Hey guys, this is Susan. We made a pretty indoor bench with a slatted top for our home and I wanted to share the entire build with all of you.
It was not the easiest build we have done here on Mellowpine but the results are for you to see.
Also, I urge you to read until the end to see the final pictures of the product.
Full Build Video-Slatted Indoor Bench
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Things You Need for this Build
- 1 No.- 2 in. x 12 in. x 8 ft. #2 and Better Kiln-Dried Hem Fir Lumber- ( For the legs)
- 2 Nos.-2 in. x 4 in. x 2 ft. Premium Southern Yellow Pine / Fir Dimensional Lumber (For the support pieces)
- 7 Nos.-1 in. x 3 in. x 8 ft. Premium Kiln-Dried Square Edge Whitewood Common Board (For the slats)
- Wood Stain
- Wood Glue
- Wood Filler
Plan for the Indoor Wooden Bench
Please note the difference in dimension between nominal size and actual size. For e.g., 2 x 4 is the nominal size while 1-½" x 3-½" is the actual size. This is a standard convention.
How to Build the Indoor Wooden Bench
Note: If you have a pine board that is wider than 17-¼" then you can skip steps 1 and step 2. Those steps are for making a board that is 17-¼" wide from smaller boards.
Making the Leg Piece for the Bench
Step 1: As the first step we made the leg pieces for the bench. For this we used 1-½" x 11-¼" (2 x 12 Lumber) size pine board.
We made one piece of 1-½" x 18" x 11-¼" size and another of size ½" x 18" x 6".
These two pieces were joined using a dowel joint to make the leg piece of size 1-½" x 18" x 17-¼" (Final Size after all steps).
Step 2: As the next step, we had to join the board pieces together to make one single board of size 1-½" x 18" x 17-¼" (actually a bit more than 17-¼" to cut off the edges which were a bit damaged). We decided to join them using a dowel joint.
For detailed instructions for making a dowel joint refer to step 6 of this build where we demonstrate it- DIY Kitchen Cart
For making the dowel holes we used a drill with dowel jig. Then we joined it using dowel pins. We used 3/8 by 1-1/2-inch dowel pins for this project.
We used a drill center for aligning the two pieces. We explain the use of a drill center in the Kitchen Cart build project linked above.
Then we joined them together using glue and dowel pins and used a mallet to push.
We clamped the boards together and left it to dry for a day. Actually we just did it to reduce the number of clamps used. The two legs are just kept next to each other and they are not glued together.
Final Sizing of the Leg Piece
Step 3: Now, at this point, we unclamped the leg piece which we clamped and left in step 2. We scraped off the glue marks using a chisel.
There was a bit of bark on one edge. We cut it out using the table saw. The final size of the leg piece after this step was 1-½" x 18" x 17-¼" (as per plan).
Cutting the Center Hole in the Leg
Step 4: Then we marked the center of the piece for cutting out the circle.
We made a custom jig using aluminum sheet for constraining the movement of the router into a circle.
Then we cut out the circle as per the plan on the leg piece.
A router is a much better choice here compared to say a jigsaw, which may not give a perfect circle.
Although it's fine to just use a jig saw if you really don't want to use a router.
Making the Support Piece
Step 5: Then we had to make the support piece for each leg.
We took a 1-1/2" thick and 3-½" wide piece of lumber (2 x 4 Lumber) for this.
We need two such pieces of 14-¼" length for the support pieces.
We had to make a box joint using this for inserting the top pieces into the slots in the box joint.
Making the Box Joint in the Support Piece and the Leg
Step 6: We marked the slots for box joints as per the plan on the support piece and the leg pieces.
Then we made the cuts using the table saw for both the support piece and the legs. We first adjusted the blade height of the table saw as per the plan.
In the next step we used the jigsaw to cut out the slots for the box joint.
Then we sanded all edges and end grains again to smooth the rough edges after the jigsaw.
Fixing the Support Piece to the Leg
Step 7: Next we had to fix the support piece to the leg. So we drilled the pilot holes for this in the support piece and countersinked every piece.
After this, we used screws and wood glue to join the support piece to the leg piece such that the slots in the support piece and the leg were aligned.
Staining the Leg Pieces
Step 8: After fixing everything, we sanded the leg pieces thoroughly and stained the two-leg supports.
Making the Slats
Step 9: As the next step we made the top slats of the bench. Each slat has a final size of ¾" x 2-½" x 48". We made twelve equal pieces for the top of the wooden bench.
Step 10: Since we started with lumber that was ¾" x 2-½" (Actual size, not nominal size), we planed all the slats by half an inch to bring it to the size- ¾" x 2" x 48".
Step 11: Then we sanded all the pieces thoroughly. Sanding progressively from 120 grit to 180 grit and then up to 220 grit. Sanding well is really important for getting a fine finish.
Step 12: Then we stained the slats using cherry gel stain.
Dry Fit Check
Step 13: At this point, we tried a dry fit and it fit together nicely.
There was a gap between the end slat and the slat next to it. We used a filler wood piece sized correctly to fill the gap.
Step 14: Then we applied glue in each of the slots and fixed the top pieces in and clamped everything down.
Finishing and Sealing the Bench
Step 15: Then we applied wood putty everywhere there was a screw head.
We sanded the end grain again with double grit and applied cherry stain. End grains need more sanding.
Then we sealed the stain using polyurethane. If you want to use the bench for outdoors, use spar urethane instead.
So that was a really nice build and we really loved the final product.
It was a great addition to our house and goes really well with the grey shiplap walls.
If you try this build (and send the pics to me), I assure you I will feature it here on mellowpine.
This is more of an intermediate build but the results you get are also better than a beginner build.
If you liked this build, you might like some of our other DIY Projects:
- DIY Kitchen Cart on Wheels
- DIY Burned Wood Geometric Wall Art Project
- DIY Wood Coasters and Coaster Holder
- DIY Spice Rack for Kitchen
- DIY Spine Column Bookshelf
If you liked this build , you might want to save the pin below to your DIY/Woodworking board.