Settle Bench

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The settle bench was a convenient article of furniture in the colonial home, doubling as both a table and bench. This bench, which can be built from either pine or hardwood, is an excellent example of traditional Colonial style craftsmanship. It includes the most desirable settle bench features: the wide pivoting tabic top, and the hinged seat board opening to a storage compartment below.

Except for the four turned hinge pins the entire piece can be crafted from 3/4 in. thick stock. However, unless you have access to very wide boards you will have to glue up stock to make the sides (A), the seat board (I), and top (L).

After cutting to size parts A through L, use the band saw or saber saw to shape the sides and round the corners of the cross braces and top. Dovetail the stretcher ends to the dimensions shown in the dovetail detail and notch the sides to accept these dovetailed stretchers (С). The side extensions (B) are then applied over the stretchers, locking them in place. Mount the cleats (D, E, and F) as shown, using screws inserted through slotted holes. The bottom (G) is then mounted to the cleats, also with screws through slotted holes.

Next glue in place the fixed hinge board (H). Although we have shown breadboard ends applied on the seat board (see seat top detail), the seat board can also be made without these ends. However, since the function of the breadboard ends is to prevent cupping in the wood, if you dispense with the ends make certain that the stock you select for the seat board is even grained and not likely to warp. Mount the seat board to the hinge board with a pair of 2 1/2 in butt hinges.

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