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Nearly finished hall bench

I’m a little behind on posting updates throughout this project build (actually, I’m almost finished), but here’s a quick look at it before final sanding and finish. I’m making this Arts & Crafts hall/entryway bench from red oak for my church. We built a new addition on a few years ago, and are still finding needs for furnishings and such. This bench will go in the entryway near the coat rack. Loyal WOOD Magazine readers might recognize this bench, or at least its inspiration, from issue 145 (November 2002). The original plan was open below with a shelf and fixed seat. My bench has a hinged seat, and I enclosed the front to provide storage inside (and out of sight). Rather than doing all the joinery with screws, as in the original, I made nearly all the joints with mortises and tenons. The front panel joins the sides with a full-width stub tenon into a routed groove. And the arms I did join with screws. You can still see the plugs standing proud over those screws; I just need to trim them flush and sand. I’m hoping to have this bench done in a week or so.

Seeing the new Leigh Super FMT in action

Matt Grisley, president of Leigh Industries, came by the WOOD magazine shop today to demo his company’s newest toy, the Super FMT (frame mortise and tenon jig). This product is a scaled-down, less-expensive version ($450) of the original FMT, launched about six years ago and soon to be called the FMT Pro, which sells for around $900.

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