Medieval Benches


Terafan decided that he did not have enough seating around the encampment for people to come visit andhang out, or to have around a bardic circle. So he created some.  The bench plans went through a "Alpha" model before arriving at the "Beta" (or working) model.

alpha bench.jpg (5363 bytes) beta bench3.jpg (4473 bytes)

"Alpha" model

"Beta" (or working) model


alpha bench toprail joinery.jpg (7009 bytes) There is not a lot of difference in the two, however, the Alpha model was made with standard 1" lumber (which is unfortunately actually only about 3/4" thick.   The problem is that for a 36" bench, depending on the weight of the person who sits on it, the bench top is likely to bow and bend (and possibly break).  Therefore, with the Alpha model, it was necessary to place a 2x4 on edge underneath the bench seat to provide reinforcing strength.  The legs of the Alpha model slide into grooves on the 2x4.   You can see this in the joinery picture at the left.
All of the wood joinery is done using a 10 degree angle.  This allows the top to stay attached to the legs when you pick the bench up by the top.  It also allows the bench legs to not be at the ends of the bench, yet not cause tipping when someone sits on the end of the bench. 
The stabilizing bar is also cut at 10 degree angles to allow the edges to meet flush with the legs, and then a peg locks the leg tight against the stabilizing bar, and everything is held in place.  A picture of the peg is at the right.
bench pegs.jpg (5643 bytes)

To make one of these benches, you need the following materials:

Here are is a drawing of the bench, with dimensions.  For the original PowerPoint 97 version of the drawing, click here.    The legs and the cross brace can be made as fancy as your desire.  (You can see in the photos that the legs of the Alpha model are fancier than the Beta model.)   A PowerPoint95 version of the plans is also available.

bench plans.gif (11301 bytes)


bench plans2.gif (9998 bytes)

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