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How to: Make a craftsman-inspired bench (to go with that table...)

How to: Make a craftsman-inspired bench (to go with that table...)

Table and bench.jpg

Remember when Dan made this great table? Well, obviously we needed some seating, so Dan made a bench to match. Look! A bench! Here's how he did it:

Dan’s “ingredients list”:

Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post - I included the brand names of the ingredients below to help you get the same results.

  • 4- 4"x4"x16.5" Douglas Fir boards (these will make up your bench legs)
  • 2- 1"x6"x44" pine boards (the bench seat)
  • 2- 1"x6"x9.5" pine boards (to hold the seat together)
  • 2- 1"x4"x44" pine boards (part of the seat skirt)
  • 2- 1"x4"x9.5" pine boards (another part of the seat skirt)
  • Minwax Wood Finish in Early American
  • Minwax Polycrylic in Clear Semi-Gloss
  • Dutch Boy Platinum in Ultra White Semi-Gloss (paint and primer in one)
  • Hot-dipped galvanized box nails (both 1 ¼” and 1 ½” in length)

**Note: The board lengths listed above were not purchased at this length - this is the final result needed to construct the bench.

Assemble it: 

The bench assembly happened much like the table assembly, but since it was smaller, I was not needed to hold it together - thankfully, since I would not be able to fit under the bench... One thing to note about the drawing, below. Apparently 1"x6" boards are actually 3/4"x5 1/2" - something to do with the process of compressing the boards... so that's why the measurements in the drawing are different from the measurements of the ingredients list. Just shop based on the ingredients list and you should be fine.

drawing measurements.jpg
  1. Lay the 1”x6"x44" boards prettiest sides down (I like a lot of character and knots exposed).
  2. Lay the 1"x6"x9.5" boards perpendicular to the long boards so they divide the long boards into thirds, as crossbeams.
  3. Using the 1 ¼” nails, attach the crossbeams to the tabletop boards.
  4. We then balanced the seat on the 4” boards that will serve as the table skirt and nailed down into them with the 1 1/2" screws. With our lack of tools, this was the best way we had to make sure it was square and flush. Dan also nailed the corners of the skirt together. Remember to pick the prettiest sides to face out, if that's important to you.
  5. After the seat was assembled, we awkwardly balanced it on top of the four legs and Dan nailed the table together. (We never said we were experts.) In order to get the right look, Dan nailed the seat onto the legs through the skirt and not the top.

Finish it:

  1. Tape off the legs underneath the seat.
  2. Apply one coat of stain to the seat. Let it dry for 24 hours. Apply a second coat of stain. Let it dry for 24 hours. Lightly sand it.
  3. Apply one coat of poly. Let it dry for 3 hours. Apply a second coat of poly. Let it dry overnight. Lightly sand the seat. Wipe clean (I used a tack cloth) and apply a third coat. Let it dry for a day.
  4. Tape off the seat from the legs.
  5. Apply one coat of white paint. Let it dry overnight. Apply a second coat of paint.

And you're done! Wasn't that easy? Have you tackled your own projects recently? What are you building at home?

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