AFRICAN MAHOGANY BENCH
This first commissioned work was a custom design.
SHOP OWNER: Jason Young
LOCATION: Austin, TX
This custom bench is an original design and my first fine furniture commission. I'm very pleased with the results, as was my client who said they'd be back for more! It's 64" long, 15" deep, and 18" high - sized to fit a small inlet in the clientís house. I designed the short shelf to keep a few pairs of shoes off the floor (they have a problem we all have - too many shoes on the floor). Taller boots can go under the right-hand side under the curved wood.
The bench is solid African mahogany with mortise and tenon construction. The top has a semi-hidden "I-beam" construction to keep it from sagging. This makes it possible to have a top only 1" thick with the strength of a much thicker (12/4) top. I made the curve with the help of my router, MDF templates, and lots of sanding. The hardest part was joining the curved pieces to the tapered legs. I really sweated those joints! The wood is sanded to 220 grit and finished with Bartley's Dark grain filler, three coats of Minwax Mahogany gel stain, and three coats of Minwax wipe-on satin polyurethane.
Hereís a shot of the bench in the client's house.
In this shot I'm working on the mortises for the legs. I spent hours of painstaking chiseling after I roughed out the holes with my router.
I had a great time working on this project. My wife was sad to see it go, and wants me to build one for her! Best of all, I gained a lot of confidence and was able to make some money on the project. Thanks to everyone here for their help on pricing! The client was happy with what I charged and I felt like I got a good hourly rate on my work. I was able to do the whole project in fewer hours than I had originally anticipated so my hourly rate was around $20/hr. While not stellar, itís not bad for a first commission, plus I can use the money for a much-needed jointer.. . . Jason Young
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