ii here were more than 100 re-1 ligious experiments in com-M munal ownership and living ^ ¡11 eighteenth- and nineteenth-century America. One of the most successful was the United Society oi Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, better known as the Shakers. From just eleven followers, newly arrived from England in 1774, the sect had over a thousand members in eleven separate communities by 1800 and six thousand in eighteen communities by 1850.

Because Shaker life was communal, they designed and built many pieces of furniture for group activities. Among them was this dining bench, used by several communities in their dining halls and schoolrooms. It was an original invention, a variation on a traditional five-board bench. The Shaker craftsmen extended the legs to support a slender backrest. The result was a piece that was more comfortable—and more elegant — than an ordinary bench.

The design for this dining bench was inspired by a similar bench built at the Shaker community in Han-cock. Connecticut, and used in their dining room. It's now on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. continued

Excerpted from the new book, American Country Furniture— Projects from the Workshops of David T. Smith, by \ick Englerand Mary Jane Favorite. (1990, Rodale Press. 33 E Minor St., Emmaus, PA 18098.)



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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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