How to Build an Indoor Bench

How to Build an Indoor Bench

How to Build an Indoor Bench

Hey guys, this is Susan. We made a really 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.

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Plan for the Indoor Wooden Bench

Indoor Wooden Bench Plan
Indoor Wooden Bench Plan

How to Build the Indoor Wooden Bench

Note: If you have pine board that is wider than 18" then you can skip step 1 and step 2. Those steps are for making a board which is 18" wide from smaller boards.

Making the Board for the Leg Piece

Step 1: As the first step we made the leg pieces for the bench. For this we used 1-½" thick pine board. We made two nos. of 1-½" x 18" x 12" sized pieces and one piece with size 1-½" x 18" x 8". We split the 1-½" x 18" x 8" sized piece into two equal pieces of 1-½" x 18" x 4". This half piece was joined to the other larger piece (1-½" x 18" x 12") using a dowel joint to make the leg piece of size 1-½" x 18" x 16" (Final Size after all steps).

Plan of the leg piece of the bench
Plan of the leg piece of the bench. The teeth at the top and the circle at the center are made in a later step.
Marking the size for cutting the board for the leg piece
Marking the size for cutting the board for the leg piece
Cutting the boards for the leg pieces of the bench
Cutting the boards for the leg pieces of the bench

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 16" (actually a bit more than 16" 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.

Fixing the drill stop collar depth using the dowel pin length
Fixing the drill stop collar depth using the dowel pin length
Making the dowel hole on the board for the leg
Making the dowel hole on the board for the leg

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.

Putting on the drill center inside the dowel hole for marking in the other piece
Putting on the drill center inside the dowel hole for marking in the other piece
Marking the dowel hole location on the second piece using the drill center
Marking the dowel hole location on the second piece using the drill center

Then we joined them together using glue and dowel pins and used a mallet to push.

Inserting the dowel pins in the board piece
Inserting the dowel pins in the board piece
Putting the two board pieces for the leg piece together
Putting the two board pieces for the leg piece together

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.

Clamping the boards for the leg pieces together after gluing
Clamping the boards for the leg pieces after gluing. There are two separate leg pieces here.

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.

Getting the excess glue off after curing
Getting the excess glue off after curing 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 16" (as per plan).

Cutting the excess wood off from the leg piece
Cutting the excess wood off from the leg piece

Cutting the Center Hole in the Leg

Step 4: Then we marked the center of the piece for cutting out the circle.

Marking the center of the leg piece for cutting the circular hole
Marking the center of the leg piece for cutting the circular hole

We made a custom jig using aluminium sheet for constraining the movement of the router into a circle.

We made this jig using scrap aluminium for the router to cut in a circle
We made this jig using scrap aluminium for the router to cut in a circle

Then we cut out the circle as per the plan on the leg piece.

Plan of the leg piece of the bench
Plan of the leg piece of the bench
Cutting the large circular hole in the leg piece using the router
Cutting the large circular hole in the leg piece using the router
The Bench leg pieces after cutting the circle
The Bench leg pieces after cutting the circle

A router is a much better choice here compared to say a jigsaw, which would not give a perfect circle.

Support Piece

Step 5: Then we had to make the support piece for each leg. We took a 1-1/2" thick and 3" wide piece of lumber for this. We need two such pieces of 12" 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.

Plan for support piece of the bench
Plan for support piece of the bench
Cutting the support pieces for the legs of the bench
Cutting the support pieces for the legs of the bench

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.

Support piece with slot locations marked for box joint
Support piece with slot locations marked for box joint

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.

Making the cuts for the complementary slots for the box joint
Making the cuts for the complementary slots for the box joint in the support piece
Making the cuts for the complementary slots for the box joint
Making the cuts for the complementary slots for the box joint in the leg piece
Cuts made for making the complementary slots for the box join
Cuts made for making the complementary slots for the box joint

In the next step we used the jigsaw to cut out the slots for the box joint.

Making the complementary slots in the leg piece using the jig saw
Making the complementary slots in the leg piece using the jig saw

Then we sanded all edges and end grains again too smooth the rough edges after jigsaw.

Leg pieces and support pieces with complementary slots for the box joints
Leg pieces and support pieces with complementary slots for the box joints

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.

Applying glue on the support piece before fixing it to the leg piece
Applying glue on the support piece before fixing it to the leg piece
Fixing the support piece on to the leg using screws
Fixing the support piece on to the leg using screws
Leg piece with support piece fixed to it
Leg piece with support piece fixed to it and the slots aligned

Staining the Leg Pieces

Step 8: After fixing everything, we sanded the leg pieces thoroughly and stained the two leg supports.

Staining the leg of the bench with cherry stain
Staining the leg of the bench with cherry stain

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" x 48". We made twelve equal pieces for the top of the wooden bench.

Slat piece plan
Slat piece plan
Sizing the slats for the bench
Sizing the slats for the 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".

Planing the slat pieces
Planing the slat pieces
Slat pieces and the boards for the legs stacked up after sizing
Slat pieces and the boards for the legs stacked up after sizing

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.

Sanding the slats
Sanding the slats

Step 12: Then we stained the slats using cherry gel stain.

We used Cherry Gel Stain for the entire bench
We used Cherry Gel Stain for the entire bench
Staining the slats with Cherry stain
Staining the slats with Cherry stain
Slats stained with Cherry Stain
Slats stained with Cherry Stain

Dry Fit Check

Step 13: At this point, we tried a dry fit and it fit together nicely.

Dry fit check for the bench with slats pushed into the slots
Dry fit check for the bench with slats pushed into the slots

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.

Gap between the end slat and the slat next to it
Gap between the end slat and the slat next to it

Step 14: Then we applied glue in each of the slot and fixed the top pieces in and clamped everything down.

Applying glue in the slots of the legs before fixing the slats inside
Applying glue in the slots of the legs before fixing the slats inside
Fitting the slats into the box joint in the legs
Fitting the slats into the box joint in the legs
Fitting the slats into the box joint in the legs
Fitting the slats into the box joint in the legs

Finishing and Sealing the Bench

Step 15: Then we applied wood putty everywhere there was a screw head.

Applying wood filler on the screw holes
Applying wood filler on the screw holes

We sanded the end grain again with double grit and applied cherry stain. End grains need more sanding.

Sanding the edge grain of the legs using double grit sandpaper
Sanding the edge grain of the legs using double grit sandpaper
Staining the edge grains of the leg piece and the support piece
Staining the edge grains of the leg piece and the support piece

Then we sealed the stain using polyurethane. If you want to use the bench for outdoors, use spar urethane instead.

Applying Polyurethane to seal the bench after staining
Applying Polyurethane to seal the bench after staining
Completed bench
Completed bench
Completed bench upside down
Completed bench

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. Let me know if you would like more projects like this in the comments below.

DIY Wooden Indoor Bench
DIY Wooden Indoor Bench
DIY Wooden Indoor Bench

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DIY Wooden Bench

About V Susan

Hi! I'm Susan. I am passionate about DIY projects and dark chocolates! Welcome to MellowPine. We play around with basic woodworking projects, home improvement ideas, and decor for you to try out.

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