ready to make another….because I’m sure I could do it better now;)

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

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