Back in the early days of my woodworking, I was heavily influenced by a show called Woodworks. The host, David Marks, would frequently engage in a process that was very new to me at the time: power-sculpting (aka power carving). I was so excited by this process that I drove all the way up to Santa Rosa to learn the technique from the man himself. So what you see in this video is largely inspired by the work of David Marks. If you’re interested in seeing some of the old Woodworks episodes, you can do so here.
Once I returned home from Santa Rosa, I set out to create a simple sitting bench that would incorporate this carving technique. While the bench was only meant as a prototype, I went on to teach a class on the topic and my buddy Tom Iovino was able to write an article about the project for Woodcraft Magazine. Several years later, I wrote an article for Popular Woodworking Magazine on Free-form Sculpting which you can download here for free.
What you see here is the new and improved version nearly ten years later. My goal with this project was to make some subtle changes that result in big improvements. I did something very similar with a step-stool project a couple years ago. The idea was to apply my current knowledge base and design sensibilities to simply make the bench better, or at least my personal interpretation of “better.”
The two primary tools I use are an angle grinder and a 7″ polisher. I use an Arborech TurboPlane in the grinder but there are lots of other options available to you. If you’re looking to save a few bucks, check out the Holey Galahad Discs.
This video is actually just an excerpt from a longer 2-hour series published in the Wood Whisperer Guild. We have six videos that show you every detail you need to know to build this project and refine your power-scultping and design skills. If you’re interested, check it out!