My son has been attending cello lessons for a couple of years now, and one thing that kids his age end up needing is a bench whose height can be adjusted as they grow older. The bench's characteristics are simple:
- When the kid is sitting, his/her feet must reside flat on the ground
- There has to be a way to hook an end-point holder (a piece of wood on which the cello's tip resides; used when playing on slippery surfaces) to the bottom.
Other than those two, imagination is the limit. The style I used for this cello is not of my invention; it's quite common, and I saw it used on several benches that other kids in his class had. The only differences I made with his are that it is wider (19" instead of the approximate 12" I saw everywhere), and I used dove tails to hold the top and sides together (I don't remember seeing them used on other benches I saw).
This instructable shows all the materials, tools and steps I followed to make the bench, but it could all very easily be adapted to building other items. The bench used three interesting techniques that are worth mentioning here:
- Dove tails - they offer very high strength union for parts that are connecting at 90 degrees. Commonly used on drawers and chests, they can be made fully visible on both ends (like with this bench), or only visible on one end and not the other (I think that one is call a half dove tail). Mine were made entirely by hand, but if you're mass producing these things and looking for efficiency you should switch to using a router with a dove tail guide.
- Mortise and tenon - another high strength technique for attaching pieces. This was used for the quarter-round supports under the bench, and involve having one piece fit partially (but very tightly) into another. For the bench, the supports' entire top and side fit into the seat and leg (respectively) of the bench, and the union is practically invisible.
- Glue only. No nails or screws were used to assemble the top and the the legs it connects to. The adjustable legs on the outside of the bench are held on by simple bolts and wing nuts.