Storage bench – build

With the design planned out, I went back to the Sketchup model to figure out the rough sizes of lumber to buy.

To do a material takeoff I disassembled the model and laid out the parts side by side. This is an inelegant method, but it does give a rough approximate of board feet.


Also, I did a little spreadsheet bill-of-materials of the bench with standard dimensional lumber, paint, hinge etc. Since this was for family, I charged for material only but I didn’t want to be out of pocket either.


Off to cutting some lumber then.

I ripped up some pine to roughly 1×4 and ploughed grooves. I used stub tenons instead of deep mortise and tenon joints. Since I would be gluing in plywood in the grooves, this should hold everything together.


I got the panels made up and rough fit together.


Center panels of plywood were added and each panel was glued up.


After gluing, each panel was planed smooth. Cue obligatory plane shaving fetish photo:


Each panel was then glued to its neighbor. I did angled joints at each corner. This long-grain to long-grain glue joint should be plenty strong.


Then I glued and nailed on a plywood floor.


I put the bench up on blocks and went about milling and cutting some baseboard. These would get glued onto the bench and actually will be the part touching the floor. I’m sure this is robust enough to hold up, but I added some reinforcement blocks on the corners just to be sure.

The large cut-out on the long baseboard was done by cutting stop cuts with a saw, chiseling out the waste and planing the lot smooth. See, readers, no router!


Along with a cut-out on the baseboard, I matched the profile that is on the other cabinet I was matching. This had a couple of ogees going on.

I cut out the main shape with the coping saw and then rasped and sanded the lot smooth.


Then I nailed on the baseboard to the front and sides of the bench.


To match the other cabinet, I wanted to add some molding. I racked my brain about how to add a raised moulding with a rabbet etc and instead found that I could add a moulding that was rounded on one side and nail it into the panels rather than on top.

Anyways, what I made was so small I had to cut it by hand. So, I make a nifty little miter box.


Here’s the moulding as applied. I trimmed everything up later with a chisel.


With that all squared away, glued up some parts for a top.

Then I set about flattening the glued-up panel and planing it smooth.

My aluminum winding sticks won’t win any style awards, but they work. Also, it was nice to break out the 5-1/2 plane. Not to big, not too small. Just right for planing a panel.


Onto the bench for a test fit and marking out the shape.


With it cut to shape, I added a chamfer. However, I didn’t like it and just gave the lot a round-over. This would also probably stand up to dings better.


And then to painting. I gave the bench a couple of coats of shellac inside and out and gave the outside a coat of latex.

The first coat did not go well at all. I’m not a fan of painting ( See: Painting is my El Guapo) but I will give it a go. Things are not helped by using bad paint though. So, stripped off the lot and went and bought better paint which went on like a dream.


Some time later, I got the bench finished and it was installed. I managed to get this photo a couple of weeks of use. Owner is happy, so I’m happy

And I think it complements its partner.



2 thoughts on “Storage bench – build

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