Danish Cord Bench

Caleb James
Build a classic Danish Modern bench with Danish cord and a Danish soap finish. A perfect gateway project to experience Danish Modern design aesthetics and construction. Highly functional in any modern home. It’s especially suited as an entry way bench or extra seating at the end of a bed. Let’s make an heirloom that touches your life everyday. Jump into this quick project. It will be fun.
Dimensions: 46-11/16” [1186mm] W, 17-7/8” [454mm] H, 15-9/32” [396] D
  • 9 lessons
  • 182 min
  • $79.00

Here's what we'll cover:

  1. Introduction

    Here I give you an overview of what you’ll learn in this project and why you might be interested in building it. I’ll also touch on how this Danish cord pattern is particularly suited for someone new to Danish cord. Stuff You’ll Need: TOOL LIST: Power tools Table saw (general work and cutting tenons) Bandsaw […]

  2. Part Selection and Milling

    In this lesson you learn clues to easily selecting straight grain stock from rough sawn lumber at the lumber yard. Then see how to go from rough stock preparation to final dimension for your legs and cross rails.

  3. Joinery

    In this lesson I’ll take you through my process for making aesthetic decision in wood layout. Then we get into making the step tenon joinery at the drill press and table saw. We finish up by showing how to quickly dial in the tenon thickness to fit the mortise.

  4. Production Joinery

    I’ll show you one method I like to use for quickly producing the step tenon joinery. This is a specialized tool so its quite likely you may not have it. If you do then you’ll see how to go beyond its basic functions to achieve this joint with a few set up blocks. However, if […]

  5. Details and Nails

    This lesson will start with doing a proper dry fit before we glue up. We add some roundovers to the edge of our rails to add comfort and make weaving easier. We will also lay the groundwork for weaving by install our Danish cord nails before glue up.

  6. Fit and Finish

    Here we get to the satisfying glue up. It’s stress free just don’t forget to put in that center metal rod! I add a leather pad to the feet. Then we finish with a classic Danish soap finish.

  7. Weaving Phase 1

    In this lesson I’ll introduce you to what Danish paper cord is and how to identify the exact type we will use. Then we move on to weaving the first phase of our pattern and how to do this in a very efficient way.

  8. Weaving Phase 2

    We tackle the remainder of the weave pattern in this lesson and you get to see your project really come to life. I’ll explain the key areas to stay focused on to get a top notch result. We wrap up the lesson by discussing how this weave pattern can be applied to other pieces like […]

  9. Bonus: Slot Mortiser

    I find slot mortisers very useful in my work. However, slot mortisers are not really common in North America but they are more so in European shops. I’ll show you a typical design and how you can go about choosing the right bits for them.

What will I receive?

  • Detailed cut list and plans including a PDF and a SketchUp file (Metric and Imperial).
  • Hours of detailed video instruction showing every step of the build process.
  • All videos and plans are digital and will be available for immediate download.

What will I learn?

  • Stepped mortise & tenon joint
  • Danish cord flat weave pattern
  • Danish soap finish

What will I need?


Ill be honest. I bought this plan with no intention to build it and just wanted to see a technique I was curious about and videos I’ve seen on the topic were pretty lackluster in actual details. My five year old wanted to watch with me and said the weaving was “beautiful and can we build that”. Sure kiddo and I’m glad I did. Caleb really fleshed out the minutia and while my weaving was far from perfect I learned a lot and look forward to improving when I do this again. Hope Caleb comes back with another project. Fun build (and quick by guild standards!).

nick wolf
Guild Member
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About Your Instructor:

Caleb James

Caleb lives in Greenville, SC with his wife and two daughters. His first exposure to fine woodworking was in a middle school shop class where he built a stool. His interest in woodworking reemerged as a young adult building practical furniture for his first home. His interest (read obsession) and research into Danish chair design and construction began c.2005. He spent 6 years making furniture as a hobby before selling a successful business to make chairs full time in 2011. He has designed and produced a number of woodworking tools in the 18th and 19th century style most notably his line of spokeshaves for chairmaking. He has written several articles for Popular Woodworking magazine. He currently teaches Danish Modern chairmaking and is writing on that topic for a forthcoming book with Lost Art Press.