Piper Bench

With the holidays just behind us, I spent a lot of time trying to get gift ideas from Land of Nod and Pottery Barn Kids.  I rarely ever look at those sites since I don't have kids, but now I just can't stop.  Their stuff is just so cute.  And now I'm dying to build a play kitchen.  Seriously - where is my little girl who lives close to me that I can spoil rotten and build a play kitchen?  There have been quite a few builders that have posted their kitchens on Ana's site from her plans, and I've been drooling over them like crazy.  And while I make the play kitchen, we may as well make a doll house, too.  And a dress up vanity.  And a play house.  Where are my friends with cute (girl) kids?! Anyway, while I was looking at all of those amazing kids furniture sites, I spied LON's Beadboard Bench and knew I had to make plans for it.  Such a great piece of kids furniture, but it's also adult enough that you could get away with it in an entryway or mudroom.  And, it's so easy an inexpensive to build.  Who doesn't love a cute bench? Since the only child I have is a furry one, I named this bench after my little monster dog, Piper. Estimated Cost: $20-50

Dimensions:

See above for dimensions.

Shopping List:

Wood:

2 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long 1 - 1x4 @ 4 feet long 1 - 1x12 @ 8 feet long 1 - Scrap piece of 3/4" plywood or project board at least 37" x 13 1/2" long.

Hardware and Supplies:

Beadboard 1 1/4" Pocket Hole Screws 5/8" Finishing Nails 1 1/4" Finishing Nails Wood Banding Wood Glue Wood Filler Medium Grit Sandpaper Primer or Wood Conditioner Paint or Stain

Tools:

Kreg Jig Jigsaw Miter Saw Nailer Drill Sander Level Measuring Tape Carpenter's Square Safety Glasses

Cut List:

4 - 1x2 @ 18 3/4" - Side Trim 3 - 1x2 @ 33" - Top and Bottom Support 1 - 1x4 @ 33" - Front Trim 1 - 1x12 @ 34 1/2" - Bottom Shelf 2 - 1x12 @ 18 3/4" - Sides 1 - 3/4" PLY @ 37" x 13 1/2" - Top

General Instructions:

Make sure to re-measure and check for square after every step.  Sometimes when building your measurements can be off very slightly, and it’s important that your numbers are exact.  (Especially when working with doors and drawers!)  Measure your available space before building this plan to make sure that it will fit.  Please read through the entire plan before getting started.

Step 1:

Using your jigsaw, make a small circular notch at the base of your sides as shown above.  This number doesn't need to be exact since it's a decorative feature, but the sketch will at least give you a ballpark.  An option to make a perfect half-circle to start with is to take a coffee can or other circular jar and trace around half of it, giving you an exact template to jigsaw.

Step 2:

Attach the 1x2 sides onto your center piece using the Kreg Jig.  The picture above is from the back side of the sides, so the outside edge of the 1x2 will be flush with your 1x12, and there will be a 3/4" overhang on the back.  Repeat steps 1 and 2 to make your second side. Important Note: While you're jigging, it wouldn't be the worst idea to also pre-drill a few Kreg holes at the top of your 1x12 to allow for the top to be screwed into later.

Step 3:

Attach the top and bottom supports using your Kreg Jig.  (Don't forget the wood glue!)  The lower support on the back of your bench should have a 3 1/2" clearance underneath it to the floor.  The top supports should be flush with the top of your bench.

Step 4:

Slide your 1x12 bottom shelf into place and secure it to the sides and back support using the Kreg Jig.  Make sure to screw it in from the bottom so you don't have any pocket holes showing!  The shelf should leave a 3 1/2" clearance underneath it to the floor.  The bottom of the shelf will be flush to the bottom of your bottom support.

Step 5:

Give your 1x4 trim a fancy touch by cutting a very slight curve in the bottom using your jigsaw as shown above.  Make sure to sand down the curve really well to even it out.

Step 6:

Attach your newly curved, fancy 1x4 to the bottom shelf using 1 1/4" finishing nails and wood glue.  (Seriously, do not forget the wood glue.  It adds stability by about a million percent.)  The top of your trim rests flush with the top of your bottom shelf.

Step 7:

Before you secure on your top, install your bead board along the back using a finishing nailer with 5/8" nails and wood glue to attach it to your top and bottom supports.

Step 8:

Attach the top of your bench to the base using the pocket holes that you pre-drilled into the sides in step 2.  To add a bit more security, you could also put a few 1 1/4" finishing nails into the front and back of the bench.  Leave a 1/2" overhang on the front and sides of your top.  The back remains flush to the back top support.

Finishing:

Finish your project as desired.  Make sure to sand it down with medium grit sand paper and fill in all your holes with filler before tackling that paint or stain.  For more tips on finishing, visit The Lazy Girl's Guide to Finishing.

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