Benches, Boxes and Bancos
Millie’s bench is named in honor of my mother’s love of benches. Finished in water-based natural finish to keep it white, this white Maple bench features an open seating design with ergonomic grooves. The open seating design allows for potential drainage, should it be outside and subject to precipitation. This is the first bench I’ve ever sat in that I didn’t miss having back support, because the seating grooves help with posture.
This two-person bench is made of solid cherry featuring a sombraje back (dyed willow and salt cedar sticks). The contrast between these two benches show the diversity of product that come from the sole-proprietor shop.
Made for the UNM Domenici Hall, this 36-person bench surrounds an art fixture in the lobby. It is made from solid white Maple, finished in a water-based acrylic to keep it from yellowing with age. To allow for cleaning of the fountain, hidden hardware allows it to separate into two halves.
This banco is a front-hall fixture for storage. I did this in Oak, with a Mahogany top. For added durability, I finished the unit in a varnish, as the shoes that go into those cubbies aren’t often as clean as they could be. Looking from this side, you can see the recessed pedestal base so that it can sit flush against the wall without disturbing the existing mouldings.
The Mahogany top is a lid to accommodate more storage. I used a piano hinge set forward 4 inches from the back of the piece, along with two dampers to hold the lid up when open. This allows for opening the lid without hitting the coats, and also keeps the pivot point from rubbing the wall.
This continuous unit winds around an enclosed courtyard. As a bonus room, my clients use it as a party room, and wanted some seating and storage. Because the room isn’t heated or cooled, I needed to make sure that the long spans don’t move seasonally as humidity changes, which, along with cost, drove the decision to use maple-veneered melamine goods for long spans.
The backsplash here helps cover up some dodgy masonry, as well as giving a good mounting point for the 220V outlet for the customer’s space heater. All of the hardware is mounted wood-to-wood, for maximum reliability.
The drawer faces and cabinet doors are all solid wood, as well as cabinet faces, all done in hard White Maple. The area to the left of the cabinet face in the corner is open to that cabinet, to avoid wasting space.
This reverse angle on the previous picture shows the last of the big deep drawers. These all run on high capacity full-extension ball bearing slides to hold even the heavy objects needed for party time.
The bancos here run the remainder of the span, and all are hinged 2 inches out from the wall, both to help with the reveal, since nothing is ever really square in a house, and to keep the back of the banco lids from getting scraped up on the brick.
I made sure that the reveal was even across the entire unit. Height here was consistent to keep the bancos clear of the wrought iron over the window. The customer later added some upholstered cushions for seating in this area.
This blanket box extends the full width of the king-size bed. Done in pine with a southwest style and mauve wash, the customer asked me to upholster the top with matching fabric for comfort.
I made this traditional Cedar Chest for my niece – 20 years later, she still cherishes and uses it. I captured the Cedar with an Oak, top and bottom for durability – the scent of Cedar anchored with the soundness of Oak.
This Walnut accented, Maple blanket box fits in well with its East Mountain home. The clean lines of the box provide double-duty as a sitting Banco with a view out the window at the scenes of nature.
Another welcoming storage banco offers a herring-bone design on the front. The top lids open up for wood storage. A marine-spar varnish was used on this outdoor piece for durability of finish.
Done in Alder, this 4-door banco is used for sitting and taking off muddy shoes. It also serves as storage for the front foyer – a welcoming and functional piece of furniture.
This white maple banco is integrated into the foot of a bed. The arcing front is done in vertical slats, with a 2° change in angle per joint. The seamless arc was achieved by first sanding against the grain, followed by detail sanding with the grain to remove the cross-grain blemishes. The top is 5/4″, supported on a continuous piano hinge with hydraulic lifters/dampers to help with the weight.
This banco is a free-standing duplicate of the previous, but is made of cherry, with the added feature of cedar lining.