In designing this month’s CNC project, the Contemplation Bench, I had a couple of goals:
- Create a strong structure that will last in both an indoor and outdoor environment.
- Keep the project simple so that it can be completed in a pleasant, unhurried day.
- Design the components and the joinery so it is CNC machining compatible.
- Make sure the components can be made on a desktop CNC using tiling.
- Create a bench of proportions that can find a home anywhere.
- Give the bench some visual energy - make it fun.
Achieving the first 4 goals was a simple task using slab construction for the legs, seat, and back slats. Strong simple legs and back slats join the seat in deep mortises in a no-nonsense building approach. The crest rail joins the back slats in an easy to cut lap joint for an all CNC cut construction project.
Finding a home for a new piece of furniture can sometimes be a real challenge so keeping the bench small was a must. I chose a size that allows two people who are fond of each other to sit comfortably together or for one person to have plenty of room to relax with a book and a cup of coffee.
As a designer, the challenge and fun of the project was to think of all of the interesting looks that can be created by changing the shapes of only a few pieces. Take a look at a few of the “looks” that I came up with and think of what you might like to do. With so few parts and simple joinery this is a great project for you to try your hand at designing the perfect bench for a place in your home. Good luck and have fun!