Monday, December 15, 2014

DIY: Mudroom Bench

A mudroom is a small area of the house where shoes and outerwear can be removed without tracking any unnecessary mud or dirt to other parts of the house.  Of course you don't have to have a mudroom in order to reap the benefits of this simple and sturdy mudroom bench.

This bench is small enough it can be placed near any heavily traveled entrance of your home.  It offers a comfortable place to sit while you put on or take off shoes and coats.

TIPS: The following measurements may be substituted.
1.5" = 1x2's
2.5" = 1x3's
3.5" = 1x4's
5.5" = 1x6's

Use caution working with solid lumber wider than 1x6's.  Especially soft woods such as pine.  I find they show a greater propensity to warp, twist and cup.  Gluing boards side by side, otherwise known as a glue up, will offer greater stability across the project.

Cut List:

2 - Top Pieces @ 24" x 5.5"
4 - leg pieces @ 15" x 4.5"
1 - bench apron @ 19.5" x 5.5" Alternatively you could use pocket holes or dowels to connect the apron to the legs.  In that case the apron should be cut @19"

Step 1

Cut the four pieces for the legs to length on the miter saw.  Then take them over to the table saw and rip off one inch from each piece.  (Keep the off cut pieces as you can use them later in the project.)  Edge glue two pieces together.  Send the two legs through a planer after the glue has dried if desired.

If you would like to dress the design of the legs up, now is the time to do it.  Trace a plastic cup around the bottom of each leg and use a jigsaw to cut a design like what is shown here. 

Step 2

Cut the apron to length and attach to the legs. 

The style of joinery you choose to use will dictate a lot here.  My preferred method would be to route a couple of dados along the inside of each leg and then just glue the apron in place and set with clamps.  However, you could also use pocket holes or dowels.  Obviously the measurement for this piece will be different depending on what you choose.

Step 3

Edge glue the top pieces together and then attach to the base.  I might get a little creative here.

Simply apply glue to the base.  Place the top in position and add some weight to the top.  Wait for the glue to dry.

Then come back with a 1/4" or 3/8" drill bit and drill some holes thru the top and into the legs and apron.

Hammer in some dowels and flush cut the tops.  The dowels will add visual interest to the top of the mud bench as well as strengthen the overall construction of the piece. (This is not pictured here.)

Placement of the top is easy.  Simply use a one inch piece of scrap that you cut earlier as a spacer to get a consistent overhang for the top. Note: The scrap piece will be off by the width of the blade used to cut it, but that will not be enough for the eye to detect.)

Final Thoughts

Since this is made out of 2x material I would stain the top first, then attach as described above with the dowels.  Using contrasting colors for the bench top and the dowels would add an extra bit of visual appeal to the finished piece.

Find me on Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.  Also be sure to check out my YouTube channel for lots of great project videos.  If you see any of these project designs that you would like to see a video for, let me know.  If I get enough interest in one I will be sure to build and upload.

Until then,

Happy DIYing!!

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