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Thread: Bench seat question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Westphalia, Michigan

    Bench seat question

    I have received a commission to build monastic benches for a religious order. These benches must be built to last a long time. My question has to do with the bench hinge. the benches are divided into stalls for each person and the seat needs to fold up. The seats will be 28" long. I have thought about using a through rod as the hinge as opposed to pins. I am concerned that there will be too much stress on the hinge area over time given the cross section of the bench seat which will be about 1-1/2" thick at the hinge area. I can manufacture brass bushings with Stainless steel pins for wear. The bench will look similar to a standard church bench with end sections connected with a back support with the folding seat. I need to make them modular so that each stall can be separated by section because the monastery layout will change by location. In other words the design may go into several locations with some some rows having 4 stalls and some more than 4. I am probably going to build the initial 8 benches out of walnut or white oak. These will be real heavy so the modular design is important to ease installation.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    I'm envisioning that you're planning to hinge two boards that are butted together. Would using a half-lapped joint interfere with the hinges you have in mind? At 1-1/2" thick, that should add a means to take stress off of the hinge. Just a thought.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Westphalia, Michigan
    Actually the seat will hinge at the side @ 90 degrees. In other words the whole seat will need to hinge up. I may just use a brass bushing glued into the wood and pins. I have been thinking about reinforcing the hinge area with some kind of metal plate to spread the stress out. I am going to go visit a monastery to see how their benches are built. That aught to help.

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