This was one massive bench; I think the finished weight was around 450 KG!
It all started with detailed drawings with a please quote request for a decerning client who was seeking an heirloom piece that would be functional in their home. After some back and forth to balance design and build quality, not to mention build strength, the project was locked in. Critical details were established – such as the maximum height of 790 mm (without castors) to ensure it could fit through the door – and the project was underway.
Were all of the details confirmed? Nope! But we agreed we were on the same page and that we’d tick a few design details off as they arose during the build. On a complex build like this, it’s a great way to keep the project moving along, yet still, end up with the ideal piece.
Featuring reclaimed and sustainably sourced Messmate and Vic Ash, we were also lucky enough to secure some amazing, reclaimed Stringybark that was used for the drawer boxes, to really lift the end result.
Details are many – mortice and tenons joints, dovetail joints, draw vents, 8 draws (plus a secret one in the end), end grain bench top, waste shoot, not to mention that it was getting craned to the second floor!
I love when a client finds unique, one-of-a-kind pieces, such as the 1930s art deco hardware and 19th Century genuine antique castors this client sourced. This gives me that rare chance to repurpose history and give it new life. So I knew when I came across some authentic Vietnam War-era bronze screws, that had originally come from Jervis Bay military base this client would jump at the chance to have them included in their bench.
From there, off I went with the build. Cutting, sawing, sanding, and joining (not to mention a few pauses to confirm critical details like where should the draw vents be located). As the weight increased, the bench very much found ‘its spot’ in my workshop and didn’t get moved around much!
Though this was a massive and complex build that challenged the grey matter more than once, it was a pleasure to make, and I’ll admit to sitting on one of my work benches eating my lunch, just admiring the end result.