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Five board bench

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Project by Dave Polaschek posted 07-04-2017 05:41 PM 551 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Lately all of my woodworking projects seem to take a long time to wrap up. Last Saturday, I noticed Dave Rutan’s five board bench post, and said to myself, “Hey, I could make one of those pretty quickly!”

I set up my 7” miter saw, dug out an 8’ 2×12 and an 8’ 2×4 and got to work. First two cuts (with a hand saw) were the legs. 20” seemed about the right length. Then a 48” seat left me with an 8” long scrap. The 2×4 got one end chopped off at 45 degrees on the miter saw, then cut to 48” on the long side, and another 48” long chunk of 2×4, which left me with a 6” long piece of scrap.

With my five boards cut, and the miter saw already set to 45 degrees, I cut the wedges out of the bottom of the legs. I made the straight bit 3” wide, with a 6” wide cutout in the middle. I didn’t worry about the depth of the cut, figuring that this is a quick and dirty bench. I also cut the notches in the tops of the legs to put in the 2×4s down the sides of the bench. Again, I didn’t worry about the depth of the cut, figuring that it wouldn’t be too big. I did cut off the notches with a hand-saw so I didn’t have too many stray cuts.

Two cordless drills, one with a drill bit for pilot holes, and the other with a Torx bit, plus a couple dozen deck screws left over from another project and I was into the assembly. The legs and sides went together first. Drill, screw, check for square. Two screws at each corner and things seemed square enough. Drop the seat on top and screw in one corner. Check for square, adjust a little, and drive in the screw diagonally opposite the first one, and things should be good. Four more screws and the seat is on.

Then I sat on the seat, and took a 6tpi rasp to edges, corners and such, rounding things off to make it less likely someone would get a splinter. As I worked, I noticed that there was a little wobble in the bench, so I grabbed the 8” chunk of 2×12, and cut it in half diagonally, then put that between the leg and the seat with four screws holding everything in place. Went to the opposite corner of the bench and did the same with the 2×4 scrap I had (the other half of the 2×12 had a knot that looked like it might be weak, so I tossed it).

Everything together and smoothed, I cut two handles in the top. Two sets of five holes made with a 1” spade bit, then a little rasp work to clean them up, and I had handles (or flatulence slots). Used the bench that afternoon at a neighborhood picnic. It’s nice to do a project that’s usable in a single day!

Sunday I primed the bench. Monday I painted the underside and today I painted the top, and the bench is done.

-- Dave - Minneapolis





6 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

26862 posts in 2563 days


#1 posted 07-04-2017 08:53 PM

This is a very nice bench.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

467 posts in 279 days


#2 posted 07-04-2017 10:23 PM

Thanks, Charles. Quick and easy, too. I’ve already got one friend who covets it.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1622 posts in 1885 days


#3 posted 07-08-2017 12:38 PM

Your corner brace is probably a good idea, depending on who will be using the bench. So far the ones I’ve built to a similar design have survived my using them as a step stool.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

467 posts in 279 days


#4 posted 07-08-2017 12:47 PM

Yeah. It racked a little when I was sitting on it and smoothing the edges with a rasp, Dave. Figured it was better to add the brace than pull a deck screw through the relatively soft lumber when I use it as a saw bench. Which I almost certainly will.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1622 posts in 1885 days


#5 posted 07-08-2017 12:54 PM



Yeah. It racked a little when I was sitting on it and smoothing the edges with a rasp, Dave. Figured it was better to add the brace than pull a deck screw through the relatively soft lumber when I use it as a saw bench. Which I almost certainly will.

- Dave Polaschek

These benches are extremely useful as saw benches, low saw horses, and all kinds of things.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

467 posts in 279 days


#6 posted 07-08-2017 01:10 PM

They certainly are. I’ve already used it while working on the legs of my roman workbench. I also have a similar stool that I built just about a year ago which is going to need to have the top repainted soon, as I’ve used it so hard.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

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