How wide to make a sittin' on bench?


My 10-foot trestle dining table is coming along nicely, but I've run into a design hitch. I was planning to use the plans in the book that someone recommended I buy (thanks, Dave), and the customer likes the bench design (a photo of similar)
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.miniworld.com/house/catalogs/cnossen/cn141.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.miniworld.com/cgi-bin/catalog-h.pl%3Faction%3Ddp%26cat%3DMiscellaneous%26sec%3DDon%2BCnossen%26code%3DCN141%26&h 6&w'4&sz&tbnid=As67AB
Holy cow. That's some serious word wrap.
Anyhow, it's a flat bench, no back, but my plans call for only a 9" width, which may have been fine for Shakers, but modern American asses are considerably larger, I would think. I said twelve, but my wife says even wider. As a kid, our school benches were a 2x12, and having sat on one of them recently (a 2x12, not a school bench) I think that may be good. However, my ass may not be an accurate cross-section of the general population, and this is a rental house with many asses coming through the place, all to be plopped on these benches.
What to do?
Thanks, -Phil Crow
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Next time go to http://tinyurl.com
Your link: http://tinyurl.com/5e4w4
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Rumpty

Radial Arm Saw Forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/woodbutcher/start
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You don't want to many big butts in your rental house. If you make an uncomfortable dining area they may eat less. Shaker, less is more philosophy. They may lose some weight. Your house's trusses/joists may thank you. My bicycle seat isn't even 6 inches wide at the widest part and I can sit on that for a few hours eating and drinking until my self contained supplies run out. How about a 2x4? I have sat on them when building houses. The wide 3.5 inch side is more comfortable. The excess butt just hangs off the end of the bench. It isn't like the big butt is going to drag the floor or hang so low that it is going to get kicked by someone walking by.
Wasn't there some thread about pointy sticks? Maybe one side could be the pointy stick side with the good food. If they can sit on the pointy sticks then they can eat the good food.
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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You can take it from a "real ass" ... 12" will be fine. Any wider and the fatter asses will be complaining that the width is cutting off circulation to their legs. Besides, a little ass hang-over ain't necessarily a bad thing.
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Swingman wrote:

the
circulation
bad
Tenjewberrymush.
-Phil Crow
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A reproduction of a Classic One-Holer might do the trick.
And you would have the option of building a companion love seat, based on the Classic Two-Holer.
These designs have proven themselves to be quite comfortable, as there are stories of people who could sit on them for hours on end.
Thomas J. Watson - WoodDorker
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1 (webpage)
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.miniworld.com/house/catalogs/cnossen/cn141.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.miniworld.com/cgi-bin/catalog-h.pl%3Faction%3Ddp%26cat%3DMiscellaneous%26sec%3DDon%2BCnossen%26code%3DCN141%26&h 6&w'4&sz&tbnid=As67AB
post a sign next to the bench that only 1/3 of americans can sit on it (that's the third of US peeps that *aren't* overweight)! ;) Swingman's 12" rec sounds good for the other 2/3's tho.
--
Frank

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It is hard to get good help anymore. I built some benches with attached planters for use on the patio. The benches were 15" wide, and were quite comfortable.
Steve

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.miniworld.com/house/catalogs/cnossen/cn141.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.miniworld.com/cgi-bin/catalog-h.pl%3Faction%3Ddp%26cat%3DMiscellaneous%26sec%3DDon%2BCnossen%26code%3DCN141%26&h 6&w'4&sz&tbnid=As67AB
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Somewhere I have a quote from a Shaker but I can't find it right now. Basicly his comment was that benches like this are only suitable for temporary use. He was thankful that his group was able to finally move to chairs.
Imagine being your typical American lard-butt, seated in the middle of that ten foot bench and suddenly having to get up to go to the bathroom - with two more lardbutts on either side of you. All five have to get up at once to pull the bench back from the table. Looks good in pictures, but in practice it is not much fun.
Wack up a quick bench out of a 2x12 and some 2x4s and have your customer try it. You may get an order for ten chairs rather than two benches.
--
I can find no modern furniture that is as well designed and emotionally
satisfying as that made by the Arts and Crafts movement in the early years
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On 18 Mar 2005 05:14:34 -0800, the inscrutable snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com spake:

You mean 5' width and 9" depth, don't you? <eg> Sounds uncomfortable. These are no pickinick tables, BooBoo, but they're benches.
"Mission Furniture: How To Make It" lists 3 Stickley piano benches which were 15, 16, and 16-1/2" deep, and the hall bench was 18".

Build for the worst possible case. Go 14"+ deep. They'll be comfy for the larger folks who will notice the difference and tell their large friends how comfy your place was. The thin folks will find more room, too. Win/Win, wot?
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There were fat-ass Shakers, but the benches were made to accomodate the extra weight. After all, if a heavy angel sat in a chair, it needs to be strong enough to support the weight. I've seen a lot of Shaker benches, in various shapes and sizes. Nine inches is quite narrow, 10 or 11 inches is more common and a few are 12".
On 18 Mar 2005 05:14:34 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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RE: Subject
Take a look at Fred Bingham's book, "Practical Yacht Joinery".
The subject is covered in some detail since every sq inch that gets used on a boat is not available for something else.
Might give you some ideas you hadn't thought about.
Lew
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