Build a Modern Four-Board Bench


Build a Modern Four-Board Bench

A great first project for anyone interested in building furniture.

Meeting Times
  1. Tue, 3/12/2024 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  2. Mon, 3/18/2024 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  3. Tue, 3/19/2024 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  4. Mon, 3/25/2024 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  5. Tue, 3/26/2024 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Tue, 3/12/2024 - Tue, 3/26/2024

See additional date options »

Class, Has Prerequisite

Woodworking & Small Boatbuilding Studio

General Woodworking


Build a simple but classy bench that gives a modern twist to the traditional four-board bench.

This class makes a great first furniture project. You'll go through all the basic steps:

  • Develop a stock list from a plan.
  • Lay out parts on wood, cut pieces to rough dimensions, and mill the precise sizes you need.
  • Cut and fit the joinery (the bench has wedged tenons and cross-lap joints).
  • Create design details and edge treatments.
  • Plan and execute a calm, thoughtful glue-up.

The instructor will discuss final surface preparation and finish options, but you may not have time in the class to complete these steps.

You will use mostly machine tools, supplemented with hand tools.


A materials fee of $55, included in the class fee, covers poplar and all additional materials other than finish.

BARN has all the tools needed, but if you have these tools, please bring them:

  • No. 4 smoothing plane or No. 5 jack plane
  • Low-angle block plane
  • Bevel gauge


Class Policies

  • Ages 14 and up are welcome.
  • You must wear safety glasses and closed-toe shoes, tie back long hair, and avoid loose-fitting clothing and jewelry. We recommend bringing your own safety glasses.

BARN Policies

Instructors or Guides

John McCormack

John McCormack is a furniture designer, maker, and teacher living and working in Port Townsend. A graduate of the cabinet and furniture making program at North Bennet Street School in Boston, he holds a Master in Fine Arts in furniture design from Rhode Island School of Design. He has written for various publications, including "Fine Woodworking," which featured his piece on "The Ultimate Crosscut Sled" on its cover. He got his start in woodworking by studying under John Kassay, author and expert on Shaker and Windsor furniture. Read more at his website:

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