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Thread: Memorial Bench

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    WNY
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    7,380

    Memorial Bench

    I built this 48" wide bench for the family of a 17 year old girl who died way too early. It's made from red mulberry. The inscription work was done by a friend of mine on his CNC. He misspelled the last name as Usiah, instead of Usiak. After thinking about various ways to fix it I decided to hand carve in the top of the k and hope for the best. It's not exactly like the lower case k is supposed to look, but with no other k's in the carving I think it's passable.







    John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    SW Florida
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    92
    What a great looking bench and an even more beautiful tribute to a young life taken. And as to the additional "K", honestly had you not mentioned, I'm not sure anyone would have noticed. Terrific job John.
    A wannabe woodworker!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    56,740
    I actually like your fix, John...it builds that last letter up a little so it looks balanced with the beginning of the first name. That's a beautiful bench and a wonderful memorialization.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Posts
    27,631
    I think the project will be well received and the fix looks fitting and intentional. Well done Sir!
    Last edited by Ken Fitzgerald; 03-20-2021 at 11:39 AM.
    Ken

  5. #5
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    Mar 2005
    Location
    Cashiers NC
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    514
    A fitting memorial.
    Charlie Jones

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    WNY
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    I had the same thought, too, Jim about it looking more balanced. But the lady who asked me to build it wasn't pleased when I sent her a photo. She said it "doesn't flow", and asked me to make the upper part wider. I asked her to come look at it in person before I would do that. Fortunately, when she came a few days later she said it looked just fine. I had several ideas in mind on how to implement a perfect repair but fortunately it didn't come to that. Having not even one extra piece of wood would have made it quite a challenge.

    The wood came from a local tree I milled 4 or 5 years ago that had been taking up space in my wood shed waiting for a project like this. I had two massive planks about 3" thick x 12" x 8' long. There were several cracks, however, and I was barely able to get the large frame members out of them. I had two or three 5/4 boards and just managed to get the seat slats out of them.

    I have built other outdoor benches from red mulberry and it is very durable. I used a finish product called "One Time" because you supposedly only have to finish it one time for 7 years. You have to apply it outside as it cures by exposure to sunlight. It's an acrylate and smelled a lot like the UV cure acrylate dental fillings my dentist uses, so maybe it does work that way. Anything that lasts more than 3 years w/o needing attention is a winner in my book, double stars if it doesn't blister or peel. I'm optimistic this stuff might meet those benchmarks.

    John

  7. #7
    I did notice the the K was just a bit beefy ,but in a couple of seconds I attributed that to balancing the first letter ....on other end. Itís a
    nice piece that will help comfort her family. They can now be sure that even years out visitors who never knew her will ponder her brief life;
    and how good it is to be alive and have a fine place to rest and think.

  8. #8
    That's a fine tribute John.
    And the k looks just fine.

    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    SE Michigan
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    3,001
    Great looking bench and memorial. The fix looks fine to me. Donít think I would have noticed if it wasnít pointed out. By the way, I like the little triangle cut out on the bottom stretcher. Itís a nice little detail.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    WNY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Fulks View Post
    I did notice the the K was just a bit beefy ,but in a couple of seconds I attributed that to balancing the first letter ....on other end. Itís a
    nice piece that will help comfort her family. They can now be sure that even years out visitors who never knew her will ponder her brief life;
    and how good it is to be alive and have a fine place to rest and think
    .

    A beautiful comment Mel.

    John

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Mueller View Post
    Great looking bench and memorial. The fix looks fine to me. Donít think I would have noticed if it wasnít pointed out. By the way, I like the little triangle cut out on the bottom stretcher. Itís a nice little detail.


    There was supposed to be another one of those under the upper backrest, too, but I forgot to do it. I also thought about alternatively cutting a matching curve on the bottom edge of that piece but left it straight to make sure there was enough room for the CNC work, then forgot to reconsider it again. I'm never sure what will look best and it's hard to know until you look at it after it's done. With no extra wood I couldn't afford a blunder and sometimes that leads to conservative choices. In the end I'm still pleased with how it came out. More importantly, the lady who asked me to build it was positive the family would be pleased.

    John

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    SW Michigan
    Posts
    618
    Beautiful bench and a nice tribute, John. That mulberry is some nice looking wood. The grain looks a bit like elm with an attractive red hue.

  13. #13
    That is some real nice work there. More importantly is the statment it makes to the folks that lost a loved one way too soon.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Waterford, PA
    Posts
    287
    Two things, John.

    Itís a memorial. I would not have accepted it. I see an "h" made into a "k" as an afterthought. No matter how hard I want it to be a "k," itís an "h."

    Secondly, the entire bottom line is far too low on the piece. I would rather it be a third of the way up that piece, and not be so crowded to the bottom.

  15. #15
    Tony, it took me a minute to see ...what you were saying ! You were exactly right in phrasing it as a matter of taste. To me the placement
    underlines it. This makes me wonder if writers demand their books be printed in a particular type face. I think some do ,but the last time
    I thought much about it , I was about 6 years old and visiting the school library and hearing type face , spine , and ďboardsĒ for the first time!

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