Shaker benches

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These were my very first project when I started woodworking after a thirty year break. I am very happy with the quality, I made the paint and I really like the fact that I made a pair. I chose this project because I love shaker furniture and wooden ware and I have never seen this particular design made by any other maker or journalist. The height is unusual at 15 inches, I did consider altering the height to a more normal 17 or 18 inches but I thought better of such.
I never finished these benches correctly so I am doing it now, three years after making them. I have brushed on sanding sealer ( dusty when sanding but quicker than varnish) I am sanding with 320 grit stearated paper and then a wax finish. The tops are well protected from the milk paint and sanding sealer and wax will allow the colour to develop nicely ( no uv blockers added). The upright bench is all finished, loving the colour which will darken even more as they both age. I am sanding out the finish on the other bench. Great bathroom stools I think, oh yeah, fly tipped timber exactly the amount needed for a pair. I think I did the wood justice, can’t always claim that…


They look good, great work.

Would you recommend that book? I’ve been looking at more and more shaker furniture recently after reading the Mike Pekovitch book and want to have a go at something in the style.

Shop drawings is all line drawings, it’s very good but the construction details are usually not given. The book is a good starting point and anything lacking is usually on the internet. Shop drawings has a very wide ranging content. How to build shaker furniture doesn’t really detail specific construction. Check out the drawings for the side table, pretty basic but it’s not rocket science. Making shaker furniture is the drop leaf table and is more detail but less projects. I saw what I expect would be really good and that is called furniture in the shaker style by fine woodworking. I imagine it’s great because it’s various articles and fine woodworking are the best in my opinion. All good books, depends what you want to make, a lot of projects are available from popular woodwork magazine and either free to view online or back issues are available as pdf once you track down the issue you want.

Just checked out in the shaker style and the reviews mentioned not sufficiently detailed construction but beautiful furniture. If you decide what you want to make let me know and I will have a look for something relevant. I am planning a six board chest, a copy of a shaker chest. God how I need to get back to what I am good at. The mitred box rabbit hole I went down has felt like a punishment.

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Finished at last. Took at least half a day rubbing down, cleaning and then wire wool and wax and then polishing off the wax. You get to see every blemish and error on the way to polishing. Fortunately these don’t have issues, I did a good job, I have definitely developed more skills since making these benches .


Just realised I may have failed to send the reply I wanted you to see. Can’t see your emblem in the right hand side. I constantly press the wrong icon doh. Anyway check out the reply if you didn’t already. Cheers

Thanks for all the info, very helpful.

I do have plans for a classic shaker side table which I think will be the first thing I have a go at, but the style as a whole I find aesthetically appealing.