Comfort Connects With Country in This Knockdown Design
When my friend Frank Palmieri asked me to help design a porch bench for small production runs, I saw it as a great opportunity—collaboration has become a means of continuing my education. Frank was after simplicity and strength in both the construction and the look of the bench. And because he planned to ship completed pieces, he wanted a bench that could easily be disassembled and reassembled with simple tools and no training. The design we ended up with (see photo, below) fulfilled all these criteria.
The key structural elements of our knockdown bench are the two rails which support the seat. They firmly tic the end panels to the seat when you wedge tenons into the ends of the rails. (Sec drawing.) The scat is rabbeted on each end and fits (but is not glued) into \2V* in.-long dadoes in the end panels. The two backboards, which provide strength against racking, arc rabbeted to fit into shallow notches in the end panels and are simply screwed in place. The only parts of the bench that are permanently attached are the two armrests which are glued, screwed and pinned to the end panels.
Tips for Construction
The drawing shows the construction details, but some tips on the building process are in order.
We used poplar because we planned to paint the benches, but just about any hard or softwood will work with this design. The bench ends and
Held together with wedged tenons, this country-atyle porch l>ench ¡a »olid, yet easy to take apart.
Cut backboards from V4-in. stock and rabbet ends to fit notches in end pane stopped rabbet to ;e V4-in.-de«p x n.-thick tongue.
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