Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Storage bench...

Hi Everyone!  I wanted to share with you the project that my nephew helped me build.  We started out just making a regular headboard bench using two twin size headboards.  They didn’t match perfectly, but they were similar enough that I thought they would make a good bench.  I started out by cutting the shorter of the two headboards in half.  Then I cut the turned ball off the posts of the shorter headboard that has now become the arms.  I cut and sanded them off because they didn’t match the ones on the back headboard and it gave it a unique look. 
 I clamped the arms to the back headboard, and in three different places, drilled holes through the back of the headboard into the arms, added glue and then screwed the two headboards together.  Then we measured the side of the arm from post to post and glued, nailed, and drilled pocket holes and screwed them together.  I have a tendency to over build benches so that they can withstand the weight and then I know they are secure and going to last.  My mom always says that an elephant could sit on them.
 I don’t have pictures of the in between portions where my nephew and I made the frame for the seat area because I had decided to turn it into a bench with storage and since I hadn't made one before it was a little trial and error and working without any plans.  So of course the camera wasn't in my thoughts at the time.  My nephew and I made the frame for the bottom of the storage area.  I added the support and the end pieces of the storage unit.  If you notice the end pieces that are green is a large scrap piece of luan that I was using as my spray painting board.  It just happened to be the perfect size for the end pieces.  All I had to do was cut it down, insert it and glue and nail it in place.
I cut the bottom piece of the storage from a large piece of luan that I had in the wood shop. I glued it and nailed it into place.  We added several other pieces on the bottom side of the luan to better support it, again gluing and nailing it into place.
This is a spindle that was cut in half from another headboard when I cut it half to make arms.  I like to keep these pieces because you never know when they will come in handy.  I added it as a decorative piece to each side of the outside front arms to cover the slots where the rails would have slid into instead of filling it with putty or silicone.
Up to this point all of the wood was scrap pieces that were left over from other projects.  We had to go to the lumber yard for a piece of 1x12” for the front and back of the storage unit.  I decided not to use luan for these pieces as they will carry some of the weight on them.  

 Here you can see an additional piece was added to the front of the frame of the storage box.  It was added because the front piece of 1x12" needed to cover the inside leg where the rail slot is and so there was more edge for the lid/seat to rest on besides just the frame.
The boards for the seat were left over from another project.  It has two 1x8" and one 1x4" that had to be shaved down to fit.  We cut the boards to length first, then glued them and clamped them.  We let them sit overnight.  My nephew didn't like to use the glue and wasn't a believer in the power of wood glue.  But after seeing that the glue held those boards together perfectly, he's now a believer!  We also drilled a finger hole in the middle of the front board so that the lid could be opened.
 Since this is the top of the storage and the seat as well, we reinforced the glue with two wood strips that we glued and then nailed into place with the nail gun and then put a screw into each of the boards for added strength.  We also made sure that the strips were short enough not to interfere with lifting the lid up or with the frame brace that goes across the middle of the storage.
 Then we sanded all of the wood with the exception of the headboard and arms. 
 Here's my nephew testing out the fit of the lid after sanding it.
And here he is after we finished building it.  We didn't have time to paint it.  And I will be adding this to the painting pile.  I have several craft fairs coming up and have decided to build all the benches first and then paint them all at once so I don't have to put away the paint after each one or clean up the sawdust before I paint so it doesn't get mixed in to the finish.  Also, I don't have to interrupt the building process while waiting for paint to dry.  So we'll see how this goes.  But that's my first storage bench build.  It took a bit longer than I had anticipated but the first time usually does.  Plus I was showing my nephew how to do things as well as getting help from him.  We had a good time working on it and that is the main thing.  He thinks he can go home and build one himself.  I'll be sure an show you the finished, painted project when it's all done.  Well, thanks for stopping by.

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  1. Holly,
    It looks great! I can only think of the cost added to make this kind of bench. (the extra lumber) That would make the price go up. I'd like to compare prices with you sometime via email. :)
    Can't wait to see what you're up to next!

  2. Beautiful work! I'm sure the process will be quicker next time, but regardless, I think storage benches are a great idea.

  3. great idea! can't do any woodwork in an apartment like ours. crafting with fabrics is already a challenge, not much space here.

  4. This is great! WOW!!! You guys did a fantastic job. Thanks for sharing. I am your newest follower. Hope you can visit me sometime.