Just after our second child, Sean, was born, my parents came out for a visit. While they were here, my mother mentioned that she was planning to purchase a toddler step for my niece, Samantha. Apparently this has become something of a tradition for her. I promptly nixed that idea, insisting that I build one for her instead. 18mos. later, during another visit with my folks, I was reminded that the bench was yet to be delivered. Sigh.
The past two weekends I managed to scrape together enough hours to complete this simple bench/step. As my niece’s middle name is “Rose”, the plan was to inlay a rose into the top. I’ve done very few hand cut* dovetails, so I figured I’d also take this opportunity to gain some practice. And while I’ve incorporated inlays into a number of my previous pieces, I always welcome the chance to gain some additional experience there as well. So a rather simple, blocky design was born. While it won’t likely win any design contests, I found cutting and fine tuning the dovetails very relaxing. It was also quite satisfying to assemble.
The sides are walnut, the top, is cherry. The inlaid rose petals are bloodwood and the stem is zebrawood. The finish is Watco Danish Oil, natural.
(*full disclosure: by “hand cut” I mean using a bandsaw and chisels instead of a router template. If it’s good enough for David Marks…)
I decided it needed a couple top coats of a tung oil-based finish. This added a medium sheen to the piece and I think improved the look dramatically. I’ve replaced a couple of the older pics with the new ones below:
This project on my lumberjocks.com page: