Saturday, November 26, 2016

The 28 Leg Windsor Bench Odyssey

I delivered this bench to the NYC restaurant Rouge Tomate in Chelsea this last summer and much of the previous six months were taken up with its creation.  It was a very challenging project on many levels. The main challenges were physical because of its sheer size, and technical for figuring out the corners and to make the four sections function as separate pieces as well as working as one.  My back took weeks to get to normal after straining it day after day of moving the sections around my small shop.  

I started referring to it as the "28 leg windsor bench" as it was a bit difficult to otherwise describe. It is 25' 10" long and at both ends it takes a right angle turn to extend 54" from the back (of the long section)  to the end of the arm rail.

This shows one of the corner sections with the bench unassembled.

Below are a bunch of shots taken during the building process.  The order in which the parts are made is critical in a project like this since all of the parts need to end up working like a huge whole unit. There are no guides for how to do a project like this.  As far as I know, this has not been done before, so I was making it up as I went along. The challenge of making it work as a single unit is that I was never able to assemble the whole bench until I installed it in the client's restaurant.

parts for the corner sections
corner getting lined up for making the permanent corner joint

shaping the joined corner with hand
and power tools
lining up the two straight center sections

this is 1/2 of the total base.
one corner and one straight section

never a good way to work on the corner sections and notice the other two sections down the right. they are always in the way.

my daily game of large format Tetris.
they just didn't mesh together nicely
rails were created in sections.
this one of the four 90 degree corners being glued up

rail sections after glue up
crest rail corner reader to be
mated to straight sections
scarf joint of corner to straight section