How to build a storage bench

This step by step project is about how to build a storage bench. If you want to build a rustic bench with a small storage capacity, you should pay attention to this project. You could adjust the size of the bench as to fit your needs, but we recommend you to use the same woodworking techniques to get the job done easily. Align all the components at both ends, before inserting the screws into the components.

Getting the job done by yourself could reduce the total expenditures. In addition, building something with your own hands is very rewarding and a nice weekend experience. Nevertheless, there are a few aspects you have to consider, when building the storage bench. First of all, we recommend you to purchase quality lumber (redwood, cedar or pine) and check if the boards are in a good condition. Moreover, work on a sturdy surface and check the corners for squareness, after each step.

Remember that you should always pre-drill the components, otherwise the wood might split. In addition, add a good wood glue to the joints of the bench, in order to enhance the bond of the components. Work with great acre and attention, if you want to make a durable storage bench with a neat appearance, from the very first attempt.

 

Made from this plan

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In order to make a storage bench, you needs the following:

 

Materials

  • 1×4 lumber – LEGS AND FRAME
  • 1×2 lumber – SUPPORTS
  • 1×1 lumber – CLEATS
  • 3/8” plywood – INTERIOR WALLS
  • 1 1/4” and 2” wood screws – SCREWS
  • Wood glue

 

Tools

  • Safety gloves, glasses, Miter saw, jigsaw
  • Chalk line, tape measure, spirit level, carpentry pencil
  • Drill machinery and drill bits

 

Tips

  • Pre-drill holes in the wooden components, before driving in the screws
  • Smooth the exposed edges, by using a router with a 1/4” bit

 

Time

  • One day

 

 

Building a storage bench seat

Building a storage bench

Building a storage bench

 

Building a simple storage bench seat is a straight forward job, if you use the right tools and techniques. As you probably imagine, you can choose from many designs, so you should make sure the plans fit your needs and tastes.

Smart Tip: Build the top of the storage bench from 1×4 lumber and 1×2 supports. Place the seat on top of the frame and secure it with several hinges. Make sure the seat of the bench opens properly.

 

 

How to build a storage bench

Front frame of the bench

Front frame of the bench

 

The first step of the project is build the front and back faces of the  bench. As to get the job done quickly and in a professional manner, cut the 1×4 slats with a miter saw and to lock them together with 2” pocket holes.

Smart Tip: Use a jig and a drill machinery to pre-drill the lumber, before inserting the wood screws. Use a carpentry square to make sure the corners are right-angled.

 

Side bench frame plans

Side bench frame plans

 

Next, you have to assemble the side walls of the storage bench, using the same carpentry techniques described above. Add wood glue to enhance the bond of the joints. Clamp the components to a workbench, when drilling the pilot holes.

Smart Tip: In order to lock the frame together, you could also use biscuit joints. Insert stainless steel screws, as they are resistant against water.

 

Installing the legs

Installing the legs

 

The next step of the project is attach the corner legs to the frame of the bench and to lock them into place with screws. Align the components with great care before  driving in the screws. First, build the L-shaped legs before attaching them to the frame.

Smart Tip: In order to  hide the head of the screws, we recommend you to insert the 1 1/4” screws from the inside of the bench. Use a spirit level to plumb the frame.

 

Installing the interior walls

Installing the interior walls

 

Afterwards, you should install the interior walls of the bench. In order to get the job done, you have to build the panels from 3/8” plywood. Mark the cut lines on the plywood sheet and use a circular saw with a sharp blade to make the cuts. Sand the cut edges with a sand-block.

Smart Tip: Drive in 3/4” nails trough the plywood, every 6”, to the wooden frame of the bench. Add a good wood glue to the plywood before attaching the panels to the wooden frame.

 

Building the floor of the storage bench

Building the floor of the storage bench

 

Install 1×1 wooden cleats to the sides of the storage bench, before fitting the bottom slats. Drill pilot holes trough the cleats, before inserting the 1 1/2” into the wooden frame. Afterwards, cut the slats to the right size (20 1/4”) and attach them to the supports.

Drill pilot holes at both ends of the slats and secure them into place with 2” nails. Place slats every 1/2” and countersink the head of the screws.

 

Building the top of the storage bench

Building the top of the storage bench

 

Building the seat of the storage bench can be done in several ways, either from 1×4 lumber or 3/4” plywood. Lay the slats on a level surface and secure them with several supports. Place a wood block between the slats, as to make sure you obtain consistent gaps.

Smart Tip: Drill pilot holes trough the supports and insert 1 1/4” nails. Measure the diagonals of the seat, as to ensure the corners are perfectly square.

 

Securing the top with the hinges

Securing the top with the hinges

 

Attach the top lid to the storage bench, and secure it to frame with hinges and wood screws. Place the hinges to the top of the frame and check if they are flush with edges. Work with great care and attention, if you want to obtain a professional result.

Smart Tip: We recommend you to round the corners of the lid, using a jigsaw. In addition, use a router and a drill bit to round the exposed edges of the components.

 

How to build a storage bench

How to build a storage bench

 

Last but not least, you have to take care of the finishing touches. Therefore, fill the holes with a good wood filler and let the compound to dry out for several hours. Afterwards, sand the surface along the wood grain, using 120-grit sandpaper.

Smart Tip: Remove the debris and cover the wooden surface with a coat of primer. Afterwards, stain the storage bench with an appropriate product in a well-ventilated area.

 

 

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