TUFFET FOR MS MUFFET
A nice project for some misfit lumber.
SHOP OWNER: George Beardsley
LOCATION: Scottsdale, AZ
This little project came from a small truckload of misfit pine boards marked down outside the contractor door at Loweís. I had almost forty curved, bowed, and generally picked through boards for the salty sum of $10. My youngest daughter likes to read books and generally fuss about so Iíve been going through the boards and making small, simple projects for her room.
This corner tuffet is really a small corner bench that she can sit on outside her room, tie her shoes, or to just throw her backpack on after school. I designed the little bench to fit in a corner thatís just outside her door. Itís proportioned for a small juvenile so not only would it be comfortable for a small child to use but also fit in the space of the corner.
I started by hand jointing the four pieces that make up the two front legs and then stood them up on edge to cut a 22.5-degree chamfer using the table saw. From there it got more and more tricky as I incorporated 10-degree angles and a tapered leg. The single back leg is similar to the front leg parts with the 10-degree angle and tapers except for the chamfer that creates the 90-degree corner is 45 degrees.
After I figured out all the angles and dry fitted the bottom stand of the bench, I used the biscuit jointer to make all the joints. The legs could have been easier and possibly stronger had I whittled them out of a solid piece as opposed to individual pieces of ĺ-inch pine stock. Oh well, thatís the material I had on hand to use, so I made the most of it!
My goal was to assemble the entire bench without any screws, just glue and the biscuits. I was pretty careful with all the cuts, including using a jointer to trim the top edges at an angle. This was needed to square up with the top. I wound up using three #10 wood screws in each corner to attach the top to the leg assembly. Itís remarkably strong but I would say not indestructible. If a big person plopped down on it there may be a problem. If I ever created a duplicate, I would consider making it from hardwood.
The top was all hand planed and jointed with an edge band that is biscuit jointed all the way around. I tried to select interesting grain patterns for the front cross rail. At the last minute, while finishing, I tacked a little do-dad decoration over a knot in the middle. For the finish, itís pretty basic sanding sealer followed by three coats of gloss urethane.
All "Ms Muffet" needs now is a little corner cushion and sheíll be happy as could be. Little "Ms Muffet" is already using her tuffet, so Iím glad I took the time to work through all the mysterious angles needed to create the design.
. . . George Beardsley