Earlier this winter while salvaging old growth red cedar I noticed one piece of wood in particular. This piece had very unique feature in that the wood was both the normal redish colour, but also had a streak of dark, almost black running though it. I have seen a few pieces over the years that are all this darker colour, but never a piece with such an interesting combination of the colours. I knew that this piece of wood would make a very special and unique artifact. So when I was commissioned lately to build an 8′ long bench for a beautiful house and spot overlooking the ocean, I knew this would be a wonderful project to include some of this special wood.
My wife Wendi calls it the ‘piano’ bench because the back looks like the keys on a piano, contrasting in light and dark with repetitive pattern. The bench is made from all salvaged old growth red cedar. The main joinery of the bench is all mortise and tenon with pegs, with some secondary joints made with screws to hold it well together. I love working with cedar because it is never straight! I was able to incorporate some gentle curves in the back and cap, making the bench look unique but also very comfortable to sit in. Even the armrests have a nice curve, swooping down from the rear posts, at just the right height for your arm to feel comfortable. The bench is sanded smooth on the parts that you touch while sitting on it. (seat, back and armrests) It has been finished with a natural oil product called Landark. (a combination of Tungue oil, Linseed oil, Pine rosin, Beeswax, and Citrus, it also has a exterior additive of natural mildewcide and UV protection)