Scott Keith shared some designs for a bench he is working up and asked for your feedback. For those of you new to the Design Matters Blog, this is an opportunity for builders and designers to get constructive feedback and generate ideas about a design. If you have a comment whether positive or negative, be prepared to explain what you are seeing and why. The process of explaining your own thoughts can be as valuable to you as to the builder looking for input. The following are his comments and questions:
I have been reading your blog for a while now and really enjoy it. As a mechanical design engineer I spend much of my time designing from a purely functional stand point, but as a woodworker I have been trying to develop more of an eye for “form” in my work. To that end, I would like to get your thoughts on a design for a simple sitting bench that I have been working on.
It’s an Asian inspired piece with a rather heavy (currently about 1.25 thick) slab seating surface and substructure that gives it a floating appearance. The overall dimensions are 40L x 18H x 15D. As can be seen in the pictures, the outer two surfaces of each leg flair out as they go up, and the edge of the bench seat is shaped to match the line of that flair if it were to extend upward. In order to soften the corners of the seat I created a “clipped” surface that again extends downward for a portion of the leg. I noticed afterwards that when viewed from certain angles this feature give the appearance a strait leg or even a reverse taper depending on how large the corner clip is and how far down the leg it extends.
I would like feedback on the basic design and proportions, especially of the front rail and legs, and if the exposed tenons of the under-rails make the design too “busy”. Of course, any other thoughts would be welcome.
Updated addition to this post – Scott followed up with the following plus some new sketches based on feedback from this on-line community.
“ The comments have been very helpful and encouraging. Several of the folks asked for updated sketches of the piece after incorporating some of the suggestion. Attached are two shots of the updated design, one with the corner clip and one without it, as suggested by “ejcampbell”. “