Window Bench

I wanted to build a storage bench for this area in my attic workspace. There were a couple of challenges: This house is more than a hundred years old, and nothing is square. The window sill is +1/2″ higher left-to-right. There’s a vent in the wall on the left side. The windows are casement-style and open to the inside.

Before
Modeled in Rhino3d. I tried a few different designs and finishes and landed on this one.

To deal with the vent issues, I opted to work ventilation into the front of the bench. These are removable panels, so the design can change in the future. The window lid is sized so that it can open whether the windows are opened or closed. The left section can be closed off if I later decide to isolate the vent.

Framed
Finished with piano hinge and safety lid supports.

Vent Screen

Medium: Walnut. I purchased this nice free-standing wardrobe and wanted to place it in dead space in the entry hallway. Unfortunately, this placed it right on top of the cold air return vent for our furnace. I made a skirt to elevate it and match the height of the baseboards, then fabricated this vent screen, based on a photo my wife took of an architectural element in Jaipur.

Inspiration photo by Shubhie.
Shopbot Alpha doing final pocket pass.

Learnings

  • My first attempt at the vent cover was destroyed when the router bit slipped in the collet, about halfway through the deep pocket cuts for the hex pattern. A nearly identical slip happened on my second try, but I caught it in time to fix it. Most of my Shopbot experience is with softer MDF and plywood. Perhaps I need to plan some pauses to check and tighten the collet when working with hard woods.
  • Home Depot has some surprisingly nice hardwoods. This walnut was a nice match.