I’ve always loved the look of the Danish modern chairs made by Moller, which typically have woven seats. So, when my wife asked me to make a bench for the kitchen entrance to our house, I knew I wanted to make one with a woven seat. Surprisingly, I was able to find a number of videos and articles online discussing how to weave the particular pattern that is used on the Moller chairs. I also was able to find a supplier in California that sells Danish cord.
The first step in making the bench was the legs, which are made out of walnut. I cut a slight taper using a band saw and shaped the subtle curve at the top of the leg by hand with a rasp. The legs are attached to the stretchers with mortise and tenon joints. I cut the mortises by hand with a chisel. Since I’d never done that before, I watched a few videos of Roy Underhill cutting mortises and figured I was ready to go. As it turns out, Roy made it look a bit easier than it actually was (go figure). As I now know, it’s best not to cut the leg to length before chopping a mortise near the top of the leg. The small piece of wood that remained above the mortise broke out on two of my three legs. Since more 8/4 walnut was not in my budget, I had to just glue the broken piece back in.
Before attaching the maple stretchers, I wrapped the long ones in Danish cord using special nails called Danish L nails. Once the stretchers were wrapped in cord, I glued them to the legs and the frame was complete. I then started the weave. The weaving was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. A good tip I picked up from the internet was to wear golf gloves when doing the weave–the Danish cord is rather rough and you have to pull it tight with a lot of tension, so it gets hard on the hands pretty quickly.
Other than a few little projects, this was my first real furniture project. All in all, I was happy with the result and it was a great learning experience.