I’ve been wanting to do this project for awhile. Ever since we found a big pine board, a home made bench has been on my list of things to make. It was 12″ by 10 feet and it was peeking out of a dumpster. I know we’re super classy.... I knew when I saw it that it would be a perfect bench one day.
Get ready y’all, this post has a million pictures.
We loosely based our design on Ana White’s Ashley X Bench.
But instead of piecing the legs together out of 1″ x 3″s, we used regular 2″ x 4″s. My sweetie was able to take out the chunk in the middle with his table saw, by just doing repeat passes until it was all gone.
I will admit the angle part was a little tricky. At first we tried math…I know. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – math is not my friend. Knowing that we wanted the bench to sit 18″ off the ground (the top surface), and that the bench was to be 15″ deep for seating – you’d think we would have been able to calculate the angles. Eventually I gave up! Steve was still giving it the old college try when I suggested we just make paper templates. Yay!! That worked like buttah! Thank goodness.
You can really see how well they fit together here:
The two pieces were then glued with wood glue and clamped together until they dried.
To make the seating surface we used our large board and attached ripped pieces of 2″x 4″ to either side to give us the depth we wanted. The ripped strips were glued and screwed in place. The finished dimensions of the top are 15 inches deep by 7 1/2 feet long.
To attach the legs to the top we used cleats that were first screwed to legs. Then the cleated legs were screwed into the underside of the top/ seat.
The pictures above are just our dry fit.
I decided to go ahead and pre-paint the legs before we installed them. I used my favorite black paint in a satin finish.
Once those pieces were good and dry we put the bench together. The trickiest part was the support bar that goes between the Xs. It definitely took two people and some precise measuring.
The pieces were all glued and screwed into place. Then the screw holes were filled in, sanded, and painted over.
From there all that was left was finishing the top.
My initial thought was to do the steel wood cider stain on it, but after trying it out on some scrap boards, here, I decided that was a no go. So gray was out. Our floors are very dark and we have some other very dark furniture it the room where this bench was going so I also ruled out my favorite, Dark Walnut, stain too. I decided to go with reliable Golden Oak.
I love how the color turned out. I especially like the gradation in color between our salvaged board and the new wood on the edges.
I put two heavy coats of a satin finish Poly on top. I let the first coat dry thoroughly, sanded it, vacuumed and wiped it with a tack cloth; then put a second coat on.
I let the bench dry for three days in the garage before we brought it into the house.
Now the really fun part, putting it in place. Squeeeeee!!!! I get giddy over the silliest things.
Here is what the space looked like before.
It’s a really big wall, and we had that dinky little ottoman there just to fill in the floor space.
Here is space with nothing under the trays. So sad
And finally, here is the bench all at home. Ahhh!!!
I hope you like it as much as I do.
The best part of this whole project was working on it with my sweetie. He is so patient, and is such a good sport with all of my hair-brained ideas.
**I have received no compensation for any specific products or retailers mentioned in this post.