As usual, click any photo to bring up a larger version.  

Entry Bench



I started with building the top. I wanted a thick top, but I only had one board of 8/4 (2" thick) wood. So I took another board, and cut and dressed it into 2" wide strips, which I then turned on edge and used to fill out the with that I needed for the bench top.

My planer can only handled up to 13" wide stock, however the bench seat is 15" wide. Therefore I first glued up the parts for the bench top into two pieces. I then used my dowelmax jig to drill alignment holes for the final glue-up. Using dowels will result in a perfectly aligned top face. You can also achieve this with a domino, or possibly a biscuit joiner. Just be aware that if you use a different dowelling jig, make sure it is one that aligns off a face, and is not the center-aligned type.

After the glue-up I did have a few small knots and voids that I filled with West System epoxy which I tinted with ebony stain. The black tinted epoxy looks good against the dark walnut wood.

I then prepped and dressed all the wood for the leg assemblies and the crosspiece.

I used repeated cuts on the tablesaw to cut the notches that the crosspiece will fit into.

I made a template from plywood for the curve that I wanted to make in the four leg uprights.

After tracing the curve on the legs, I rough-cut the curve on the bandsaw, and then finessed it first with the spindle sander, and then with an orbital sander, and also some hand sanding.

Another good option would be to use that plywood template and a pattern-routing bit to make identical pieces. I just found this method quick and easy, and I'm not bothered if the four legs do not have absolutely 100% identical curves.

Assembly is next, so now is the time to stop and sand the pieces as needed, and round over the edges of the leg uprights.

IMPORTANT: This would also be the right timet to cut the curve into the long crosspiece, which I forgot to do.

I built a plywood jig to hold one of the leg uprights in position. I then tacked the piece in place with some brads, to hold it until I could predrill and then drive in some long screws.

IMPORTANT: Again, note that my jig only worked because I had not yet cut the top boards of the leg assemblies to be shorter than the bottom boards. If I had designed that in from the start, I would have had to come up with some other method to align the pieces at this step. If you do build this, you might want to copy my methods, and wait until later to cut the top boards shorter.

With one upright in place, I could then fit the crosspiece into the notch and fasten it in place with screws.

I then positioned the other uprights -- the notch is fitted around the crosspiece -- and tacked and screwed them into place.

And then I cut one inch off each side of the top boards from the leg assemblies, as we decided we did not like the original look.

I used me large crosscut sled to cut the top down to final length of 40 inches long.

I first used a chamfer bit in the router to chamfer the front edge of the leg assemblies, but we did not like the profile, so I used a block plane to cut a bigger/longer chamfer

This bench is going by our entry, so it will eventually be exposed to wet footwear and/or wet coats and such. Therefore I want a film finish, so I used Minwax oil-modified polyurethane in a satin finish. I applied three coats to the understructure, and four coats to the top of the bench seat.

The legs were fastened to the top with wood screws, three in each leg assembly. When pre-drilling, I wiggled the drill bit to elongate the outer holes, to make some allowance for wood movement.

As a final touch, I added rubber feet to the bottom of the leg assemblies. This will help prevent possible rocking, but more importantly, it lifts the bench up just a touch, for the inevitable case when the floor gets wet. They also provide some grip against slipping. I don't trust the adhesive to hold over the long term, so I add a small screw to the center of the foot.

Next photos show the finished piece.

Some of the Tools/Supplies Used In This Project: (Affiliate Links)

Dowelmax Company
NOTE: at the time of publishing (May 2023) Dowelmax is not currently available on amazon. It has been in the past, so I am keeping the following links, but right now only the link above to "" is known to work.
Dowelmax Dowel Joinery Kit
Dowelmax Drill Guides for 1/4" Dowels
Dowelmax Dowels

Irwin Quick Grip XP600 Clamps
Painter's Pyramids
Minwax Oil-Modified Polyurethane
3M Finishing Pads / Scotch Brite
Delta BOSS Spindle Sander
DeWalt DW735 Planer
3rd party blades for DW735

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See Also:

Shaker Inspired Stepstool

1950s Nesting Tables

Coffee Table