As the bones get older, cross-legged sitting becomes harder, and injuries or other limitations might make it impossible. A kneeling posture with a simple flat bench beneath the derriere might be a good idea. These dimensions work well for most people, but might need adjusted if you are very tall or short. The ideal angle depends on the person so this one has a rocker bottom and will adjust to you. There is another Instructable for a meditation bench but I think this one is sufficiently different to deserve its own.
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Step 1: Tools and Materials
- 1x6 pine board (3/4 x 5-1/2 actual)
- Coping saw
- Cross cut saw
- Measuring tape
- Router (3/4 inch bit)
- Ear protection
- Wood glue
- Medium and fine sanding blocks
- Orbital sander
- Gloves, stain and clear polyurethane
Step 2: Mark, Cut and Sand the Pieces
Mark up the board with a square and cut with a saw that can make clean cross cuts. You'll need a 20 inch piece and two 6-1/2 inch pieces. I like to mark all the lines at once and figure in the 1/8 inch kerf of my table saw. But marking and cutting a piece at a time is fine. If you can use a hand saw, great! Use an orbital sander or a hand block to sand the pieces. With planed lumber going straight to fine sandpaper is ok .
Step 3: Mark the Curves
Use a round template to mark the curves on the ends of the short pieces. I don't know the ideal diameter but a 5 gallon paint bucket worked well for me.
Step 4: Cut the Curves Out
Use a coping saw to cut around the curves you just marked. Follow just outside the pencil line. Then use the rasp, medium and fine sanding blocks to finish smooth.
Step 5: Rout 3/4 by 3/8 Inch Dadoes in the Large Piece
Use a square to mark a 3/4 inch r̶a̶b̶b̶e̶t̶ dado starting an inch from each end. Mark a guide line for your straight edge. Mine is 2.5 inches from the closest edge of the dado. Your router is probably different. You could use a back saw and a chisel to cut the dado if you have the skills. Clamp on the straight edge with scrap wood to protect the work and rout the dado with a 3/4 inch bit set to 3/8 inch deep. Sand the piece smooth around the cuts and erase any pencil marks.
Step 6: Make Quarter Round Edges on the Seat
Clamp the seat in a vise with leather or scrap wood to protect it, and use a hand plane to shave a 45 degree angle as shown. Continue to plane until you have roughed out a 1/4 round edge. Finish with your medium and then smooth sanding blocks. Do both sides of the seat.
Step 7: Glue It Up
Use wood glue and clamps to assemble the bench. You might need to sand a little to make the legs fit in their slots. Once the glue has set sand away any flaws caused by odd lumber dimensions or your own mistakes :) and give it a final smooth sanding finish.
Step 8: Stain and Finish
This is optional. The unfinished pine is pretty but liable to get dirty. I used medium oak stain and clear polyurethane applied with the rag method. It isn't just for meditation. If you kneel a lot to pray, do gardening, or play with small children, this will stop your legs from going to sleep.