Outdoor bench made of carved white oak

A big thank you and congratulations to David Hurwitz of David Hurwitz Originals for the following contribution.

June 4, 2011

Three weeks ago I completed a new outdoor bench in white oak for the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont.  The commission to build this custom, handmade bench came about through a collaboration of the Montshire Museum and the Frog Hollow Vermont State Craft Center in Burlington. The two organizations issued a call for design proposals from members of the Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers and Frog Hollow. Five designs by five different Vermont-based furniture makers were selected, including mine.

Leg form before carving – four layers of white oak stack laminated to 6.75″ thick

The benches were exhibited at the Frog Hollow Gallery in Burlington in May, and then last week they were transported to Norwich, where they are being installed along the pathways of the Museum’s Woodland Garden, which showcases native and medicinal plants.

I built the bench in locally grown white oak.  All of the hardware (not visible unless you crawl under the thing) is stainless steel: stainless metal bars recessed into the underside of the seat to support it, and heavy duty stainless levelers under each leg, with Delrin glides.  The levelers are adjustable so the bench will sit flat on any surface, and also raise it up enough so that the wood will not sit directly on wet surfaces or dirt.

The leg forms of the bench are hand carved and are connected by a thick cross-stretcher that runs underneath the seat and is joined to the leg forms by double mortise and tenons at each end.

Bench design copyright 2011,  David Hurwitz

The finish is Penofin Verde, an eco-friendly, non-toxic natural oil finish made for outdoor use.  The bench is 18″ high x 48″ wide x 18″ deep.  I can also build this design in other woods and in other sizes.

More of David’s work can be found at David Hurwitz Originals.